Mergers cut software choice

Almost 50% of finance directors fear further consolidation in the accountancy software market will restrict choice.

The conclusion is the result of this week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Personnel The Big Question survey of more than 200 FDs, which revealed that many reacted to last week’s news that Sage had bought Tetra and Taxsoft with dismay.

‘We have seen Microsoft corner the market, which has not only reduced choice, but competition as well,’ said Paresh Samat, FD of employment law and health and safety consultant SBJ ESS.

‘The most important issue in all of this is that one company will be able to dictate the price as well. That will be unjust.’

Construction recruitment agency AMH Holdings group FD Lars Maynard said: ‘Competition is important as it will not only keep prices low, enhance choice and ensure innovation in systems design, but also as it will enable specialist suppliers to compete with the “giant” companies.’

Many others responded that, although they agreed that choice would be restricted, consolidation was unavoidable. A further 22% remained neutral.

The remainder was split between those who felt that consolidation would probably not affect choice (21%) while only 8% believed it would definitely not restrict options.

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