Most coverage of the dramatic July 25 announcement that Sage had acquired Intacct has focused on the benefits of the new combination to Sage. To obtain a perspective from the Intacct side of the equation, Accountex Report recently spoke with David Furth, CEO and Co-Founder of Leap the Pond, an Intacct Partner that provides Intacct software, Intacct support, consulting and outsourced accounting solutions to growing middle market companies with a global reach.
Furth has spent the majority of his career working with companies on process improvement and software implementations in accounting, budgeting and forecasting, procurement, and supply base management. Prior to starting Leap the Pond, he served on the executive team of a number of successful software companies, led a consulting practice at Deloitte Consulting – DRT Systems, and ran IT for Turner Construction Company, one of the world’s largest general builders.
Intacct Stays Intact …
Furth is quick to communicate his excitement and keen sense of anticipation regarding the potential synergies of the combined company. “Sage really does appear to appreciate the incredible company that Intacct CEO Rob Reid and his team have created. I’ve been through acquisitions and they typically are full of anxiety and dread — waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop. There’s been absolutely none of that in this case. Nothing has changed in the way Intacct is dealing with its customers, partners, or employees.”
While some acquisitions involve the target company being stripped, milked for assets, and downsized, Furth is convinced that for this partnership to succeed, Intacct must continue to operate essentially as it has been doing — but with access to greater resources. “Intacct’s continuing success is crucial to Sage CEO Stephen Kelly’s strategy,” Furth argues. “In certain markets, Sage needs to be able to provide its existing customer base with a way to transition from legacy to cloud-based systems.”
Since the announcement, says Furth, “I’ve been explaining to my customers that in order for Sage to fully benefit from this move, Intacct has to go on doing the things it does best — and maintaining its proven successful approach in regard to its customers, partners, and employees.”
… With Access to Greater Resources
Furth believes Kelly was just as impressed with Intacct’s business model and employees as with its products. “As great as Intacct’s products are, the company itself is even better,” he says. “So the sense is that Sage not only bought Intacct for its market leading product, but also for the formula they have for working with customers, partners, and employees.”
Furthermore, combination with Sage (approximate 2016 revenue: $2.02 billion; 2016 profit: $268 million) opens up enormous opportunities for Intacct. “It is anticipated that this acquisition will serve to increase the capital available to Intacct — both financial and human — for research and development of new and even better products,” Furth points out. “This is incredibly exciting for us, for our customers, and for the market as a whole.”
A successful combination, he notes, is one that leverages the strengths of both sides. “This has incredible potential,” says Furth. “Meeting the accounting technology and financial management needs of middle market companies with a global reach has been Intacct’s story for a long time. This is a company that has been launching four major releases a year, every year. That’s an absolutely unique pace of innovation, and it’s key to why customers buy Intacct products.”
Implementing the Game Plan
“From what I can tell, Stephen Kelly took the time to look at the market, his customers, his products, and then formulated a strategy,” says Furth. “He’s looked for ways to speed the pace of innovation at his company in line with the larger and rapid changes occurring in the accounting technology landscape.” Furth notes that while the Intacct acquisition is by far Sage’s biggest splash, just this year Sage has acquired several SaaS companies with the goal of expanding its payroll, HR, payments, and accounting offerings.
“I can’t wait to attend Intacct Advantage this October 16-20 in Las Vegas,” says Furth, expressing his view that many Intacct partners, employees, and customers share his sense of the possibilities opened up by the new relationship with Sage that will be discussed at the event.
“My thinking as a partner is that now we have to go out and execute,” he says. “Stephen Kelly and Rob Reid have put together a great game plan — now we need to implement it.”
While Furth concedes that he has heard concerns voiced by some Leap the Pond customers, given the historical perception of Sage in the accounting technology market, he has made the case to them that Intacct will continue to do exactly what it has been doing — delivering outstanding products and service to high-growth companies that outgrew solutions like QuickBooks or Xero or decided to replace legacy solutions.
“Literally nothing has changed at Intacct,” Furth emphasizes. “The same great management team is in place. Nothing has changed for customers, partners, or employees. I’m an incredible believer in the future that these customers will experience as a result of this combination.”