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Fed up of IRIS - recommendations?

Looking to move from IRIS - anyone else moved/can make recommendations?

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Afternoon all. My firm has been with IRIS as long as I can remember and we've gotten to the point where the lack of customer service, constant software errors and, mostly, astronomical price have pushed us into deciding to leave them. So, I'm looking for recommendations as to where to move to! At the moment, looking at CCH (worried price and issues will be same there), TaxCalc (can it do all we need it to?) and Digita and would love to hear all of your thoughts. 

To assist, we're a 2 partner practive with around 15 staff; approximately 1,000 clients including ltd companies, partnerships, sole traders, trusts, couple of LLPs, tax only clients and around 10 audit clients. Integration is absolutely key, along with practice management to include time recording, billing, task management and automail. Straightforward data migration will also be necessary!

Thanks in advance.

Replies (11)

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By In a Daze
20th May 2019 14:23

We use BTC . The most useful feature we find is the two way integration with Xero, Quickbooks, Freeagent and Reckon One.

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By Maslins
20th May 2019 14:30

Reality is you're going to find any software switch painful given your size, so something to research carefully and plan the migration.

Iris is an "all in one", which will partly be why it's so expensive. Taxcalc will do a fair bit of what you're looking for, but you'll likely need to supplement it with one or two other packages to fill in the gaps.

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By Alex_T
20th May 2019 14:43

Give BTC a try. Best of luck!

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By leicsred
20th May 2019 15:10

We are a similar size and we moved to Digita a couple of years ago.

It is much cheaper than Iris and does the job. It was a massive hassle in the first year effectively having to put all the prior years on for each client - there is a routine, but it is far from automatic.

Also be aware that payments on account (where they have been reduced) won't pull through so it would be best to check these in the first year.

If you had asked me if it was worth it in the first year you may not have got a positive answer, but as we have done the second year (and just into the third) it seems to work pretty well and I can't say I miss Iris.

As with all software some bits are better and some are worse, but if you work hard on the set up it works well, and is a fair whack cheaper - and with lower increases each year.

We don't use the PM or automail side so I can't comment on them, we use Glide and Virtual Cabinet.

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By shaunmcguinness
20th May 2019 16:47

BTC. Brilliant!

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By In a Daze
20th May 2019 18:55

I think BTC will also move all the data over for you and from memory it is free.

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By marks
20th May 2019 23:57

You wont find one piece of software that does it all. The trade off that you will lose moving from IRIS is moving from fully integrated at a high price to something that you might need to use 3 or 4 different pieces of software to at a fraction of the cost.

Really comes down to how much you are paying IRIS and they price nowadays knowing that clients such as yourself would really need to be paying a lot to make the hassle of moving worth it.

Based on your numbers, what you are using, your staffing level and your number of clients I would say that if you are paying more than £35k + VAT per year (£35 per year per client) that is the point at which you should consider moving. You will find something that will cost you probably £5k - £10k but there is the cost of moving everything, training staff and the additional time from lack of integration. Effectively for the additional cost of £25k-£30k (or one employee) then I would say that IRIS is worth that additional cost.

We moved from IRIS last year to combination of Taxcalc and Glide but we only had 200 clients, 3 staff and the new quote from IRIS was £9k+VAT with guarantee of yearly increases between 7-10% going forward.

Taxcalc will deal with accounts, company tax, personal tax, automail. Though it only deals with straight forward accounts. Doesnt deal with charities, not sure if does LLPs or trusts as we dont have any of them. Not sure if it does audits.

You could look at something like Glide, Accountancy Manager, Senta for Practice Management, Time Recording and Task Management.

What system do you use to keep your own accounts on? We use Xero and just bill through that.

It may be that rather than moving to the Taxcalc/BTC level you look at the next level up of CCH/Digita as understand both are much cheaper than IRIS but are fully integrated though cant comment on what they are like as only ever used IRIS and Taxcalc when both an employee for 15 years and 6 years running my own firm.

Personally I would set aside a lot of time to understand what you are looking to achieve and what the other systems out there do.

Best of luck.

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By elliottchandler
20th May 2019 23:57

All of the main ones have been suggested. I believe there is one called MB Practice Manager that appears to have some good automation. I think it is best to get a wish list and decided what is essential and desirable. You should also consider whether to host in a virtual desktop or have it local on a server.

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By northernmonkey
21st May 2019 08:34

Thank you all for your feedback. I do like the look of BTC and TaxCalc but that would then mean a separate CRM software, in particular for time and fees. Just wish TaxCalc's offering were already out so we could trial it!

We've got Digita and CCH coming in next week to demo as I think it's almost certain that we will need to stick to fully integrated.

Thanks again!

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By fishfishyfishfish
30th May 2019 12:05

We use CCH, though it's a good product it's very expensive and also we're becoming increasingly frustrated that they aren't interested in improving the product or dealing with issues.

CCH Central has a portal facility which could be great, but it has pretty basic flaws and they're not interested in fixing it, when issues are raised with CCH they just try and plug their Oneclick product which is much more expensive and not what we want. The relationship manager is just a sales guy, not really interested in what small firms actually want.

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By Tross
25th Jun 2019 10:25

Had a bit of a shocker of an experience with CCH, onboarding they seem fine but following that very poor! Definitely wouldn't recommend them from my experience! TaxCalc is good if you're a smaller firm or have simple clients (does do LLP's and Trusts, but not charity accounts as yet...), but for a firm of your size I would probs say either stay with IRIS or look at Digita.

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