Accountancy software for start-ups via the cloud

24 Jul 2009

An enterprising entrepreneur has developed a no-fuss accountancy software package that sole traders, contractors and SMEs can access via the internet.

Mark Burke, CEO of online IT recruitment site Hook Head, was fiddling around with software to ensure he could be more organised when he sent his accounts to his accountant at years end. The accountant was impressed with the product and Burke was encouraged to start up cloud accountancy software firm VirtualAccountant.

“I went to him with what I built and we agreed it could be done over the internet. We cottoned on to the idea that this standardised format would be a good product for sole traders and small company owners like myself.”

Burke said that the model is to provide users with a free trial for the first three months and if users are satisfied and want to continue they would pay a subscription. So far, 60 small businesses are piloting the software.

He is also working with up to a dozen accountancy firms who will recommend it to their clients. “It’s a tiered app that allows individuals to organise their accounts and it makes it easier to share information. It is very basic and looks after very simple double-entry and other standard accounting practices.

“I like to use the term ‘action-oriented’. Users can use the software to prepare sales invoices and it will look after all their book-keeping needs. The focus is on the actions of users, rather than the users filing every single action. The plan from the outset was to keep the accounting process as simple as possible.”

Burke said he’s focused primarily on the Irish market, but plans to scope out the UK market in 2010. “There is very little difference between Irish and UK accounting rules except VAT rates. It has been built in a generic enough fashion to be used in any market.”

By John Kennedy