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Products on show at 2021 AccountingWEB Live Expo
AccountingWEB Live_Jo Birtwistle

Product launches take centre stage at Live Expo

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For tech enthusiasts, the best thing about exhibitions is the opportunity to see the code and new product releases from leading suppliers in the market. Here’s a quick rundown on new releases from AccountingWEB Live Expo.

1st Dec 2021
Editor at large AccountingWEB
Columnist
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First out of the traps at the AccountingWEB Live Expo was mid-market accounting software disrupter iplicit, which unveiled a new stock management module at midnight on Day One.

iplicit launches stock module

Integrated stock and inventory management have been one of the sticking points for mid-size companies considering their cloud options. For iplicit, this presented an opportunity to broaden its appeal in this market segment. 

Third party apps are available within the Xero and QuickBooks Online marketplaces, but they don’t always deliver the level of visibility that multi-site stock-based businesses need. The iplicit developers targeted those functional gaps with a program that offers detailed views of stock levels and values across multiple locations, along with customer order status, items on order with suppliers and goods awaiting delivery.

The program’s analytic and reporting capabilities include forecasting tools that let users model future stock requirements. 

While offering its own solution for stock and inventory, iplicit will continue to integrate with other stock control systems.

“The beauty of iplicit is the different options we offer,” said product director Brian Weaving. “We don’t want anyone to become a hostage to their accounting and finance software – as is the case with several ‘fake cloud’ options on the market. Our true cloud offering puts the power back into the finance department’s hands to make positive choices that impact their business’s bottom line.”

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Pixie and BTCSoftware seal pact on show floor

Pixie founder Celso Pinto is celebrating his recent £2.2m financing round with a visit to Coventry on Thursday morning to show off the cloud practice management tool's tight integration with BTCsoftware. 

“Pixie is a workflow platform that allows accountants to pick best in class apps to work with, but with the advantages of a more traditional software suite,” Pinto told AccountingWEB.  

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Coconut introduces Tax for Sole Traders app

Day 2 at the AccountingWEB Live Expo will see the launch of a new sole trader tax app from Open Banking specialist Coconut.

Since its first appearance on AccountingWEB, Coconut ceased to offer business current accounts and pivoted instead to offering an Open Banking-based bank statement feed.

As long as the sole trader is disciplined about making payments from business accounts, Coconut can map incoming transactions to the correct categories and give the trader or their accountant the data they need to complete their tax returns – or MTD quarterly updates. The app comes with context-sensitive guidance to give users an idea of what they can and can’t claim as business expenses.

There is also a Coconut Accountant Portal that lets the trader share their bookkeeping data and business activities with advisers. More details to follow once the product has been officially released.

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Landlord compliance challenges fuel Hammock solution

After three years selling directly to landlords, specialist cloud app developer Hammock has surged to new heights on the back of accountant recommendations.

Business development manager Steven Reynard said that Making Tax Digital has been making his job easy over the past year, with more and more enquiries coming from accountants looking on behalf of clients who were asking for software that could take away the impending headaches of MTD compliance. In that time, the profession has become the dominant channel for Hammock’s sales.

Where some tax and accounting software developers have been frustrated by the 12-month delay for MTD for income tax announced in September, Reynard said it would give Hammock time to ensure more landlords were brought on board in time for the new regime, which comes into force in April 2024. For either self assessment or MTD, Hammock can handle revenue splits for jointly held properties and file independently for each owner.

The app is available for £5-£20/month, depending on the number of properties for which accounts are maintained.

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Gest Online introduces Dream Audit to UK market

French audit software specialist Gest Online chose Coventry as the location for its launch into the UK market of an innovative, cloud-based audit tool.

Whlel the broader UK audit market may be slowly contracting due to the generous nature of the audit threshold, reform plans and other factors mean there’s still enough life left to make it an interesting market for specialist developers.

Where big analytic and AI data recognition engines are being deployed within large audit firms for public interest entity audits, the pandemic encouraged practices with smaller audit client bases to explore tools that allowed them to manage the work remotely.

Gest Online international business development executive Joelmy Jacquemart explained that the company has been enjoying success in its native France. Because it complies with all the current international standards for auditing, the opportunity to adapt it for the UK and Irish market was obvious. Jacquemart has been working on partnerships with the big cloud bookkeeping platforms, but has also teamed up with HAT to support its audit methodologies and workpapers within Gest Online.

Pricing is based on audit “folders” each costing £98 a year – though a folder can contain more than one connected entity. The target market for small business audits and the typical customer will handle between 20 and 50 audits, Jacquemart said.

Replies (4)

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By johnt27
02nd Dec 2021 12:09

Having looked at Gest Online over 18 months ago I hadn't realised they'd only just launched in the UK... This is more of a relaunch with new personnel and a recognised UK audit methodology

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Replying to johnt27:
John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight
By John Stokdyk
03rd Dec 2021 09:18

Thanks John. Were you at the Expo too? If so are there any other interesting new products or functionality you discovered?

With more than 80 exhibitors, I wasn't able to get round them all. I'll be adding a few extra items here in the next day or so, but any additional sightings from Expo visitors would be very welcome.

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Replying to John Stokdyk:
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By johnt27
03rd Dec 2021 09:44

I was!

It was nice to see iplicit show their face at an accounting event - mid level ERP is a burgeoning market. Only new thing for me was Libeo (very similar to Bill.com) - if they want to gain any real traction in the UK market they need to get their Xero integration live (it's coming soon) and they're moving into a busy space with Dext, Autoentry, Lightyear on the OCR side, ApprovalMax/Lightyear on the approval workflow side and Comma/Modulr/Wise/Telleroo/Credec/Crezco/GoCardless/Stripe on the payments side all of which are well established or have first mover advantage

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Sam O'Connor
By Sam O'Connor
08th Dec 2021 14:46

Thanks for the write-up John, it was a great event. A slight clarification for Coconut. One of our key features is that sole traders can virtually extract business transactions from personal accounts and credit cards. So the client doesn't need to be "disciplined about making payments from business accounts".

Our accountant partners find this very useful as many sole traders have business expenses in personal accounts and credit cards, or just use their personal account.

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