AccountingWEB’s Head of Insight has been with the site since 1999 and likes to spend his time studying accountants’ technology habits. When not nerding out, you can find him exploring obscure indie music and searching for the perfect organic sourdough loaf from his base in Brighton, UK.
Some interesting points here - thanks. After spending a week away on holiday I tried the Power BI services menu again and found the Xero link up and running again.
Maybe it's pushing things too far to argue that Xero's temporary disappearance was due to the impracticality of Power BI dashboards. Sugura and Paulgoldstar are both doing it.
Rather than freezing Xero out of its analytic environment, the temporary absence was more likely due to a technical glitch or oversight.
Thanks for your comment John. While I can understand the hint of snark behind it, having had a look at the app after this interview I think it's worth making the effort to understand what Clarity is and what they're trying to do.
For the next two months, publicity and hype are important elements for the Clarity crew to build up as much interest in the project as they can. And aside from a demo prototype, there isn't actually a product they can roll out to the market yet, so it's all very conceptual - they're selling an idea. So yes, what we're getting from them now is akin to two boxers trash talking each other for the cameras before their big bout.
But the app does what Damery says. Demostrating it to me on an iPad at the show, it displayed 7 key numbers (income, expenses, cashflow etc) and had a nicely organised online repository for company articles, business plans and other documents. If you were looking for an investor, he suggested, they could register with Clarity to get a ID signature code, and then use that to look at the reports and documents illustrting the company's performance and plans.
There weren't flashing lights saying "Supercool - this app is powered by blockchain", it was just a nice, easy to understand interface.
With the database behind it, Clarity will be able to import accounts ledger and other data via APIs to display in reports and KPI dashboards, with the main purpose of showing business owners and managers numbers to spark conversations.
There was also a prompt page, raising issues like credit control, growth planning and marketing. In time, the plan is to publish checklists and advisory content to steer both the adviser and client to start putting improvement ideas into action. As an idea, it's certainly interesting.
We'll have to wait until early July to see how far off the ground it gets. Until then, maybe other Accountex visitors can tell us what they think of it.
Yes you are. The survey is the same one we used for this year's Accounting Excellence Software Awards and you can rate products across 10 different categories. I'll add the link in an appropriate spot in the article - thanks for reminding me!
Ah, the numbers Glenn... These are one of those perennial "I wonder if" issues.
We have investigated the subject before on AWeb and the conclusion I would draw is to treat the actual numbers cited with a lot of salt.
How many of those users have taken a trial, but not signed up? Or bought a group of licences on discount and not rolled them all out? And how much are they actually paying to use the software (Rod Drury's point at Xerocon)?
This article is a bit of a preview for our next Software Review category on small business accounting and bookkeeping (the big one). I'll be doing some global analysis and number comparisons as part of the background on those organisations, but hold litte hope of being able to give you a definitive figure.
Nevertheless the underlying trends are a little more instructive and our Accounting Excellence Software Awards survey showed that Intuit is gaining ground noticeably on Xero. If we could substantiate the numbers, I would not be surprised if the US giant overtakes our Kiwi challenger in the UK during the next 12mo. They have more people on the ground over here and as Mr Mischief points out, they are actively using MTD as a marketing lever. It has already worked on practitioners, so it will be interesting to see if the wider population of small businesses follows their lead. I don't want to prevaricate too much, so all I would say is that I'm reasonably comfortable suggesting that UK cloud adoption is between 10%-20%.
PS - I hear that FreeAgent has added nearly 50% to its user numbers (c75k) following the tie-up with NatWest RBS. It doesn't hurt to have deep pockets behind you when launching a big software landgrab.
Here's the link to last year's analysis:
Thanks rawa363 - that's quite an effective manifesto for a millennial finance explained article series.
Have you attempted to educate any clients or prospects on these issues, and with what success?
I'll check with our editor, Tom Herber. This might be an area we could explore in an article or two in the future.
First I've heard of Neilson James and VAT Return Manager, but thanks for letting us know about it Phil!
We'll get on the case to find out more about their plans - and give Absolute and others mentioned here a call while we're at it. This is a subject that will run and run on AccountingWEB.
Hi Glenn/Richard - if you look at the Sage statement, it does specify execution in "Northern Europe and Africa/Middle East". Northern Europe includes UK and is a much bigger market than EMEA, which is still at the emerging stage for Sage.
As far as execution goes, they had an exciting prospect for a Sage One-level practice suite in 2014, but it's taken until this year to roll out, sidelined along the way by a shift in priority to Sage Live (mid-market, Salesforce-based "platform"), then Making Tax Digital, then a global rebrand/rationalisation around Sage Business Cloud and Sage Accountant Cloud - I think they're still trying to work that one out.
Then throw in Intacc, which hardly clarifies the cloud product strategy, and you've got a pretty good receipe for lack of execution.
Unfortunately, I'm not sure that chopping and changing country and middle managers is going to restore momentum. Sage needs to clarify where it's main priority lies and push ahead on that front aggressively. From what I've seen driving the cloud adoption in the UK SME and practice market hasn't been that high up the agenda - and MTD timetable changes haven't helped - and both Xero and QuickBooks have been chipping away at Sage on that front.
Thanks for flagging that up, Tornado. It's not Tom's fault. I was the culprit, as I added that quote in at the sub-editing stage as a new statement came in.
We are very familiar with Tracey Ebdon-Poole and TaxCalc here at AccountingWEB and would like to apologise to her for printing this oversight. Having brought it to our attention, I'll leave it in the story to acknowledge the mistake.
Sorry Jim, I think the QB Assistant was demonstrated on the second, business-focused day of the event. (I only attended on day one, but interviewed Sasan Goodarzi, who confirmed he was going to be showing it to the business audience). If you want to know a little more, here's a write-up of it from a US demo last year: https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/tech/accounting-software/quickbooks-assi...
HMRC had confirmed the number of new exclusions to BTC but was not saying what they were when they prepared their statement and I wrote this article.
A look at the 9 Nov exclusions list (the first table after item 82) shows that 78-82 are new exclusions, to do with the "top slicing" calculation of savings reliefs, dividend reliefs and insurance policy gains. You need to have a bit of spare time and a clear head to take in all the detail: