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SmartOffice owed £533,000 to HMRC

A SOFTWARE company once considered to be one of Scotland's brightest technology prospects went in to insolvency owing almost £533,000 to the tax authorities.

AWAITING A CALL: Former SmartOffice director Imran Khand was owed £89,000 in expenses. Picture: Beattie Media

Documents filed by administrators of Paisley-based SmartOffice Technologies, which uses technology developed by Picsel, show Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs was its largest creditor when it went into administration in September.

The statement of affairs and administrator's proposals were prepared by Brian Milne and Linda Barr from French Duncan and have been filed at Companies House.

The documents outline the dozens of other businesses which were owed money by SmartOffice.

Among the creditors, financial adviser Trident (Scotland) was due more than £31,000, accountant Hardie Caldwell £13,250, recruitment firm Eden Scott more than £8000, telecoms supplier Abica in excess of £13,000 and accountancy firm Haines Watts around £6300.

The Redundancy Payments Office, which is part of The Insolvency Service, was owed more than £158,000.

Former employees were also named with Imran Khand, who resigned as a director in August this year, owed around £89,000 in expenses, director Majid Anwar due £21,000 and Elaine McLardy listed as having £18,138 of outstanding expenses.

The unsecured creditors' bill was just short of £1m.

The technology driving SmartOffice Technologies has previously been used in Picsel Technologies and Picsel UK, both of which ended up in liquidation.

SmartOffice was owned by Picsel International, which was incorporated in Malta, and is also in liquidation.

The administrators state in their filings that Picsel International is ultimately owned by Guernsey-based Picsel Group Holdings.

Picsel International is thought to have a range of intellectual property and patents relating to apps and mobile phone software.

SmartOffice exploited that technology on behalf of Picsel International.

Earlier this year Picsel International said it had completed more than seven million downloads of its Smart Office apps which are used for viewing and editing documents on tablet devices and smartphones.

It is understood all employees at SmartOffice have now been made redundant.

French Duncan put SmartOffice's failure down to cash flow difficulties particularly relating to collecting money from overseas customers.

Mr Milne said yesterday that negotiations for the sale of the assets of SmartOffice were ongoing.

The documents filed at Companies House show French Duncan's bill for its services between September 4 and October 27 came to £101,000. That was for more than 600 hours of work at an average of £167.54 per hour.

Picsel Technologies was set up by Mr Khand and Mr Anwar in 1998 then attracted £7.7m of venture capital funding in 2001. It was named Scotland's software company of the year in 2007 then given Queen's Award for Enterprise the following year. But it went into administration in 2009.

Documents lodged at Companies House in recent months show Picsel Developments, Picsel Tech and Picsel Scotia have been established in Glasgow.

The incorporation document for Picsel Developments shows Mohammad Kashif Khan as its sole director with Elaine McLardy as shareholder.

Picsel Tech, which has since changed its name to Arrora, had Ms McLardy as a director between September 9 and December 3 this year.

Mohammad Kashif Khan also became a director on September 9 but resigned less than a month later.

Ihsan Riaz was appointed as a director on December 3.

Mr Riaz is also listed as a director at Picsel Scotia along with Krishna Prasad.

The sole shareholder in Picsel Scotia is listed as Islacairn which is the original name of Picsel Tech.

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