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AccountsIQ lands €60m investment to fund mid-market push

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Mid-market cloud accounting platform AccountsIQ has secured €60m in funding to expand its product, reach new customers and territories and enhance its artificial intelligence capabilities.

18th Jun 2024
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Dublin-based developer AccountsIQ has landed a €60m Series C investment from specialist growth equity fund Axiom Equity, with the funding earmarked for product development in key areas, growing its user base and doubling its current team to more than 200 people.

Launched in 2008 by chartered accountant Tony Connolly, AccountsIQ is designed to suit multi-site businesses with multiple entities across different jurisdictions, dealing with complex problems like multi-currency consolidation and multi-level approvals. 

“This investment comes at a perfect inflexion point for our offering, to allow us to leverage AI tools into practical, easy-to-adopt services for our user base; to make finance team roles more flexible, valuable, less repetitive and indeed more interesting,” commented Connolly [pictured below, furthest left].

AccountsIQ executive team
AccountsIQ

Mid-market target

The cloud-based platform offers digital accounting services including accounts receivable and accounts payable, business intelligence, forecasting and budgeting, digital tax services and reporting, and also has a range of third-party integrations with products such as BrightPay payroll, Lightyear and Chaser.

It targets businesses with between 20 and 200 employees, although chief operating officer Darren Cran told AccountingWEB this can be extended to 300–400 easily and potentially 700, “but we feel we can add the most value in that first bracket”.

Since launching, AccountsIQ has pulled in more than 1,000 customers with 10,000 entities and 20,000 users, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) remaining steady at 30% annually for the past few years. The developer finds itself part of a burgeoning mid-market cloud scene, competing with the likes of NetSuite, Sage Intacct and iplicit. 

The majority of new customers land with AccountsIQ after outgrowing SMB systems such as Sage, Xero or QuickBooks, with some also coming from established desktop products such as Exchequer, Access Dimensions and Pegasus. Around 5% are still on spreadsheets, but those tend to be larger businesses with low transaction volumes.

While the product’s main market is the UK and Ireland, it has a presence in North America, the Middle East and Australia, and is hoping to use this latest investment to expand its international footprint. Its pricing starts at £199 per month for the Essentials package. For full details visit the AccountsIQ pricing page.

Automation and AI platform boost

According to AccountsIQ COO Cran, while the investment will fund significant expansion to the platform, its core product mission has remained largely unchanged over the past decade.

“We want to shape the finance function of the future around three things: automation, collaboration and insights,” he said. “We’ve got years of domain understanding, getting to grips with the pain points of finance customers. These aren’t marketing words, they inform our product development roadmap.”

From an automation perspective, the developer has plans to use a combination of enhanced robotic process automation and new artificial intelligence (AI) features to boost its platform and make a difference in the working lives of its customers.

“AI will help us deliver better, more accurate automation, but I’m a fan of the practical applications of AI and making sure organisations understand AI before they adopt it,” said Cran, a chartered accountant and former CFO. 

“There’s technology that’s been around for a long time like robotic process automation — effectively simple apps that do robotic, repetitive tasks like month-end journaling,” added Cran. “Right now you can build a journaling app that can prepare best-case journals that are largely right and just need checking. This way you reduce input work massively through automation. 

“But we already have access to a new wave of technology,” he continued. “In time, this will allow users to request reporting data in particular formats. 

“For example, when generating a P&L, an accountant requires technology to have a mouse-driven query tool but the query has to exist in the first place – that’s how query language works. Using this new wave of AI bypasses this and allows queries to be built by the user. You can say ‘show me a P&L by month against actuals and highlight past months where the variance is above 5%, I’d like that in font 10, ready to export to Excel’. It’s powerful and simple versus the tech that’s already there and has the potential to transform the CFO’s life.”

Collaboration and insights

The collaboration aspect of AccountsIQ’s development involves moving towards faster, in-platform communication by sending messaging back and forth on the system itself rather than email or other channels.

Cran told AccountingWEB that work on this had started at a basic level, for example, to allow the finance team to communicate with non-financial staff via the platform on things that pertain to them, like seeing and approving budgets or requisitioning items.  

“We’re now moving towards taking this to the level of month-end close – so much information is not saved on the platform and lost – trying to get across the power of on-platform communication.”

Current users won’t have to wait long to get tangible details of AccountsIQ’s plans for insights, as the developer has a major release lined up for next month. 

According to Cran, the platform will open up powerful analysis technology that will allow Excel pivot tables and increase business intelligence from within the platform. 

“We’re opening up our business intelligence side with a redesigned database table to allow better intelligence,” said Cran. “You can use this to become data-led in multiple ways, building a central warehouse for critical financial and non-financial KPIs. For example, a hotel business can bring in data such as available hotel rooms and occupancy rates, and use that in conjunction with finance information to forecast.”

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