A Conversation with Tony Connolly, CEO of AccountsIQ

  • Tony Connolly, CEO at AccountsIQ

  • 21.06.2024 02:36 pm

In a rapidly growing accounting software market – it is expected to hit $37.63 billion by 2032 – there is a real demand for mid-sized businesses to have the financial visibility and control needed to scale beyond basic accounting software without the complexity and cost of enterprise ERPs.

In light of this, we sat down with Tony Connolly, founder and CEO of AccountsIQ, to learn more about this demand and the importance of accounting software.

1. Tell us about AccountsIQ

AccountsIQ is redefining how finance teams migrate from legacy or more limited accounting technology to unlock business expansion. Our scalable cloud accounting platform is tailor-made to meet the specific needs of modern enterprises, saving finance directors up to a week every month through the automation of data entry,  consolidation, reporting and seamless integrations.

In one platform, finance teams can capture and automate the processing of accounting records,  consolidate accounts across subsidiary companies, collaborate remotely with teams and stakeholders, and access detailed business intelligence to inform future financial decisions. This process automation – for tasks such as bank reconciliation, intercompany transactions, and revenue recognition – eliminates days of manual work each month.

2. What’s the relationship between a company’s growth and its accounting software?

When businesses grow, they become more complex and may create various branches, subsidiaries, or franchises either in the same country or in other territories. Managing these multi-entity businesses can be complicated. The separate legal entities need to manage their own accounts and be individually recognised but also consolidated together so the finance team can look at the results for the whole group.

This is why a cloud-based SaaS platform is essential. Rather than having to go to each physical location to set up the entity, the company can create it directly on the platform and choose the currency it requires. On top of this, the entity receives onboarding and ongoing support. It’s a partnership, rather than simply selling them a piece of software and walking away.

We also have a lot of customers who have outgrown the on-premise or smaller cloud-based systems they initially started with. Perhaps they were with Sage, QuickBooks or Xero and found that their business has since grown in size and complexity. With this growth comes a need for a  platform that can handle an increased volume of transactions and a more sophisticated level of reporting and functionality. AccountsIQ is a natural progression for these mid-tier businesses, rather than moving to a much more expensive ERP system, which is best suited for much larger-scale corporations.

3. What are the potential repercussions of depending on manual processes within the accounting function for a business?

There are many repercussions. When it comes to entering transactions, there's always the risk of human error.

For example, rather than having to manually enter transactions from documents such as invoices, our platform has optical character recognition scanning which automates this process. This saves finance teams a considerable amount of time and also keeps an image of the invoice on the system in case a member of the team needs to view it in the future.

Another example is removing the need to check bank accounts against transactions. With automation, bank accounts can automatically be synchronised in the system, so finance teams no longer need to check through and physically reconcile each transaction.

Reducing this manual work means that teams can use the time they save to focus on business intelligence and company performance – both as a whole and drilling down to specific entities. Accounting traditionally has been historical, focusing on looking back at transactions. However, with automation, companies can determine whether they’re within budget, benchmark entities, see where any problems lie, and be more proactive rather than reactive. They can also use these insights to spot trends, predict future behaviours and plan ahead.

4. How can finance teams utilise their accounting software to its full potential?

As a business grows, it becomes harder to keep an eye on what’s happening. This is why having the right accounting software is crucial. It’s also important to have clearly outlined KPIs for the business which the software can help to measure against.

Business intelligence capabilities within accounting software mean that an organisation can see what’s working well and then replicate that across other areas. A finance team might start with simple dimensions within their business intelligence structure, where the team is looking at location and department, for example. However, as the business grows, the team might want to look into how profitable individual services or product lines are. 

Accounting software can help them to look out for areas where the business is not doing well and take action to improve it. It’s about benchmarking and constant management.

5. Where should finance professionals start when it comes to adopting new accounting software? What is commonly overlooked?

Businesses shouldn’t just look at what size they’re currently at – they also need to consider their future growth and expansion plans. For example, an organisation might only have entities in one country, but its growth plans might include new regions, which could mean new currencies, new compliance standards  and new reporting requirements.

With this in mind, finance teams should choose accounting software with a flexible structure that can grow with the company.

Finance teams should also ensure that the software has a strong business intelligence layer. Automating transactions is critical, but so is being able to analyse how the business is doing and make the necessary improvements to continue growth.

Other Interviews