Tech Lowdown: Capitalise, R&D support and ACCA partnership

Tech Lowdown
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Welcome to our weekly round-up of the latest news and updates from the accounting tech world. 

This week, Tech Lowdown features Capitalise’s new investment round, Forrestbrown’s support service for R&D tax credit claims, Tipalti’s global payables service, FreeAgent’s partner programme and a new partnership between ACCA and IRIS.  

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Capitalise secures a £3.5m Series A investment round led by QED Investors  

The adviser-led funding platform for accountants Capitalise has announced a £3.5m Series A investment by QED Investors, Gauss Ventures and venture firm Hambro Perks.

“The recent raise will be used to expand our cloud product for advisers to navigate the ever-growing market of financial products for SMEs and to embed funding expertise in their firms with Capitalise Pro," said Ollie Maitland, co-founder and chief product officer at Capitalise.  

Through its online platform, Capitalise works with 105 institutional partners, providing a breadth of market access to give SMEs the choice so they can avoid ill-informed funding decisions.

Investment in data science will power their credit and health report for businesses, Capitalise Monitor, which was named in the Nesta Open Banking challenge and further addresses underlying issues causing problematic cash flow for UK small business owners.

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ACCA offers members free IRIS OpenSpace storage

The ACCA and IRIS have announced a partnership to offer IRIS OpenSpace free of charge to members.

The move has been made to help practitioners save an average of £500 for secure document exchange per year as well as improve their processes and collaboration with clients by eliminating issues with insecure email whilst helping them comply with UK data protection requirements.

 “Access for ACCA members helps streamline compliance, and with MTD for VAT coming into force very soon, every single efficiency gain is now crucial to a firm’s success,” said chief evangelist of IRIS Software Group Steve Cox.

The agreement comes on the back of the memorandum of understanding signed between IRIS and ACCA last year. It allows ACCA members to create an IRIS OpenSpace account with 1GB of free storage, enabling them to securely upload, store and approve documents. The portal can be customised with a practice’s own branding and is accessible from any location and any device.

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Forrestbrown launches new support service for companies facing an HMRC R&D tax relief enquiry

R&D tax credit consultancy ForrestBrown has launched a new enquiry support service in response to HMRC’s move to prevent abuse of the government’s R&D tax relief scheme for SMEs.

The new support service is aimed at businesses, accountants or specialist advisers facing an HMRC enquiry having already submitted an R&D tax credit claim. The move comes in response to HMRC taking steps to combat fraudulent claims and makes it even clearer what information it expects to receive in support of R&D tax credit claims.

ForrestBrown’s service will help businesses who may need support where they have a genuine R&D tax claim. They will initially carry out a thorough review of the potential client’s R&D tax credit claim and the correspondence they have received from HMRC. If they deem the claim to be legitimate, they will guide the business through the enquiry process until a satisfactory resolution is reached.

The need to introduce this new specialist service, according to Jenny Tragner, director at R&D tax credit consultancy ForrestBrown and member of HMRC’s R&D consultative committee comes in response to HMRC’s drive to prevent abuse of R&D tax relief scheme: “The last six months have seen a seismic shift in HMRC’s approach to R&D tax credits following reports that it had identified and prevented £300m of fraud linked to an R&D tax credit claim. 

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Tipalti introduces a solution to streamline global payables

Global payables automation platform Tipalti has announced a new offering that further streamlines the global payables process for finance teams. Multi-FX gives Tipalti customers the ability to fund their virtual Tipalti account once in a single currency and then convert the money to the necessary local currency before payouts occur.

The solution manages payables payments across multiple currencies in a single system to shift the FX conversion burden for organisations that need to make payments to international suppliers in their local currencies.

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FreeAgent launches improved partner programme

FreeAgent, which has recently completed its first batch of MTD for VAT return submissions, has now announced a new partner programme.

Among its benefits, the programme offers free software licences for new FreeAgent clients who do their business banking with Royal Bank of Scotland or NatWest, marketing support, a listing on the FreeAgent accountant directory and full training to achieve the FreeAgent software accreditation as well as support from a dedicated account manager.

The partner programme also presents discounted pricing options that get bigger and better as the number of active licenses increases.

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