Awards 2005: mid-range software of the year - Access Dimensions

by AccountancyAge.com

09 Nov 2005

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The Mid-range Software Package of the Year category was among the hardest fought, but the award goes to Access Dimensions.

The company, which formed in the early 1990s, has recently seen dramatic growth. The number of sites in which Access Dimensions resides has leapt from 1,241 to 1,762 in the last year ­ a 42% increase.

Link: back to list of award winners

The software can also be customised by either users or independent developers. Customers can extensively customise the product’s front end, including multi-language and custom field options, while developers can use the software developer’s kit. However these changes are made outside the core application, allowing them to be retained during upgrades.

The product has glowing testimonials from customers.

Using 35 modules, the structure allows organisations to pick and choose the functionality required, with clients ranging from £1m to £500m turnover. ‘Dimensions offers such extensive flexibility for growth, I cannot see why SMEs would use any other package,’ says John Gibbons, director of finance and administration of the Family Planning Association.

For business with more complex accounting needs, such as multi-currency reporting, then Access is well able to cope, says Medi UK financial and IT contoller Nigel Mundy.

Multi-period reporting, which allows organisations to keep open two years’ accounts at all times, is a unique process that Dimensions handles ‘very well’, says Royal Philharmonic Orchestra FD Richard Huxtable. ‘We are able to treat each concert as a separate project,’ he adds, praising Dimensions’ costing module. ‘These are quickly and easily set up.’

Access’ customer care has also won huge commendation from users. RBLI director of finance Hedley Bruce has ‘nothing but praise’ for the company. ‘They are proactive in contacting us to ensure we are satisfied and I have great confidence in them,’ says Bruce.

‘Access teams a mix of approachable and technically exceptional people, with whom we have a good two-way relationship and regular contact, which we value highly,’ Huxtable adds.

Growth has come from new fields. Its work in the not-for-profit sector is proven by its testimonials, while integrating a time and billing module has seen growth by 50% among architects. Sales in the manufacturing sector have increased 100% in the past 12 months.

The software has also scored highly on its reliability. In the latest ICAEW business software survey Access software had the lowest business-critical failure rate compared to nine leading competitors.

‘Dimensions is an intuitive and easy-to-use solution that gives a real feeling of security,’ says Roger Cunningham, financial controller of Sue Ryder Care.

The judges also gave a high commendation to Hansaworld’s entry. One testimonial came from St John’s Hospital financial controller Sheena Owens: ‘Our expectations in choosing HansaWorld enterprise over the competitor’s offerings have been exceeded and we are particularly pleased with the ease of use, the stability of the system and the level of support provided by our reseller.’

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