Member Since: 19th Jan 2013
8th Aug 2019
Thanks John for the update.
I totally agree with the last two paragraphs from Mark Ryan and the fact the future for accountancy software is providing a platform.
30th May 2019
Really excited to see where the iPlicit team, will take this product.
30th May 2019
Sending me down memory lane again @John Stokdyk.
Give the guys at iPlicit a chance, they've only just got the Exchequer band together. If the product delivers in the way that Exchequer did, then it will be a great solution for the mid-market and those businesses that have outgrown QBO/Xero.
When does the survey close?
29th Mar 2019
Wise words from somebody, who has the experience to quote from a position of strength.
7th Feb 2019
Yes, Sage dominate in payroll and used to dominate in bookkeeping, but they have never "owned the accountant's channel." IRIS own compliance and have done for many years.
It's clear from their actions over recent times that Sage does not understand accountants.
Inferior products, poor support and too many senior people changes, the corporate aim of spending 2 years in a role, means that we have had this rallying call from many a Sage Accountants Division MD.
Happy to buy you a coffee Mr Gill, if you want a realistic picture of the UK compliance marketplace.
2nd Dec 2018
An interesting pitch from Gary Turner, one of the best salespeople in this space.
It's difficult to make an informed comment when so little is known about InstaFile - the product and its people. First impressions are that InstaFile will cater for the smaller firm. So whatever the line is, there will be firms, who will have to create a separate workflow if they want to go the Xero compliance route?
Xero is going to find it challenging to keep developing the product, or product suite, when it is moving into so many geographies. Some astute comments also made in the comments, indicating that whilst received very warmly at Xerocon, accountancy businesses will not just change because it has a "Xero badge on the box", especially as Xero has a poor track record with payroll, slow to release and develop.
I also can't see IRIS or CCH, who own approximately 75% of the compliance market, giving this away. As Hg Capital invested £1.2bn into IRIS earlier this year, you would assume that this scenario has already been played out in the IRIS boardroom.
One point is clear, "end to end solution" is now a part of the accounting tech vocabulary and compliance is now top of the agenda.
Plus ca change.
7th Sep 2018
An unusually acerbic piece from you @John Stokdyk.
You fail to mention that Exact shut up their UK shop.
Of course Stephen Kelly had charm and PR savvy in abundance - he's been extremely successful in his career and he's the CEO of a FTSE 100 business.
I think he's made a lot of changes in his time, but the business still has a huge way to go.
A revolving door of senior exec's does not help their image, although for a "failing" business, Sage exec's always end up landing decent jobs elsewhere. The Sales Director has jumped ship to Fluidly - a 2 year old start up!
The Accountants Division (AD) is too slow to innovate and currently has always had a muddled product set.
No exec stays long enough in the AD to sort out the mess - Nick Longden, Claire Carter, Paul Tooth, have all come and gone. Who is the current MD?
AD is a tiny part of Sage, and with the rest of the business selling through resellers, it's hard for AD, because a reseller model does not work with accountants.
Huge number of seminars and shows this winter/spring, at last, but you must have product to deliver afterwards.
No need to focus on the AD, when other divisions, deliver greater returns per sale.
Sage still don't get accountants.
You may recall the 90 day speech that we attended in Newcastle for Stephen Kelly, John. I was the bear and you were the bull. What's changed?
Everything's changed, but nothing has changed.
The next CEO needs a decent pay rise, to take this business on.
4th Apr 2018
Great article John. Loved the ride down memory lane, but a major error. Peter Mart had a vision, but David Guest at IRIS had a clearer vision - and delivered.
CSM failed because it tried to develop a Windows product and move to Self Assesment at the same time, not Dotcom issues.
CSM issues and the way Sage handled the merger of 5 acquisitions, gave IRIS the opportunity to establish clear market leadership.
David Guest and Ken Rozier deserve a mention in this article.
As for today, fascinating tussle, which I watch with great interest.
16th Feb 2018
Adoption of tech always comes down to two points; does it save me time (improved workflows, benefit the client), does it make me money.
After this decision, then as Andy North states to make it work, you need a "Director of Getting Things Done" in any business.
I agree with Jon Jenkins, being asked to adopt the latest fandango, just because it is the latest fandango, is commercial madness.
20th Aug 2015
In 1998 I worked for IRIS, the biggest gap in our product set was Practice Management, so we went and spoke in great detail, to over a dozen firms. One was kept on as a paid consultant for several years to ensure that the product was developed as accountants wanted. He is long since retired, but was chosen as he had written his own Practice Management tool and also sat on the ICAEW IT committee.
Speaking to potential clients is not revolutionally when designing your minimum vialble product, its essential.
ireallyshouldkn makes a great point that firms all work in different ways, making a universal one fits all approach very difficult.
However, there have been many fortunes made in IT, based upon chance meetings and discussions, not the great strategic brainstormings that are described in the " How I made my fortune" books that follow, so Good Luck to James Kilford.
(Left IRIS in 2006 and I have no commercial agreement with them today, just using it as an example that all good software houses have been speaking to potential clients in the way that the article describes for many years.)