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Taxcalc vs Iris - Accounts Production

Should we switch?

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After receiving our Iris renewal quote this year at nearly £12k for 200 business (accounts productions and business tax) and 400 personal tax clients with 3 users, I am understandably looking at other options!

We have about 180 active business tax clients and will hopefully increase that over the next year. We are a small but growing firm with 8 professional staff.

We don't use the personal tax module anyway and have stayed with TaxCalc for this as it is far more intuitive. Automail is difficult to use also so we don't tend to bother with this and Open Space isn't great in my opion. We do love the accounts production and business tax modules but is that just because we don't know anything else?

I have always considered Iris to be the Rolls Royce of accounting software with TaxCalc as a Ford Fiesta! Am I wrong? Would moving to TaxCalc for everything be a backwards step or is it a good piece of software?

They are now adding GDPR centre, eSign centre and various other useful tools such as Xero integration making me think that this could be the way to go.

I reckon savings of at least £9k p.a. are to be had by switching.

Thoughts welcome.


Replies (18)

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By Jekyll and Hyde
25th Sep 2018 13:31

I have not used IRIS for some years now, but have used tax calc for 3 years now. Every couple of months it gets better.

My question for you, is what part of IRIS do you use that tax calc could not do for you? How important is that part of the system and what cost would you pay for it.

Personally, I would save the money and go with tax calc.

Thanks (1)
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
25th Sep 2018 13:40

I picked TaxCalc when we started 4 years ago; never even considered moving. It’s in the cheaper category, is intuitive, has great support, does nearly everything I want it to do & they’re open to suggestions and produce constant updates.

Thanks (2)
Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
25th Sep 2018 14:09

I switched to Taxcalc from DIgita a few years back as was concerned over increasing costs as I added clients.

My clients are not over complicated, simple companies and fairly simple SA returns.

Taxcalc is all I need and the product is great I cannot see why a small practice would need the cost of of IRIS really.

You will need to factor in the time/cost of moving as I suspect IRIS dont make the data very portable to deter people jumping ship.

My only concern with Taxcalc is a lot of the new features are chargeable extras and I would have preferred them to be improvements to the core product.

Thanks (2)
By In a Daze
25th Sep 2018 14:17

I would move to Taxclac in your position. You may wish to think about something for practice management like Accountancy Manager.

We moved from Taxcalc to BTC simply because it integrates with more bookkeeping products than any other software i am aware of.

Thanks (1)
By marks
25th Sep 2018 21:19

We moved to Taxcalc from IRIS in June for same price increases in IRIS as yourself.

If you just use accounts and tax in IRIS then would advise moving.

We used a lot of the IRIS modules; AP, BT, PT, FAR, T&F, PM, AM.

The benefit from IRIS comes if you use everything but even though we did the cost saving moving to Taxcalc was just too appealing.

Taxcalc compared to IRIS is

1. More intuitive to use
2. You can have multi years for the same client and different clients in the same module open at the same time (windows based)
3. Has a check and finalise step at the end of accounts and tax to make sure everything is covered.
4. The accounts and tax comps run a lot faster than IRIS.
5. You can get the tax liability by opening the client file rather than having to running the tax comp like you do in IRIS.

IRIS is better from a practice management viewpoint of keeping a track of where all the jobs are and we are using WhatsGlide to manage jobs which is a separate piece of software to manage all workflows but it also enables us to maintain timesheets and automates the chasing of clients for their records by automated emails and texts.

IRIS is also better if you use the automail function to generate cover letters but understand that improvements are due in taxcalc in their mail merge functionality in the next month to improve the fields you can select in the templates and the general production in templates (the mail merge function isnt as intutive as IRIS automail is).

IRIS tax computation and personal tax schedules are better laid out and easier to follow than Taxcalc's

Also the price you have been quoted is a rip off we we quoted 9k plus VAT for 200 clients with 4 users for AP, BT, PT, T&F, FAR and AM with stand alone 7 users for PM. So we were getting a lot more for a lot less (but our price was a 43% increase on what we were paying).

Thanks (1)
Replying to marks:
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
28th Sep 2018 08:30

We also have the TaxCalc/Glide combo.

Worth noting that TaxCalc inform me that they are adding workflows and time recording modules (as well a a ‘proper’ CoSec module) in the Spring. Once that’s proven to work, we’ll be moving away from Glide to TaxCalc’s all inclusive.

Thanks (1)
By accountant78
26th Sep 2018 09:24

Great answers - this thread is gold dust! Thanks all

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Replying to accountant78:
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
28th Sep 2018 08:27

accountant78 wrote:

Great answers - this thread is gold dust! Thanks all

IRIS price rises are always a popular topic ...

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Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
28th Nov 2018 08:40

Could not agree anymore

Thanks (0)
By banny
26th Sep 2018 11:31

We switched from IRIS to Digita (after 20 odd years!) but then, after about 12 months on Digita, moved to Taxcalc about 18 months ago.

IRIS was fine but just too expensive and we didn't use a lot of the features, including automail.

We had many issues with Digita - it was extremely slow, crashed frequently, was overly complicated to achieve anything amongst over things. And the price started to creep up.

The staff love Taxcalc and I think it's much better suited to us and a hell of a lot cheaper. The support is excellent as well. Wish I'd done it sooner.

Thanks (2)
By sadler14
27th Sep 2018 11:45

We moved to TaxCalc from Sage 3 years ago. For the price it can't be beaten. My only gripe is that the accounts layout and editing could be a lot better - they ought to spend a bit of time improving this rather than adding new modules that have to be paid for. Having said that, non of our clients have complained about the accounts layout, so it's probably me being overly fussy !

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Replying to sadler14:
Red Leader
By Red Leader
28th Sep 2018 11:48

Perhaps you wrongly assumed they actually read the damn things!

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By pauljohnston
27th Sep 2018 12:02

I have never used Tax Clac so cant comment but I do suggest that you look at all the offereings inc Taxfile, BTC Absolute before making the final choice. Every persons business is slightly different.

Digita is a bit of a nightmareas we have found

Thanks (2)
By sussieads
27th Sep 2018 12:32

Having just switched from Iris to TaxCalc in the last 6 months I agree with all the comments.
With regards to the practice management - we are working our way around the reports and data mining and now are getting similar work schedule reports that we got out of Iris Practice manager.
Customer support is also fab with TaxCalc - responses to email within a day, and happy to talk you through the silliest question on the phone. Iris - I once got a response to an email 3 months after sending it - better than no response at all! Very happy with TaxCalc

Thanks (1)
By ShayaG
27th Sep 2018 13:17

+ points for TaxCalc

1) Really fast and intuitive to produce accounts.
2) Great interface with the tax returns.
3) Fast and motivated support team.

- points

1) No bookkeeping / cashbook functionality
2) Multiple bugs (a balance sheet should never be for the period ending.... ) / limitations (e.g. - no functionality for S479A audit exemptions).
3) Highly standardised - won't cut the mustard for charities / service charge accs etc.

We would like to leave Sage AP behind but too many edge cases that TaxCalc won't cater for.

Thanks (1)
Replying to ShayaG:
By accountant78
10th Oct 2018 11:11

Service charges are an issue for us, we have about 35 entities and we have tailored IRIS beautifully so will be a big factor when considering change.

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28th Sep 2018 07:29

If IRIS was the last piece of software on the planet I would do everything manually! Does this answer your question?

Thanks (2)
By Robbo
28th Sep 2018 11:55

We use Absolute & have done for about seven years after we left IRIS because of fees.
It is generally easy to use has good interfaces but doesn't do everything on tax, you need to keep your brain switched on..
Support is generally of a high standard although sometimes things are referred back to the developer Dave Forbes.
Not everybody's cup of tea but complete suite for what you say your needs are about £2500 + VAT instead of £12000

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