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Closing January With A New ReleaseClosing January With A New Release

Ah, January... Our least favourite month of the year. Some call it January blues, dry January or even a post-Christmas money challenge. At Aqilla, however, we call it a New Release month, with our latest functionality update.

The principal enhancements in version 1701 are as follows:

Smart KPIs

Aqilla’s Smart KPIs have been significantly enhanced to now provide the facility to display key values on the Home Page that can be “Traffic Lit” to highlight the figures against an expected norm.

A new type of Smart KPI configurator has been added, which is easier to define and can provide drill-down to the underlying data and is accessible to all users with the relevant permission to access the Aqilla Configuration tab.

The example we show below displays two gadgets using Smart KPIs. One displays the bank account balances and the other a count of timesheets at different stages in their workflow.

New Release 1701 - New Smart KPIs

 

Using the Bank Accounts as an example, Smart KPIs are set up as follows:  

 

First, create a Public Enquiry Profile:

New Release 1701 - New Smart KPIs

 

As per the release notes to accompany the 1606 version of Aqilla introduced in August 2016, Enquiry Profiles can be created against any of the Enquiry functions to in effect create a stored enquiry that can be saved and called up on demand with pre-set criteria.  For instance to create a Timesheet KPI use the Timesheet Enquiry. To use in a Smart KPI the Enquiry Profil’s privacy setting must be set to ‘Public’.

To create a KPI use the function found under the Configuration tab:

New Release 1701 - New Smart KPIs

 

  • The name must be unique and is displayed under the KPI.

  • The description is for documentation purposes only.

  • KPI Type is set to Smart KPIs. Note that the original Smart KPIs can also be viewed through this function and are displayed as “Legacy Smart KPIs”. The value ranges can be modified but the underlying calculation of the KPI can only be modified by Aqilla staff.

  • Enquiry Profile defines the basis of the KPI from a list of public enquiry profiles.

  • Attribute: When using the Sum function it defines the value to be summed.

  • Function select either counting rows returned by the enquiry or summing a value displayed by the enquiry.

  • Display Mask provides flexibility in the formatting of the display. Typically whether to show decimals and how negative values are displayed.

  • Converter used in place of the Display Mask when displaying large numbers. When a value is greater than one million the value is display as “1.2 M” otherwise if greater than one thousand the value is displayed as “3.4 K”. For example, the Bank Accounts gadget shown above displays the Current Account using a Display Mask and the Interest Account using the Converter.

 

Once the KPI has been created it can be previewed.

Optionally up to 3 ranges can be defined to display the KPI in different colours. In the example above, a value of zero or less is displayed in red, greater than zero and up to 5,000 is displayed in yellow, and greater than 5,000 and up to 100,000 is displayed in green. Any value not defined by these ranges will be shown with a white background.

In some situations, it might be preferable to display a text message rather than the value. For instance, you could display “None” in the Timesheets to Approve KPI if the value is zero.

The timesheet KPI examples were set up in the same way:

New Release 1701 - New Smart KPIs

 

In this example, the Enquiry Profile is created using Timesheet Enquiry selecting only Released documents. This will produce a list on demand of those Timesheets pending approval.

New Release 1701 - New Smart KPIs

 However rather than a list we wish to display the number of Timesheets awaiting approval, so in this case, the ‘Count’ Function is used.

Since no value ranges have been defined, the Smart KPIs will be displayed with a white background.

 

Finally, the Smart KPI needs to be added to an Aqilla Gadget, and this in turn added to the Home Page.

New Release 1701 - New Smart KPIs

 

This is done by defining a unique Title for the Gadget; select the Gadget Type for Smart KPI, and then selecting one or more from the list of Smart KPIs. In the past, this was restricted to 3 but since Aqilla 1606 you can select as many as is convenient. In this example we have a Gadget with 6 Smart KPIs and the Gadget itself can be resized to wrap to fit conveniently as required on the Home Page:

New Release 1701 - New Smart KPI Gadget

 

New Enhanced Password Policy for Aqilla Users

In the interests of improving security, a new Password Policy has been introduced to enforce a minimum level of complexity to user passwords. This policy requires that a password MUST:

  1. Be at least 8 characters in length.
  2. Contain at least one uppercase letter.
  3. Contain at least one lowercase letter.
  4. Contain at least one digit.

This will apply to any new passwords created or will come into effect next time a user (or administrator) amends an existing password on an individual account.

The new password policy will not affect passwords already in use but we would strongly advise users to change passwords if the password does not conform to this minimum.

 

Period Selections in Enquiries

An additional selection of “LAST FINANCIAL YEAR” has been included. This selection will select all transactions in the last financial year based on the Period shown at the top of the screen.

 

Personnel

The summary list in Reference-Personnel is now sortable by User Type.

New Release 1701 - User Types

 

Budget Documents

The budget document now supports decimal values in the browser view making modifications to a budget document fully compatible between budgets created and uploaded from Microsoft Excel via the add-in and the browser.

 

Promoting Document Lines

Documents such as Timesheets and Expenses can be approved or rejected either for the document as a whole or by individual line. This is dependent on whether individual lines are selected prior to selecting the Approve or Reject button.

As an additional visual aid, the colour of the button text is displayed in yellow when promoting by line. Note that the tooltip, when the mouse pointer is placed over a button, also displays whether the promotion is by line.

New Release 1701 - Timesheet Line Action

 

Internet Explorer - We Strongly Recommend You Upgrade To Microsoft Edge, Or Switch To Using Chrome Or Firefox

As of January last year (2016), Microsoft announced that only the most current version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical supports and security updates. Internet Explorer 11 (which was first released four years ago!) is the last ever version of Internet Explorer, and whilst it will continue to receive security updates, compatibility fixes and technical support on Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, we don't really recommend people use it anymore.

With latest releases, some users may experience some issues running Internet Explorer, including this last release. Microsoft and us here at Aqilla are therefore are encouraging all users to upgrade to Microsoft Edge instead. Microsoft Edge is an all-new browser for Windows 10, that goes beyond browsing with features like Web Note and Cortana1 integration. Microsoft Edge can launch Internet Explorer 11 for sites that need better backwards compatibility, however, this is not required for a modern Cloud based accounting and business solution such as Aqilla.

Modern browsers have faster loading times, process data quicker, are more secure and compliant with international data handling standards.

Therefore we'd suggest you consider stop using Internet Explorer and move to Microsoft Edge or alternatively switch to using one of the other popular browsers available including Google's Chrome (by far the most popular amongst Aqilla users), Firefox or Safari (on Apple MacOS). All are free to download, install and use.

 

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