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London-based Global recruiter says they are 100% satisfied with Sage Intacct & Acuity

As part of a company-wide software overhaul to future-proof their business, a London-based global recruiter opted to upgrade their under-performing Sage 50 solution, to a new cloud-based Sage System – Sage Intacct. Continue reading to learn more about this customer story.


“Before Intacct, all conversations between finance and business unit heads consisted of people not understanding numbers and what things were. Now the conversations are about forecasting and building on numbers and results."

Customer Story...

Our customer is a global group of recruitment businesses specialising in the real estate and built environment sectors.

Established in 1986, they have grown to a team of 120 staff based across their London Headquarters and customer-facing offices in the UK, Germany, UAE, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Hong Kong and the USA.

In 2018, the company began their company-wide software migration project; following the successful migration of their CRM and Microsoft Office suite, the review and migration of their existing finance system (Sage 50) was the final project stage.

Sage 50 had been implemented as an on-premises solution in the business several years previously, at a time when the company was UK-based, much smaller and less complex in its structure. As a result, the processes and workflows were not coping with the increasing complexity and demands of the business.

The existing system set-up presented several issues:

  • Concerns around security
  • Multiple users accessing the server at the same time affected the speed and performance (particularly for those accessing internationally via VPN)
  • End-of-month reports took up to 25 days to collate.

Without a total re-implementation of the solution, staying with Sage 50 would have resulted in stagnation of the business’ growth, undermined the company’s cloud migration project and, in turn, the Senior Leadership team’s confidence in the financial information available to them.

With much at stake, the company project team draft a list of requirements for the new solution and project objectives which included:

  • A more modern, cloud-based solution
  • Improved user experience
  • No compromise on technical aspects of the software
  • Solid standard finance functionalities (General Ledger, tax, etc…)
  • Multi-currency capabilities
  • Better insight for the Leadership Team
  • The ability to set-up and report on inter-company charges
  • Multi Consolidation
  • Faster reporting
  • Simplified processes

Overall, the company needed a cloud-based solution which could be accessed easily by their international team at any time, allowing them to implement more intelligent processes.

This would create a faster, more robust financial management system, enabling them to make better informed decisions and invest money, time and resources into areas of the business which need it most.

Despite the complexity of the organisation and its structure, our customer didn’t have a large team to dedicate to the project. Consequently, they needed to find a solution that they could rely on to do the ‘heavy lifting’.

Our customer undertook a comprehensive research process and request for proposal (RFP) in order to select potential software and partner organisations.

Having discounted other software providers due to the solutions size or lack of functionality, the customer narrowed their search to the Sage family of products.

As the team were already familiar with the Sage interface, migrating to another Sage solution would reduce training requirements to bring staff up to speed and implement the new solution efficiently.

Initially, the company made the decision to select Sage X3 as their new financial management system and were working towards roll-out.

They became aware of Sage’s latest cloud-based financial management solution – Sage Intacct – when it was launched in the UK.

At the time, Sage Intacct had been released in the USA but was still a very new software option in the UK. Our customer conducted further research into Intacct, and quickly realised that it would be a much better fit for their business.

While Sage X3 was well established in the UK and offered the functionality our customer required, there were several elements of the software that they would not have used.

However, Sage Intacct offered everything they required and would be a more flexible option for them; allowing them to introduce more add-ons as required to accommodate the growth of the organisation and the development of the company structure.

The business made the bold decision to move away from Sage X3 and implement Sage Intacct; to do this they now needed to find the perfect implementation partner.

There were very few partners with experience of implementing Sage Intacct in the UK, but Acuity stood out to the project team at this global business, due to the thorough detail provided in the scoping process, as well as the knowledge and understanding of their requirements.

The lead sponsor and Commercial Director within the business explained that Acuity took the time to get to know them and their requirements, rather than “just blowing their own horns”.

With Sage Intacct being new to the UK market there were very few partners with experience of implementing the system, so the service provided by Acuity during the scoping stages was the deciding factor for the internal project team.

The Commercial Director added, “Acuity was willing to go into the detail, while others just took us through a standard sales process and told us how wonderful they were. Initial credibility was there.”

The internal team felt that the project management was good, with consistent communication – one of the most important factors for success and customer satisfaction on such a large project.

“Acuity provided weekly updates with proper agendas,” the Commercial Director noted. “If any issues came up, they were dealt with quite quickly, and additional resources were provided when needed.”

The implementation project began in November 2020, with a goal completion date of 1st April 2021.

While some processes were quite different and took some time to get used to, the familiarity with the Sage interface made the adoption of Sage easier for the team.

Several unforeseen factors meant that the project overran slightly, and the final go-live date was in May 2021. However, as the company wanted to ensure that the implementation was thorough, the delay caused no concerns for the team.

Our customer described the transition from Sage 50 to Sage Intacct as “a learning curve”. Particularly for those who have been in the business longer and were therefore used to using Sage 50.

One hurdle the Acuity and customer project team had to work together to overcome was complications with dynamic allocations. This caused a slight delay but was swiftly overcome.

However, the key factor for the success of this implementation project was threefold:

“What makes the difference is the communication and the management and the proactivity. And that’s what was good about Acuity. It wasn’t just competence; the communication was there; the management was good. And as and when things did crop up, they were dealt with early.”

“Before Intacct, all conversations between finance and business unit heads consisted of people not understanding numbers and what things were. Now the conversations are about forecasting and building on numbers and results.

“We are using it proactively now, whereas previously we were using it reactively – always backward looking and investigating numbers. Now, reports are simple and quick, allowing for more productive and predictive conversations.

“The time we get back from faster reporting can be used elsewhere.”

– Customer’s Commercial Director

The core impact on the business has been significant; the customer has put the change down to a combination of the direct impact of Sage Intacct, and partly down to improved processes and workflows as a result of the implementation.

The Commercial Director added:

“We’re now consistently getting sales information out on the first of the month. Five days later, we’ve got PLLs, as opposed to 25 days later when we used Sage 50, by which point, they were pointless. It has had a huge impact on our ability to take and make informed decisions, especially with things moving so quickly at the moment [due to COVID-19].”

While the internal team has found it difficult to establish whether there have been any direct benefits of having Sage Intacct in place on their ability to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, they would have struggled with an overnight adaption to the work-from-home requirement had they still been using Sage 50.

“We had the ability to send people home with whatever they needed and started working remotely overnight. With Sage 50, we would have had to just find a way around it. We would have had to work out how to get people set up with VPNs, and some people might not have had laptops either. So, it definitely made things easier.”

“Has Intacct fulfilled the expectations set by Acuity? Yes.

“Of course, nothing ever fills 100% of expectations, but we definitely weren’t oversold or over-promised anything. It’s only when you start to use something that you start to discover its limitations.

“But we wouldn’t have got to this point without Sage Intacct.”

Interested in Sage Intacct?

Now available in two versions - Sage Intacct and Starter Edition are the perfect financial management solution for any medium-sized business.

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