Head of Insight AccountingWEB
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IRIS buys Cascade HR

30th Apr 2014
Head of Insight AccountingWEB
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IRIS Software Group continued is expansion programme this week with the acquisition of payroll and HR software developer Cascade Human Resources.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but IRIS CEO Phill Robinson told AccountingWEB that Cascade would bring customer numbers for the IRIS portfolio up to 40,000, cementing the group’s position as the second biggest supplier in the UK payroll market. Cascade’s respected HR and payroll suite would extend the IRIS product set into an adjacent market with good growth potential, he added.

“There’s lots of compliance and legislative change at the moment. We have that under control in our payroll tools, but lots of mid-market organisations are reviewing their HR software as a consequence,” Robinson said.

Based in Leeds, Cascade will become a separate IRIS division led by founder Alan Jones as managing director.

However the acquisition does pose some potential complications for IRIS, which already develops and sells three payroll products: Earnie, IRIS Payroll and the cloud-based OpenPayroll system. In spite of potential overlaps, all of these products will be maintained in what Robinson called a “continuum” of IRIS products for this market.

“There’s a fairly clear ladder for our customers, starting with KashFlow and OpenPayroll for SMEs with fewer than 20 employees through to mid-market and integrated payroll and HR suites for larger firms,” said Robinson.

“What a small business needs is very different. They want bookkeeping software to count the money and a payroll program to pay their employees. It wouldn’t be appropriate to offer Cascade to a five-person firm.”

As small companies grow and add employees, they start to need HR, he explained: “Cascade provides a mid-market HR suite which will work for our bigger SME customers.

The medium-to-large Cascade user base was similar to Earnie’s and IRIS is starting integration work between the two products so it can offer an integrated suite.

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