Coda aims to revolutionise the close

Coda Collaborative Close has been built using the Microsoft Office System, the latest version of which was launched with the Coda product on Tuesday.

Aimed primarily at accountants in business, the product makes use of the .Net framework and SharePoint Portal Server to integrate all the processes commonly used in the period end close process. It also offers the finance director a real-time view.

Jeremy Roche, chief executive of Coda, said that CCC would mean accountants would no longer have to ‘ferret around’ through spreadsheets looking for the relevant information. ‘Look at the amount of time accountants spend on the close,’ said Roche. ‘The first half of the month is often spent closing, and the second half often spent preparing to close.’

The software is browser-based, platform independent and runs using web services in a .Net environment. This means it will interact with a wide variety of corporate finance systems including Navision, SAP, PeopleSoft, Oracle and Coda-Financials.

The application automatically generates a dedicated website through the Microsoft SharePoint portal. Links then automatically bring together Microsoft InfoPath forms that are needed to gather all the relevant information from different participants in the period end process.

Coda believes that CCC offers three main functions: to deliver collaboration between all stakeholders and participants in the period end close; automate and integrate period end processes; and bridge gaps between insular data and systems.

Tim Tribe, head of product management at Coda, said that the cost of an extended period close is ‘considerable’ and that CCC not only helps cut down on this cost but allows finance professionals more time to analyse the figures rather than check them.

Hyperion has long been the market leader in software that is aimed to integrate all the information relevant to a period end close, with its Hyperion Financial Management product which was launched early last year.

But Dennis Keeling, chief executive of the Business Application Software Developers Association, said CCC is probably the first time web services have been employed in such a way.

He went on to say that multi-nationals don’t have ‘wall-to-wall’ corporate finance systems, so may require something reasonably independent to sit above the disparate systems and bring all the inform-ation together.


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