SSA12: Top software shortlists announced

Software industry giants and minnows alike are celebrating this week after the shortlists for the 2012 Software Satisfaction Awards were released.

Now in their seventh year, the SSAs are based on the responses of software users across a range of disciplines in one of the country’s largest B2B research exercises. This year, 10,691 surveys were completed, covering 17 software categories.

The winners will be announced at Harrods on Thursday 11 October 2012 in a ceremony featuring an appearance by former TV presenter and Tory MP Gyles Brandreth.

AccountingWEB members usually represent a majority of participants in the SSA survey, meaning that the accounting and finance categories are always among the most keenly watched among the awards. Here is a short overview of the profession's main contenders:

Accounting and finance software

Numerically, small business accounting is the biggest SSA category and this year will see a continuation of the cloud v desktop battle with Sage 50 Accounts (2006 reliability winner) and QuickBooks (2007 outright and 2006 ease of use winner) ranged against Cloud rivals KashFlow (2011, 2009 & 2008 winner) and FreeAgent Central (2010 winner). New Zealand’s Xero made the top three in both corporate and SME accounting categories last year and is in contention for the small business award again this year, along with Crunch Accounting and ClearBooks.

The corporate accounting and finance category sees the Advanced Business Solutions Financial Management suite up against WinBacs from Bottomline, Caseware’s accounts production software, Resource Financials from Corero and the Purchase Control system.

Payroll contenders

The payroll categories are also divided into enterprise and SME contenders, but three packages are contesting both prizes: Pegasus Opera 3 HR & Payroll (2011 enterprise winner); Sage 50 Payroll (2010 SME winner) and Qtac Payroll Manager. Advanced Business Solutions Payroll, EARNIE, P11D Organiser from Personal Audit Systems (2010 enterprise winner) and Sage’s SnowdropKCS Payroll make up the shortlist for the corporate payroll award. The Payroll Site (2011 winner) along with 12Pay Payroll, QuickBooks Payroll, and IRIS GP Payroll are in the running for the SME prize.

Tax and practice

The two specialist accountancy practice categories see some of the profession's best known suppliers returning to the rostrum. Four-time winner TaxCalc (2008-11) remains the one to beat in the tax category, but faces a challenge from Digita Personal Tax, IRIS, Keytime and BTCSoftware. The IRIS Accountancy Suite is also in the running for the practice management award, where its main rival is DRIVE from Relate Software, the category winner for the past four years. Confirming its increased focus on the practice channel, Xero’s Cloud accounting system earned a nomination in this category, making it a trio of nominations for the New Zealand developer.

Paperless office

The paperless office and document management category again features corporate and SME awards. A winner in 2011 and 2010, Version One has been nominated in both categories, along with Lindenhouse and OneFile. Bottomline’s Transform and Open Print from Sefas are in contention for the corporate award, while Draycir’s Spindle Professional and Receipt Bank are up for the SME prize.

For a full list of the nominations in all categories (including HR, CRM, resellers and business intelligence), visit the SSA12 website, where you can also find booking details for the award ceremony on 11 October.

Comments
charliecarne's picture

Cloud-focused awards    2 thanks

charliecarne | | Permalink

It's good to see cloud products making a strong appearance, but they are still competing against traditional desktop rivals in each category. The decision-making process between desktop and cloud is quite clear, with a number of factors that will favour one or other flavour, depending upon the needs of the business owner. What business owners increasingly need to see is comparisons between cloud products (in addition to comparison against desktop software).

I would like to see some additional cloud-focused awards next year, aimed at small businesses, with categories in which only cloud-based products can compete. I'd suggest at least two categories: (i) cloud-based bookkeeping solutions for SME's and (ii) cloud-based payroll solutions for SME's.