Finally, accounting software that runs on your Apple Watch

Tap twice to depreciate non-current assets.
Tap twice to depreciate non-current assets.
Image: EPA/Andrew Cowie
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It’s after midnight… Do you know where your working capital is?

Anxious entrepreneurs and their CFOs no longer have to worry about ever being too far from their company accounts, thanks to new software from Sage. The accounting specialist launched a new product, dubbed Sage Live, a few months ago in the US and Canada. It will be rolled out in the UK later this year.

So far, so what? Here’s what—this software can run on smartwatches. Maybe what the Apple Watch needed all along to boost sluggish sales was a decent double-entry accounting app.

Santiago Solanas, Sage’s global marketing chief, tells Quartz that the point of the small-business software is not for CFOs to tap out ledger entries on their watches. Rather, the software—which combines Sage’s accounting front-end with Salesforce’s cloud-based backend—is built to deliver financial information to execs at whatever time they need it in whatever format is most convenient

Bearer of bad news.
Bearer of bad news.
Image: Sage

Traditional accounting software is based on batch processes, Solanas says, while Sage’s new offering is “real-time and multidimensional.” There are around 50 early adopters who are using the platform, with more than 1,000 other customers expressing interest.

For all its whizzy features, in practice most managers will still use the software on desktop computers to compile the bulk of their financial statements. But there are plenty of situations where execs would want instant access to detailed accounting information while out of the office, on tablets, phones, and—yes—watches.

Most importantly, the watch app can buzz a user’s wrist when critical cash-flow levels are breached or key invoices fall overdue, “before it becomes a red-alert thing,” Solanas says. Simple transactions are also possible, from approving invoices to extending bank credit lines and even requesting funds from peer-to-peer lenders.

Who could be so preoccupied with both balance sheets and bleeding-edge technology? Inadvertently revealing a key target market, Solanas notes that tasks that once took days of face-to-face meetings poring over stacks of paper can now be done in just a few minutes “on the ferry from Tiburon to San Francisco.”