Free guides and webcasts

How an Australian property valuation firm saves $700,000/yr in finance team costs

Without the right accounting platform, growing the business can mean growing the accounting team — at a high price tag. Companies need more finance staffers to labor through spreadsheets as the business adds new entities, customers, lines of business, and locations. That’s a costly scenario that Acumentis, a leading property valuation firm in Australia, sidestepped with its upgrade from a homegrown accounting system to Sage Intacct.

After going live on Sage Intacct in early 2017, Acumentis acquired two complementary firms that tripled its revenue — and tripled its accounting team size to 19 personnel. All but one or two of them would have been needed if Acumentis remained on its previous system, says John Wise, Acumentis’s CFO. With breakthrough automation and efficiency in Sage Intacct, Acumentis was able to eliminate 13 full-time equivalent accounting positions, saving roughly $700,000 USD a year.

“We’re generating more reliable and insightful information in a third of the time, using a third of the resources, that it used to take,” as Wise says in our new Acumentis customer success story. “At six full-time equivalents, the accounting team is now smaller than it was before the acquisitions.”

Reducing Monthly Close and Year-End Audit by Over 70%

That sizable cost savings is one of numerous benefits Acumentis, with over 300 property professionals and 45 locations across Australia, has realized since selecting Sage Intacct over Oracle NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics GP and NAV, and Sage 300. With implementation by AcctTwo, a seven-time Sage Intacct Partner of the Year, Leap the Pond (now AcctTwo), the firm also:

  • Improved overall accounting efficiency by more than 80%
  • Cut its monthly close from 15 to five business days, a 67% reduction
  • Eliminated 40 hours a month through streamlining of recurring transactions, imports, reconciliations, and integration of its expense management application
  • Reduced two to three days of manual payroll work per fortnight to minutes
  • Eliminated one to two days a month (eight to 16 hours) of manual prepaid expense work
  • Spends 70% less time on year-end audit activities

“Sage Intacct is a very easy system to use, and with optimizations and integrations we’ve achieved very, very high efficiencies in financial management,” Wise said. Besides better productivity with a lean six-person accounting team, Wise has capitalized on Sage Intacct dimensions to deliver richer, deeper, and more accurate reporting that helps drive better management decisions and business performance.

‘Very Powerful Information’ to Drive Business Performance

Acumentis has integrated Sage Intacct with a business intelligence (BI) and corporate performance management (CPM) tool from CALUMO, an Australian vendor with a growing presence in the US and UK. As a result, Acumentis is for the first time able to budget, forecast, and track gross margin per individual valuer based on revenue generated, salary, and commissions.

“That’s very powerful information for managers to plan for and assess the performance of individual valuers,” Wise said. “That simply wasn’t available in the old system. The ease of use and dimensionality of Sage Intacct allows us to efficiently store that information and roll it up to the BI tool.”

The firm is also using Sage Intacct dimensions to generate P&L reports by 12 entities, 211 divisions, commercial and residential lines of business, regions, and states at far greater scope and depth than was possible before. “The very tight structures you can build in Sage Intacct allow you to generate useful information,” Wise said. “Having that high quality data and accessibility allows the business to understand what’s going on and make better predictions for the future.”

AcctTwo Aids in Rapid Implementation, Ongoing Customizations

Wise credits AcctTwo with getting Acumentis up and running quickly, and helping optimize the multi-entity environment through integrations and the addition of Sage Intacct modules for prepaid expenses, fixed assets, and allocations.

The time difference between U.S.-based AcctTwo and Acumentis in Australia proved advantageous for a “round the clock” implementation, Wise said. “We could have a meeting at the end of my business day, and AcctTwo would be working overnight, Australia time, and I’d see results the next day,” Wise said. “Over the years, the support provided by AcctTwo has been excellent.”

Acumentis has continued to rely on AcctTwo for ongoing customizations. In one example, AcctTwo eliminated an issue with multiple electronic funds transfer (EFT) payments posting to the general ledger, instead of a simpler single consolidated payment per accounts payable payment run. AcctTwo created an intermediary clearing account to facilitate a single EFT posting per payment run, fully automating bank reconciliations and saving roughly an hour a day of manually matching multiple debits to the single aggregate amount appearing on bank statements.

Value in the Sage Intacct Sandbox and ‘Backbone’ for Scalability

Acumentis also takes advantage of the Sage Intacct sandbox to test modifications and new integrations before they go into production. That eliminates the risk of a glitch in the system of record while providing a valuable training platform for new personnel.

“The Sage Intacct sandbox is definitely a very useful tool,” Wise said. “For example, the accounts team might have a new transaction type they’re a bit nervous about. They can test it in the sandbox, get it right, and when they’re comfortable push it into production.”

With Sage Intacct, Acumentis is well equipped to continue pursuing growth and acquisitions, including its buy of a Tasmanian firm in March 2021 that expands its reach into that Australian state. “One of the reasons for adopting Sage Intacct was to build a backbone that was easy to scale as the business grew,” Wise said. “The critical thing is that we can just bolt on new businesses easily without adding infrastructure and support. Sage Intacct certainly allows us to do that.”

See our Acumentis customer success story to learn more about how the property valuation firm has transformed financial efficiency and visibility with Sage Intacct.