Shake-up in the practice management landscape for accountants

May 13, 2021 | Advisors

It’s been an interesting few months in the accounting software industry, with two big players changing owners. First, Sage sold off their Australian business to The Access Group at the end of last year, and then KKR jumped through the last hoops of the ACCC in April to finally seal their deal acquiring the Australian operations of South African provider GreatSoft.

All that sell off hurly-burly leaves three well-known names in the practice management space for mid and large sized Australian accounting firms: Reckon (APS), Xero, and KKR – the American private equity company that owns MYOB which now owns GreatSoft.

And only one of those three is Australian owned – APS, a product of Reckon. The advantage of being 100% Australian owned and operated is that our focus has always been – and still is – firms in Australia and New Zealand.

The elephant in the room is, of course, that MYOB almost acquired APS three years ago until the deal was called off after a prolonged ACCC process.

Back then MYOB (like Reckon) were listed on the ASX and the details of the deal were all public. But a year later MYOB were purchased by KKR and taken off the ASX.

As a privately owned company, KKR are not obliged to release the details of the deal, so the specifics of their GreatSoft purchase and what their intentions are, are not clear.

What does the future hold for GreatSoft and how will it merge with MYOB’s existing operations? Will MYOB continue with GreatSoft as a product? Maybe. Maybe not.

How does GreatSoft fit into the Connect Practice, MYOB AE picture? One of GreatSoft’s key integrations is with Xero, but will that survive now? GreatSoft is South African technology, but will the R&D still be done out of South Africa?

Now they’re owned by MYOB and KKR, the only thing we do know is that what we see in the crystal ball for GreatSoft is unclear.

However, what we do know about Reckon is that after the MYOB purchase of APS was not completed, Sam Allert (now CEO of Reckon) put all of Reckon – and especially APS – on a direct and uncomplicated path to the cloud.

Reckon and APS are a proudly Australian business, and our products are here for accountants to use today. We have a crystal-clear journey and evolution to the cloud happening right now.

In saying that, APS is available in the cloud today. A practice management, general ledger and tax solution that integrates with your Microsoft Suite and is delivered via the cloud.

With APS Accountants’ Workspace we have a true modern workplace. In a single, browser-based view accountants have easy access to everything in one place: key business applications, document management and communications, with single sign-on (SSO) and role-based access as well as industry-leading security.

Firms using APS Accountants’ Workspace have all their documents, e-mail, applications and more in one place, and they’re able to work from any location and every device.

Workspaces includes faster access, and, in just one glance, an accountant can get all the information they need: a workspace with insights from email, calendars, documents, news, statistics, applications and more.

At APS we always talk about our purpose as ‘Amplifying the Art of Accounting’. After all, accounting is the cornerstone of business success. With APS Accountants’ Workspaces, our purpose has gone into overdrive.

It’s not just practice management in the cloud, it’s a true hybrid workspace that integrates with all your documents and apps like Microsoft Office 365. It harnesses working in harmony with the Microsoft ecosystem.

APS Accountants’ Workspace is just one piece of the APS cloud puzzle, along with our current cloud applications including APS Workflow+, API integrations, and the upcoming Ledger+ and Tax+.

With the GreatSoft acquisition by MYOB and the Americans at KKR, it might seem like the accounting software industry has a fair bit of doubt in the air. But as far as APS and Reckon are concerned, the future couldn’t be brighter or clearer.

It may seem cloudy and murky outside, but from the window at our desk all we can see is bright and clear skies.

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If you want to embrace these changing times and use it as an opportunity for digital growth, speak to the experts at APS

To find out more about APS software, visit www.aps-software.com.

APS is a division of Reckon, an ASX listed company. We develop the software used by the best Accounting Firms in Australia and New Zealand to run their business’ and advise their clients.

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