Eyewitness accountz

Accountz has been operating in the business software market since 1985, and has grown to become one of the foremost developers of accounting software. Matt Grainger talks to its founder, Quentin Pain...
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Accountz started its life in 1985 as a Cambridge-based company called Apricote Studios, a specialist in creating music and business software for the – at the time dominant – Acorn computer market.

Throughout the course of the following decade, Apricote developed and expanded its portfolio of business accounting software until 1999, when the company split and was rebranded Accountz, becoming the first UK company to develop software packages that would be supported on all the available platforms – Windows, Mac and Linux.

After the rebrand, it set up the Accounting for Everyone website, which received a substantial amount of media interest along with successive software releases, and in 2006 Accountz exhibited at the UK Mac Expo for the first time.

Accountz has continued its commitment to develop and produce accounting software for the business and consumer segments. Personal Accountz, aimed at those who need to track their income and expediture, has performed particularly well, becoming the UK's fastest selling accounting software, and is a number one seller on Amazon.

The withdrawal of both Intuit Quicken and Microsoft Money from the UK channel last year created an extremely interesting market for Accountz and its resellers: something that can be seen in the recent addition which allows the conversion of QIF files used by its recently departed rivals. Coupled with this, its compatibility with Mac OS greatly increases its selling power and the growing popularity of Apple hardware saw Accountz grow exponentially during 2008.

Accountz' founder Quentin Pain attributes the success of the company to the simplicity of its software: "Accountz benchmarks its software on the simple criteria of how many clicks it takes to carry out basic functions. All our products have the smallest click count in this respect, for example, it only takes a single click to produce a VAT return, and only a single click to add a new customer. This makes it easier for users to use the system, which in turn makes it quicker, thus saving time and money."

Another factor in the growth of the company has been the strong user community that Accountz has supported through its forums: "Our slogan to resellers is 'you sell, we support'. That way, the reseller strengthens their position in the marketplace by providing their customers with the best tools to run their business. 2009 is already exceeding expectations, not least due to peoples realisation that they need to control and track their expenditure," Pain concludes.

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