Freeagentcentral is a nice little accounting application out of the UK. It’s a similar offering to Xero but as Xero themselves would be quick to point out, doesn’t offer the automated bank feeds (at this time) that Xero does.

As an aside it will be very interesting to see Xero and FAC go head to head in the UK market.

Anyway, interesting to see that FAC have taken a leaf out of Xero’s book and have begun signing up accountancy firms as partners. You’ll recall that at IPO, Xero strongly pushed it’s strategy of partnering with accountants, seeing them as teh gatekeepers to SME uptake. Xero no doubt also realised just how sticky the incumbent solutions where, and needed to be able to have a neutral voice showing the value to be gained from changing platforms.

FAC have signed up five accountants thus far and in a really interesting case of Quid Pro Quo, has offered a 10% discount off the cost of FAC when businesses change to one of the partnered accounting firms. The mutual benefit of this is huge;

  • The accountants get new customers and a point of differentiation from their competitors
  • FAC gets more subscribers, a group of well respected evangelists and, to a certain extent, someone else to cover service and support issues
  • Customers get a point to point service and a professional who understands the system they use and can add value beyond basic form-filling
Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

8 Comments
  • Good to see Ben. More players can only increase overall awareness of the online offerings.

    With two days to go before the Xero report card I’m revising my last prediction of 1450 users. Based on incredibly scientific analysis (think Xero query reference numbers) I’m hanging my hat on 1600. Any takers?

  • Ben, thanks for the mention.

    Actually we don’t see ourselves as real competitors with Xero, since we are exclusively focussed on freelancer/contractor/consultant-type micro-businesses and because of that focus we can do complete tax-liability calculation (both business and income taxes, UK only for now but more coming soon. Yes, including NZ!).

    You’re right about the partnering benefits, though. Without them neither Xero nor us arguably have a ‘whole product’ offering, so it would make perfect sense even without having to read Xero’s IPO brochure before going to market ;->

    Ed Molyneux
    CEO
    FreeAgent Central Ltd

  • Hard to say – it’s a hard market. I predict either 1233 users or 1612. Yup… I think it’ll be one of those numbers. Is there a prize?

  • FreeAngentCentral is Denis Howlett of http://www.accmanpro.com. Denis is a great guy and influentual commentator on the SaaS accounting space.

    Our target is 1300 to be on track, thanks for upping that 🙂

  • C’mon Rod, give all of us Saddo’s a clue who can’t wait till Monday 🙂

  • Rod, was the target 1300 paying accounts? or ‘Users’ in a less number of paying accounts. Ie: Can 1x paying account have 3 users? and are those 3 users counted towards the 1300 target?

  • Good question Julian. Cutting through the spin – how many subscriptions they have is the only thing that matters. I guess the curse of the NZX listing rules is that we will be able to do our own maths from the posted results. Hope those shareholders are in it for the long haul.

  • Just a point of clarification everyone. Denis Howlett of http://www.accmanpro.com has a small (in his words tiny) holding in Free Agent Central

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