"My List" Tab Added To Tasks View
The Tasks view in finPOWER Connect Cloud now has a "My List" tab which allows users to create their own custom list.
For example, users can add shortcuts to commonly used items from any of the other tabs or add their own new, completely custom, items.
A Balloon Payment is a larger than normal payment made at the end of a Loan.
Quite often in finPOWER Connect the actual Balloon Payment is a few cents lower than the value entered. This is because Payments and Interest can only be debited/ credited to a Loan Account in whole cents. The net effect of the rounding is the Balloon Payment is adjusted to compensate.
Note, the actual Balloon Payment amount entered is stored on the Loan calculation information - and is therefore available to view.
In finPOWER Connect 3.02.04 we have introduced a new setting to adjust the final regular payment to try and hold the Balloon Payment to that entered.
Mobile Apps for finPOWER Connect
Using finPOWER Connect Cloud and Portals, it is now possible to use finPOWER in the cloud for:
- Internal Users (Finance Company staff)
- External Users (e.g. Dealers via either finPOWER Connect Cloud or a bespoke Portal)
- Clients (e.g. Client Connect Portal)
Previously our focus has been on providing an easy to use browser experience for these users. Recently we have focused on providing these users with an App they can use on mobile devices such as phones and tablets.
Developing and maintaining a native App for these platforms is a huge undertaking, accounting for how much functionality is already available in finPOWER Connect Cloud.
But what if we could simply wrap these web applications up into an App?
PWAs are web applications which look and feel like a native mobile App. They have several advantages over traditional mobile Apps, the most important being:
- Lower initial and ongoing maintenance costs
- No need to install or update an App - it is always up to date
- No need to get the App approved by an App Store
- Multiple App Stores do not need to be maintained - PWAs work on all key platforms
- Instead of days or weeks to get an App approved by an App store, PWAs are immediate
Previewing Records in finPOWER Connect Cloud
Most modern web applications are designed first-and-foremost with mobile devices in mind.
This includes finPOWER Connect Cloud; the User Interface is responsive and resizes to best fit different sized devices.
What we sometimes forget though, is that for the majority of business users, laptop and desktop PCs are the more common means of access. These tend to have much larger screens and often, that screen real-estate is being wasted.
Client Connect Portal
The existing Client Connect sample Web Application has been replaced by the new Client Connect Portal. Using our recently released Portals module, the Client Connect Portal sample has been completed to demonstrate the use of a Portal and could be used as is, or customised further.
New functionality has been added to support the Client Connect Portal, and will be available from version 3.02.03 of finPOWER Connect and Web Services.
The demo Client Connect Portal can be previewed on the web here:
- Client Id: C10000
- Password: Password1
Investment Income Reporting
From 1 April 2020 the way in which Interest and Withholding Tax is reported to the IRD is changing, through an IRD process known as Investment Income Reporting (IIR). Whilst this has been available since April 2019, it has been optional. From April 2020 it will become mandatory for all institutions paying interest where Withholding Tax is applicable.
New functionality has been added to support these changes, and will be available from version 3.02.01 of finPOWER Connect.
Forced Test Mode
Along with the introduction of "Cost Centres", finPOWER Connect version 3.2 also adds a new "Forced Test Mode" option.
This forces finPOWER Connect to use third party service "Test" environments, rather than the "Production" or "Live" environment - or to fail if they don't support a Test Mode.
finPOWER Connect version 3.2 introduces the concept of Cost Centres for tracking requests made to third party interfaces such as Credit Bureaus. In other words, finPOWER Connect now better supports users that want third party credentials and other settings to vary based upon their Business Units.
A new Admin file, "Cost Centres", defines these third party credentials and options, rather than one Global configuration. The trade off is each request to a third party must also define a Branch, which in turn defines the Cost Centre.
Rebate Processing - Recommended Procedures
Accounts with Elements setup with rebates on them will be automatically rebated when using the individual Account Close wizard.
The screen below shows an Element setup with a rebate, as per Admin, Elements, "Credit/ Rebates" page:
Optimising Account Processes
One of the most time consuming operations within finPOWER Connect is Account Processes.
Of course, for most Users, this is not really of any consequence. However, for Finance Companies with tens of thousands of Accounts, the time Account Processes takes may become more critical. Therefore, we have carefully reviewed this area with a view to optimising performance.
Account Processes are generally run once a day after that day has been closed off. This is typically after Bank Transactions have been imported and committed for the previous day, i.e. on Wednesday morning Tuesday's Bank Statement is imported and transactions committed to Accounts. At this point, Account Processes would be run to create Payment Due and Standard Transactions for Wednesday and close off Tuesday, including posting Interest Transactions.
Account Processes will run through every "Open" Account and post Transactions as they fall due. This means every Account is examined.
The optimisations made in finPOWER Connect version 3.2 mean that generally an Account will not be inspected unless it needs to be.