Date posted: 29/04/2020 5 min read

Flattening the learning curve

A US favourite for 20 years, Sage Intacct financial management software is finally down under. Brought to you by Sage.

It’s no secret that the role of finance is rapidly changing in the digital age. Far from being simple number-crunchers, finance professionals are now expected to be business consultants and process optimisers, all while navigating an ever more complex regulatory landscape, both in times of uncertainty as well as stability.

Automation and business management software are often held up as the solution, but steep learning curves and poor user interfaces mean using these new technologies often consumes more time than they save.

“We surveyed more than 200 Australian CFOs last year, asking them about the challenges they’re facing in their role,” says Gary Katzeff CA, general manager of Sage’s ERP and Financial Management portfolio.

“What we heard back, overwhelmingly, was that they were struggling to keep up with these newly expanded responsibilities. That’s why we’re confident it was the right decision to bring Sage Intacct to Australia."

Gary Katzeff CA, general manager of Sage’s ERP and Financial Management portfolio. Picture: Gary Katzeff CA, general manager of Sage’s ERP and Financial Management portfolio.

Top marks for usability

A powerful and fully cloud-native financial management platform, Sage Intacct has been designed from the ground-up with two principles in mind: simplicity and usability.

“It will feel familiar for anyone who’s used Xero or MYOB, but with a whole lot more firepower,” says Katzeff. “There’s real-time reporting, multi-book consolidation, extensive APIs. And because it’s cloud-native you can connect hundreds of different users to the one account.”

“It will feel familiar for anyone who’s used Xero or MYOB, but with a whole lot more firepower.”
Gary Katzeff CA, Sage

Katzeff, himself a chartered accountant, sees benefits for those handling the accounts.

“If your client is using Sage Intacct, it means that you can be very proactive in collaborating with them. You have great visibility on your numbers, real time at all times. It allows you to not only keep track of what’s happening, but also to forecast, plan and collaborate.”

Scaling the product

Sage Intacct debuted in the US in 1999, making its mark as one of the first pieces of financial management software to offer full cloud functionality.

These days, Sage Intacct in the US serves more than 13,000 clients across a huge range of sizes and sectors. “For the past five years we’ve been rated the number one financial management software for both ease of use and overall satisfaction by [peer-to-peer review site] G2,” says Katzeff.

The benefit of being “born-in-the-cloud” is that Sage Intacct has been able to scale the product in ways that would have seemed incomprehensible 20 years ago.

“One client processes 1.5 million transactions a day,” says Katzeff. “Another goes through 100 million API calls every month. We have one customer with more than 5500 separate user accounts. It’s all possible because the plumbing is so strong and well established.”

Consolidate separate entities in real time

One client, ASX-listed investment fund 360 Capital, is a prime example of how Sage Intacct can streamline a company’s financial processes.

“Being an investment fund, 360 Capital has more than 50 legal entities that they have to manage,” says Katzeff. “Rather than having all these entities in a separate ledger, Sage Intacct lets them consolidate all the data in real time so that they can get a continuous overview of their performance across the entire 360 portfolio.”

A focus on the NFP & Services sector

UNICEF Australia is another recent convert. “Sage Intacct has always had a particular focus on the not-for-profit sector,” explains Katzeff.

“There’s specific grant-tracking and spend-management functionality in Sage Intacct, as well as a suite of tools to help you define robust financial controls. Furthermore, Sage Intacct integrates with the likes of Salesforce to help you automate donations. For UNICEF, it means more time and resources to devote to helping vulnerable kids.

“It’s exciting to know we’re already having such a big impact in the not-for-profit sector,” says Katzeff. “We are confident this is just the beginning.”

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