I recently sat down with Robert Reid, CEO of Intacct, to discuss the expectations today's CFOs have, what's ahead for Intacct, and how to create a customer-centric organization.
Brittany Benson: Selling financial software to accountants and CFOs isn’t easy—they have high expectations. What do you think it is about Intacct that they embrace so much?
Robert Reid: CFOs in today’s world certainly have high expectations; they do their jobs in a dynamic world with change. This requires them to be agile and to conform to standards but also deal with the fluctuation and the uncertainty of the marketplace. CFOs that are utilizing Intacct appreciate the ability to easily adapt to their new business requirements.
Intacct is the only mid-market ERP solution that allows you to configure your workflows and transactions to your needs of today, yet is flexible enough that you can adapt the system in real time as your needs change. They also appreciate that we’re not only here to meet their expectations, but constantly exceed their expectations by dramatically drawing on innovation to achieve spectacular business results. Additionally, Intacct delivers great service and support to counsel our customers through the journey.
BB: Over the past year Intacct had incredible customer growth and won some really amazing awards. How is the next year going to top that?
RR: At Intacct we’ve elected to invest heavily in our solutions, and at a higher rate than our business growth rate, because of the extraordinary opportunity we have before us. Our customers benefit from our over-investment because they receive more value than they imagined.
Another key area of focus is providing greater best practices and expertise than ever before. For example at our Advantage customer and partner conference, we’ll have about 100 different topical breakout sessions to help educate and provide expertise for improved performance. In addition we’ll have some key financial industry luminaries as keynote presenters who will speak to the trends and dynamics in the financial and accounting sector. Advantage is the best opportunity each year for our customers to network, and learn how to get the most from their Intacct deployment to help their organizations grow faster.
BB: Where do you think the biggest areas of growth are for Intacct?
RR: Intacct understands that the financial requirements are typically very comprehensive from vertical market to vertical market. Our teams are strategically created—typically made up of accountants and CPAs—to really understand how to successfully deliver a wide-range of capabilities for the verticals that we’re focused on so we deliver the best solutions in the world for the mid market. We’re going to continue investing in those deeper solutions.
We’re also going to move into new verticals with that same mindset, as we move into the future. We have made major investments in international, like multi-currency, and we will continue to support the international requirements that are needed for our world-wide customers.
Another area that we’re investing in is visibility and insights—the ability to pull the key performance indicators from the system of record, and have the empirical data to make informed decisions.
BB: Companies are rapidly adopting SaaS-based applications more than ever before, how do you think that will change the way accountants and finance professionals work and interact?
RR: Delivering information to the organization in real time and being able to collaborate on it is a competitive advantage for companies using Cloud ERP. Being able to spot and understand where there is opportunity or risk, and then discuss what the strategy and tactics are to either exploit the opportunity or remove the risk, is one area where finance can be a strategic advisory to the rest of the organization.
BB: You’ve been emphatic about creating a customer-centric organization from the top down. What are some companies that you follow that you’ve seen get this right? How do you continue to shape Intacct to be user-experience focused year after year?
RR: There are a number of organizations that really do this well, in the transportation area you can look at Southwest Airlines. Southwest provides a great service at a very low cost, and they are consistently ranked #1 domestically.
Intacct doesn’t simply want to provide great value, but also be the most innovative mid-market cloud ERP solution in the industry. I enjoy following Southwest not only from an innovation perspective but hope to emulate how they interact with their customers. I want our customers to feel like we’re a trusted source and that Intacct is an organization that they like to work with. We want our customers to count on us, but also to enjoy working with us.
Another organization I admire is the Ritz-Carlton; they’re focused on making sure that they exceed their customer’s expectations. Everyone in the organization has the ability to resolve customer issues, instantaneously with the full backing of the organization.
Intacct takes this stance as well and we apply these values to how we can do the best job for our customer’s today and then continue to improve for tomorrow.
Follow Rob on Twitter: @Intacct_Rob