Accountex News

Sleeter Group Acquired — The Story Behind the Press Release

Written by Doug Sleeter
doug_RD_skeeter

Doug Sleeter, Skeeter and RD Whitney

Earlier this week we announced that The Sleeter Group has been acquired by Diversified Communications. Diversified Communications is an international media company providing education and information through global, national and regional face-to-face events, digital products, publications and television stations. Based in Portland, Maine, Diversified serves a number of industries, including business management, technology, healthcare, commercial marine and food and beverage.

This marks an incredible milestone for The Sleeter Group and for me personally. When my wife Sherrill and I started the company 21 years ago, I never dreamed we would be where we are today. All I wanted was to help small business owners and the accountants who serve them. I knew it would be important for them to better understand and use technology and accounting software to more efficiently run the business. I had no lofty goals of changing the world, but in fact, I think we really have changed it, even if in a small way.

When we first met the Diversified team, we thought there could be many ways to collaborate, but it quickly became clear that their vision was exactly in line with where we saw opportunities in the market, and by combining forces, we could do so much more. Their mission statement shows how much our visions match. “At Diversified, our mission is to connect, educate and strengthen business communities through market-leading events, publications and eMedia.”

For accountants who rely on us for education, certification, and networking, software developers who exhibit at our conferences, small business owners who read our books and blogs, and teachers and students who use our textbooks, I believe everyone will be served by this acquisition.

In my keynote address at our 2014 conference, I challenged the audience to consider their “value.” The big point I was trying to make is that no matter what part you play in the world, you must always build value for your customers, your firm, and yourself. I also talked a lot about how technology and innovation are disrupting the status quo in virtually every business no matter how large, no matter what industry.

So now we’re walking the talk. I’ve always preached that if you’re not agile in your business, you’re probably not going to be in business for the long term. For us, agility meant finding completely new ways to fuel our growth. But for a company our size, it’s almost impossible to raise money from a venture capital firm, so you either limit your growth to organic processes with current funding and staff, or you look for partnerships that give you access to new markets.

Diversified Communications has a 65-year history of acquiring brands, keeping the brand names in place, and building the brands beyond what the original founders could. That’s exactly what they intend to do with The Sleeter Group.

I am particularly encouraged by the track history Diversified has in providing resources to business communities and growing the membership base for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders. Taking the Sleeter Group to the next level of growth was our main motivation and Diversified is an ideal partner to help our community thrive.”

So what about Sherrill and I and the rest of The Sleeter team? Well, we’re all still here, and it’s business as usual. We are all committed to making this acquisition a success for all of our constituents.

We’re working closely with RD Whitney, the Group Vice President at Diversified Communications who will support the operations of the company. RD’s track record is one of incredible success, and he shares our values of strong community, quality products, and building on the vision.

If you have questions, please join in our Facebook group community to meet RD, ask questions or just say hello. Feel free to contact me directly or RD Whitney with your questions. I am very excited about the future possibilities, and I greatly appreciate your participation in our community.

About the author

Doug Sleeter

DougSleeter (@dougsleeter) is the founder and former CEO of The Sleeter Group, an international network of accounting software consultants, and the former producer of SleeterCon, an annual conference and tradeshow for accounting professionals.

In 2015, he sold The Sleeter Group to Diversified Communications (www.divcom.com) and the company has since become The Accountex Network.

He is a passionate leader of innovation and change in the small business accounting technology world. As a CPA firm veteran and former Apple Computer Evangelist, he melded his two great passions (accounting and technology) to guide developers in the innovation of new products and to educate and lead accounting professionals who serve small businesses.

Always in search of the next big thing, he is currently focusing on digital currencies and blockchain technology. He believes these technologies will change virtually everything in global commerce.

The CPA Practice Advisor recognized Doug as one of the "Top 25 Thought Leaders" in the accounting profession and he has been named to Accounting Today's "Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting" each year 2008 through 2015. In 2013, he was recognized by Small Business Trends with the Small Business Influence Champion award.

In the early 1990s, Doug was a pioneer in developing the first QuickBooks seminars in the country and has since built the largest group of accounting software consultants in the small business accounting profession. Doug serves on several advisory boards for technology companies and has consulted with numerous industry leaders including Intuit, Sage, Apple, and Adobe Systems. 

Doug is the author of numerous books and courseware materials including The QuickBooks Consultant’s Reference Guide, and QuickBooks Complete, a college textbook.
 
Doug attended both the University of California Santa Cruz and Santa Clara University and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Information Systems. Doug and his family live in Pleasanton, CA. Doug's hobbies include woodworking, golf, and lifelong learning.

5 Comments

  • Congratulations Doug, Sherrill & the whole team at Sleeter, 21 years is a long time to build a business and deliver value to your customers and the broader SMB/Accounting community.
    I think your group has done more to educate, advise and help more SMBs to adopt better business processes than any other I know of – well done.

    I’m happy to hear that “we’re all still here, and it’s business as usual.”

    Cheers
    John

  • Congratulations. The Sleeter Group is one of the best sources of information regarding QuickBooks and technology issues related to Accounting. I hope the same high standards continue. Best regards,

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