Sunday, June 26, 2022

The Access Group commits further to Australia and New Zealand with new acquisition

The Access Group and Reckon have reached a $100m agreement for Loughborough-headquartered Access to acquire Reckon Accountants Group, including APS and Reckon Elite, in Australia and New Zealand.

The acquisition reinforces Access’ commitment to the region and to the accountant’s industry, signalling its intent to advance its tax and practice management offering for ANZ accounting firms.

Today’s announcement marks the 10th acquisition in three years for Access in the Asia Pacific region, building on the purchases of Attaché, Unleashed, Joyful, Volcanic, Sage Australia and Asia businesses, Definitiv, EziTracker, Fastrack360 and Vincere since 2019.

Reckon is a provider of practice software and business management solutions designed specifically for accounting firms.

The Access Group has gone from having no presence in the region to 2019, to today supporting more than 35,000 customers, with 900 colleagues, across five countries.

Kerry Agiasotis, president of The Access Group Asia Pacific, said: “The acquisition of Reckon Accountants Group further reinforces Access’ commitment to the accountant’s industry in Australia and New Zealand, which commenced with the purchase of HandiSoft as part of its acquisition of Sage’s Australia and Asia businesses in 2021. With this being our 10th acquisition in the region in just three years, it shows our strong commitment toward rapidly scaling Access Asia Pacific to best support our customers evolving needs.

“We are bringing together two businesses with a strong track record over more than 30 years delivering end-to-end solutions tailored to the specific needs of accounting firms in ANZ. With The Access Group and Reckon Accountants Groups combined industry experience, capabilities and resources, we are uniquely placed to continue to deliver the breadth and depth of software solutions that accounting firms require to adapt their practices to their clients’ rapidly changing needs.

“The combination of our expanded tax and practice management portfolio coupled with cloud technologies and the Access Workspace platform, come together to create an exciting set of new possibilities for our accounting customers. From hosting existing applications, integrating with new cloud point solutions or replacing with whole new cloud native application suites, our aim is to give our clients confidence that we will support them into the future at a pace that works for them.”

Reckon CEO Sam Allert said: “This partnership is good news for our customers, our employees and for the market. The proposed transaction agreement with The Access Group represents a compelling offer, which is also clearly in the best interests of our shareholders. The Board has always maintained that the sum of the company’s parts is worth more than what has been attributed to the whole, and this proposed transaction validates this.

“For our APS and Reckon Elite customers, we are thrilled to bring them the deep specialisation that Access boasts within the practice management market, and offer an extended portfolio of solutions that will deliver added value to our customers and theirs.

“We have spent more than 20 years imagining ways to create brave, new and progressive accounting firms. This acquisition is the natural next step to ensuring continued investment in our vision to simplify business for the benefit of all our customers.

“In joining with The Access Group our teams can broaden the service and solutions available to customers, build on the vision for growth we all share, and ultimately make this a reality for our growing client base.

“In addition, Reckon will be in a much stronger position to unlock further shareholder value through the growth and development of the remaining Business and Legal Groups not captured in this agreement. These divisions have represented approximately 70 per cent of the company’s revenue and a significant portion of EBITDA prior to the initiation of this agreement.

“With this transaction, Reckon will be well placed to accelerate the strategy of delivering a complete suite of accounting & payroll cloud solutions to help small businesses turn ambition into accomplishment, building upon our 114,000 cloud customers, as well as pursue practice management opportunities in the legal market. Proceeds from the sale will also allow the company to reward shareholders with a special dividend, continuing our trend of providing a stable income stream,” Mr Allert said.

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