Intacct Innovates Boring Accounting Using The SaaS Paradigm

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Intacct just launched the Winter 2009 edition of their SaaS based financial accounting system. Major highlights include a Global Consolidations product for real-time financial reports across international boundaries, integration with QuickArrow for managing professional services teams, and a plethora of partnerships with other SaaS providers.

In some ways, this isn’t big news–just the latest iteration of a SaaS product. But corporate accounting has seen little innovation in the last two decades. (Barring experimentation with throughput accounting.) It may be the heartbeat of an enterprise, but it’s also typified by boring legislation, non-user-friendly ERP addons, and infrequent software upgrades.

So I asked the Intacct folks how using the SaaS paradigm changes things:

Currently, financial reports happen on a monthly or quarterly timeline. For international companies, gathering this data is further complicated by exchange rates and varied government regulations. By providing a SaaS back-end, we provide real-time financial dashboards–even across national boundaries and differing on-premise accounting solutions.

We’re trying to change the clunky enterprise software model. SAP’s integration of services is hugely attractive to IT, but a pain for users. By using SaaS, we can seamlessly partner with other cloud services–and our average client is now using five SaaS products.

Lastly, we’ve changed the incentive model for resellers. The majority of accounting software sales comes through the reseller channel. By giving resellers a portion of our subscription fees, they’re incentivized to keep clients happy with better on-premise support–without costing the client more. The reseller channel currently accounts for 50% of our new business, up from 20% last year. We project that to grow to 80% very shortly.

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