In the Hot Seat with Team Intacct

Sage Intacct Partner

Q&A with Percipient’s Sage Intacct dream team, Jo Fuller and Grace Freeman, and find out a little more about Sage’s flagship cloud solution.

It’s been an exciting 12 months or so for Sage. While 2020 wasn’t a textbook year to launch a flagship product, Sage Intacct seems to have more than made its mark. How has it been from your perspective?

Jo: Of course, in hindsight, nobody would have picked 2020 as a launch year for a new product, but I have to say that for Sage Intacct, there were a lot of positives. Inevitably, the sales cycle stalled at the beginning of the first lockdown and we quickly adjusted to new project models, navigated furlough-driven absences on projects, and created a methodology to fit the market conditions.

We certainly had to work a lot harder for sales, as with budgets constrained and uncertainty rife, prospects, understandably, wanted a great deal of reassurance to support business cases. In practice, this meant that we were doing a lot more demos than we might otherwise have organised, and in parallel, we have been defining the specific value to each and every role in granular detail, to multiple audiences in many cases.

We were really successful in this methodology and gained some lovely new customers. Perhaps surprisingly, the majority have been in the hospitality sector, with organisations capitalising on the downtime to revisit digital transformation plans, and put in place capabilities to ensure they hit the ground running once we return to normal.

So as Percipient’s resident Intacct experts, what would you say are its best bits? Is there any particular piece of functionality that customers really see value in, or that you feel has big potential to boost performance? 

Jo: For me it’s the core financial capabilities such as the GL reporting tool; GL structures; and multi-level consolidation.

The GL reporting tool is often an afterthought when designing finance systems, but the fact that it’s embedded into Intacct as standard, means users simply point and click rather than having to trawl through numerous steps. This complements the GL structures, which are set up to provide flexibility, and allow users to undertake greater analysis which helps planning and performance.

The multi-level consolidation is another really valuable feature in Intacct which helps organisations to really champion best practice. It converts the balance sheet at a closing rate to allow P&L to be calculated at an average rate, as well as offering an auto eliminate feature which streamlines insights, and drives efficiency.

When it comes to adding custom fields and views, the process takes just seconds. Once added users can easily track and record any type of data, hide fields where necessary, and see relevant information in a click.

Because it’s true cloud, Intacct really is so easy to use, no skills are needed, Excel or otherwise.

When it comes to adding custom fields and views, the process takes just seconds. Once added users can easily track and record any type of data, hide fields where necessary, and see relevant information in a click.

Jo Fuller
Head of Pre Sales Innovation, Percipient

Grace: I agree – for me Intacct really stands out by the fact that it is so easy to use, can create in depth reports instantly, and it’s built to be used remotely. Of course, this functionality has really come into its own in this last year as teams have been dispersed.

The multi-entity capability is also really useful, particularly for hospitality businesses operating different hotels. It allows a kind of shared services model whereby all legal entities’ financials can be processed as part of the same reporting cycle, saving time and costs and facilitating full visibility.

If I was an organisation considering Sage Intacct as part of a review of ERP systems, what are the key questions you’d ask?

Jo: I think it’s so important to ask as many questions as possible. Adopting new ERP is a big investment and often represents the backbone of the company, so getting it wrong is both costly and risky. The issue is that sometimes, you don’t know what you don’t know. Having worked on ERP projects for more than 20 years, the kinds of questions I’d be asking are:

  • How intuitive and easy to use is it?
  • How much time will it save?
  • Which processes will it automate?
  • How will it make life easier?
  • How will it fit into the company?
  • How easy is it to deploy?
  • What kind of support is available?

In terms of your roles, how have you adapted to remote working?

Grace: I have to say that I really miss being in the office. The interaction, team building and idea generation can of course be done on Teams but I don’t think there is any real substitution for being around people. I can’t wait to get back!

Jo: Personally, I have always worked at home, but this last year is the first time I have felt like I work in a truly virtual team. The difference between remote working and working as part of a virtual team is subtle but important and it’s a shift I think many businesses have found themselves adjusting to.

The end of the 2020 saw many reflect on lessons learned, rather than setting big goals.  What lessons have you learned?

Grace: One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about this last year is getting out for walks, and noticing the small things. I think 2020 taught me not to take things for granted so I hope to continue to appreciate taking time out, walking and generally making the most of free time.

Jo: The end of 2020 was still incredibly busy so if I’m 100% honest, I’m not sure I have had a chance to sit down and fully reflect! However, I think the big things for me are really appreciating seeing people face to face – both professionally and socially. And being a bit more disciplined when it comes to creating a better work life balance. It’s very easy for the two to merge in the perfect storm that is working at home and not having an abundance of social commitments.

I’m hoping that 2021 will see more fun times, holidays and that I can continue some of the projects I started in my garden!

What are the big goals for 2021 professionally speaking?

Jo/Grace: I think 2021 looks to be equally as turbulent, but we’re lucky in that we had a good year in 2020, all things considered. We changed the way we delivered projects, honed our remote deployment model and adapted and adjusted to a new remote way of working with both our colleagues and customers.

Essentially we’ve developed a new online persona and have become experts in reading body language, signs and signals on a Teams call, which is really different to a face to face meeting.

Accelerated by the pandemic, cloud is undoubtedly the future. The notion of a finance team working completely remotely is not really possible using a legacy on premise system. A modern cloud platform such as Intacct means that workflow is slick, document management and approvals are all seamless. Whatever the future holds, remote working definitely has a place and without the best technology to facilitate this, performance will undoubtedly be impeded.

We’re all feeling really positive about what the year has in store and are looking forward to new learnings, new relationships and definitely some sunshine!

Contact Percipient

If you would like to discuss the benefits of Sage Intacct for your businesses, get in touch or call us on 01606 871332.


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