First National Bank’s Instant Accounting solution, which lets business owners produce full management accounts using information pulled from their bank statements, has undergone a major facelift in recent months aimed at making it more user friendly.

When it was launched in 2008, Instant Accounting was the first product of its kind to be offered by a bank in South Africa, and is still the only product of its kind which uses data directly from the customer’s bank statements and eliminates the need for manual file downloads or imports.

After a recent review of similar packages around world, and taking into account feedback received from existing users, FNB effected various enhancements to Instant Accounting, with the idea of making it more intuitive and visually appealing for users.

Some of the key new features of Instant Accounting include: a new user-friendly look and feel; a new quick-start guide which provides four easy steps on how to get started; an activity monitor which shows how far the user has progressed on the system and what steps they need to take to progress further; a new menu layout; faster category assignments including a rule creation wizard; and a new user-friendly and a visually appealing dashboard with sub-menu tabs to keep track.

“The creation of an enabling environment for entrepreneurs in South Africa is crucial to the country’s economic development. Through a variety of innovative offerings FNB strives to provide entrepreneurs with the necessary tools to have the best possible chance of success. Instant Accounting can simplify the business owner’s accounting function and lead to considerable cost saving on accounting fees” says John Botha, head of value-added services for FNB Business Banking.

Instant Accounting is supported by an in-house support centre and  is free of charge to FNB customers.  It can generate a variety of useful reports, such as income statements, cash-flow statements, debtors and creditors’ reports and financial dashboards.

“We have already received some positive feedback on the enhancements from existing users and we expect take-up to increase rapidly in coming months.  To many business owners the thought of taking on the management of their business’s accounting function might seem like a daunting task, but once they register for the new and improved Instant Accounting and familiarise themselves with its easy to use interface, they will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to produce accurate management accounts for their business in a short space of time,” says Botha.