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How good is Iris for a new start up practice?

I am in the process of setting up a new practice which I want to build as a modern highly automated efficient business. I am seriously considering Iris, using the starter package, and wondered if any new practices have done the same and what fellow accountants felt about the software. I know it is expensive compared to its rivals but I am thinking longer term in investing with the company which look set to be the market leaders.


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IRIS licenses
For licensing purposes, IRIS treats an entity (sole trader, partnership or limited company) for which you prepare accounts as a client. It allows twice as many personal tax returns for "free". So, a 40 client license means up to 40 accounting clients and 80 personal tax clients.

For what it is worth, as a general accountancy practice, we have always had to increase our license when we have hit the limit for accounting clients - we have never hit the associated limit for personal tax returns.

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I am sure Iris will gladly send you a quote.

If it helps they let me have these figures for the starter packs they do -

IRIS Starter Pack Light 10 - Standalone – Single User £ 660.00+VAT per annum or
£55.00+VAT per month

IRIS Starter Pack Light 20 - Standalone – Single User £ 1116.00+VAT per annum or
£93.00+VAT per month

IRIS Starter Pack Light 40 - Standalone – Single User £ 1440.00+VAT per annum or
£120.00+VAT per month

The number ie 10/20/40 is the number of clients.

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So how much does it cost?
I was wondering how much it would cost as a sole trader with say 100 limited companies and 250 personal tax clients? Does anyone know?
I wouldn't want their payroll as I would stick with Moneysoft. Would this be okay or would there be any problems.

Many thanks,


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Thank you for the pointers on the scanner. I too use cute pdf, it is a very good free product and I have to say I use it more often than my printer!


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I too changed from Iris to Digita
Digita also offer an integrated suite similar to Iris but at approximately half of the annual cost. In addition the interface is much more modern and I find it a lot easier to use than Iris. I would recommend getting a demonstration from both as the packages do essentially the same thing (i.e. central database, post accounts to produce year end formats, go into tax packages and see the integrated accounts figures there) and much will come down to your own personal feelings on how easy is it to use and of course cost.

Brian - I now don't have the same issues as you with respect to Accounts upgrades. I think they removed this in the most recent version which saves all of your report changes.

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For RJ
I have as my main scanner a Fujitsu FI-5120C A4 scanner which I think scans about 30 pages pm. I also have a small Canon flatbed scanner sitting on my desk for one off scans.

I am not yet using any software but am saving documents in Windows files. I save documents created in Word as PDF files using CutePDF (free) and if I need to find a document quickly I use Copernic(also free). Once I have a larger budget I will look at getting document managment software but this will suffice for now.

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This thread seems to have deviated from the OP but nonetheless, if you want to go paperless, then the Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner, which is a great little tool, comes with a full version of Adobe Acrobat bundled free.

Best money I've spent in a long time.

See :-

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In similar situation to you
NH I too am in a similar situation to you. I would dearly like to go paperless and save costs of housing filing cabinets etc. Can you tell me please what scanner you opted for? I have a three in one machine at the moment (printer, fax and scanner) but find the scanner rather slow.

Also do you plan to have document management software? I looked at these and at circa £2k it is a bit pricey for me with less than 120clients.



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IRIS is a very good product.
I bought a block of fees and started off with the Iris starter pack. You already know the major negative with Iris which is the price. This was the main reason I subsequently moved to Digita.

However, having used both as a sole practitioner I can say that, whilst Iris and Digita are both excellent, I still believe Iris is the better product. Why?

In day-to-day use there's little to choose except that the central database integration of the Iris products works more smoothly. However, I've found that Digita is particularly annoying when doing their upgrades because the accounts templates etc that you have stored with your logo and formatting etc all have to be renewed which, in my experience, is an unnecessary time waster.

Also, with Iris another thing to be aware of is that the salesperson does a very smooth demonstration, posting accounts, doing a CT600 and all the personal tax work all in about twenty minutes but, unless you are fairly IT literate, you'll probably find that your first attempts to duplicate that feat take several hours. As cost was an issue to me, I muddled through (without their expensive training) but only with a lot of help from their excellent support staff.

All this having been said, my experience of Iris is now about 18 months out of date but I hope this helps.

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Many thanks for the comments - it will be paperless without a doubt. No huge stationery bills and filing cabinets for me!

I have contacted Iris and hope to get a demo asap.

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Do it now
Budget allowing I would start with the Iris starter pack, we switched to iris after several years and Oh how i wish I had started with them. Regarding the advice to be paperless We have just completed scanning 11 years records and, budget allowing, I would recommned that you go paperless from day one.

Good Luck

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consider computerisation
consider a dual core computer. this will bring you right up to date.
also invest in a high speed shredder and keep all your paperwork on the screen.
you wil then have a very modern practice.

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