Bookkeepers salute Sage and AutoEntry

ICB LUCA Awards 2016
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There are more awards being handed out in October than in Hollywood during springtime.

October is fast becoming accountancy’s own awards season. Running alongside the Xerocon Awards a fortnight ago and the Practice/Software Excellence Awards last week, the ICB presented its Luca awards on Tuesday 17 October.

Cloud systems have been very much the flavour of the month in the small business market, with FreeAgent scooping the Software Excellence Award for SME accounting/bookkeeping and several associated cloud apps such as Receipt Bank, Chaser, Unleashed, GoCardless and iwoca picking up prizes at the Xerocon and AccountingWEB ceremonies.

The bookkeepers who vote for the ICB Luca Awards had different ideas, selecting Sage as their bookkeeping software of the year and opting for AutoEntry as their add-on of the year.

Sage’s executive sales director Sean Evers blogged that the Luca had added significance for the company as it came from the bookkeeping community “at the heart of true accounting”. He also pointed out that the award encompassed both the desktop Sage 50 product and Sage One, the new generation cloud application that he boasted now has 180,000+ customers.

The race between AutoEntry and Receipt Bank has intensified over the past year as HMRC’s plans for seamless data capture spurred advisers to adopt software that could automate quarterly reporting. This surge helped AutoEntry win the app of the year Luca and Receipt Bank earned a statuette from the bookkeepers for social media campaign of the year.

While Receipt Bank has matured into a premium provider with ambitious plans around its Practice Platform, AutoEntry has made inroads with pricing plans ranging from 15p per scanned invoice. Receipt Bank responded to this challenge with an unlimited pricing plan for its biggest accounting partners this year.

AutoEntry founder and CEO Brendan Woods commented, “We’re delighted to take home this coveted trophy. And our win is reflective of an incredible year so far, as we celebrate a 10-fold increase in year-to-date revenues, with over 30,000 new businesses established on AutoEntry in the last 18 months.”

Xerocon awards

The Xerocon award winners included several practices that will be familiar to AccountingWEB members, including 2017 Practice Excellence Award nominees Soaring Falcon (Xero MVP winner) and Farnell Clarke (100% Xero award winner). The ultimate Xero partner of the year was Armstrong Watson, the northern firm that migrated its 4,500 clients across to Xero during the year.

The Xerocon prizes are a good place to catch up with trends in add-on applications, for example with the fintech developer iwoca, winner the emerging Xero apps category. This online loan app offers unsecured credit lines to businesses within a matter of hours and then automatically posts repayments back into Xero.

The stock management app Unleashed was named industry-specific app of the year, while GoCardless won the app of the year award. By automating the direct debit process, GoCardless app expedites invoice payments and reconciles them with Xero.

About John Stokdyk

John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight

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.


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26th Oct 2017 09:50

Hi John

As usual, the Luca Awards were good fun. The bookkeepers take the awards parts very seriously. I think sage have always had a good relationship with the bookkeepers as do Xero.

I think it is down to the size of the companies; bookkeepers do a lot of work in credit control. We need the supplier's extra detail in sage L50, continuing to display debit and credits in activity screens makes a massive difference if you are completing creditors reconciliations. To be able to see which payment paid which invoices on screen is a must I do not want to have to keep clicking or having to print a report. Most of Sage customers have a big volume of creditors, and that detail in sage is a must.

Now I believe Xero is bringing in an audit trail; this is the reason why I do not have more clients on Xero. I think you will find because bookkeepers are correcting to the last penny and reconciling that the right purchase payment is allocated why Sage is a favourite.

Again it all goes down to the type of client; we still have clients who will not move from sage and like it.

The ability to work offline is favourite especially if you are on a long train journey or somewhere where the internet is rubbish, and that seems to be everywhere I am working at times. I think they all have their own good features.

Thanks (1)
to sarah douglas
26th Oct 2017 15:51


"Now I believe Xero is bringing in an audit trail; this is the reason why I do not have more clients on Xero."

Although in Xero it's not called "Audit Trail", Xero has always had the ability to do this using

the Journal Report

and the General Ledger Report

In addition, there's a History and Notes report and the Assurance dashboard displays a number of audit flavoured controls and widgets on the behind the main dashboard.

Gary Turner
Managing Director, Xero

Thanks (1)
26th Oct 2017 18:37

Hi Gary

Thanks for taking the time to answer I am looking forward to your talk at accounting live and I enjoyed your talk at ICB.

Gary, I do use both those reports, but what I do like in sage and I like your software as well. I like when a correction is made especially for cash accounting after the Vat Return has been submitted I like the fact that a new Trans no is allocated to that item when it is changed.

It is this situation I do prefer Sage. I feel more in control with the audit trail and trans no for every transaction. I have some that are always late with invoices and often in cash accounting for vat I have to make changes after submission.

However, I have clients that are so well suited to your accounts software. Gary are you bringing a Transaction No to Xero did I hear that right off the grapevine?

Thanks (0)
08th Dec 2017 14:45

Very Good Content. its a very useful and Helfull article. Thanks for it.

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