Early period: development of «canned» software (1988-1999)
1988-1989: search for a niche in the Russian market
The beginning of functioning of the specialized design bureau Kontur — a branch of the Komsomolskoe experimental scientific-production association (KESPA) — was connected with CAD (computer-aided design system) projects. It soon became clear, however, that the Soviet production domain wasn't ready to integrate high-tech equipment needed for successful implementation of our project.
Therefore, a direction was set that became the main one for the company for years to come — accounting automation solutions. The first software developed by our company (Zarplata, Buchgalterskiy uchet materialov (BUM), Balans, Osnovnie fondi) automated individual workplaces. They were created by a small but tight team: our highly motivated and driven specialists combined the roles of system analysts, developers and integrators.
First half of the 1990s: Creation of integrated solutions
To perfect accounting solutions, we connect workplaces by releasing web versions of software. In this time period we released the Skat-S and Kaskad programs. As the computational tools market developed, there cam a need of creating integrated solutions which would bring automation to all enterprise accounting systems.
A step of utmost importance for future development of our software was implementation of the so-called IPS — information processing system. At the same time, each specialist was responsible for creating their own software, designing it from start to finish. During one of our discussions over tea (this tradition of having tea together was set in that time, in the early years of the company) we discovered that each of the programmers did work that was almost half the same as the work of their «neighbors». The solutions under development weren't built according to a uniformal principle at the time, so we made a decision to create a single module that we would be able to modify in the future and add various features to it.
The first step to the IPS was the creation of a Common Features Library that would welcome all developers and offer features for them to add to their programs. Then the IPS itself was created. We should mention that the name of the system didn't appear out of the blue. During the mid-1990s, you couldn't pass a corner without hearing the acronym SDI — Strategic Defense Initiative. All we needed to do is have the same letters filled with a different meaning, which we did. This is how the information processing system was born.
Thanks to IPS, our SKB Kontur specialists received an opportunity to speak «the same language» and use a unified tool kit in the process of development. IPS implementation yielded its economic fruit: it decreased the time frame that it took for a new product to be developed and launched onto the market. Moreover, the utilization of IPS provided us with additional technological capabilities that allowed us to create customizable applications which could be easily adjusted to fit the needs of a customer. This is how SKB Kontur created a unified «informational environment» that ensured further development of our software.
Second half of the 1990s: new features for accounting software
The ways of improvement for our accounting solutions were paved primarily by the needs of our customers and the demand that the market had because of a challenging ecomonic situation. So, in the mid-1990s we showcased our competitive intellectual advantage by having developed a solution for income tax recalculation with adjustments for actual reimbursement that stayed in demand among many various enterprises for three years. We also created a state-funded organizations version of it where they could take several funding sources into account.
Further development of the software products of the company was highly impacted by switching to Windows, which for the most part happened during the late 1990s — early 2000s.
Modern history (2000-2007): Creation of internet products.
Even in the Internet era we are not giving up the development and improvement of accounting software. We did, however, faced the need of finding new technological solutions back in the late 1990s.
In 1996-1997, while we were implementing the first programs for delivering reports on income taxes to the tax agency on magnetic carriers, we were faced with the challenge of updating checking systems. While we were regularly issuing updates, we couldn't promise to our clients that the updates would be installed in all inspection branches and their reports would be accepted. This is how the idea of creating an internet service for report delivery was born — a one-for-all service that wouldn't need clients to install updates.
In 2000-2002, a new system for making and sending reports to tax agencies through internet was released. It later received the name Kontur-Ekstern. In a short time period we learned how to work with cryptographic tools and put the SKB Kontur certification center into operation — one of the first certification centers in Russia. By 2002, the process of delivering accounting reports to tax agencies was organized in accordance with the legislative base and looked the same as it exists today. The history of the Kontur-Ekstern system from there on is a story of quick regional growth and market development.
Recent history (2007-present): Business is «in the clouds»
A range of web-solutions
While developing the Kontur-Ekstern system, we were moving in the direction of new services and additional opportunity offerings to our clients. Kontur-Ekstern learned to deliver reports not only to the FTA but also to SIF and Rosstat; there appeared a service which allowed to make reports for the Pension Fund — Kontur-Otchet PF.
We realized that our clients were actively utilizing Clouds in their businesses, so we started to actively introduce SAAS services. They became a convenient major problem solution for millions of small and medium businesses. The web market received a new web-based legal research system Normativ which was capable of tracking any changes in legislation. Entrepreneurs and small businesses were presented with an essential assistant — the Elba electronic bookkeeper — that allowed them to personally do elementary accounting and also make and send reports. They then received Evrika — an online service for salary calculations designed for small businesses with basic accounting needs. Today, thanks to the Expert service, organizations can also analyze their financial states; the Kontur-Focus service, in its turn, gives the opportunity to instantly do due diligence on one's contractor.
Defeat of the paper
2010 announced a paradigm shift in the country: the government equaled the status of electronic accounting documents to their paper analogs. 24 hours prior to the adoption of the bill — which allowed enterprises to exchange the initial accounting documents electronically — by the State Duma, we had launched an electronic document flow system onto the market — Diadoc. Diadoc is a program that delivers documents to a contractor or within a company and ensures that they have legal power.
We also launched a unique solution for retail onto the cloud technologies market — the EDI-provider and the iCat GDSN-catalogue. This was the first system in Russia that allowed to exchange legally binding EDI-messages and have both the accounting and the document flow of a retailer in electronic form — accounting and taxes supporting documents.
Creation of a unified web-solutions source
This was the moment when quantity finally, and naturally, transformed into quality: we moved from releasing separate web-services to the idea of creating a single web-solutions portal — an integrated platform that has all reliable and convenient tools to solve any task connected with accounting, reports and other business processes support.
We are a modern and growing company that creates innovative products and automates all new business processes so that your workflow moves faster and is more effective. We are the authors of our own story and we believe that informational technology is the future.