Necessity is the mother of invention. This adage has held true since the beginning of time, and necessity is second only to profit motive in its ability to drive innovation and positive change in a market. Knowing this, one of the biggest concerns that many organizations face at the moment is the major shortage of employees ready, willing, and able to work at a company as a developer.
Worse yet, the pace of change and technological innovation has been so fast and so broad, that “development skills” are a must for workers in multiple departments—marketing, finance, human resources, and more.
Luckily, however, the concerns created by technology are being solved by technology—in the form of low-code development platforms and applications. While these are nothing new, they are empowering leaders and driving the conversation from small businesses to the enterprise—Forrester estimates that the total market for low-code development platforms will grow to $15.5 billion by 2020.
What Are Low-Code Platforms?
Low-code platforms trace their roots to 2011, but were not dubbed by the name until a Forrester Research study in 2014. According to Forrester, “Low-code development platforms represent a type of technology that allows for creating apps through configuration of functions, rather than coding those functions. Low-code development platforms enable accelerated delivery of business applications by reducing the amount of hand-coding required as well as the initial investment in setup, training, and deployment.”
In laymen’s terms, low-code platforms are designed to allow non-technical developers to easily build applications with point-and-click, drag-and-drop tools.
How Low-Code Platforms Make Life Easier
Essentially, these platforms allow anyone to develop an application, report, or tool to fit their needs without complex and costly coding. This, as opposed to a “catch-22” posed by CIO in an article introducing IT leaders to low-code platforms:
“You can’t specify the application’s requirements and develop it until you get feedback from customers, but they can’t provide feedback until you’ve developed it.”
Low-code looks to address this by shortening the time to develop an application, allowing teams of “citizen developers” to bring together an application in days or weeks, testing the applications and abandoning non-starters. Additionally, it allows non-developers to put their thoughts into action and application—rather than trying to explain the premise, workflow, and application logic to a developer.
“We have done some relatively technical things quite easily, like producing an application for validating bank accounts,” says Rod Willmott of Liverpool Victoria. “The logic behind the application is horrible. You would be mad to try and load that into code, but we wrote the app in [the company’s low-code platform] in just a couple of days.”
Bringing the Low-Code Mentality to Finance
When you think of it, low-code has made it easier than ever to create something new. However, the low-code mentality could be used to automate laborious tasks, customize reporting, ease workflows, or automate laborious tasks. Where better to start than in a department with individuals who, while adept at their own job, may not have the coding skills that so many financial management software options require.
Intacct was built as a user-friendly financial software, requiring little IT assistance to configure or report. Built with point-and-click, drag-and drop functionality, finance leaders will be able to take control of their finances more easily than ever:
- Easy-to-Use Report Configuration: When your finance team has new reporting requirements, you can manage them right within Intacct’s user interface—with zero help from IT or external reporting tools. For example, you can re-organize how information is presented on a report. You can add columns and rows that show new fields and metrics. And you can use dimensionsto see performance from any angle you need. Simply use drop-down lists to filter and group your business and financial data the way you want. Getting fast, accurate answers has never been this easy.
- Flexible Document Workflow Automation: Adapt to even the most complex business changes with a solution that adapts to you. For example, you might normally create a single invoice from a single sales order, and now you want the option to partially fulfill orders and therefore create multiple invoices. Most other financial systems would require custom-scripting to make that change. With Intacct, you can simply use the system’s visual interface to specify what documents get created and in what sequence, as well as when and how your transactions should post to your general ledger.
- Smarter Finance: The Intacct administrator on your finance team can quickly and easily configure your user experience, so you can maximize staff productivity. Edit the layouts of your transaction entry screens, choosing to show only the fields that are relevant for your business. Or create “smart rules” that automatically check whether users are entering valid data values and then prompt them if they are entering something incorrectly.
Learn more about simple customization in Intacct here, and get in contact with us to learn more about a free 30-day trial.