Reportance Cirrus is a reimagination of the original Reportance Desktop. Not only have we brought the product into the cloud, the vision and scope has expanded as Reportance Cirrus handles ever increasing amounts of data coming from different sources, periodic reporting and introduces a range of UI improvements to become the markets most progressive, cloud-based accountants ledger.
This article takes you through the changes between the desktop version of Reportance and Reportance Cirrus at the time of release of Cirrus. For information on further improvements and developments since it's release, please check out the Release History documents for Cirrus.
Check out a recording of a previous webinar below for details on a range of the changes contained in this article.
While we have designed Reportance Cirrus to operate in a very similar way to the desktop version, there a range of new features and practices which we document in this article. These new features, which are explained in more detail below, include:
- Client management
- Consolidated files
- Periodic information
- Excel add-in
- Import from Reportance datasets
- Trial balance and ledger reports
- Tax report
- Matching rules
- Divisions and trading accounts
Please see our Migration Guide once you are ready to make the leap, which documents all the first time setup and migration actions required to move from Reportance Desktop to Reportance Cirrus.
Now that Reportance is cloud based, all data is stored in a central cloud system, which means we need a way of organising and filing your .rep files.
When you first login to Reportance, you will be introduced to our new client layout. On the left-hand side are your client groups. When you click on a client group, you will be presented a list of entities that belong to the client group on the right-hand side.
Note: ALL entities must belong to a client group.
Each entity will have a 'file' which contains the ledger data for that entity - this 'file' is equivalent to the Reportance Desktop .rep file you use currently.
In most cases, you will have one file per client, in which case you can simply click Open next to the entity to open it. Sometimes you may wish to experiment with additional files, in this case you can use the little [+] button to the right of the entity name in order to add additional files for the entity.
You can also add a consolidated file to a client group if you have a file dealing with more than one entity, which leads us to...
Consolidated files are files that will need access to more than one entity.
To save re-entry, consolidated files use existing entities created in Reportance Cirrus. This means you need to create entities against the client group (or another client group if applicable) before you can access them in a consolidated file.
For the fastest setup, we recommend creating the entities you will need first against the client group. Un-tick the option to Create a new file for this entity when creating an entity if you don't intend to store any data for this entity on its own, but simply want to use the entity in a consolidated file.
Do I put all entities in a consolidated file or run a separate file for each entity and then consolidate?
In the desktop version of Reportance, there was no way to easily copy data from another .rep file into a consolidated file, so you were required to store all individual entities data in the one consolidated file.
This has changed, you can use the new 'Import from Reportance Dataset' feature (more details below) which enables you to import data into a dataset from another Reportance file. This means you can potentially have a dataset in one file, relating to a specific entity, and then reuse that data in another file for a consolidated group.
This is useful if you want to maintain a separate chart of accounts for the individual entity on its own, and another one just for consolidated reporting.
Of course, if you only want to maintain the single chart of accounts and work as you used to, simply work in the one consolidated file just as you would with the desktop version of Reportance.
Instead of just importing a full trial balance, Reportance is now capable of importing opening balances and movement journals.
When setting up your source for a dataset, you will be given a range of Import Frequency options that are supported by that source.
This will result in an import of an opening balance journals combined with individual movement journals with the frequency specified.
Combined with all journals now requiring date inputs, you can use our report Spread by and Filters to show different periods within a dataset in your reports.
Importantly, this means that you should only ever need a single dataset for each financial year. This contrasts with the desktop version, where you had to create a dataset and import data for each period you were interested in - possibly requiring doubling up of journals if they impact balance sheet accounts.
The key takeaway for Reportance Cirrus
You should only use a single dataset for each financial year
Another benefit of separating imports into an 'Opening Balance' journal and a 'Movement Journal', means you can optionally choose to use a previous periods dataset as the opening balance, instead of the source data. If you are used to working with 'movement journals' in the past this will suit you well.
Our Excel add-in is now available on the Microsoft App-Store and works with both the desktop and browser-based versions of Office 365.
It includes two buttons which are shown in the 'Reportance Cirrus' group on the 'Home' tab.
Clicking on Import Data will require a login, and then will allow you to select a client and dataset to import a journal, imported trial balance, imported movement journal, or imported opening balance from. The import process broadly works the same as the desktop version of Reportance, noting that the account classification system has been approved such that if you add the account number and name of an existing account in Reportance Cirrus, it will automatically work out the classification for you based on the existing account.
Clicking on Format Report will optimise the page breaks and row-heights of an Excel report. Refer to the 'Reports' section below.
Import from Reportance datasets
To enable you to effectively reuse information, the Reportance source has been redesigned to enable you to import from other datasets either in the same or another file.
When you set up your source for the first time, it will ask you which file you wish to import from for this source. It may be the same file as the one you are working in.
Then, when you come to create a dataset and link this source, you will be prompted for the particular dataset within that file to use for the import.
This feature is useful in that it imports the detail and dates of all journals from the other dataset, not just an annual summary. You can use this in conjunction with our consolidated files to enable you to maintain an individual file for each entity (each with their own simple chart of accounts), as well as a consolidated file with a comprehensive chart of accounts, without re-entering data.
Trial balance and ledger reports
We have introduced additional reports to make it easier to extract information from Reportance Cirrus.
We have consolidated the old 'Balances' and 'Ledger' tabs into the single 'Balances' tab, with sub-menus for trial balance, ledger, tax form and cashflow reports.
To further improve this area, the Trial Balance and Ledger reports have two Account Type options that can be used when running the reports. To view accounts from the client's source perspective (eg the client MYOB file chart of accounts), use the 'Source Account' option. To view the report from the Reportance chart of accounts perspective, use the 'Account' option.
Our new chart of accounts (see elsewhere for more details) supports Account Types which facilitates the compilation of taxation information. Choose the appropriate report in the 'Tax Forms' sub-menu under balances to see a detailed report of each tax label, which includes a useful audit trail for each balance if you expand the rows.
Drag and drop experience
The accounts area has received a major upgrade, introducing a range of UI improvements that have long been requested by Reportance users. Not only can you drag and drop accounts, but you can now also:
- Ctrl-click and Shift-click ranges of accounts to move them at once
- Select a range of accounts and right-click on your destination to insert into, above, or below.
You should also find the drag and drop experience is fast, responsive, and retains your position in the chart in all circumstances.
To improve the granularity of reports and increase chart of accounts flexibility, detailed account information is now ascertained not only using the header that an account belongs to, but also the account type of the account.
This account type is used, for example, to build tax form information and our automated cashflow statements.
The account type can be changed by editing the account itself and selecting the appropriate type in the accounts modal. To make account types easy to manage, by default, they inherit from the header they belong to. In addition, our matching rules (details below) enable you to create rules that can override these settings and automate some common scenarios (for example tagging wages with 'payroll').
Because of these new account types, you will find we have removed some of the surplus headers in the master chart of accounts, as the purpose of those was to provide extra information for the accounts which is better served by giving them appropriate account types.
Matching rules have been expanded in their capability to include the ability to work off either the account number, account name, or the account type (which may be imported from the MYOB or Xero API for example). They also allow you to set either the account header, account type, or both.
To give you more flexibility, we also give you the option to run a rule without saving it, by selecting Create Instant Rule from the Auto Allocate dropdown menu.
You can optionally have a rule override previous manual allocations by selecting the relevant option, and even treat the accounts allocated by that rule as having been manually allocated by selecting the Tag as Manual option when running the rule.
Divisions and trading accounts
Reportance Cirrus has separated the old divisions concept into two categories:
- Trading accounts
Trading accounts are identical to the old divisions. They allow you to tag individual source accounts as belonging to that trading account, which can then be reported on in separate columns, or separate pages linked to a master profit and loss using the 'Separate Trading Accounts' option when preparing a Profit and Loss page in a report.
Divisions are now reserved for strict divisional reporting. However, they are significantly more powerful because they are able to be used on both a transaction level, as well as an account level. This means that journals now have a column enabling you to select the division.
To automate a lot of divisional information, you can link MYOB Jobs and Xero Tracking Categories when configuring a division. You can even allocate more than one tracking category or job code to a division if you need to.
You can also continue to allocate accounts to a division (or trading account) in the accounts modal. Where this occurs, it will override all transaction-level division allocations for that account only.
Workpapers continue to use the Business Fitness Smart Workpapers including its associated add-in.
However, the product is now incorporated into the general 'Connected Workpapers' product by Business Fitness, rather than in a separate Reportance workpaper product. All existing functionality is retained.
After downloading the starter file, you will simply need to click on Connect File to set up your connection to Reportance.
Refreshing the trial balance can be done by using the Refresh Trial Balance button at the top of the Index sheet or in the Workpapers tab of the ribbon.
You can right-click on a balance and select the View General Ledger button to view the detailed transactions making up a balance as usual.
Our report engine has been substantially redesigned, but the use of it should still look very familiar.
Importantly, pages are now added dynamically to a report based on preset templates which can be modified by an administrator.
Some pages enable you to add more than one instance of that page into a report, for example, you can add more than one Profit and Loss statement. To make this especially powerful, each page has customisation options which enable you to change things like the title of the page.
For financial statement pages, you can also customise the columns for that page only. This will enable you to, for example, have a divisional or monthly Profit and Loss shown in the same report as another conventional annual Profit and Loss.
Our reports are now rendered as an html on screen. Clicking on supported elements enables you to edit formatting and content within that element.
Once you are happy with the report, it can be saved and/or downloaded as either a PDF, Excel or Word variant by clicking on the relevant button. All report formats are rendered in a way to make them look nearly identical.
For Excel reports, the report is generated extremely fast. Server-side rendering is unable to optimise page breaks or row heights, so we have provided a Format Report button in our Excel add-in. This will run through the Excel report and optimise the page breaks and row heights automatically.
Global admin can be accessed by clicking on the user account icon in the top right of the screen and selecting Admin Centre, this will enable you to configure everything from offices and users to master report templates and accounting policies.
Refer to our Administrator Guides for more details on the options available.
The assets module has been retained almost without change. On popular request we have added the ability to move assets from one group to another. In addition, the convenient multi-select assets listing allows you to do a range of bulk actions on assets.
The asset tax reports now provide audit trail information (which you can find by clicking on the (i) next to the number), so you can see the balances of assets that make up disclosures.