Ruth McFarland, ACA, brings her unique expertise to the development of Synapse’s new statutory accounts module

Having spent 15 years with KPMG as an Audit Manager before joining Synapse late in 2016, Ruth’s depth of experience has already been invaluable in the creation of a powerful new statutory accounts module that is going to be launched in Q2 2017.

Working closely with existing customers Norman Hay PLC, who use Cloud CFO to automate the monthly financial close, Ruth has already put her own inimitable stamp on the new end-to-end solution. Organisations will gain the ability to produce final accounts directly from their own spreadsheets, saving both time and effort.

If you would like to speak to Ruth or find out how to become a beta partner, she would be delighted to hear from you.

Her email is or she can be contacted on +44 (0)121 250 5675

Ruth has seen at first hand over the years how spreadsheets are still being used extensively by companies large and small and how they invariably end up riddled with errors. We caught up with her to find out how she sees Synapse helping to eliminate the risks associated with their use.

How widespread is the use of spreadsheets?

No matter what system clients were running, spreadsheets were used massively. I was amazed that companies that would pay a lot of money for packages and then end up resorting to spreadsheets, but then they do say they are an accountant’s favourite tool!

What was the biggest problem you typically saw?

There were always lots of errors. The biggest issue was if there were multiple users and whether there was any version control. The first question we always asked was whether this was the latest version?

How do you see Cloud CFO helping resolve these problems?

It really is the answer to an accountant’s prayers as it gets rid of a lot of the pain associated with working with spreadsheets. It transforms the spreadsheet into a useful and cost effective tool that immediately solves the versioning problem.

At first glance, the solution looks and feels exactly like working with a set of normal spreadsheets and there are no changes in business processes and no additional training is required. The difference lies in the fact that every spreadsheet is enhanced by a connection to a secure Cloud server so that as each member of the team changes data in their local spreadsheet, updates are synchronised in the Cloud and a single version of the truth is always presented in real time.

What excites you about the work Synapse is doing?

The solutions that have been developed by Synapse are suited to any size of company, large or small and they have so much potential. Cloud CFO is more than a consolidation tool; even one-man bands can use it for monthly P & L and to produce monthly management accounts. It’s a lot more affordable than other commercial software and it allows businesses to work with their familiar spreadsheets safe in the knowledge that they are 100% accurate and data integrity is assured. The time and cost savings are immense and by connecting spreadsheets to the Cloud, the whole process for Group Company Financial Reporting is made easier, more accurate and more flexible.

Are you working on any special projects in 2017?

 Since joining the team, I have been working with our clients, Norman Hay PLC, to develop a brand new and better way of solving the problem of producing statutory accounts.

By dynamically connecting the data already held in the Cloud CFO solution to the statutory accounts module, we are able to generate statutory accounts automatically and in a seamless, end-to-end approach right through from data entry to their iXBRL filing with Companies House.

This represents an industry breakthrough that will generate significant cost savings for the companies that implement it. I feel honoured to be working on something that is literally ground-breaking and we will be rolling the solution out to customers in Q2 2017. In the meantime, if anyone would like to see a demo of the module, I would be delighted to share it with you. Please email me