A man checks out Apple's new watch during a preview day at the Apple Store in Covent Garden in London.
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NUMBER CRUNCHER

Finally, accounting software that runs on your Apple Watch

By Jason Karaian

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

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Bearer of bad news.

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.”