Warning over rising accounting software renewal notice periods
Multiple accounting and tax software providers are now imposing 90-day notice periods before annual license renewal dates to lock customers into their products.
BTCSoftware (who is standing out from the crowd by not imposing such lengthy lock-ins) is urging accountancy practices to check their software provider’s contract and notice period.
Over recent months the BTCSoftware team has observed an increase in other software providers’ customers voicing concerns about how they are getting locked into contracts. Many practices have seen their notice periods increase and this has also gone hand in hand with hefty annual price rises.
Some accountancy practices have been notified of an annual rise (of as much as 10%) for their software after missing their 90 day notice deadline. This has locked them into a contract that doesn’t work well for them and potentially damages their profitability and long-term growth.
A call for transparent contracts and pricing
The BTCSoftware team recognise small and medium-sized accountancy practices need software which accommodates and adapts easily to growth and changes in a practice’s circumstances.
BTCSoftware CEO, Rob Ellis, said, “This is why we continue to provide flexible contracts for our software as well as transparent pricing. At BTCSoftware we limit our price increases to a maximum of 5% per annum – one of the reasons why our customers say we’re such good value for money.”
Rob added, “We are seeing a distinct rise in the number of accountancy practices struggling with the cost and stringent details of their software provider’s contract. This is why we’re urging accountancy and tax practices to check their contract’s details so they don’t get locked-in to a license and software offering that doesn’t make commercial sense for them.”
How to avoid getting caught out by notice period clauses
If you feel your current provider is enforcing strict notification clauses and tough price hikes in your software contract, BTCSoftware have shared these six tips to ensure your practice protects its profitability:
- Check out your software’s annual renewal date. Be aware there may be various renewal dates if you have different products from the same provider.
- Find out what your notice period is. You will find this in your contract.
- Be proactive. If you want to terminate your contract, notify your provider at least one month before your notice period is due to end as some providers can take a while before responding. This will give you time to badger your provider till you get a response. Make your request is done in writing and keep all correspondence as evidence.
- Find out when your software provider traditionally puts up their prices. This will help ensure you don’t miss the deadline to serve notice, if you wish to terminate your contract as a result of the new tariff.
- Be wary of introductory discounts. Some providers offer discounts at first, but then include a higher automatic renewal pricing as a condition. When signing up to a software contract, check what the provider intends to price your software at after the first 12months.
- Shop around. Give yourself plenty of time to look for alternative software providers well ahead of your current contact’s notice period. As well as the software’s price find out what else you get for the subscription. Look for training options, unlimited support, transparent pricing and free add-ons such as apps.
Whilst you won’t be able to change the contract terms of your provider, you can certainly extricate yourself from draconian ones if you know your software licence’s renewal date. Make it a clear marker in your calendar and give yourself plenty of time to review other options and serve notice.
If you are worried about how your current software provider’s contract is affecting the commerciality of your practice or business, contact the Sales Team at BTCSoftware on 0345 241 5030 or email [email protected]