Accountancy professionals bridge the digital divide

3 minutes length
Posted: 30th April 2019

1 May 2019

New data released today has highlighted the move to digital communications and integration as the industry progresses towards a digital accountancy economy.

IRIS Software Group, the UK’s leading provider of accountancy solutions has seen an unprecedented increase in e-approvals between accountancy practices and their clients, with 215,750 documents approved in January 2019 alone, a 328% increase from the 150,000 e-approvals in January 2018. IRIS OpenSpace is used by over 3,300 practices and 500,000 SMEs. As expected, Companies House electronic submissions have also seen a marked increase, jumping by 17% in 2017 and 21% in 2018 . 

Commenting on the propensity towards digital communications, Nick Gregory, Chief Marketing Officer for IRIS Software Group says, “Accountancy professionals are bridging the digital divide. Of course, the push from HMRC and MTD legislation has driven the need, but as a result, there is increased appetite for greater efficiency and time saving on the digital journey.”

Total electronic tax return submissions across all IRIS products have seen a significant increase. With the final two months of the financial year yet to be released, 3,448,108 submissions have been made to HMRC using IRIS solutions to January 2019. This already surpasses 2017/18, with a total number of submissions of 3,269,694.

From April 2018 to March 2019, 3,341,273 documents were submitted via third party software to Companies House. 38% (1,283,707) of these submissions were made using IRIS Software Group solutions.

“This matters as firms need to interact with clients more frequently and in return, clients are demanding more digital interaction with their accountant. Practices are responding by improving communications and workflows to ensure they can deliver what they’ve promised on time and within budget.”

Integrated functionality has become critical in the battle for efficiency and productivity. Over ten per cent of IRIS customers (2,700 practices) are using IRIS Connector to import data from QuickBooks, KashFlow, Xero, FreeAgent and CSV files. 

“We see a significant change in the landscape over the coming years,” continues Nick Gregory. “Integration will be at the helm of the accountancy ship as professionals select best of breed technology and expect it to talk to other applications. Just in the same way household names such as Sky and Netflix have partnered, industry vendors will need to work closely together to create greater efficiencies for customers. There’s been lots of work to date, but we must forge deeper relationships to make this work for everyone.”

The IRIS vision is to enable accountants to increase the productivity and effectiveness of their practice while unlocking client and practice data to deliver new and more valuable advisory services. 


IRIS Software Group, accountancy fast facts

Over 21,000 UK accountancy firms rely on IRIS to run their business 

Over 5 million tax payers are touched by IRIS Software Group’s accountancy solutions 

Customers use IRIS products to submit over three million tax returns to HMRC and over 1.1 million online statutory documents to Companies House, representing over 40% of all third-party submissions

650,000 SMEs use IRIS cloud applications 

IRIS’ SME software is used by over 38,000 SMEs and payroll bureaus across several sectors, including GP practices and retailers

Over 6 million submissions are made by IRIS Payroll solutions, paying over 2.3 million employees every year

Since 2013, nearly 1.2 million employees have been assessed annually for automatic pensions enrolment using IRIS

About IRIS Software Group

IRIS Software Group is the largest privately held software company in the UK and ranked at 227 in the Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250. It provides mission-critical software and services for accountants, schools, SMEs, corporates and non-profit organisations. IRIS Software Group’s trusted solutions relieve the burden of compliance, while enabling productivity, facilitating collaboration and providing insight for UK organisations to connect and serve an increasingly new generation of customers.

More than 650,000 SMEs and 21,000 UK accountancy firms use IRIS applications. Four million parents and guardians use IRIS apps to connect with their child’s school. 620,000 UK employees are managed by IRIS HR solutions and 2.3 million UK employees are paid by IRIS payroll solutions.

They are managed under the leading BioStore, Cascade, Contact Group, Earnie, Hosted Accountants, IRIS, KashFlow, Keytime, ParentMail, PS Financials, PTP, Results Squared, School Asset Manager, Star and Taxfiler product brands. For further information visit