AccountsIQ helped multi-entity property management company, E&J Estates, migrate from Sage in just two months
In Autumn 2020, E&J Estates’ Financial Controller, Joanne Brown, started looking at accounting software that would enable them to consolidate their 20 entities easily and improve their intercompany management. E&J Estates’ existing system, Sage Financials, would soon be discontinued so they needed to be sure the onboarding process would be quick and painless. Although most of E&J Estates’ accounting needs are relatively straightforward, the complexity arises from their multi-entity accounting and consolidation requirements, which were time consuming.
Everything a mid-market, multi-entity business needs at a reasonable cost
Joanne admits that finding the right accounting software for a mid-market, multi-entity property business, like E&J Estates, wasn’t easy. She knew they didn’t need an ERP, such as Oracle or NetSuite.
“They’re too complex for our needs,” she says. “I’d have to set up functionality we’d never use, and it would be cumbersome to make necessary tweaks to the system in the future. What we like about AccountsIQ is that you only need to set up the modules you wish to use and when we need to make changes, such as setting up a new accounting code, it’s really easy.”
Joanne also reviewed simple accounting solutions, such as Sage 200, Xero and Access Financials but found they didn’t have enough functionality.
“We’d have had to do all our consolidation manually,” she says. “I liked the look of the AccountsIQ system instantly. It’s logical, practical and user-friendly and it gives us everything we need at a reasonable price.”
A proper accounting system” that’s quick, efficient and paperless
Joanne’s team has found everything, from multiple invoices to auto journal reversals, quick and easy to process with AccountsIQ. “That’s important,” she says. “As a finance team, we don’t want to spend time processing data. Now, we can spend time reviewing, reporting and analysing our data to benefit the business.
“AccountsIQ is rules-based,” continues Joanne. “It’s what I call a ‘proper accounting system’. We have four system users, so it’s important to have robust controls in place.”
E&J Estates has also had positive feedback from their auditors. “We’ve given them read-only access,” explains Joanne.
“In previous years, we produced accounts for our auditors around four months after year-end. This year, with AccountsIQ, we did it in just six weeks and next year our target is to get it done in a month.”
Data which can be trusted
For E&J Estates, one of the main benefits of AccountsIQ is that their inter-company accounting is so much easier.
“You can look at the consolidated accounts and see that it all zeros out,” says Joanne. “You know you haven’t missed anything and everyone in the company recognises that we have data we can trust. With AccountsIQ, you can only ever enter the transactions that should be in there. That means there are no mismatches or incorrect journals. It’s a big plus to us to have that level of data integrity; we can have complete confidence in the numbers we’re pulling from the system.”
The reporting functions also give complete, real-time clarity on the company’s financial position and helps E&J Estates to make more informed decisions about managing their business. AccountsIQ was even able to customise some of the reporting functions to meet E&J Estates’ specific needs.
"AccountsIQ helped us develop a report for the percentage reporting we have to do as a property company to handle irrecoverable VAT,” explains Joanne. “They also helped with Group VAT reporting and Making Tax Digital (MTD). It all works really well and it’s definitely a relief to be able to have complete confidence in our VAT returns.”
Migration from Sage to AccountsIQ in just 2 months
Because Joanne and her team could focus on just setting up the elements of the AccountsIQ system they really needed, they managed to get everything live in just two months. That included testing, training and uploading data, such as trial balances and current year transactions.
"We didn’t have to waste time setting up elements we didn’t need, such as stock control,” says Joanne. “We don’t have massive transaction volumes, but it was important for us to have all transactions for the accounting year in one system; that was a big win for us.”
Smooth and painless implementation process
E&J Estates found the implementation process straightforward and seamless. “Our AccountsIQ Implementation Consultant, Desi, was fantastic,” says Joanne.
"She’s knowledgeable, supportive and patient and that gave us confidence. We got to trial and test the system and we had full training. Even after we’d gone live, whenever we had questions, we got a quick response. The great thing about AccountsIQ is you can phone and speak to a real person. It’s never just an email saying ‘go and look at these documents’. They have a personal touch, and you feel they’re genuinely there for you and on your side.”