Local accounting software firm eyes Aust, UK markets

New Zealand accounting software firm APS (Advanced Professional Systems) New Zealand is expanding into Australia and the UK. APS managing director Shane Compton says there have been opportunities in Australia for some time, as she believes providers there haven't "delivered the goods" and aren't as up to date with technology as they could be.

New Zealand accounting software firm APS (Advanced Professional Systems) New Zealand is expanding into Australia and the UK.

APS managing director Shane Compton says there have been opportunities in Australia for some time, as she believes providers there haven’t “delivered the goods” and aren’t as up to date with technology as they could be.

She says APS has identified a niche in the market, combining its Windows-based software with the expertise of the directors of the new operation.

She says it’s not easy for existing providers to change to more modern technology if they have an established base of users using a legacy product. “You have to make a major investment in re-writing software for the Windows environment, which is costly and takes up a lot of resources.”

She says the new Sydney-based office of APS does not have any clients yet, but some are in the pipeline.

The local directors and shareholders independently own the operation. The team is led by Brian Armstrong, and will focus on increasing the effectiveness of accountancy practices and offering practice performance analysis tools.

The UK team will be led by Brian Coventry when it starts up by the end of this year. Both he and Armstrong recently resigned from Solution 6, an international competitor of APS.

APS is in 140 accounting practices in New Zealand, serving about 2500 users including KPMG, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Perpetual Trust and the Public Trust.

Compton says there aren’t a lot of providers to the accounting profession.

“It’s a very narrow vertical market and it requires specific skills.”

She says the software has not had to be modified a lot for the Australian market, the main difference being GST, which may later be required if Australia introduces it.

The UK does have different requirements — including the euro currency — and they will be addressed by the UK team.

Compton says modifying the software is not a big job. She also says that it’s not difficult to “back-end” it on to other systems accounting practices might have.

APS has 19 staff in New Zealand and another 10 between the new Australian and UK offices.

It released the first Windows-based database system for tax and accounting professionals in 1995 (Advance for Windows). The system has been developed by APS using industry standard database technology and includes practice management, professional accounting, tax management and trust accounting.

APS’s international moves come at the same time as a New Zealand law practice management software company has had success in the UK.

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