More Transparency On Quickfile Charging Please

Hi there,

I’ve used Quickfile to do my accounts for several years now. I love what you’ve created, and it DOES SAVE ME A LOT OF TIME, and is a very helpful and useful service. However,

My account runs somewhere close the 500 transactions/ 1000 nominals per month, that puts me near the limit. Last year, I was locked out with a demand to pay over £50. I log in today, and no such demand, I’m back into my free account.

So, therefore my request is that, if the non-free accounts are based on number of “transactions/nominals”, PLEASE CAN WE HAVE AN UP TO DATE AND ACCURATE count of what the current monthly nominals are, so that we may monitor what the current number is, and not exceed it. I’d also like to see at least a small “overdraft” as I don’t continuously enter transactions all year, more likely 20 receipts on one day, then nothing for months … or that the number be calculated for the last twelve months, not the current month. If this is already built in, please may I know where it is, so I may monitor it.

What I think pushed me over the 1001 last year, was A BUG IN YOUR IPHONE APP, insofar that receipts are (often) uploaded multiple times. Please can you get someone to fix the bug, so that receipts aren’t uploaded multiple times, especially if that’s going to cause me to have to pay for the service. For a free service, I’m happy to work around glitches, for a paid service, I am most certainly not.

I’m a great fan of Quickfile, it’s really helped my accounting (said this already), and was surprised it was free for so long. I don’t mind paying a modest amount, for helping to run my SMALL business, I think you guys having money coming in would help to improve Quickfile, so I can only benefit. But I think your pricing is too simplistic, simply paying or not paying is not very fair. Some organisations will presumably be making 100,000s or millions per year profit, and surely they should be paying more for the service, and surely would be happy to. Where as smaller ventures that are making let’s say maybe 15000 per year or less or not for profits, charities etc, should be at the lower end of pricing, if charged at all. So please can you look into this.

Overall I found your process of moving from free to not free, very confusing, and not very transparent. Being locked out of my account, with a £50 demand I didn’t appreciate, especially since going over budget transaction wise is probably your fault not mine. I’d like to see more transparency with up to date information on current nominal entry “budget” so those of us who don’t have much money can work with you to stay with nominal entry limits. I’d also like to see a more fair charging scheme for customers.

Lastly, I’ve read and did consider posting this on the post about the new charges. However I couldn’t see anyone else who’d actually suggested any improvements or complaints, just seemed to be a bunch of sycophants, saying how great the changes were. So I’ve posted separately, and hope that I can speak my mind here, and not have to be a sycophant - and that you understand that constructive criticism is offered here, in order to help improve your service, not as an attack of any kind. I’d like Quickfile to be the best it can be, as I’m sure you do as well.

Many thanks

Hi @danf

May I apologise if you believe this is confusing, but I’ll try and address your concerns.

Firstly, I’m really glad we’ve helped you with your accounting especially with saving time.

The charge of £45 (ex VAT) is calculated on a rolling 12 month period, which you can find under Account Settings > Company Settings. If you have 1000, a charge is required to continue using the software. The iPhone app has been discontinued, but there is no charge based on the files being uploaded. Are you able to elaborate of the issues you believe the iPhone app caused please?

We’ve tried to keep the pricing fair and simple, but appreciate your feedback.

It’s possible that your account was over the limit, and as it’s calculated on a 12 month period, it fell below 1000 again. The date of the last check is on the page I mentioned above, along with a breakdown of how the nominals are entered on your account (by category and by date).

We haven’t (and won’t) lock anyone out of their account. If the account fell into the L or XL category, a 7 day grace period can be activated to contuing using the service. Those who have used the trial without realising have posted on the forum, and we’ve helped these individually.

I’ve also invited @Glenn to this topic, so hopefully anything I’ve missed can be covered or elaborated on.

But, any bugs you find or issues you notice, please post them here and we’re more than happy to address them for you.

I hope that helps!

Wow, thanks for coming back so quick, QuickFile really is that !

Thanks for the page with the stats, mine simply say 1000 ledger items (12 months). Does that mean my average of 1000 per month, or that I’m in M band which is 1000/month. If the later, it’s still not what I asked for, that is - an accurate count of what QF is using to assess whether I’m M or L.

The iPhone app should if discontinued be blocked, and not send files at all. My issue with it is that it seems to keep resending the receipts and making new transactions in QF, up to like 10 or 20 times. Dropbox integration didn’t work for me in the past, but maybe you’ve fixed that by now. What do you recommend as a process to get from a receipt in my hand to entries in Quickfile, quickest and easiest ? I ask because iPhone app was ideal for me, and sad to hear of it’s discontinuance.

So, presumably I could enter 12000 nominal entries on one day, on an empty account and stay on M account ? Any more nominal entries within 12 month period, would push me into L ?

As for pricing, I’ve advised you what I think, simple isn’t always best and can be inflexible and unfair to some people. I’ve found this elsewhere, with for instance, they’re currently not getting $100 a year from me, because that style of upgrading doesn’t work for me. It’s too simple, and most of the crap included I don’t need. So they’ve potentially lost revenue by making it too simple, and presumably “easy for them”, rather than thinking about the needs of their customer.

For me, as it is, if I found a competing service with similar level of service, and more preferable charging scheme, I’d strongly consider switching. Whilst I’m on free account, there isn’t a need. So suggested in order to help, but it’s your funeral at the end of the day.

Within that, I like QuickFile, and almost certainly stay, even if there’s a reasonable charge. The charge is far less than the cost of the time saved by me, or for paying a book keeper, so it’s a no brainer.

If I find myself in the just having gone over the 1000 limit again, what is/are the solutions (obviously using the 7 day extension to access the account) ? I’m assuming that removing transactions, or removing them then batching them, could bring the 12 month total down if one had gone slightly over ?

Many thanks for your help and quick reply, much appreciated.

PS, the process of moving from free to charging was badly managed, there was a solitary email sent out months ahead, then I get denied access to my account, and have to figure out why, unsure if the 7 day extension will help, because I can’t see my account in order to assess what’s going on. So, yes it’s my opinion, I do believe it’s confusing, because there’s plenty that could have been done to make the transition smoother, which you guys didn’t do.

You can access a count of your ledger items from within your account in Account Settings >> Company Settings.

You can also drill down on this figure to get a precise backing report on where the ledger items are allocated and when they were entered.

You can see the current thresholds for accounts sizes on our Pricing page:

There’s more info on how account sizes are determined here.

I’m happy to consider specifics on how we can make this more transparent.

I’ve not heard of any reported issues here. If multiple receipts were getting uploaded this would not affect your ledger count, unless you tagged them, if you attempted to do that it would flag up any duplicates before allowing you to create new entries… Last year we discontinued our iPhone app (see here for details), we now recommend iPhone users to use CamScanner.

We operate an open forum here and welcome any constructive criticism. We are trying to address the needs of all our users whilst developing and maintaining a sustainable product. As with any software product we need to make compromises and try to prioritise those areas where there’s broader consensus.

The subscription requirement was deferred as long as possible, we operated free unlimited software for 5 years. The growth of our user-base and the increasing overheads this brings meant that my co-founder and I could no longer cover this ourselves (which we have done since 2010). We sought to engage users on this change and initially announced this in August 2015. We found that an annual charge of £45 + vat was manageable for most businesses who would fall into the Large threshold.

I’m not really sure what more I can add but would of course welcome any specific feedback on areas we can improve going forward.

Thanks @Glenn , info on drill down useful, mine actually says “1000 ledger items”, so I’m right on the cusp of the top of M account, presumably.

You did a great job 5 years for free, surprised charging hadn’t started sooner. TBH, I thought you guys made your money from accountancy for clients, and referals perhaps to other accountant firms. Not sure on specifics of how you could operate charging schemes with options, but you know your business better than I do. My suggestion would be more charging bands, and the possibility of small businesses or charities or not for profits, being able to request free access, even if they exceeded the thresholds.

Oddly, I just logged into my account today to do my YE2015 return, ready to pay the £50, and was surprised to be able to get in …

Would like to see a little grace on the 1000 ledger items, for people like me who’re on the cusp. BUT, if it’s needed to be paid, as I said before, QF is a worthwhile service that’s saving me time and money, and thank you guys for creating it and keeping it running. Hopefully now with money coming in, the future is secure too …

Shame about the iphone app. I’ll have to think about a transaction economical way to get my receipts into QF, probably just lump them into a batch as I don’t really care about splitting nominal codes. I didn’t realise the receipts hadn’t raised nominal entries, so, apologies for blaming the app, that was my misunderstanding of how it works. Will check out dropbox again, hopefully it’ll work now.

Also, perhaps a few more emails from you guys explaining what’s going on. I don’t log into forums, much, as they just eat up my time. So, I don’t think you can rely on people to be participating in forum to be kept up to date. Also, perhaps info in quickfile app itself, perhaps login to a news page, then to the summary page, with the content of the update emails. Just some suggestions.

Thanks for taking the time, and clearing all this up for me, very helpful, now I can get my tax done and get on do something else that I enjoy instead :smile:

That is correct, our model was initially based on lead generation for year end services. It became clear however that this wasn’t going to work. The reason being is that it turned us into a software house + accounting practice and meant that we were unable focus and deliver 100% on either side.

By pairing down and focusing our resources on the software side it enabled us to more effectively manage the development and maintenance of the platform. It also had the added benefit of allowing us to engage more with accountants rather than working against them with our own competing accounting services.

What we have at the moment is a “Defer” option which is set at 7 days. That means that even if you’re over the 1,000 mark it will still let you gain access to make any changes should you wish. We could possibly extend this period or allow users to defer multiple times but we have to keep it sensible so that it won’t be abused too much.

In my opinion the iPhone app was always sub-par! I’ve never used it myself, CamScanner was a much better document capture tool. The company who develop this product focus on this sort of thing as their core business so we were very much reinventing the wheel… and badly :smile:

I take your point on the communications side, it could have been better! One of the problems with bulk emails is we have nearly 50,000 accounts on QuickFile (not all active). It’s actually quite time consuming setting up mailshots and we don’t yet have a dedicated marketing person. Also we really needed to trickle out the information regarding the price change. If we had sent 50,000 emails on one day we would have been completely overwhelmed with replies and until November last year we were still figuring out the details on how it would be implemented.

Thanks @Glenn , very informative, like the transparency, it’s refreshing. I’m hoping that QuickFile will be a success for you guys, as that’s what you’ve decided to concentrate your efforts on. Presumably you’re still accountant trained, so could always go back to that … but I have a suspicion you wont need to if QuickFile continues to be as good as it’s been :slight_smile:

Understood on the 1000 ledger items, perhaps a few percent breathing space, and a “warning” might be helpful to suggest people get their “affairs in order”. Quite often I’m not necessarily able to drop everything to fix my accounts in 7 days, and don’t want my account “deleted” in the meantime. Common sense needs to be applied here, if you’ve said it’s free and I’m on the cusp of M to L, then it’s still free, so help me keep it within your limits rather than force me to upgrade, is what I’m suggesting. Word of mouth recommendation are very cheap and very powerful, personally I have and will continue to recommend QuickFIle to others. Not that I know that many people needing accounting software, but the ones I do, if it comes up, I share with them what has helped me - QuickFile. Even explain the features and how I use them to save time, bank tagging and bank downloads for instance are almost a miracle compared to what I had to do before :smile:

I don’t agree with you on the iPhone app, it did what it said on the tin, it isn’t perfect it’s true. Upsides it’s all in one, don’t have to fiddle with another service, and my receipts just appeared in QF. Granted I had problems with multiple same receipts showing up, and had to spend a little time deleting the duplicated, but for free, I can’t complain. I don’t think “the app” needs to be all singing all dancing, just that I can take a photo that’s legible, enter a description and perhaps amount, then see it in QF. Anyway, you have the broader picture of what people are asking for.

I already have a scanner app on iphone, that’s free and does everything I want for that type of app. I haven’t needed to pay for any upgrades on that, yet. I will check out CamScanner, but always wary of anything that offers “in app purchases”, as often I’ve found the app does SFA, without upgrades and basically should have been sold with a charge upfront. Hopefully CamScanner can be used free with QuickFile, and is simple to use like the QF app.

Understood re emails. People who’re not running large concerns, rarely are able to empathise with what those that are have to do. And totally makes sense. Also there’s the armchair critics, I get that too. Hopefully if there’s some money around you now, you’ll be able to work on these areas, and as time goes by streamline them. Good communications help avoid confusion and users getting frustrated, and at least you can tell 'em, we already told you that 5 times …

Thanks for your time, and all the very best of luck with QuickFile in 2016

PS my only enhancement request would be to be able to configure QuickFile for schedule E tax, specifically. For workaround I basically just use P&L as sole trader to get numbers I need, and ignore balance sheet. Balance sheet dunno how to setup that for property rental business, or even if it’s possible. Anyway, not urgent, what you’ve provided is working well, and it’s minimal effort to transpose numbers from P&L to schedule E return, and tax man presumably happy to work with a QuickFile download or QF P&L if they should query anything.

One of the problems with the iPhone app was that successive updates to iOS was breaking features, forcing us into a position of either hiring a firm to update the app or withdrawing it altogether. Otherwise we’d have just left it on the app store. We initially hired a 3rd party firm to build this app, but what they were asking for in terms of ongoing maintenance was out of the question, particularly when there are decent 3rd party alternatives.

Getting the balance sheet right for a sole trader is very tricky and not something you really need to spend time on. It’s the P&L that forms the basis of your tax computations. It is likely that e-filing for self assessment will become an area we will be looking at more this year.

Thanks @Glenn :slight_smile: All makes sense.

Ah, the Apple money go round, and yes I’d imagine they’d want loads for maintenance … perhaps CamScanner might be interested in integrating into QF, for the potential customers they might gain through “In app purchases” … I’m looking into Android going forward, can’t afford Apple anymore, and Android devices seem to do everything I want. As for the receipts, I’ll probably just batch them up, and put against “other expenses” with a journal entry going forward, as I don’t have a vast number and they don’t represent much money in the accounts.

Tax man doesn’t care about balance sheet, and yes tried doing before, not that helpful with effort needed to keep updated. Good luck with the e-filing, perhaps that’s when you’ll be looking at configuration in QF for different tax schedules :smile:

Surely taken up enough of your time, so thanks for everything and best of luck in 2016.

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