Railz Q2 2021 Product Releases include QuickBooks Desktop, Improved Data Normalization, Financial Forecasting, and more
Railz had a busy second quarter (Q2) resulting in a multitude of successful product feature launches. With our guiding goal in mind of building the largest financial data network to empower financial institutions to make sense of messy accounting data, we created a roadmap of features necessary to bring this goal to life. Throughout our product decisions, we kept your small-medium business (SMB) customers in mind, thinking of how we can make a product that provides the best value to your end user. In Q2, we released:
- Railz Connect™
- QuickBooks Desktop Support
- Improved Chart of Account Normalization from 2x to 4x Levels
- Expanded Financial Ratios
- Financial Forecasting
- Business Valuations
- New Push and Pull API Endpoints for QuickBooks Online, Xero, and FreshBooks
- Updated Dashboard Report and New UX to Support all API Endpoints
Your active participation in the Railz Roadmap makes all the difference to what we create and launch. Join us on the Railz Slack Community to provide insights into how you use Railz, offer feedback on releases before they’re public, and be part of our journey!
Railz Roadmap Release: Refreshed Railz Connect™
What’s new in our refreshed Railz Connect™?
We’re excited to roll out a refreshed look of our widget, which we call Railz Connect™. We added new features to Railz Connect™ to improve your conversions and increase your customers’ trust. These features are:
- Security — customers can now set IP whitelisting to secure where Railz Connect™ can be hosted.
- Discoverability — our simple menu and convenient search bar are made for end-users to locate the right financial service fast.
- Modernization — an ultra clean and simple UI overhaul that provides an efficient experience anyone can use.
- Trust — an informed data sharing consent agreement, to build consumer trust with transparency.
- White-labelling — a set of settings that allows customers to make their brand pop using Railz Connect.
- Fully accessible — we are building our Railz Connect™ platform with accessibility standards in mind to ensure everyone can have full usability of all our features.
Refreshed Railz Connect™
Why is a refreshed Railz Connect™ valuable for you?
A digital experience is highly effective at converting visitors into paying customers and we strive to offer you a service where data connectivity is the default option to access financial services. With a clean, modern look and snappy connectivity experience, the refreshed Railz Connect™ capabilities aim to help our customers achieve higher conversion rates and establish long-term trust with their SMB customers.
What’s next for our refreshed Railz Connect™?
For our third quarter (Q3), Railz Connect™ will be extended to support banking data through our partner, Plaid. We are also adding the ability to build custom flows for Railz Connect™, where you can control SMB end users’ experience by having the flow be designed around your platform needs — such as having events occur when a screen loads, is clicked, or moused over.
Railz Roadmap Release: QuickBooks Desktop Support
What’s new with Railz’s QuickBooks Desktop support?
QuickBooks Desktop ERP software is an on-premise business accounting system for a wide range of industries. Intuit QuickBooks Desktop serves up to 30–40% of users, with different user limits for each QuickBooks product.
Railz customers can access SMB financial data in QuickBooks Desktop through the QuickBooks Desktop connector. The QuickBooks Desktop connector supports pushing and pulling accounting data to your financial institution through the Railz platform. As an initial release, the QuickBooks Desktop connector allows you to pull financial statements, business information, chart of accounts, and the trial balance from our connector.
Configure QuickBooks Desktop
Why is a refreshed QuickBooks Desktop support valuable for you?
You can now access financial data for your SMB customers using QuickBooks Desktop. We know how difficult it is to integrate with the various accounting platforms your business customers are using and our overarching goal is to standardize that connectivity across all popular accounting platforms to you. We want to make it easy to configure QuickBooks Desktop. This highly requested feature enables you to get the data you need from your customers to make better, faster decisions.
What’s next for our QuickBooks Desktop support?
In Q3, we plan to extend our support for QuickBooks Desktop to allow for push and pull of invoices, bills, customers, vendors, inventory, journal entries, and tracking categories.
Railz Roadmap Release: Improved Chart of Account Normalization
What’s new in our improved Chart of Account (CoA) Normalization?
A Chart of Accounts is a list of all your end users’ accounts that, through our connectivity, is available in one place. Normalizing this data means that, using our proprietary machine learning model, we organize and standardize the data across multiple accounting platforms.
We are now offering extended normalization of Chart of Account from 2 levels to 4 levels. Previously, we normalized section and subSection, with group and subGroup being a passthrough. As of today, all 4 levels are normalized through Railz.
Applied normalization to balance sheet, trial balance, and income statement on current assets
Why is improving our Chart of Account Normalization valuable for you?
CoA normalization is especially valuable because you can now compare the accounting data of all businesses connected to Railz in a standardized way, regardless of what accounting system your business customers use or how the businesses organize their accounts. This means you can review financial statement information across your business customers and derive insights from them, without having to manipulate, clean, or reformat the data to make sense of it. While building on top of Railz, it is incredibly important that you have access to real-time, accurate, and normalized data.
What’s next for our Chart of Account Normalization?
We plan to extend our normalization feature to Cashflow Statements in Q3. Using the new normalized CoA, we will be able to reconstruct the financial statements you need from trial balance and CoA without the need to pull financial statements directly from the accounting service providers. This makes the process quicker, easier, and more accurate!
Railz Roadmap Release: Expanded Financial Ratios
What’s new in our expanded financial ratios?
We have extended our financial ratios to support the majority of commonly used metrics and ratios. You can now access and view Credit, Efficiency, Leverage, Liquidity, Market, and Profitability metrics and ratios via the Railz API and Dashboard. Learn more about the variables and ratios we’ve added:
- Probability of Default
- Liquidation value
- Gross burn rate
- Equity / Long-Term Material Assets
- Short-term debt / Equity
- Debt / Equity
- Interest coverage ratio
- Debt to asset ratio
- Debt service coverage ratio
- Interest Charges / Bank Loans
- Acid Test Ratio (Quick Ratio)
- Absolute Liquidity
- Current Ratio
- Gross Burn
- Cash Ratio
- Free Cashflow Ratio
- Return on Assets (EBITDA calculation)
- EBITA margin
- Working capital
- Free cash flow
- Gross margin
- Net profit margin
- Operating margin
- Return on equity
- Revenue concentration
Why is offering expanded financial ratios valuable for you?
By leveraging our normalized data, our financial institutions can access auto-calculated metrics and ratios to assess the financial performance of their SMB customers. Forget the paperwork or manual entry — expanded financial ratios allow for quick access to insights on your business customers.
What’s next for our expanded financial ratios?
In Q3, we plan to extend our metrics and ratios to support additional metrics related to average revenues, average time to pay bills and invoices, debtor and creditor days, inventory and assets turnover. We are striving to provide a more holistic view of your SMB customers and also allow your SMB customers to show their payment timelines and finances so financial institutions can provide them better support.
Railz Roadmap Release: Financial Forecasts
What’s new in our financial forecasts?
We have built proprietary financial forecasting models that allow you to forecast three years of financial statements, including a pro-forma Balance Sheet, Income Statement, and Cash Flow Statement. Unlike other financial forecasting solutions in the market, Railz produces account-level forecasts so you have the highest granularity available to make informed decisions upon.
Why is financial forecasting valuable for you?
Financial forecasting allows you to give your SMBs access to cohesive reports, allowing finance departments to establish business goals that are both realistic and feasible — and to provide an understanding of where impactful decision-making stems from. It also provides your risk and underwriting teams the valuable insights they need. See how your SMB customers performed in the past and the way it will compare to their future.
What’s next for our financial forecasting?
In Q3, we plan to make the forecasts available through our new Railz Dashboard. Future releases of the financial forecast would support consolidated forecasting across entities, classes, and currencies.
Railz Roadmap Release: Business Valuations
What’s new in our business valuations?
Customers can now access the following business valuations via our API:
- First Chicago Method
- Discounted Cash Flow
- Liquidation Value
Why are business valuations valuable for you?
An accurate valuation of SMB data is essential for you to assess the opportunities and opportunity costs as your SMB customers plan for future growth and eventual transition. The entire valuation process can provide an overview of strengths and weaknesses of the reviewed company. This can mean that you can confidently offer your SMB the products and services they need to succeed.
What’s next for our business valuations?
In early Q3, we plan to enable viewing of valuations in the Railz Dashboard. Future versions of the valuations feature will take advantage of industry codes to dynamically infer discount rates and revenue multipliers.
Railz Roadmap Release: New Push and Pull API Endpoints
What’s new in our push/pull API endpoints?
We are graduating all of our products out of beta — which means you have access to all our push and pull API endpoints. Push and pull endpoints allow a financial institution to receive full access to application data as well as push services to notify other applications of updates to that data. We expanded coverage in QuickBooks Online, Xero, and FreshBooks to support pulling and pushing the following:
- Purchase Orders
- Bill Credit Notes
- Invoice Credit Notes
- Chart of Accounts
- Journal Entries
New push and pull API endpoints
Why are new push/pull API endpoints valuable for you?
Being able to pull the data you need and push updates is instrumental for your financial institution to make the most accurate and effective decisions for your SMB customers. Some ways you can apply the push/pull API endpoints to add value to your organization are:
- Make year-end audit adjustments.
- Push payroll expense data or accountancy fees.
- Correctly recognize revenue when automating accruals, prepayments, and deferred revenue.
- Recognize corporation tax charges.
- Record non-regular transactions, such as the depreciation of a fixed asset.
- Correct accounting mistakes, that is accruing for depreciation.
- Make inventory adjustments — For retailers that need to adjust the stock available when there has been no sale.
What’s next in our push/pull API endpoints?
In Q3, we plan to add support for pulling and pushing invoice and bill attachments and tracking categories from QuickBooks Online, Xero, FreshBooks. Beyond that, we want to add support to push purchase orders, deposits, estimates, refunds and credit notes to QuickBooks Online, Xero, and FreshBooks.
Railz Roadmap Release: Updated Dashboard Report and View to Support all API Endpoints
What’s new in our updated dashboard report and view to support all API endpoints?
The dashboard has been updated to allow customers to access a summary of all the financial data retrieved from a business. Customers can now:
- View all supported financial data.
- Improved the data filtering experience with dynamic date pickers.
- More friendly messages when data is not available or still syncing.
Updated dashboard report and view to support all API endpoints
Why is our updated dashboard report and view to support all API endpoints valuable to you?
Our API is a great tool for our customers to build custom portals to view our data but it requires development time. We know how important it is for our business users and financial institutions to have a code-free experience. You should be able to view your SMB customer data in a few clicks, and we’re making that reality.
What’s next for our updated dashboard report and view to support all API endpoints?
In Q3, Railz plans to release a new data visualization tool and business workflow management capabilities to provide you an improved user experience for viewing and interacting with our platform. We’re making it easy to access the insights you need!
Railz Q3 2021 Product Releases: Get Involved
We hope you enjoyed a look into the product releases we launch at Railz in Q2 2021. Get ready for a packed Q3 Railz Roadmap full of these exciting features (and more!):
- Railz Connect™ to support banking data through Plaid
- Improved Normalization for Cashflow Statements
- Build custom user flows with Railz Connect™ event listeners
- Extended support for QuickBooks Desktop
- Extended financial metrics and ratios
- Enable viewing of valuations and forecasts in Railz Dashboard™
- New data visualization tool and business workflow management
- New integrations with Oracle NetSuite and Sage Intacct
- New insights and analytics features
- Tax data benchmarking
Samantha Lloyd is the Director of Marketing at Railz. We're building the largest financial data network to support the future of finance. She has a decade of experience building organic growth, brand, and digital marketing for startups and technology companies. In her free time, you can find Sam SCUBA diving, snorkelling, paddle boarding, and jet skiing.