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Tech Lowdown: Lightyear, Access, AccountsIQ and Wolters Kluwer


This week’s roundup features Lightyear emerges from stealth mode, Access acquires Sage cast-off, AccountingsIQ wins major bid and Wolters Kluwer launches switch bundle.

30th Jun 2021
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One to watch: Ex-TransferWise duo launch investment app

New fintech startup Lightyear has announced a $1.5m pre-seed funding round as the first portfolio investment as it emerges from stealth mode. It's set to start rolling out in Q3 2021.

Founded by ex-Wise duo Martin Sokk and Mihkel Aamer, Lightyear combines multi-currency accounts with unlimited access to global markets. As a 100% commission-free investment platform, Lightyear has no trading or account fees, and no FX fees for currency conversion up to £3,000 per month.

Lightyear’s MVP product will be launching with unlimited access to over 1,500 global stocks and ETFs. The product has no trading fees, no account fees and no FX fees up to £3,000 per month. After customers exceed that, there will be a 0.35% FX fee. With competitors across Europe charging retail investors a range of FX fees, custody fees and trading fees, upon launch Lightyear will be one of the most cost-effective ways to invest.

“Investing in Europe is a very long way away from where it needs to be. Professional and experienced investors have good options open to them with clear pricing and best-in-class tools, but ordinary investors don’t have that,” said Lightyear co-founder Martin Sokk. “Lightyear is going to be Europe’s first truly commission-free investment platform, and using our experience with transforming how the world approaches currency conversion, our goal is to completely change the name of the game when it comes to investing.”

Lightyear today launches its waiting list, inviting people to sign up and register their interest in getting early access to the app when it launches later this year. Upon launch, the first 2,000 customers will receive £10 to invest in a stock of their choice, and waitlisters will get the chance to be part of the beta testing community for future product launches. 

The Access Group acquisition of Sage Group’s Australia and Asia

The Access Group has acquired Sage Group’s local businesses in Australia and Asia. The acquisition includes the company’s Australian HandiSoft accounting and MicrOpay and WageEasy compliant payroll solutions, together with the EasyPay payroll solution in Singapore and UBS Accounting software in Malaysia.

The acquisition follows Access’s recent purchases of Attaché, Volcanic and Unleashed in the Asia Pacific region.

AccountsIQ wins The Irish Times Group bid

AccountsIQ has won the bid for The Irish Times Group’s finance software solution following the decision to centralise the finance function of The Irish Times Group. 

“The finance function was going to be centrally located and would support the Group so we were looking for a system that was cloud-based, could cater for various different business units with different revenue models & could provide Group reporting at the touch of a button” noted Group CFO Mikie Sheehan.

“The aim of the project was to leverage this cloud technology to create efficiencies, gain greater visibility and improve the experience for staff, customers and suppliers,” he added.

With the implementation project running through the pandemic, the team opted for a phased roll-out which began from the office in January 2020 and continued remotely, making good use of the software’s cloud-based technologies and enabling accounting staff to work from home, business as usual. The project was completed in December 2020 and the next phase is to roll out the mobile app to all staff for expense capture and approval in 2021 as well as adding new technology roll-outs as they become available.

Wolters Kluwer launches pre-configured database and CCH Accelerate switch bundle

Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting UK has released its refreshed switch bundle, CCH Accelerate. The cloud-connected tax and accounting bundle is an out-of-the-box solution with a pre-configured database designed to reduce implementation and training time and costs. With data conversion from existing solutions, the bundle features full project coordination and services.

According to Wolters Kluwer, CCH Accelerate bundle offers an easy onboarding process with flexible people training and eLearning, and a dedicated account manager and a direct line to customer support.

”CCH Accelerate offers customers a fully integrated central database of accounting software that can intelligently share information wherever and whenever it’s needed,” commented Wolters Kluwer MD Matthew Crook. “It’s simple to use and advisors will gain more time to spend on their practice and their clients, instead of losing it to administrative tasks. 

“Data migration and conversion are often barriers to switching to what may be more efficient solutions because it is seen as time-consuming and difficult. CCH Accelerate addresses this issue head-on. It’s further evidence of why our customers look to us when they need to be right.”

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