IRIS Software Group has acquired accountancy website specialist Websmiths Group for an undisclosed sum.
Better known as Accountant Websmiths, the outfit will now become part of IRIS and rebranded as IRIS OpenWebsite to fit with the parent company’s growing portfolio of cloud-based services.
The current Websmiths offering can start as low as £55 a month for a tax “ezine”, with additional fees for websites ranging from £55 to £95 a month depending on whether they are based on existing templates or designed from scratch. At the moment, the same pricing levels have been maintained on the IRIS website.
According to IRIS CEO Phill Robinson, around half of Accountant Websmiths’ users were already IRIS customers and that the overlap created a good opportunity for more customers to adopt the underlying technology and content.
“We are developing a family of products to help accountants interact with clients via the web,” Robinson explained. The suite includes OpenSpace a collaborative online portal that offers an electronic approval facility and the OpenBooks bookkeeping system.
“OpenWebsite will be able to integrate other services into that - we’re already working on the plans,” he added.
“The direction we’re going in is that clients can do their bookkeeping online and get all their accounts and tax returns through the web. It’s a very compelling offering, and we’ve already got a lot of the components in place,” said Robinson.
Accountant Websmiths have generally received good feedback from customers on AccountingWEB. Company director Keith Samuels was “delighted” to be joining IRIS, but reactions were mixed elsewhere, including one accountant who tweeted, “Not best pleased about this.”
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.