Companies in the accountancy software market have had to endure mixed emotions in terms of business and share price performance, and look set to continue to do so.
While a large number are reporting increasing sales and a growth in the average size of deals, a fair proportion are continuing to struggle.
Many high-profile executives within the sector continue to predict a rationalisation of the number of companies serving customer’s needs.
One avenue which will continue to ensure the competitive nature of a software vendor will be its ability to research, develop and release innovative and cutting-edge products.
It is this ability to dream up and release quality offerings that will be reflected in this year’s Accounting Software Package awards, which will be presented in the stunning main hall of the Natural History Museum in London on 7 November. This event is the only awards ceremony that recognises excellence across the whole accounting profession, earning its position as the highlight of the industry calendar.
And as in previous years, there are three separate awards – sponsored by Softworld Accounting & Finance – for Off-the-Shelf, Mid-Range and Enterprise Systems. The specialist panel of judges will be looking for a balance of technical innovation with reliability and customer care; functionality; design quality; ease-of-use and value for money.
Information submitted should be provided on sales growth and new market development. The Off-the-Shelf category is also open to broader financial packages with a strong accounting element.
Additionally, five references with contact details must be provided with each entry. Accountancy Age will follow these up and present the results to the judges.
That winning feeling in the Off-the-Shelf category last year was felt by defending titleholder TAS Software for its TAS Book-Keeper. Book-Keeper assists small firms keep control of their day-to-day book-keeping and finances. Exchequer Software fought off stiff competition from Navision’s Financials and Horizons from Access Accounting in the Mid-Range section, while OpenAccounts defeated Adaytum and Agresso to claim the Enterprise Systems’ award.
This year’s awards will be particularly interesting, as there have been a plethora of developments over the last year. In the Enterprise category the traditional and leading players remain the same with signs Baan is reawakening since Invensys acquired them, although a number of other companies are continuing to struggle.
The mid-range market continues to witness the biggest shake-up of traditional players. Sage looks set to continue its acquisition programme, while Danish-based Navision and Damgaard have merged. Coupled with the fact many new companies have unveiled exciting new products, this sector is set to continue simmering for the foreseeable future.
The off-the-shelf market is wide open for companies to take a foothold, with buyers crying out for innovative products. But the sector has suffered as established companies have tended to move into the mid-range or enterprise sectors where the profit margins are generally greater.
If you believe you have what it takes to win one of this year’s awards, or would like to find out more about the entry requirements, log on to the AccountancyAge.com awards site at www.accountancyage.com/awards or call 020 7316 9762.
For details of how to enter, sponsorship opportunities or to book a table please visit our website or email firstname.lastname@example.org Softworld Accounting & Finance: sponsor the Accounting Software Package Award Softworld Accounting & Finance is the UK’s premier event for reviewing, selecting and implementing accounting and financial software. The event comprises an exhibition of more than one hundred leading software suppliers, streamed seminar sessions and an educational programme presented by independent consultants and leading blue chip companies. THE CATEGORIES Closing date: 27 July 2001 Ceremony: 7 November 2001 Venue: Natural History Museum, London Big Five Firm Sponsored in 2001 by Navision Won in 2000 by Ernst & Young Entry is restricted to the Big Five only. All are automatically entered. Medium Firm Won in 2000 by HLB Kidsons Open to firms with 16+ partners (not Big Five). Small Firm Won in 2000 by Ford Campbell Open to firms with 15 or fewer partners Entrants in all three firm categories will be asked to supply details on their UK activities. Accounting Technician Sponsored in 2001 by the Association of Accounting Technicians in association with AccountancyAge.com. Won in 2000 by Colin Stewart, Jackson Stewart & Co The judges will look for entrants who have demonstrated professionalism, imagination and innovation that has led to success. Finance Team Won in 2000 by Reed Business Information This is a team award for professional excellence in financial management and is open to entrants from any field of industry, commerce or public services. Accountant of the Year New category: Sponsored in 2001 by ACCA Open to all qualified accountants. Entrants must be below the level of FD or partner. Financial Director Sponsored in 2001 by FSS Financial in association with Financial Director magazine Won in 2000 by Craig Bennett, The Caudwell Group This award is for professional excellence in financial management, in any field. Accounting Software Package Sponsored in 2001 by Softworld Accounting & Finance Won in 2000 by TAS Software for TAS Book-keeper (Off-the-Shelf); Exchequer for Exchequer Enterprise (Mid-Range) OpenAccounts (Enterprise) Three awards Off-the-Shelf, Mid-Range, Enterprise Systems. E-business Innovation New category: Sponsored in 2001 by Sage in association with AccountancyAge.com This award is open to companies making a difference in the area of e-business, new technology, online initiatives in financial reporting and developments that are making web-based trading happen. Public Services Achievement Won in 2000 by David Allcock, Birmingham Heartlands and Solihull NHS Trust Open to individuals in public service accounting including government departments, local authorities, executive agencies, NHS trusts, housing associations etc. Annual Report & Accounts Won in 2000 by The British Land Company Open to all organisations, the judges will look for the annual report and accounts that clearly communicates financial performance, key drivers and management strategy. Accountancy Age Personality Sponsored in 2001 by ICAEW Won in 2000 by Anne Redston, Ernst & Young Goes to the personality who has contributed the most to the profession during the year. Voted for by Accountancy Age readers New Accountant of the Year Sponsored in 2001 by CIMA, ACCA The winners will be decided by the participating accountancy institutes from their newly-qualified accountants.
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