Purple Accounts were finalists at last year’s Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence in the Excellence in the Use of Technology category. The managing director, David Parker, tells us why successful businesses like his should enter the awards. ‘It’s a really good way of raising your profile,’ he said. ‘You can do all the advertising as far as your budget stretches but nothing can replace an independent endorsement of the business, whether that’s through testimonials or awards like the Awards for Excellence. ‘The awards night is also a good morale booster for our team and an opportunity to wine and dine them – they love it. It’s a chance to get dressed up and go for a nice meal, and it’s the excitement of it and the anticipation.’ Purple Accounts was entered into the Excellence in the Use of Technology category. There are 16 award categories but David had chosen this one because, when he started the business in 2007, it was the first on the island to offer online accountancy services, as he explains: ‘Nobody else was doing it then, certainly not for small businesses, so that’s how we broke into the market. ‘There’s a big growth in online accounting: people like the convenience of it but they also like to be able to speak to somebody as well – it’ll never replace the face to face element but we hope to strike a nice balance all round.’ David grew up in a small business, living over a corner shop in Warrington that his parents ran, so he understands the pressures and needs of others who run small businesses: ‘We offer fixed fees, provide free advice, and basically we’re there on the same level as the clients. We deal with small businesses and start-ups and that’s all. We try to keep it low key and on a friendly, informal basis so clients don’t have to make appointments they can simply call in. A lot of our new clients have done that and we have seen them straight away. ‘I think that’s what sets us apart: we’re down to earth.’ What impressed the judges: ‘…Purple Accounts has focussed on looking at ways they could use leading-edge technology to improve efficiency, reduce overheads and significantly enhance customer experience. ‘The result has been the rollout of an online accounting solution, Xero, which provides 24/7 access to clients via a PC, ipad, tablet or smartphone. This has helped their clients to stay on top of their finances and plan their businesses, in partnership with the company. ‘Purple Accounts is also launching Xero Touch which allows clients to invoice their customers via their iphone as soon as a job is completed and be paid much faster.’ Why not enter your business in this year’s Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence? There are 16 award categories for companies, individuals, public sector teams and charitable organisations.