IRIS Software Group

Look forward with certainty

Who is IRIS?

We exist to simplify the lives of businesses, schools and organisations, by providing software solutions and services that substantially enhance operational compliance, efficiency and accuracy, empowering the users of our technology to look forward with certainty and confidence.

Our operational software is the invisible but essential beating heart of our customers’ businesses, supporting them in a range of objectives, from maintaining legislative compliance, to boosting engagement with stakeholders, to enhancing productivity. It’s vital these mission critical functions work first time, every time.

We’re one of the UK’s largest private software companies. In fact, we’ve supplied innovative administrative solutions to businesses, charities and the public sector for over 40 years. Along the way, we’ve learned what it takes to make a great administrative software package.

That’s why we’re dedicated to helping businesses run the tough stuff, stay compliant and get operational tasks done right first time, every time so they can focus on productivity, growth, and doing the work they love.

 
 

Our mission

To be the most trusted provider of mission critical software and services

Our vision

Ensuring our customers get it right, first time, every time

History of IRIS

From humble beginnings to becoming one of the UK’s largest privately held software companies.
Navigate through the timeline to see our key milestones and successes over the last 40+ years.
  • 1978
  • 1985
  • 1989
  • 1992
  • 1994
  • 1999
  • 2001
  • 2001
  • 2001
  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2007
  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2010
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2015
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2016
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2017
  • 2017
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2018
  • 2018
  • 2018
  • 2018
  • 2018
  • 2018
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2019
  • 2019
  • 2019
  • 2019
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2020
  • 2020
  • 2020
  • 2021
  • 2021
  • The birth of IRIS Software Group

    Transaction Technology (before it was named IRIS) was founded by David Guest, who started a revolution in the way accountants used software to carry out their daily work. The company was first based in Windsor, Berkshire where it stayed for seven years.
  • Moving to Ascot

    Transaction Technology moved to Woodside, Ascot which was home for a decade.
  • Keytime is founded

    Keytime was founded in 1989 and joined the IRIS family in 2015, now known as IRIS Keytime.
  • Cascade Human Resources is founded

    Cascade Human Resources was founded by Alan Jones in 1992 and joined the IRIS family in 2014, now known as IRIS Cascade.
  • Moving to Datchet

    IRIS shifted its headquarters to Datchet and the picturesque location of Riding Court House – a beautiful historic mansion house in Berkshire.
  • IRIS celebrates its 21st birthday

    Customers and employees enjoy a spectacular celebration at the iconic Science Museum in London.
  • A new direction

    IRIS’ ownership changes to LDC, a private equity firm. Martin Leuw, is appointed CEO to steer us into the next phase of growth.
  • ParentMail is founded

    Two dads, Paul Hughes and Martin Temple set about making school communications easier and more reliable. Today, ParentMail is used by thousands of schools and MATs to bridge the gap between home and school.
  • IRIS Payroll division emerges

    IRIS forms a new payroll division, following the acquisition of Freeway Software, authors of the highly acclaimed PAYEmaster payroll solution.
  • KashFlow is founded

    Duane Jackson, a former web developer outgrew using Word and Excel to do his invoicing and keeping track of accounts and founded KashFlow.
  • IRIS welcomes Intex Software

    The popular range of EARNIE Payroll Systems from Intex Software joins IRIS Software Group
  • IRIS ownership change from Hg Capital to Hellman & Friedman

    Under HG Capital’s ownership, IRIS doubles employment and grows revenue and profits.
  • IRIS merges with Computer Software Group

    Hellman & Friedman majority funds the merger of IRIS and Computer Software Group Plc after HG Capital sells a majority stake. The business trades under the IRIS brand umbrella.
  • IRIS expands into the healthcare sector

    IRIS extends its reach into the healthcare sector with Ferguson GP Software, a specialist payroll provider servicing GP Practices.
  • Further growth

    IRIS welcomes four companies to the group: Charity Software Limited, Drummohr, 5 Star Computer Systems Ltd and ts.com.
  • IRIS World

    Now a flagship event, the first ever IRIS world is flocked by accountants in London at the Olympia Conference Centre.
  • IRIS partners with FreeAgent to launch IRIS OpenBooks

    Paving the way for integrations, IRIS partners with FreeAgent to help freelancers, contractors and small businesses save time, money and relax about tax.
  • Ownership changes back to HG Capital

    IRIS creates separate legal entities, IRIS Accountancy Solutions and IRIS Software Group. Phill Robinson is appointed as CEO of IRIS Accountancy Division.
  • Taxfiler is founded

    Founded in 2012, Taxfiler brings an unsurpassed cloud solution for preparing and filing accounts, tax and VAT returns to market.
  • IRIS launches its first payroll mobile app

    IRIS OpenPayslips allows employers to publish payslips and P60s to a secure online portal. Employees can view their current and historic payslips at the touch of their fingertips.
  • IRIS welcomes KashFlow

    IRIS acquires KashFlow to extend its position as the UK’s premier cloud and desktop bookkeeping and payroll software provider for accountants and SMEs.
  • IRIS welcomes Cascade Human Resources

    IRIS welcomes Cascade HR, a leading provider of HR and payroll solutions – now known as IRIS Cascade.
  • Celebrating success

    IRIS wins ‘Practice Software Product of the Year’ at the British Accountancy Awards 2015.
  • Keytime joins the IRIS family

    IRIS joins forces with Keytime, extending its position as the leader in the provision of business-critical software solutions for accountants and their clients.
  • Kevin Dady joins as CEO

    Kevin Dady is appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer, with Phill Robinson moving to the role of Group Chairman.
  • IRIS welcomes Octopus HR and forms new HCM division

    IRIS launches a new Human Capital Management division as it brings Octopus HR into the group. The business grows to nearly 40,000 customers and over 300 employees.
  • The launch of IRIS HR

    Building on the CascadeGo Platform, IRIS HR launches to extend the people-centric functionality to the 80,000 SME’s served by IRIS.
  • Elona Mortimer-Zhika is new CFO

    Elona Mortimer-Zhika is appointed as Chief Finance Officer and within three years, is promoted to Chief Executive Officer.
  • PS Financials joins the IRIS family

    IRIS joins forces with PS Financials which provides accounting, purchasing, budgeting, and reporting software to more than 2,900 organisations.
  • IRIS acquires Results Squared

    IRIS joins forces with Results Squared, extending IRIS’ offering in the running of a modern education facility. Results Squared is integrated with PS Financials alongside education budgeting software, SAAF Software.
  • IRIS welcomes ParentMail

    ParentMail connects schools and parents, efficiently and reliably using modern technology… making essential communications much simpler for everyone.
  • IRIS Snap for KashFlow unveiled

    IRIS simplifies bookkeeping for small businesses and accountants with the launch of IRIS Snap for KashFlow.
  • IRIS claims MTD first with Rowleys

    IRIS Customer Rowleys claims the first quarterly filing submission in the MTD programme using IRIS Personal Tax. The announcement is hailed a milestone for the industry and provides a solid proof point as it progresses towards a digital economy.
  • IRIS breaks into UK’s Top Track 250

    IRIS joins the Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250, comprising Britain’s private mid-market growth companies with the biggest sales.
  • IRIS launches Accountant Go

    A practice-branded mobile app designed for accountants to engage and communicate with their clients and provide them with a single portal to access information and digital tools.
  • IRIS welcomes Contact Group

    IRIS Software Group joins forces with Contact Group, a leading provider of parental engagement and truancy management software to UK schools, extending IRIS’ education portfolio.
  • IRIS welcomes Taxfiler

    IRIS acquires Taxfiler, a cloud tax and accounts provider for small accountancy practices.
  • Taxfiler celebrates award win

    Taxfiler wins Accounts Production Software of the Year at the Accounting Excellence Software Awards.
  • Star Computers joins the group

    IRIS welcomes Star Computers Ltd, a leading provider of payroll software to bureaus and businesses to the HCM division to provide IRIS Payroll & HR for organisations with large and complex payroll requirements.
  • IRIS celebrates turning 40

    IRIS hit a major milestone and celebrated reaching 40 years old!
  • Elona Mortimer-Zhika is new CEO

    Elona is promoted to Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Kevin Dady who becomes Executive Chairman.
  • IRIS jumps 55 places in the Sunday Times Top Track 250

    IRIS increases organic and acquired revenues, and is ranked 172nd place in the Sunday Times Top Track 250 table which celebrates Britain’s private mid-market growth companies with the biggest sales.
  • Taxfiler wins ICB LUCA Award

    Taxfiler wins Tax and Accounts Production Software of the Year for the second year running.
  • IRIS brings home the gold at the General Practice Awards

    IRIS’ managed payroll solution for GPs is awarded the Financial Services and Business Planning Award at the year’s General Practice Awards.
  • IRIS Payroll Professional secures the Customer Service Award

    IRIS’ payroll professional platform wins the Customer Service Award at The Rewards which celebrates innovations HR and payroll sector by leading businesses.
  • IRIS welcomes FMP Global

    FMP Global, a leading provider of payroll and HR services to international and UK based small and medium sized enterprises joins IRIS Software Group.
  • IRIS jumps 73 places to 93rd place in Sunday Times PwC Top Track 250 list

    For the third year running, IRIS is featured in The Sunday Times PwC Top Track league table, now ranked 93rd place.
  • PS Connect wins Teach Secondary 2020 Award for School Business

    Our parental engagement product PS Connect wins a Teach Secondary 2020 award in the School Business category with five stars.
  • IRIS welcomes iSAMS

    IRIS acquires iSAMS, a leading, fully integrated, online school management system. iSAMS provides management information system (MIS) solutions to over 500 UK independent schools and over 500 international schools across 80 countries.
  • IRIS welcomes Staffology

    The acquisition complements the IRIS goal to revolutionise cloud-based payroll, and help customers take advantage of superior automation tools that streamline processes and integrate with other applications.
  • IRIS welcomes Senta

    IRIS acquires Senta, the cloud-based practice management software for accountants and bookkeepers. The software will be integrated into IRIS Elements, the dynamic SaaS platform designed by customers that allows them to move to the cloud at their own pace.

Over 40 years in the making

From humble beginnings to becoming one of the UK’s largest privately held software companies… Navigate through the timeline to see our key milestones and successes over the last 40+ years.

Our people

IRIS is a company built on hiring the best people. Our people are our greatest asset. They enable us to be the innovative, market-leading, and high-performing company that we are today.

We are delighted to be Great Place to Work certified, which confirms our colleagues have a consistently positive experience at IRIS, with the survey considering employee wellbeing, diversity and inclusion, trust in management and leadership, effective communication, and recognition and reward.

We are committed to engaging, rewarding and empowering our employees, and this is central to what we do. This is why we work to create an environment where employees feel like they are part of a team.

From regular site meetings, to cake days and social evenings, to charity events, we are dedicated to creating a friendly workspace where employees are confident and can engage with each other in a way that inspires creativity and drives productivity.

 

 
 
 
 

Our communities

For us, commercial success goes hand in hand with good corporate social responsibility.

That is why we’ve integrated our social responsibilities into our day-to-day work and the way we conduct our business relationships. In fact, we have recently introduced a purchasing practice to support rural fruit-growers and lower atmospheric carbon levels in Malawi.

We give our employees three ‘Giving Back’ days a year on top of their annual holiday entitlement to support local community and national charitable causes – that’s over 700 days every year donated to help the community. We unite the contributions made between the business and our employees to make our actions stronger.

4 MILLION

+ Parents use our software to connect with their child’s school

18%

+ of UK employees are paid by IRIS Payroll Solutions

50,000

+ SME’s use IRIS cloud bookkeeping

21,000

+ UK firms rely on IRIS for legislative compliance

Our sectors

Whatever the nature of your organisation, you need your mission-critical software to help you get it right first time, every time. Harnessing our 40 years’ experience, we deliver solutions designed to achieve the business goals of our customers.

With our support, organisations in these industries are empowered to deliver accuracy and legislative compliance, and to optimise engagement with stakeholders – be they clients, parents and pupils, or employees and team members.

Accountancy

Through a heritage of deep domain knowledge and breadth of product functionality, IRIS delivers best-in-class accountancy software solutions for use by every practice in the UK.

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Education

Via software and services that manage finances, assets, budgeting, human resources, parent payments and school-to-home communications IRIS serves nurseries through to academy trusts and further education.

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HR

By providing the widest range of human resource management and payroll solutions IRIS supports the human capital management needs of businesses of every size within the UK market.

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Payroll

We exist to remove the complexity of and reduce the time spent running your payroll. We do this by automating your payroll processes, so you can pay your people on time, every time.

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Business Accounting

We believe business success lies in harnessing financial knowledge. By using data, information and insight in a more innovative way, you can unlock new intelligence.

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Over 40 years in the making

IRIS has been providing businesses, schools and organizations with mission-critical software and services for more than four decades now. Over the years, our team has developed considerable expertise in delivering the mission-critical software solutions specially designed with the needs of the accountancy, education, HR and payroll sectors in mind.

As a business, this specialist knowledge has helped us thrive in a competitive environment. We’ve enjoyed 20 years of uninterrupted revenue growth, expanding turnover from £5 million in 2002 to £80 million in 2019. This performance has been achieved through both organic and acquired growth, enabling IRIS to benefit from new technological innovations and expertise.

Our customers

We’re proud to work with incredible businesses across the Accountancy, Education, HR and Payroll spaces.

Our customers value our solutions, because they are designed with their specific needs in mind. We collaborate closely with the users of our technologies when developing new software in order to ensure our solutions continue to meet their changing needs.

Working closely with customers, we can ensure our solutions always provide great functionality, are easy to use, ensure up-to-date, detailed legislative compliance and accuracy, and help them maximise efficiency in their organisation’s operations.

Bells Accountants

Joanne Bell, Managing Director

“I knew having the right tools in place would minimise my activity and allow me to increase the amount of time I spend being productive with my clients and IRIS has without a doubt, played an integral role in this.”

Casterton College

Tina Green, Director of Finance

IRIS PlusPay

“We’re thrilled with the time we’re saving. Setting up payment items is easy and the reports we receive are clear and reliable.”

Shepherd’s Chartered Tax Advisers & Accountants

James Shepherd, Partner

IRIS Accountancy

“With IRIS, we can prepopulate the information from HMRC at the touch of a button while we are speaking with the client. This convinced us that IRIS had tax completely sorted.”

Severn Trent Water

Robyn Clayton, Assistant Tax Manager

IRIS Accountancy

“iXBRL is a compliance requirement that has placed an increased administrative burden on corporate tax teams. The move to IRIS OpenResourcing for iXBRL tagging has proved a huge time saving for Severn Trent. In fact this year we are in a good position, with the accounts having been tagged months before the deadline, putting us firmly in control.”