A new mid-market cloud accounting system has hit the streets from the people who devised the Windows-based Exchequer system.
Called iPlicit, the cloud system went live at the beginning of the year and has been deployed by a small number of users. The development and commercial team behind it include the founders and several executives who formulated Exchequer in the 1990s and eventually sold out to IRIS in 2003.
“The same principles that grew a really well respected product are back in town - innovation combined with great service,” said iPlicit commercial director Paul Sparkes.
Watched developments in market
Since selling their company, Exchequer founders Eduardo Liogorri and Rob Steele watched as cloud computing overtook the desktop in the accounting software market. They kept in touch with old customers, who let them know that their original product wasn’t keeping pace with the latest developments and that they felt trapped with an outmoded system.
“When we created Exchequer 20 years ago we were hearing similar stories about the differences between MS-DOS and Windows,” said Sparkes
“The market is well severed at entry level, but there are not enough cloud solutions offering basic stock, project costing, analysis, forecasting and budgeting. If you’re a maturing business that’s outgrowing Xero, QuickBooks or Sage, where are you going to go?”
Mid-market accounting components
The Exchequer founders brought their old team together to fill that gap. Starting from £97/user/month, Iplicit delivers all those key mid-market accounting requirements along with its own cashflow forecasting and credit control manager tools.
Paying homage to Xero’s automated bank reconciliation, the Iplicit designers added similar machine learning features to their product. It also comes ready for MTD for VAT, with the added inducement of a free add-on for importing Exchequer VAT data.
But it’s Iplicit’s reporting features that most excite Sparkes. “This was an area we felt could be better,” he said.
“Many systems have different reporting tools and users often end up with different versions of the truth depending on which tools they use. We decided to base all our reporting on the same tool set, so no matter what you use to look at information, you would see the same answer.”
The nominal ledger is completely configurable and can handle as many levels as you wish – projects, departments, country and source for sales, for example, while you might only need territory or project for overheads.
“You can create pivots inside software and save the views for individual users, so a department head or project manager can see the data they need on screen, filtered in their own way.”
Iplicit is built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform and integrates with the Office 365 suite. Any enquiries created on the system can also be accessed from within Excel tool using an add-in that connects existing reports and functions to the software’s live data.
Iplicit also allows users to create different charts of accounts: “It’s brilliant for charities, they can have one for management accounts mapped to a different one for SORP and can classify the ledgers to they can see all their donor and subscriber accounts.”
Sparkes said the Iplicit team was “about 65% of the way through our product plans” and is working on enhancements to the stock system for an autumn release.
“The cloud is maturing – many of the tools we’re using didn’t exist when Exchequer was sold to IRIS. The opportunity came around again to make one of those generational leaps,” he said.
Coming back to the market a second time around gave the Iplicit team an opportunity to design a system from scratch. “We knew all the things we would do differently and the technology has allowed us to do that. We don’t have any of the legacy that holds back desktop systems,” said Sparkes.
“Some of that functionality will make Iplicit more extensible so we can appeal to a wider target market, ranging from companies with 20 to 400 employees and up.”
About John Stokdyk
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.