The Access Group

Access HCSS Accounting

Access HCSS Accounting is a fully cloud based accounting system that has been designed exclusively for schools, academies and multi academy trusts.

The software meets your everyday financial management needs and helps you to be a more effective business manager.


  • A comprehensive double entry accounting system
  • A consolidation module as standard for MAT's
  • Exclusively designed for Education
  • Customise purchase orders,sales invoices,credit notes and BACS remittance
  • Users benefit from “anywhere, anytime” access as fully cloud based
  • Dynamic link to HCSS Budgeting
  • Workflow and Authorisation
  • Unlimited Users on a site license basis
  • Ability to attach documents against transaction lines
  • Powerful Reporting Suite


  • Improve operational efficiency and save money.
  • Quickly add Purchase Orders
  • On the fly editing allowing efficient usage
  • HMRC Compliance for accurate VAT analysis.
  • Mobile and Tablet ready on IOS, Android and Windows.
  • Reduces errors and duplication saving time and money
  • Fast adoption with minimal disruption.
  • Purchase control workflow eliminates traditional paper
  • Reporting allows informed decisions to be made
  • Attach 5 documents per transaction


£800 to £1600 per licence per year

  • Education pricing available

Service documents

G-Cloud 10


The Access Group

Richard Gyles


Service scope

Service scope
Software add-on or extension Yes, but can also be used as a standalone service
What software services is the service an extension to Access HCSS Budgeting
Cloud deployment model Private cloud
Service constraints None.
System requirements Internet Access via supported browsers (html5 enabled)

User support

User support
Email or online ticketing support Email or online ticketing
Support response times Varies with priority and success plan adopted. For example, minimum response time for P1 cases is 1 hour.
User can manage status and priority of support tickets No
Phone support Yes
Phone support availability 9 to 5 (UK time), Monday to Friday
Web chat support Web chat
Web chat support availability 9 to 5 (UK time), Monday to Friday
Web chat support accessibility standard None or don’t know
How the web chat support is accessible Users can access web chat through the software
Web chat accessibility testing None.
Onsite support Yes, at extra cost
Support levels Basic Success Plan - provides you with an on-line support experience with on-line support case submission and self-service Knowledge Base access. No additional cost

Standard Success Plan- offers an enhanced reactive service, including telephone and e-mail support, as well as priority response times and longer support hours. Larger customers will also get access to a primary named support analyst who will deal with the majority of your support questions. Charged at 15% of your subscription fee.

Premier Success Plan- provides proactive services, including access to a customer success manager with quarterly and annual review. Charged at 25% of your annual subscription fee.
Support available to third parties No

Onboarding and offboarding

Onboarding and offboarding
Getting started HCSS Education, an Access Group companys' approach to project management puts simplicity at the heart of our delivery. Utilising a simplistic and scalable project management methodology for all software implementation, we consistently achieve success for our customers. Drawing on the expertise of our Education Project Management team and development resource, we ensure that the customer is consulted during every stage of the project, with success reviews during delivery. Our suggested approach to the configuration of Access HCSS Accounting into schools and MAT's is a scoping visit to understand the set up and requirements of schools. Our preferred approach to training is to offer on-site training to all key personnel imparting advanced end user training. We provide multiple dates and recommend a specific training programme so the customer can determine which delegates are suitable to the different elements of the training. User documents are accessible via 'knowledgebase' - our online support portal as well as webinars and customer success events throughout the year.
Service documentation Yes
Documentation formats PDF
End-of-contract data extraction Users can extract required data via a range of reports.
End-of-contract process As per standard contract agreement data is retained for 28 days past contract end. All data is then securely deleted and removed from the system.

Using the service

Using the service
Web browser interface Yes
Supported browsers
  • Internet Explorer 9
  • Internet Explorer 10
  • Internet Explorer 11
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Chrome
Application to install No
Designed for use on mobile devices No
Accessibility standards None or don’t know
Description of accessibility Access HCSS Accounting supports standard browser operations and therefore supports the accessibility features of chosen browser.

Buttons and non-text content have text alternatives which can be used with screen-readers.
Accessibility testing None
Customisation available Yes
Description of customisation Users can customise Purchase Orders, BACS Remittances and Invoices with schools logos, details and T&C's


Independence of resources HCSS Accounting is a load-balanced, multi-tenant service. The load balancer monitors the web servers continuously and will dynamically reassign requests if one of these servers crashes.


Service usage metrics No


Supplier type Not a reseller

Staff security

Staff security
Staff security clearance Other security clearance
Government security clearance Up to Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS)

Asset protection

Asset protection
Knowledge of data storage and processing locations Yes
Data storage and processing locations United Kingdom
User control over data storage and processing locations No
Datacentre security standards Complies with a recognised standard (for example CSA CCM version 3.0)
Penetration testing frequency At least once a year
Penetration testing approach ‘IT Health Check’ performed by a Tigerscheme qualified provider or a CREST-approved service provider
Protecting data at rest
  • Physical access control, complying with another standard
  • Encryption of all physical media
Data sanitisation process Yes
Data sanitisation type Explicit overwriting of storage before reallocation
Equipment disposal approach Complying with a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v.30, CAS (Sanitisation) or ISO/IEC 27001

Data importing and exporting

Data importing and exporting
Data export approach The user can export their data through a range of reports.
Data export formats
  • CSV
  • Other
Other data export formats
  • XLSX`
  • PDF
Data import formats
  • CSV
  • Other
Other data import formats
  • XLSX
  • XLS
  • Delimited text

Data-in-transit protection

Data-in-transit protection
Data protection between buyer and supplier networks
  • TLS (version 1.2 or above)
  • IPsec or TLS VPN gateway
Data protection within supplier network
  • TLS (version 1.2 or above)
  • IPsec or TLS VPN gateway

Availability and resilience

Availability and resilience
Guaranteed availability We will use commercially reasonable efforts to make the SaaS available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except for unavailability during emergency or routine maintenance.
Approach to resilience We operate a dual active-passive environment and all hardware components are provided at N+2 level or greater. More details are available on request.
Outage reporting Users can subscribe to email alerts giving updates on scheduled maintenance and outages. From within TeamSeer, you can also review uptime statistics.

Identity and authentication

Identity and authentication
User authentication needed Yes
User authentication
  • Identity federation with existing provider (for example Google Apps)
  • Username or password
Access restrictions in management interfaces and support channels We operate role profile based Access Control - based on least privilege access. This applies to all our services
Access restriction testing frequency At least every 6 months
Management access authentication
  • Dedicated link (for example VPN)
  • Username or password

Audit information for users

Audit information for users
Access to user activity audit information Users have access to real-time audit information
How long user audit data is stored for At least 12 months
Access to supplier activity audit information Users contact the support team to get audit information
How long supplier audit data is stored for At least 12 months
How long system logs are stored for At least 12 months

Standards and certifications

Standards and certifications
ISO/IEC 27001 certification Yes
Who accredited the ISO/IEC 27001 ISOQAR
ISO/IEC 27001 accreditation date 01/09/2014
What the ISO/IEC 27001 doesn’t cover Nothing is excluded from the Standard
ISO 28000:2007 certification No
CSA STAR certification No
PCI certification No
Other security certifications No

Security governance

Security governance
Named board-level person responsible for service security Yes
Security governance certified Yes
Security governance standards ISO/IEC 27001
Information security policies and processes All controls included within Annex A of the ISO27001:2013 standard.
Statement Of Applicability (SOA) available on request.

Operational security

Operational security
Configuration and change management standard Conforms to a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v3.0 or SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
Configuration and change management approach All change management is undertaken in line with ISO27001:2013 using JIRA for audit purposes.
Vulnerability management type Conforms to a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v3.0 or SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
Vulnerability management approach Patched and audited by our patch management system. All non-critical OS patches are applied within one calendar month of release, first into pre-production and then into production, as part of the scheduled maintenance window.
AV Updates - Signatures are updated hourly. / Rules are reviewed at minimum every 3 months. Logs are reviewed at minimum every 3 months.
Access staff responsible for the maintenance of our hosting services subscribe to industry newsletters, belong to various security forums and we additionally receive notifications from our vendors.
Protective monitoring type Conforms to a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v3.0 or SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
Protective monitoring approach We have traffic monitoring and content based alerting which alerts on changes to the site and/or traffic flows implemented at infrastructure and application level. We proactively monitor third party suppliers (hardware, OS, application/web and database server software) vulnerability reporting and security fix availability. Any vulnerabilities found and fixes provided by third party suppliers are patched by our infrastructure team in a timescale appropriate for their level of severity. Any penetration test findings are fixed by Development in a timescale appropriate for their level of severity. Our infrastructure response is within 1 hour in the SLA period 8am-8pm Monday – Friday.
Incident management type Conforms to a recognised standard, for example, CSA CCM v3.0 or ISO/IEC 27035:2011 or SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
Incident management approach We operate a robust incident management process in line with ISO27001:2013
Staff are encouraged to report all incidents using a pre-defined process using a form available on our Company Collaborate site
Incident reports will be provided following forensics and closure

Secure development

Secure development
Approach to secure software development best practice Independent review of processes (for example CESG CPA Build Standard, ISO/IEC 27034, ISO/IEC 27001 or CSA CCM v3.0)

Public sector networks

Public sector networks
Connection to public sector networks No


Price £800 to £1600 per licence per year
Discount for educational organisations Yes
Free trial available No


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