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