Technology Posts

AIB to Xero Converter

Don’t forget to claim your R&D Tax back by Sept 23rd


You don’t really need to create a living electrical capacitor in order to claim R&D tax relief, but if you did you can take it that you’re eligible even if the outcome was a freak accident.

Here’s how it works. 

You quantify the costs relating to R&D in any given year. There is a lot of criteria relating to what constitutes R&D but it boils down to two key considerations and ensuring the work can be attributed to them.

What is the specific scientific or technological advancement which the company sought to achieve?

What is the specific scientific or technological uncertainty, which the company sought to resolve?

Can your Business Pivot to Recurring Revenue ?

One of the strategic decisions I see on a regular basis is a change in the direction a start-up business will take in order to provide a solution to any number of perceived problems. It’s what start-up do and it means their business model typically pivots a number of times before they get the mix right. Start-ups have a significant advantage in agility, they can fix any number of problems, however they have a significant disadvantage in focus, or more correctly ensuring they only focus on the solution that will provide the most return. What I find interesting is those start-ups who pivot and re-pivot ultimately move towards a recurring revenue model over a one time fee.

This isn’t limited to start-ups but can apply to any service related business, but it’s not as easy as simply saying lets charge an initial fee and then an ongoing  maintenance / recurring fee. Your business solution has to continually add value or eliminate risk in order to be worthy of recurring revenues otherwise you’ll be stuck in one time fee land.

The advantages of a move to a recurring revenue model are many, predictable cash flow, perpetual earnings, It enables business scale and scale enables business sale.

All that sounds good but how do you go about pivoting to a recurring revenue model.

Xero’s secret sauce

A few years ago if someone told you there was an imminent threat to the dominant SME accounting software providers in the market you might have thought – no chance! How could someone undermine the market domination of SAGE, MYOB and Intuit, these companies have owned this space for the past 20 years. Every company that looked even remotely close to threatening them was bought and either painted a nice shade of their respective colours or binned to eliminate the treat.

The difficulty with dislodging the incumbent is the same in any industry; they have the high ground, the existing market users, the re-sellers, the resources. Its nigh on impossible to dislodge incumbents, until and unless a shift in technology changes the game entirely and either makes them instantly or slowly irrelevant. This is the treat facing Sage in the UK, MYOB in Australia and Intuit in the States. These three giants of the accounting software industry are being stared down by a little upstart from New Zealand called Xero.

Sage may be the dominant player in these waters, but time is running out. Compared to Xero, Sage and Intuit are flat-lining.

Accountex 2014 – The Smell of Fear

Accountex 2014 – The Smell of Fear

A technology conference for accountants. Really !!

In two weeks time London will host the annual Accountex conference . It’s a technology conference for accountants and while I can’t think of any reason why it would have existed 4 years ago, all that has now changed in the world of accounting and finance.  Cloud technology has rewritten the rules for the small to medium sized business owners when it comes to engaging with their customers, staff and financial advisors.  There are now a significant number of cloud accounting providers who offer incredibly useful and straightforward systems to the market and all of them will be present at this conference.

  • If you’re thinking of implementing or changing your accounting / financial system to run your business you should be there
  • If you can’t make it your accountant should be there