16 Jan 2013
Clients can now instantly approve tax returns on-the-go, as new free functionality looks set to revolutionise accountant-client relationships
IRIS OpenSpace reaches usage milestone with 1,000 practices adopting system in 6 months since launch.
IRIS Software Group, the market leader in accountancy software and payroll solutions, today launched IRIS OpenSpace version 2 - a new version of its cloud-based service that now allows accountants to obtain instant online approval of documents such as client tax returns. The new system is expected to ease ‘busy season’ pressure for accountancy practices across the UK.
e-Approval is a new feature of IRIS OpenSpace, the free secure online file sharing and document collaboration system which helps all UK accountants work more collaboratively with their clients. Over 2,000 subscribers across over 1,000 UK accountancy practices and their clients are already using the cloud-based service to share and approve documents such as tax returns, financial statements or statutory accounts. The system also enables clients to upload and share bank statements, payroll slips and receipt scans, all online.
Phill Robinson, CEO of IRIS Software Group, commented on the need that e-Approval fulfils for practices: “The nub of the issue here is speed and efficiency. By negating the need to send documents in the post, the turnaround on approving documents is dramatically shortened, something that many accountants and their clients will find invaluable as the 31st January personal tax deadline approaches.
“The launch of IRIS OpenSpace e-Approval today is another example of our drive to innovate and support clients as they move towards new ways of working, but at their own pace. With access to these services available from any web browser, clients will enjoy the ease it brings to signing off accounts and the like, while accountants can have a more fluid relationship with their client base. It’s simply a smarter way of working.”
e-Approval is the latest major feature to be added to IRIS OpenSpace, allowing accountants to indicate if a document requires approval as it is uploaded. A client is alerted to their accountant having completed their tax return, and can then view and approve it there and then, wherever they are and whenever it suits them to do so.
e-Approval is fully compliant with the provisions laid out in the Electronic Communications Act and will speed up the collaboration process between accountant and clients, while leaving a full audit trail. The service also eliminates the security concerns of sending documents via email which can breach EU data protection laws.
Following a successful trial of the new functionality Martin Watt, partner at Bon Accord Accountancy, said“The new electronic approval functionality in IRIS OpenSpace is very easy to use and clients understand it straight away. They just log in to review the document and then simply click to approve. The turnaround time for client tax returns has changed dramatically and what used to take a week or longer now can take five minutes or even less, plus we are already reducing the cost of stationery and postage.”
IRIS OpenSpace offers the first 1GB of storage space to all UK accountancy practices for free. It provides instant access to documents within a secure environment on the web, with each client having their own unique login, giving them access to their documents alone. Using the cloud also allows accountants and their clients to securely access their documents on the go, whether in the office, at home or in a hotel, using any browser.
The e-Approval functionality will be available to all users from 16th January 2013. Details about IRIS OpenSpace can be found at www.iris.co.uk/openspace