A new name appeared on the UK cloud accounting scene this week in the shape of Reckon UK.
Follow a corporate rebrand, the Australian-owned group plans to the launch the Reckon One cloud bookkeeping system in the UK this spring.
Reckon UK emerged from its chrysalis at the Cambridge-based document management specialist Lindenhouse Software, which became part of the Global Reckon Group in 2012. The group is also the ultimate owner of the APS practice management system.
The combination is an interesting one, as Lindenhouse is best known for its Virtual Cabinet document management and portal system. According to Reckon UK commercial director Mark Woolley, the Lindenhouse user community of 650 accountancy firms provides a solid platform to bring Reckon One to this country.
Reckon One has been around for a few years in Australia. The company used to be the local distributor for QuickBooks, but when Intuit pulled out of the deal, Reckon decided to come up with its own cloud bookkeeping system. Designed as a simple, entry-level system Reckon One has struggled to make an impact in the face of Xero’s rapid expansion Down Under. Reckon’s 2014 accounts talked of a UK launch by the end of 2015, but according to Woolley the product has been completely rewritten and the target date was moved to the second quarter of 2015.
“We’re aiming to have it ready for Accountex,” Woolley told AccountingWEB. “One reason it has taken so long is that we’ve done development work in the UK to localise the product. We’re not just shoehorning in the Australian product.”
Reckon One is going to have a big fight on its hands to break into the intensely competitive UK market for cloud accounting, where Xero, QuickBooks and Sage are all well established alongside UK-based systems such as FreeAgent, KashFlow and Clear Books.
But Woolley sees a massive marketplace opening up in the next couple of years. “Ninety percent of UK businesses don’t use online accountinging - and many of them are start-ups,” he said.
“We’ve got an eye on digital record-keeping, where there are big changes coming that are going to push this massive market of small businesses to use some form of online accounting system. We think it’s a perfect time to bring in Reckon One.”
Some cloud accounting systems are growing into quite complex set-ups costing £20-30 a month per user, he added. “That’s quite a lot of money for a small service-based businesses. The Reckon One price point is going to be around £5-6 a month. That’s probably just as attractive as Excel,” he said.
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.