IRIS Snap targets shoebox clients
To bring relief to accountants recovering from the self assessment season grind, accountancy solution provider IRIS has rolled out IRIS Snap, a smartphone app that automates client receipt and invoice processing.
Introduced at IRIS World last year, the data capture app has been designed for accountants with archetypal “shoebox” clients. Offered alongside its KashFlow cloud accounting system, IRIS Snap simplifies the process of getting information from clients to the accountant.
IRIS Snap is the result of IRIS’s efforts to get users to embrace digitisation ahead of the government’s push towards Making Tax Digital, IRIS associate product director Tolu Ajimoko told AccountingWEB.
AccountingWEB’s Practice Excellence Award survey data shows that use of transaction and management tools have doubled in the past year among practitioners, stimulated no doubt by George Osborne’s vision of a streamlined, smartphone-powered digital tax system.
The IRIS smartphone app creates the records, categorises them, and applies the appropriate values in a digital format, making it easier to capture transactions as soon as they occur - or when the business is ready - via a mobile interface, he explained.
Ajimoko was keen to stress that IRIS Snap is an “accountant-led service”; accountants hold the power to review and publish the information from their clients’ receipts and invoices, and can even add their own branding to a “white label” version of the app.
The accountant initiates the transition by inviting clients to download and sign up for IRIS Snap. Business users can then take photos of receipts or invoices and feed them to the accountant via their web portal, where the data will be handled by a mix of technology and IRIS’s outsourcing team.
“IRIS Snap takes away having to enter the values and sort it into proper transactions. They're simply reviewing it so the controller would fully be the accountant,” he said. “It needs a review and decision from the accountant.”
An accountant’s view
IRIS Snap beta test user Chris Kember is already looking ahead to next tax return season. As one of IRIS Snap’s early adopters, Kember expected the app to shift the self assessment rush to earlier in the year, reducing the amount of work in the latter months.
“Those who are using it come April next year we will be able to do their accounts straight away,” Kember said. “We won't have to wait for them to bring their records in and do their accounts because they are providing us live data that we process as soon as it is made available by IRIS.”
Due to the number of clients we've actually upscaled because of MTD we’ve probably seen a 10% increase in our gross turnover for the year
Another benefit is getting information sooner. “We can provide clients with more accurate figures in the year if they want to talk about their finances,” Kember said. “We don't have to wait a year. We can talk about business plans.
Kember has 15 clients currently signed up, with some using it “quite intensely”. This includes a publican client who processes 70/80 invoices a month. What impressed Kember though was the turnaround speed, which he timed at around 30mins from the point of the client upload to when the practice receives an email to say they can process or export it.
Products like IRIS Snap will play a role in Kember’s Making Tax Digital strategy. Last February he wrote to his clients advising them about the digital tax initiative, which is likely to return for small business income and expenses after VAT for MTD beds in during the next couple of years. A few of his clients didn’t want to wait a couple of years to make changes.
“Due to the number of clients we've actually upscaled because of MTD we’ve probably seen a 10% increase in our gross turnover for the year,” Kember said.
He expected this trajectory to continue with more clients taking advantage of IRIS Snap and KashFlow in the next year. It was not just an efficient solution for clients, but for the firm too.
“We will be able to handle more work because the way IRIS Snap works we don't have to input the data. We don't have to rely on clients bringing us in the receipts. They literally just do it and we can just log in first thing in the morning or at various points throughout the day and clear all the invoices waiting in IRIS Snap to be processed.
“It's really a very efficient way to deal with things. Going forward, if this year's going to be like the last year, then I would expect at least another 50/60 clients would be using IRIS Snap within the next 12 months.”