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Leaving IRIS...

Leaving IRIS...

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I have been with IRIS for almost 10 years now and am deciding to look at other options completely away from IRIS due to continually increasing costs and lack of support/service only to be told that I now have to pay them 3 months notice!!!!!!!

Anyone else experienced this? I dont think that I should pay this especially due to their failings over recent months in their support and lack of customer service to my firm!!?

I am also going to be trialling Absolute Accounts, Moneysoft (Payroll), and BTC Software....anyone got any experience in any of these or would you recommend any others...those championing staying with IRIS don't bother thanks anyway!

Any thjoughts/assistance would greatly help....

Replies (39)

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Euan's picture
By Euan MacLennan
13th Feb 2014 12:29

What's the problem?

So, you have done what all IRIS users do which is to click on the "Yes - I accept" box on the Terms & Conditions screen which comes up before every upgrade is installed without bothering to read the terms about giving notice!

Just give notice now and carry on using the product with which you have become familiar over the last 10 years while researching and installing your replacement software.

I cannot comment on the other two, but almost everyone on AWeb recommends Moneysoft (or 12Pay or BrightPay) for payroll in preference to Sage or IRIS.

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By justsotax
13th Feb 2014 12:30

...yes...

but just sucked it up....wish I had gone to specsavers now...

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By rjoconnor81
13th Feb 2014 12:34

Sage

We had exactly the same problems with Sage, they decided to start charging for things that we thought we were paying for already, but because we were already within the renewal period we had no choice but to pay or lose access to all our old data.  We finished this tax year with Sage, but are now moving all data to BTC.  

 

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Universe
By SteveOH
13th Feb 2014 12:45

Yes, 3 months

I have just left IRIS and had to give 3 months notice. I liked the software but it was a bit too expensive for my sized practice.

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By taxhound
13th Feb 2014 12:53

BTC, VT and Moneysoft

Are the three I use for tax, accounts and payroll.  All work very well, great support and a good price.  No 3 month notice rubbish either.

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By RM and Co
13th Feb 2014 13:00

Keytime

Im switching from Iris to Keytime. I am using Keytime for Accounts and CT. They have this offer of taking the whole package with unlimited clients. I think that would be ideal for my practice as its growing fine. I never had a problem with Iris but the fees are just ridiculous to be honest. Did not know about the notice but I have paid them up to Sept 2014. And I am thinking of switching to Keytime from April 2014 to save the hassle of transferring the figures etc.  So a fresh start from April 2014 for us.

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Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
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By rjoconnor81
13th Feb 2014 13:25

Keytime

RM and Co wrote:

And I am thinking of switching to Keytime from April 2014 to save the hassle of transferring the figures etc.  So a fresh start from April 2014 for us.

That's exactly what we are doing with BTC, 2012/13 done on Sage, 13/14 on BTC.  

 

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By essex accountant
13th Feb 2014 14:09

oh dear

Why all this moaning about Iris? I accept if you are a small practice it is expensive but:

I am a sole practitioner with about 150 company clients, 15 partnership clients, 70 sole traders + 5 non-profits say 240 clients for accounts and business tax and then 350 personal tax returns including directors.

Iris fees for Accounts Production, Business Tax, Personal Tax, Automail & Dividends about £8,500.= 590 cases = £14.40 per case.

Company + 2 directors: My fee say £1.500.00 Iris cost £43.20 = 2.88%

So I could get my software costs down to £30 per case .... so what .... Iris works, I may call support 3 or 4 times a year and hold on 10 minutes. I don't think I have spent more than one hour this last year calling support.

 

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Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
By RM and Co
17th Feb 2014 09:48

There is no moaning. After all business is business. I have about 215 limited companies and of course I class myself running a small practice but it is interesting that my over all accountancy package fees (Accounts,CT,PAYE) with the help of Keytime went down from what you pay to only £1500.00 a year with unlimited clients. So my cost per client is about £5.00! I don't think anyone can argue with that.

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By essex accountant
13th Feb 2014 14:14

sorry - £10 per case not £30

Company + 2 directors £30 rather than £43.20

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Replying to Fabio:
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By HeavyMetalMike
13th Feb 2014 14:30

A good answer by Essex Acct.

 

I too have been of the opinion not to change overheads and suppliers and new clients = more profit.

But last year the Iris PAYEmaster renewal was stupid AND they wanted £300ish extra for P11Ds so I saved over £450 by switching to Moneysoft. Yes we don;t have the "history" but it's payroll so it doesn't really matter not having soft copies of histories.

And I have now received my TR renewal (PTP throughout) which is 50% higher than last year due to the "additional benefit" of Iris Open tax which means I cando a tax return remotely - like that's a benefit.

Fingers crossed they reduce the fee otherwise I'll have to have at think.

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By taxhound
13th Feb 2014 14:29

@essexaccountant

My total software costs for BTC, VT and Moneysoft are much nearer to £1000 per annum for a similar number of clients to yours.  I have used Iris in the past, and PTP and absolute and I can safely say I am just as happy with the current software as I have ever been with anything else - if not more so in some cases.  So I'll take the £7k + saving thanks! :) - plus really good support from all three companies.

Glad you are happy though.

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By eagleaccountancy
13th Feb 2014 16:26

@essexaccountant

No Championing Iris as I said not interested - I know it inside out and know exactly what has happened over last few years and so thanks...but no thanks!

thanks to all for comments in any case.....food for thought

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By peterdell
13th Feb 2014 18:05

Taxhound has it spot on

Switched to BTC from Iris in December couldn't have been easier. You can download all the information in one click of a button. Iris thought they had me cornered by having a December licence but because of their outrageously expensive billing and there continued attempts to fleece me I was determined to move.

Just about the point on the three month notice period, fortunately I told them I was not renewing in September so whatever. However I think they are on very shaky legal ground anyway. Each licence represents a new contract and for each contract you need offer and acceptance. Sure you would have to give them three months notice on the old licence, but on the new licence there has been no offer and acceptance. New product new agreement required.
 Don't pay and let it go to the small claims court.

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By Jekyll and Hyde
13th Feb 2014 19:49

shhhh.. as I have said before......
...... VT, BTC & payroll manager are not very good. Don't convert they just don't work.

Keep quiet everyone, remember what happened to tax assistant 5 years ago. We dont want sage or iris buying these 3 out do we.

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By peterdell
13th Feb 2014 19:57

My apologies


It was sarcastic, terrible all three of them. Use Companies House and the Revenue's software! or better still Iris and Sage.

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By Jekyll and Hyde
13th Feb 2014 20:05

only joking before I get too many ....
.... adverse comments.

I have used payroll mamager and vt for about 10 years. Started back again in practice and no hesitation.

Used tax assistant up until 2012. But not impressed since IRIS brought it. I thought it was IRIS trying to discontinue it but seems its not just tax assistant.

Been using BTC since starting up again and have found it very easy to use and a very good product.

My concerns are that these software products needs to be protected fro
m the clutches of the big boys. I worry that it wont be too long before mr VT wants to retire and looking at exit strategies. Also the more practices move away from iris the more they will want to buy the products. Need a way of securing these software products stay out of the hands of sage and iris. Just a thought

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By peterdell
13th Feb 2014 20:20


I was speaking to a technology consultant at quickbooks and I asked if they were going to bolt on a final accounts package to their software. With the new accounting rules coming it should be quite easy to do. I suspect sage-online will do something similar. I hope VT can match this  because for me both the transactional package and the final accounts package is the best software I have worked with. Unfortunately their existing products have a shelf life of about seven to ten years. 

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By Robert Hurn
14th Feb 2014 12:56

We did this a few years back

We switched from Iris to Absolute a few years ago and have no regrets.  The software cost can be important for a small practice, particularly where taking on once new client moves you into the next pricing bracket.  Absolute is a pleasure to use, competitively priced and their outstanding support should be the model for all software providers.  I believe that they are now able to import your Iris data.  Tim Good formerly of PTP is behind Absolute which gave me a lot of reassurance when we made the switch

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By Jekyll and Hyde
14th Feb 2014 13:21

Just had a quick look at Absolute

It looks like it could be a could integrated option. The time and fees module looks good and I may try that in isolation as I am looking for a cheap time sheet software

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By Jimess
14th Feb 2014 13:39

Iris Notice Periods

I switched from Iris to VT, BTC and Moneysoft about two years ago - like another posting my software costs now run at around £1,000 pa where I was paying Iris somewhere between £6,000 to £7,000. Iris tried every thing they could to tie me in to a further years contract - i.e telling me I had given them insufficient notice etc.  I just held my ground and instructed my bank to refuse all direct debit requests from them and why. Afetr several months of wrangling eventually they caved in but I was quite prepared to get the OFT involved and had already listed a case with Citizens Advice Bureau as I had contacted them to make enquiries of whether their notice period was fair/legal etc. CAB will refer to OFT on your behalf if the circumstances are right and you want to take it further, but it all depends on particular circumstances.  Now two years down the line I wish I had moved away from Iris much earlier and saved several years of £000's in software fees - but that is hindsight.

Oh - I also gradually moved all my bookkeeping clients over to VT so I have now got rid of Sage - their accountants club fees increase last year were also just a hike too far.

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Euan's picture
By Euan MacLennan
14th Feb 2014 14:01

VT

Given all the recommendations for VT (almost as many as for Moneysoft payroll), I am tempted to give it a try, but I am not confident about its quality when its supplier cannot even spell its own address correctly on its website!

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Replying to Agutter Accounts:
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By HeavyMetalMike
14th Feb 2014 14:17

Euan, that's cracking!

To be fair I'd always shied away from cheap as chips s/w and delayed Moneysoft for 2 years. But it's ace!

 

still waiting for Iris customer team to phone me back on the TR renewal some 24hrs later. I'm sure it wasn't like this in the past. Interesting on Absolute being able to import the PTP data (which you would think they'd know how to). But what's stopping selling out to Sage???

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Replying to Agutter Accounts:
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By pauljgoodman
14th Feb 2014 19:52

VTT+

Euan  I can't remember what software you are using at the moment, but I strongly urge you to give VTT+ a try. It uses the fact that it is Excel based to keep lots of previous journal headings, payees, etc in memory so posting stuff is super fast.  Even better is the ability to download client's bank details and copy and paste them into VTT+.  I also migrated from a CCH product, having been forced to pay for a final 12 months when I had forgotten that was what I signed up for (years and years before!).  Use it along with the VTT accounts production; I can't believe you won't get along with it.

And the idea of paying over £7,000 a year for a suite of software when you can get similar or better for £1,000 appalls me, even if the cost per case is small. Cost was the reason I began to look elsewhere, and boy, am I glad I did

 

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By Fitzz
15th Feb 2014 14:29

Leaving Iris

I sympathise with the OP, I had a similar problem with Iris a couple of years ago.  The annual software renewal for payroll appears before the end of the tax year, and you are then told that your software may not produce the correct end of year reports unless you renew for another year.  On top of that, the renewal is sent 60 days before it is to be paid, but you would have had to terminate 90 days before if you were not to be liable.  Sharp practice in my view, whether it is in the T&C or not, and Iris do themselves no favours acting in this way.  It is little wonder they have a few detractors on this forum.

I stuck to my guns, changed supplier and refused to pay.  They eventually relented, but it nevertheless left a very bad taste.

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By AS44NG
15th Feb 2014 14:57

VT, TaxCalc and Moneysoft

Recently moved to TaxCalc from Keytime and I have to say what a massive improvement it is. Saved an absolute fortune too as Keytime wanted in excess of £800 p.a. whereas I am unlimited with TC at £480.

For payroll I haven't seen anything easier than Moneysoft's Payroll Manager which is ridiculously cheap.  I was trying to persuade another accountant I know to switch from Sage to Payroll Manager and finally succeeded when he asked "what is Moneysoft's support like, is it as good as Sage?" and I had to answer (truthfully) "I have no idea, I have never had to contact them in four years."

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By pauljgoodman
16th Feb 2014 11:43

Moneysoft

On the few occasions I have emailed Moneysoft, they come back pretty quickly with helpful suggestions, but it is perfectly straight forward to use, with hardly any need to resort to the manual.  Taxcalc's help is also very good, again on the odd occasion I had a query.  These are both extraordinarily good value, with no limits on Taxcalc to the number of cases you can process on it.

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By Summerjosh
17th Feb 2014 09:21

Taxcalc all the way

Personally, as a practice we would recommend TaxCalc. (www.taxcalc.com) For accounts production and tax return needs. We are in the similar position to you, we are a young and growing practice we are in the process of taking on more staff, and the last thing we needed was IRIS telling us it was going to cost us thousands extra per staff member in multi user access. We have made the switch to TaxCalc for just our sole trader clients, and we are now in the process of moving all Limited Companies over to TaxCalc. The support on TaxCalc is second to none, from the software, whenever I experience an issue, I can raise a ticket explaining my issue, and TaxCalc call me back within about 3 minutes with a resolution. The software is fast, safe and sturdy and as opposed to IRIS (10 year old software which has been added to and changed since that date), TaxCalc has been built from the ground up for speed and isn't relying on 10 years old software.

 

Even if its just for a free demo (like we did), have a play on their website, any issues: Try out their 'Call Me Back Support' and make sure you ask them what they have in their pipeline (some great additions in the future).

 

With regards to Payroll, we use the services of cloud based PaySuite (www.paysuite.co.uk) Once again, support second to none, and if your a practice like us, working in the cloud or looking to modernise productivity. This is the payroll package for you.

 

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By matto763
17th Feb 2014 12:29

90 days notice

We changed from Iris to Digita a couple of years ago and haven't regretted it.  The product is constantly improving (it was already very good) and I find the customer services team a real step up from the sales-based approach Iris use.

The 90 days notice means you really have to give them provisional,protective notice of your intention to leave them every year before the renewal quotes come which never seems a very friendly way of doing business.

As well as this, our costs with Digita are a little lower which I'm not complaining about!

 

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By pauljgoodman
17th Feb 2014 15:08

After Iris

Doesn't affect me now, but I am curious to know what features of Iris were found to be lacking when you moved to TaxCalc, Moneysoft etc, apart from having to pay much lower software costs and not having to pay for extra clients added?  I assumed something must have been missing?

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Replying to AndySCL:
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By Fitzz
17th Feb 2014 19:05

After Iris
Paul,
For me the main consideration was cost, and in particular the feeling that the user base was seen as a cash cow i.e. no improvement to the software but a real hike in the support price every year. Both programs had the features I need, however it was an eye-opener to see how much easier MoneySoft is to use.
There were a lot of nice surprises, such as the ability to copy and paste from any report, drill-down from reports, etc. These were not critical to me, but collectively they make life easier.
I always found support to be good from Intex (Iris) but MoneySoft has been good too. I prefer to get help by email so can't comment on phone response times.

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By Mathswizard
17th Feb 2014 15:20

Agree with most posts

I have been using VT, BTC and Brightpay for a very long time.  I cannot find any fault with them, I needed BTC support once after experiencing difficulty downloading (I am the idiot !), I spoke to someone who was old enough to shave and did not make me feel stupid, they just talked me through the process and stayed with me whilst I ensured all was well.  VT works with BTC, simply and efficiently.  VT produced iXBRL and you can file direct at Companies House.  The pricing is excellent, limitless clients, I am very happy.

Brightpay is the follow on from Thesuarus Payroll which I used for years.  I personally cannot fault it or the support which I have only needed twice in eight years, not bad ! especially as it was my fault again !!

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KCL
By davidakime
26th Feb 2014 11:29

Costs?

I have a question to ask those who have saved what appears to be thousands. Are the new products you have moved to integrated and if not how much extra time is spent (on average) keying in data and making amendments?

 

The products mentioned are no suitable for a practice of our size but I am curious to know about these figures

 

Also strangely absent is any mention of CCH 

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By Old Greying Accountant
26th Feb 2014 11:45

I use IRIS Automail extensively ...

and wondered does Digita have a similar module as I think the loss of productivity without this would outweigh savings in other areas

Having all letter templates in a central registry, linked to accounts and tax data and automatically saved on a communication log, and the ability to write new ones with a pick and mix list of fields to insert in a way that even a dinosaur like me can understand is priceless to me.

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By Jimess
26th Feb 2014 12:19

Integration

@davidakime - VT and BTC are not integrated in the same way as Iris integrates across all of it's products but there is a facility to send data from VT to BTC at the push of a button - it takes seconds and there is no re-keying of data.  VT also produces iXBRL accounts for CT returns and Companies House and handles the Companies House submissions brilliantly.  As for integration of payroll - personally I never used to use that anyway with Iris as it never did work very well.

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By Fitzz
26th Feb 2014 17:57

Integration and reports in MeoneySoft

davidakime, I'm not sure you are talking about Payroll when you asked about integration, as there is relatively little re-keying involved, but I am sure that Iris will have superior integration over other stand-alone products which generally offer only CSV exporting.

I am not in practice, so my needs are different, but I've never found the ability to post a salaries journal all that useful.  I notice that MoneySoft offer some functions for "bureau use" such as batch submission of RTI, invoicing, online FBI2 etc, but I imagine these are pretty standard in all software packages these days.

As regards reports, I went paperless a while back and love it.  All reports in MoneySoft can be made via email and password protected pdf's from within the software, utilising fields stored for company names, client contact etc..  They take just a jiffy to send - brilliant.  I couldn't do that with Intex Earnie (other than payslips) but they may have added that functionality in the last year.

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By morgani
26th Feb 2014 20:31

Keytime
Another vote for Keytime. Having trained and used Iris when employed I wanted to use it in practice. I simply refuse to pay the costs of it though.
I use Keytime and am more than happy with it. The support is fantastic and can't ever remember having to wait anything like 10mins for them to answer a call.
@davidakime - Keytime is integrated and it works very well.

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KCL
By davidakime
27th Feb 2014 11:57

Thanks guys for the feedback re time taken for pushing and pulling the data in the accountancy packages.

I too have never seen the real purpose of integrating the payroll either, but I do know that non accountants do struggle to post a journal so perhaps they gain from it that way.

 

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By GSWB1954
13th Aug 2019 12:23

I entirely agree about IRIS. I gave them notice on 7th August to cancel my licence renewal due on 1st November and was told I was 7 days late in advising them and would have to pay for a full years licence for 2019/20 even though I won't be using it. This, despite being an Iris customer for over 15 years. 3 months' notice for a 12 month licence is ridiculous. From 1st November I'm going to bombard their support team with questions. At least I'll get something for my money.

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