Liquid Accounts’ MD, Matt Holmes has won the Award for Best Emerging Business at last night’s 42Under42 Awards in Leeds. He was presented with his award by Business Link and was recognised for Liquid’s ‘fresh approach and good commercial proposition’. The judges said that ‘Liquid stood out for the strides it has made in such a challenging market.’

Huddersfield-based Liquid Accounts is one of the pioneers of online accounting software in the UK and was recently voted Best Web-Hosted Accounting Software by its customers at the Software Satisfaction Awards, hosted by AccountingWEB and supported by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) and the Business Application Software Developers Association (BASDA). It received the highest customer satisfaction rating in the whole competition of 19 software categories, beating big names like Sage and Iris.

Matt attended the awards ceremony with the Finance Director of one of Liquid’s growing number of international clients, Stefan Rask of Swiss biofuels broker , Starsupply Renewables. Stefan who is opening a new branch office in the States next month said,

‘Liquid is ideal for opening other offices. We wouldn’t be doing this if we had to do another implementation and have servers etc, but now I don’t even have to go to the States! Because it’s all hosted, I can see what they’re doing from Switzerland, keep track of the accounts and orders and can even do the accounting for them to begin with.’

Matt was shortlisted for the awards for having overcome a number of barriers to become one of the leading developers of online applications in the country and a pioneer of online accounting software. Despite being highly intelligent he was kicked out of school, aged 7, and his parents were told that he was ‘backward’ and needed to go to a ‘special school’. It turned out that he was dyslexic, yet even with the diagnosis and specialist help, he didn’t learn to read and write until he was 18. He then went on to make up for lost time, gaining qualifications from 2 universities, including the highest mark ever awarded for his final year project, and become Director of IT for a law firm in London and the first developer in the country to have his online company formations software approved by Companies House.

He believes that his dyslexia gives him a unique approach to everything he does and has contributed to his business success:

‘Throughout my life I’ve had to find different ways of achieving things, and so I don’t see the barriers to success that other people see. Being dyslexic can actually be a positive thing and it’s what makes me, me, and different to everyone else!’

The winners were announced from a shortlist of 42 of Yorkshire’s best young entrepreneurs and businesses (who were under 42!) at a black tie dinner at the Royal Armouries, in front of over 180 local business leaders. The judging panel included Leeds-based millionaire, Deirdre Bounds. The awards are hosted by Business Insider Magazine and supported by Yorkshire Forward and Business Link.

Other winners on the night were Morrisons, Martek Marine and fashion retailer Republic with awards given for Company Innovation, International Business (Martek Marine), Business Success (Morrisons), Emerging Business (Liquid Accounts), Business Leader, Emerging Business Leader, Master Enterpreneur and Emerging Entrepreneur.

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