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IRIS Openbooks

IRIS Openbooks

This is the monthly pricing for IRIS Openbooks

5 clients £75

10 clients £145 increase £70

20 clients £280 increase £135

30 clients £420 increase £140

50 clients £675 increase £255

75 clients £1,012.33 increase £337.33

100 clients £1,300 increase £287.67

150 clients £1,800 increase £500

While the average price seems reasonable the marginal cost of one extra client is incredible high. If you have 150 clients signed up and you get one more they will cost you £500 per month.

At small levels the prices are equally bizarre. You have five clients costing an average of £15 each but your 6th client will cost you £70.

I pointed this out to an IRIS salesman today and he confirmed this was how the pricing worked. I had previously been under the impression that the prices were just examples at different quantities but I was told these are the bands.

Either the IRIS salesman has got it wrong or IRIS have priced themselves out of the market.


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07th Jun 2010 18:57

Peter - last sentence

possibly both lol


where has your comment gone now have you been got at.....

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By Anonymous
07th Jun 2010 23:32

It's outrageous...

I find I have the same problem with Jaffa Cakes. If I want 13 Jaffa Cakes I have to buy 2 boxes, making the marginal cost for that 1 extra Jaffa Cake about £1.

And Tesco won't let me open another box to buy a single Jaffa Cake.

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07th Jun 2010 23:44

Anonymous and brainless

I suppose you don't understand the concept that you can actually eat the extra jaffa cakes.

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By Anonymous
08th Jun 2010 08:24

Calm down dear...

I could, but I don't want or need them.

And you could... get some extra clients. It's no different.

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08th Jun 2010 08:36

Sense and nonsense

I disagree. You might be able to fill your mouth with as many cakes as you want but as soon as you've got all your suitable clients using the software my point is valid and you don't seem to have a point. Maybe that's why you are anonymous.

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By Anonymous
08th Jun 2010 09:05

Similar situation with Iris

I'm on a starter pack 100 and towards the end of the year, I needed an additional 5-10 sets of accounts.  I had to move up to starter pack 150 - the price jump for the band was quite high.

But I suppose that's a feature of band pricing, the marginal cost only starts to come down when you get towards the end of the bracket.

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08th Jun 2010 09:53

Monthly v yearly

I think the difference is that with accounts and tax you are on a yearly cycle rather than monthly.

I take on clients throughout the year and there's clients leaving also. You don't usually need the extra band until you know you can make use of all of it. With Digita I make a client "inactive" if I don't use them the next year and if I get a new client I don't have to add them to my list of clients for accounts or tax until I am entering information for the document. If I have to make use of my 100th client for personal tax I know I would be getting on for, say,  120 with new clients that I haven't had information to enter.

With IRIS, say if I had 30 clients costing £14 per month each, one extra client would cost an extra £255 every month. To get around this I would have to sign clients up in bands but even with that policy I would reach a limit where there's a high marginal cost which is unnecessary with a more sensible pricing policy.

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By Anonymous
08th Jun 2010 11:06

"I disagree."

It seems that anyone who doesn't agree with you is 'useless, 'incompetent' or talking 'nonsense'. No wonder people prefer to remain anonymous.

I guess the Jaffa Cake analogy was a flippant observation to prove a point. Whatever pricing structure is choosen, it won't be to everyone's liking. If IRIS charged £x per client, someone would complain that there's no volume discount or moan about the inconvenience of having to 'upgrade' every time they wanted to add an extra client. Or if they tried to combine the two price structures, there would be complaints that the pricing was too complicated.

Sometimes in life you have to buy something you don't need in order to get what you want; whether that's Sky TV packages, mobile phone tariffs, packets of Jaffa Cakes, or some other product or service.

Who knows, you may even have some clients who would prefer it if you had a different fee structure...



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08th Jun 2010 12:57

Valid disagreements or arguing behind the veil of anonymity?

“If IRIS charged £x per client, someone would complain that there's no volume discount”

Why not give volume discounts? I’ve not said they shouldn’t give volume discounts. What I’m saying is there shouldn’t be such a massive increase for one extra client.

“or moan about the inconvenience of having to 'upgrade' every time they wanted to add an extra client.”

Adding an extra client is the inconvenience they would have to accept. Are you saying that there’s no “inconvenience” in adding a client but it’s inconvenient to pay for that extra client?

“Or if they tried to combine the two price structures, there would be complaints that the pricing was too complicated.”

I don’t think it would be complicated to understand if the price was a certain amount for each client within a band. I’d worry about any accountant who would consider that too complicated. If they genuinely did think it was too complicated for them they could still buy in set bands and let the accountants who could understand the more “complicated” price structure take advantage of the savings.

“It seems that anyone who doesn't agree with you is 'useless, 'incompetent' or talking 'nonsense'.”

This is an example of exaggeration by yet another anonymous contributor. I can accept people having different views to me but if they do talk nonsense should we not accept it?

With Jaffa cakes there are different quantities for sale and they don’t have to be eaten as soon as bought. If you can buy packages of 6, 10 and 15 and they last for a reasonable amount of time then that covers what the vast majority of consumers want.

Similarly with Sky TV packages or mobile phone tarrifs, if you want a slight increase in the package or the tariff there is a slight increase in cost.

Are you saying that it is sensible to have a band of 30 clients which costs £420 per month but if you want one more client it jumps a massive 60%? Remember this is on a monthly basis. It’s not like you have a year to span the bands like you do with accounting and tax software.

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09th Jun 2010 16:54


Hi Peter - you'll be glad to hear that the marginal cost problem has been acknowledged and Iris will be allowing incremental (2 at a time) add ons at the lower end, so give them another call.  The downside is that, as a consequence, they have shelved their original plan to give away 20 packets of jaffa cakes when you hit the next order level...hey ho.

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09th Jun 2010 17:52

How's it going, Paul?


Thanks for that.

How are you finding the software? How do you introduce it to clients? What do your clients think of it?

I was wanting to introduce clients one at a time but some accountants try to get all their accounting clients to use it.

I seem to have chosen two clients at the extremities of record keeping!


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10th Jun 2010 08:50

Early days

Hi Peter - been on trial with freeserve & then openbooks for nearly 2 months to get the feel for it and have only in the last week started introducing clients.  Lilely to have 2-3 to sign on in the next couple of weeks and then anticipate batches of 2-3 at a time, mainly as we don't have the capacity for mass sign up & initial hand holding.

The pricing structure fits in with how we bill generally, ie who benefits from it.  If it's mainly us, ie in those cases where we actually keep the books but it would be good to get the client involved, then I'll pay the cost year 1, in others where there's either a shared or major benefit for the client then we might recover 1-4 times the cost in year one. Ultimately though, where most of the take up will be from spreadsheet using clients, one major benefit for us will be better effeciency in supporting & monitoring their books, VAT, tax, dividends etc.

Clients I've shown it to have been really impressed.  There will be others who will want to keep on struggling with spreadsheets or even QBs, MYOB, Sage etc but at least we are offering them an alternative and so if again this year they make a bit of a mess of their books, VAT etc, then it will be easier to justify the extra charges to put it right.


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10th Jun 2010 19:37

Careful with hand holding

The hand holding can be extensive but you can always explain that the support from IRIS is free. This would save either your irrecoverable time or your charges.

I've found the way Free Agent does things to be exactly the same as spreadsheet clients and most accounts clients do things. The discipline required stops them giving you poor information and it can be a shock to some clients but if they persevere it should be exactly what they want.


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