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iplicit CEO Lyndon Stickley talks to AccountingWEB
Lyndon Stickley_iplicit

iplicit powers up for mid-market harvest

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Responding to recent coverage on the growing demand for mid-market accounting systems, iplicit chief executive Lyndon Stickley was keen to expand on the factors driving that growth.

3rd Aug 2022
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As many cloud accounting developers have already pointed out, remote and hybrid working patterns have played the strongest role in driving sales of mid-market cloud accounting systems such as iplicit.

The underlying market opportunity spurred the founders and investors in iplicit to recruit a “heavyweight” board to accelerate the company’s growth, led by chief executive Lyndon Stickley (pictured above).

“The mid-market is grossly underserved,” Stickley told AccountingWEB this week. “Any organisation serious enough to have a finance director who wants something more than Xero, they don’t have much to choose from. There’s a real void out there.”

Many mid-size organisations have been living with disconnected desktop and SME systems “like toothache” for years, he added, using spreadsheets to move information around. The “why fix it if it’s not broken?” tendency paralysed finance departments during the past decade, but hybrid working models that evolved during the pandemic cracked open the market with increased demands for connectivity, Stickley said. “Finance directors are now recognising the need to look at cloud finance.”

Origins of a cloud challenger

According to Stickley, iplicit has the right product ready to meet this surge in demand. The program was originally written by ERP consultant Ian Andrews, who wanted to simplify enterprise accounting software and put it in the cloud. “He saw it as a golden opportunity to replace Exchequer, which had had its day. Windows had become old hat in a cloud world,” Stickley said.

As things panned out, “We realised it wasn’t an Exchequer play. This is a Sage, Pegasus and Access play – or for anyone who’s got an on-premise system with no clear cloud path,” Stickley said. 

“By a good dose of luck and engineering, we’re building for a significant opportunity based on all those users who are increasingly feeling pain. With the end-of-life announcements for QuickBooks Desktop and old versions of Sage 50, there are hundreds of thousands of organisations out there that need to make the move to cloud.”

Then and now

Looking back at how the global financial crisis suppressed demand for mid-market systems, Stickley highlighted the differences between then and now: “In 2009 the mid-market had nothing on offer to drive efficiencies as the downturn hit. They were all in a pond of clunky, on-premise systems that didn’t offer any cost savings if they changed.”

Then Xero came along to “give the industry a kick” with a system that was simple and effective. 

“What you saw with Xero, you’ll now see with iplicit in the mid-market,” Stickley predicted. “As finance directors tighten their purse strings, the fundamental difference now is what’s on offer is a true cloud system. During a downturn, it will let you rip out weeks and months of manual work, for example with report writing, or drive efficiencies with consolidated information and working with hybrid workforces in new ways.”

In contrast to Xero’s “beautiful” accounting software, Stickley uses a gardening metaphor to emphasise iplicit’s more powerful approach. “Xero is fantastic, but at some point you need to swap the push lawn mower for a sit-on mower. You wouldn’t need one for a little garden, but for a couple of acres it makes sense,” he said.

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By Hugo Fair
03rd Aug 2022 13:28

I'm sorry but ...
"you need to swap the push lawn mower for a sit-on mower. You wouldn’t need one for a little garden, but for a couple of acres it makes sense,” said the 'heavyweight' (your words not mine)!

But as usual there's NO practical examples of WHY cloud will be the best choice (let alone why this particular supplier's offering is better than anyone else's) ... just assumptive statements that are guaranteed to wind-up many of his new keenly targeted audience:
"a pond of clunky, on-premise systems" is not what many (probably most) users of "QuickBooks Desktop and old versions of Sage 50" think they have - let alone those with VT etc.

I wish someone would tell the Emperor what he looks like without any clothes on.

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By Paul Crowley
03rd Aug 2022 15:48

'iplicit powers up for mid-market harvest'
No point me reading any of this
At least all the other suppliers pretend that they still want minoes like me, and probably 90% of Aweb audience
And probably 99% of active posters, responders, and people who make comments on articles

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By Hugo Fair
03rd Aug 2022 16:19

Having looked up Lyndon David Stickley, he's described (by himself) as a "serial entrepreneur" - although not a particularly big series based on the data at https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/officers/gp9Y...

So probably good news for shareholders when this becomes the 7th company that he's sold, but not so certain about the prognosis for clients.

And in the meantime, according to Accountancy Today of 5 weeks ago "Iplicit currently has 38 employees and 18 open positions with three offices in London EC1, Bournemouth and Dublin" ... so plenty of in-depth resources ready for major growth?

Note: I've nothing against iplicit ... but expecting us to swallow such obvious advertising produces a gagging sensation.

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight
By John Stokdyk
08th Aug 2022 09:39

Sorry to challenge your world view Paul and Hugo, but there are other people in the accounting profession who read AccountingWEB and, you know, some of them actually work in mid-size organisations and firms that serve them.

They don't always have a lot of spare time to comment on every article (including ones outside their area of expertise) and when all they see are repetitive comments from the same people, it probably doesn't encourage them to take part.

Our insight research is picking up a real surge in activity in this area - specificly upgrades to cloud-based systems - so it made sense to check in with the people serving this market and to find out more about them.

So no apologies for talking to and writing about the likes of iplicit, Oracle NetSuite, AccountsIQ or Microsoft Dynamics. Please remember that this site is intended to be for everyone involved in accountancy, including finance directors and mid-size accounting software suppliers. If something is beyond your experience, perhaps it would be better not to comment at all.

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