Basecone, the cloud scanning and data capture app owned by Wolters Kluwer, took a stand at Xerocon London last week to signal its UK expansion plans.
The Xero connection is significant. Basecone has built up a user base of 25,000+ small businesses and 3,000+ accountants in Europe based on its affiliation with Twinfield (also owned by Wolters Kluwer) and Exact Online, the leading cloud accounting system in the Low Countries.
According to Basecone managing director Vincent van Renesse van Duivenbode, Basecone already has a based of around 1,000 UK Twinfield users, but is now keen to broaden its footprint through integrations with Xero and other leading cloud accounting engines including QuickBooks Online.
These expansion plans will bring Basecone face to face with the likes of Receipt Bank, AutoEntry and Datamolino in what is becoming a crowded market for accounts data capture tools.
What Basecone offers that its rivals can’t is a “real time experience” for both sales and purchase transactions, said van Renesse van Duivenbode. When the data is scanned, it shows up within minutes in the app. The program’s bulk validation tool can post transactions into Xero in a matter of 6-7sec, bringing fully automated processing a step closer.
Like its rivals, Basecone is investing heavily in machine learning systems that could mean 60-70% of transactions will be automatically booked within a matter of months, he added.
The company sees itself as a facilitator of client-accountant collaboration and targets accountants as its primary targets. This strategy is reflected in the Basecone pricing model, which is based on a flat fee of £8.50 a month for practices and £29 a month for business users.
So far in the UK, Basecone has been successful working in particular niche markets, such as franchise companies seeking a platform to set and manage benchmarks across their networks. There is also a growing trend towards bringing client bookkeeping in-house at practices in Europe and the UK.
“There’s a backlash from pushing bookkeeping back to clients,” said van Renesse van Duivenbode. “Hardcore bookkeeping is the core of the relationship with clients - you don’t have such a high risk of losing customers if you do the books for them. But it increases the need for efficient processing to take a margin out of that work.”
To this end, Basecone also offers a workflow module to manage approval processes, available for an additional £4.50 per user per month.
About John Stokdyk
John Stokdyk is the global editor of AccountingWEB UK and AccountingWEB.com.