Archive for July, 2014

Upgrade or all-change? Sage advice

On the 1st August the price for accounting  software staple Sage 50 is set to skyrocket, seeing costs for users almost doubling:

Sage 50 Accounts up from £315 to £536

Sage 50 Accounts Plus up from £455 to £819

Sage 50 Accounts Professional up from £600 to £1,140

At React, this leaves us with some crucial questions when recommending platforms for our clients: What will they be getting for their money? Will there be increased customer support? New features? Will it come with a complimentary tin-opener and sing to us the entire collected works of Gilbert and Sullivan? It is safe to assume there will be some new features, but will the undoubted benefits and bug-fixes outweigh the significant additional cost when much of what they receive will in essence represent a like-for-like upgrade.

Perhaps it is time to take stock and consider the alternatives? Sage has long dominated the traditional desktop accountancy software market with what is perceived as a robust and (in its day) revolutionary platform. However, increasingly the World is turning towards cloud-based solutions and in this arena we believe Xero provides a fine alternative. The shift in mind-set required is one where clients need to move beyond the belief that they “own” a copy of their desktop accountancy package and that it has been bought outright as this scenario plays against the subscription model required for cloud-based accounting. This simple cost comparison may however ignore many other benefits such as the fact that the accounting data is constantly backed-up remotely, there is no longer a need for a server-based IT infrastructure and the software is updated in excess of 12 times a year with no disruption or involvement from the user.

Xero’s user friendly interface uses plain English instead on “accountancy-speak” & is rapidly becoming the figurehead for this cloud accounting revolution. With many competitive features, including mobile access, free automatic updates, and unlimited free customer support, Xero is superb value for money. It also enables access to a plethora of extremely helpful third-party add-ons to enhance your accounting experience and to help run your day-to-day business. You can check Xero out here

The benefits of collaboration

In business we all have competitors, but can you afford to keep them at arm’s length?

For us, cooperating with other Accountants brings untold benefits. It allows us to share knowledge with others, create an environment of  trust, build up many really useful contacts and sometimes just enabling us to have someone to bounce ideas off.

Arthur Kay at the Guardian has published a balanced article  where he illustrates some of the benefits and pitfalls of collaboration. He questions whether or not the numerous potential benefits of working with others outweighs the possibility of distractions and time wasters, while discussing if it’s possible to bridge the gap between smaller companies and much larger ones, and describes the necessity to organise yourself appropriately to hold up your end of the bargain.

Our approach at React Accountancy has always been a collaborative one and as we discovered at an event hosted by our friends at Xero last week we’re not alone. The overwhelming feeling was that extending an olive branch is always the best practice and the Partner Panel of 5 fellow accountants happily shared some of their most tried and tested business tips and experience with us. All in attendance although technically rivals, were particularly friendly and helpful to each other.

We think there’s enough business for everyone, but what’s your opinion and how do you collaborate in your industry?