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2018 Accounting Excellence Awards ceremony
AEA 2018_Accounting Excellence Awards
2018 Accounting Excellence Software Awards

Congratulations to 2018 Accounting Excellence Software Award winners

20th Sep 2018
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This year’s Accounting Excellence Software Awards confirm that the rise of cloud accounting and the “MTD effect” are continuing to shape the technology habits of UK accountants.

Out of 51 nominees for the 11 software categories at the 2018 awards ceremony at London’s Intercontinental Park Lane tonight (20 September), 27 were cloud products, demonstrating how online applications have reached a tipping point within the accounting profession.

The Accounting Excellence Sofware Awards are based on the UK’s biggest independent business software survey, with more than 12,000 individual ratings. Using customer feedback to determine the winners is what makes these awards so important and the on-going software survey presents a unique opportunity to assess what is happening on the profession’s front lines.

Just to confirm the cloud trend, ratings for the third-party apps that plug into accounting engines more than doubled in this year’s survey. Our add-on nominees include representatives from the debt management and online finance community – Chaser, Satago and Capitalise – while payment specialists GoCardless and Stripe both increased their share of the vote in the 2018 survey.

The user numbers may have grown, but Chaser came out ahead in the user vote to win the category again this year. Online applications won seven of the other 10 categories, with FreeAgent and Xero sharing the plaudits from business users and practitioners in the small business accounting award categories.

BrightPay and BTCSoftware proved that desktop developers still rule the roost in the payroll and practice software categories respectively. BTCSoftware almost made a clean sweep by winning three awards on the night for tax, practice management and suite of the year, but to show how far the cloud has come in practice, the online tax application Taxfiler carried off the accounts production prize.

There was another surprise in the forecasting, planning and analysis category, where the new cashflow-focused forecasting app Fluidly pipped more established, advisory applications. By applying machine learning to one of the key pain points of small businesses, Fluidly also earned the Innovation of the Year Award to crown a remarkable debut year.

There was also an award for Xero UK managing director Gary Turner as the Accounting Excellence Software & Technology Pioneer of the Year. Establishing himself as one of the industry's most outspoken figures during the past year, Turner has not shied from publicly challenging HMRC's assumptions around Making Tax Digital (MTD). 

The MTD effect

In spite of the friction it has caused within the profession, the government’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) initiative has been very good for the software industry over the past 2-3 years. AccountingWEB survey data shows that cloud accounting has doubled since George Osborne first floated the idea in his 2015 Budget speech. Expenses capture apps and practice management software also benefited from the surge.

But since Treasury minister Mel Stride MP responded to pressure and announced last year that he would scale back the implementation of MTD for income tax until 2020 at the earliest, the momentum has dropped away, with fewer accountants showing up to rate data and expenses and practice management applications in our survey this year.

Long-term help for software buyers

The Accounting Excellence Software Awards are the first phase of a much wider project. AccountingWEB uses the information it collects to inform the online community about all the leading products. Starting from next week, our new Software Reviews will give accountants practical help to make more informed buying decisions – based on other accountants’ feedback and ratings.

Until then, the story is all about our nominees and the ultimate winners, who will be announced later this evening. Congratulations to all of them for making it to the top in a very competitive software market.

2018 Accounting Excellence Software Awards

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Small Business Accounting Software of the Year - FreeAgent

Nominees: Kashflow, QuickBooks Online, Xero

Small Business Accounting Software of the Year, Practitioners’ Choice - Xero

Nominees: Capium, VT Transaction+, QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Online, Sage 50 Accounts

Enterprise Accounting/ERP Software of the Year - Accounts IQ

Nominees: Exact Online, Pegasus, Sage 50, Sage 200, SAP Business One

Payroll Software of the Year - BrightPay

Nominees: Capium, Moneysoft, The Payroll Site, Xero Payroll

Data & Expenses Management Software of the Year - Receipt Bank

Nominees: AutoEntry, FreeAgent mobile agent, QuickBooks, Xero Expenses

Professional Tax Software of the Year - BTCSoftware

Nominees: Capium, Keytime, TaxCalc, Taxfiler

Practice Management & CRM Software of the Year - BTCSoftware

Nominees: AccountancyManager, Capium, Practice Ignition, Senta, TaxCalc

Accounts Production Software of the Year - Taxfiler

Nominees: BTCSoftware, Capium, TaxCalc, Taxfiler, VT Final Accounts

Practice Suite of the Year - BTCSoftware

Nominees: Capium, CCH, IRIS, TaxCalc, Thomson Reuters

Forecasting, Planning & Analysis Software of the Year - Fluidly

Nominees: Adaptive Insights for Finance, Float, Futrli, Spotlight Reporting

Cloud App of the Year - Chaser

Nominees: Capitalise, GoCardless, Satago, Stripe, TSheets

Innovation of the Year - Fluidly

Nominees: AccountancyManager, CCH OneClick, Countingup, Sage Personal Tax Account Viewer, Tax Cloud

Software & Technology Pioneer of the Year - Gary Turner – Xero

Nominees: Nathan Keeley (MHA Carpenter Box), Steve Cox (IRIS Software Group)

About the Accounting Excellence Awards

Sponsored by MyFirmsApp, the Accounting Excellence Awards celebrate the achievements of ambitious growth-oriented firms and technology suppliers. Now in their eighth year, this year's voting culminated in our 2018 awards evening on the 20 September at the InterContinental London, Park Lane and in the Software Reviews that will soon follow. 

Keep your eye out for Software Reviews

AccountingWEB’s Software Reviews use the same data collected from the Accounting Excellence Software Awards survey to provide the independent, trusted peer-to-peer advice accountants have been crying out for. The reviews launched in September 2018 with three categories: data & expense management, practice management and forecasting, planning & analysis (FP&A) software. Further categories will be rolled out over the following months, including accounts production, small business accounts, mid-market and enterprise accounts and Making Tax Digital for VAT software.

Replies (5)

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By Alex_T
24th Sep 2018 14:26

Well done everyone involved... delighted to see that some of my favourites got an award. Excellent!

Thanks (1)
By teeaccounts
27th Sep 2018 11:41

Interesting result that FreeAgent won the small business software award, but Xero won the same award based on Practitioner's Choice.
Did FreeAgent win because it's free with a Natwest business account, I wonder?
As a Practitioner, definitely think Xero was the right result, with Quickbooks a close second...

Thanks (0)
By johnjenkins
27th Sep 2018 12:13

What about those that didn't apply for Accounting Excellence?
It could also indicate that those that are not or do not advocate the cloud do not participate.
What your headline should have said was "Those applying for Accounting Excellence awards seem to be moving towards "The Cloud""

Thanks (2)
By Dandan
27th Sep 2018 13:48

Are these awards really based on surveys ?

I hardly ever take part in surveys . Freeagent would certainly not be my choice for Small Business Accounting Software of the year, if I participated.

How small are we talking here ? One-man business with turnover below VAT threshold ?

Thanks (0)
Replying to Dandan:
By Tim Vane
07th Oct 2018 21:01

If you don't bother to take part in surveys (this one was heavily promoted through aweb) then you can hardly complain that the results don't accord with your opinion, can you?

Thanks (0)