AUSTRALIAN technology company simPRO Software has acquired what it calls a "cornerstone shareholding" in rapidly growing cloud-based accounting software company Gem Software Solutions. This is likely to give simPRO a new edge with its enterprise systems, giving fast-growing SMEs economical access to top-line accounting and cutting into the market of established players such as MYOB and QuickBooks.
Brad Couper, simnPRO Software CEO.
This gives simPRO control of Gem Accounts accounting software (www.gemaccounts.com) that has been rolled-out successfully in six different countries, including the recent US launch.
Gem Software Solutions is to become an operational part of the simPRO Software Group and provide simPRO a position on the three-person board to help guide the growth of Gem.
According to simPRO Software CEO Brad Couper, the strategic investment would allow simPRO to offer a fully integrated general ledger as part of the company’s enterprise system.
“We will now be able to provide a complete end-to-end solution to the mid market and large business space,” Mr Couper said.
He said Gem Software Solutions was on track to deliver $2.2 million in revenue for its first fiscal year based on the current take up rate across its operating regions which includes Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, Singapore and, soon, in the UK market.
Mr Couper said Gem Accounts had been designed from the ground up to deliver a fully featured, scalable cloud accounting software system for medium, large and growing small businesses "with all the features you would expect in a serious financial package at the price of a reasonable desktop package".
This fits in precisely with the simPRO client base of mid market businesses and adds to the portfolio of simPRO’s cloud businesses and products which include simPRO Enterprise, simPRO Connect, simPRO eForms and simTRAC vehicle tracking.
“Traditionally we offered accounting links from our cloud product into desktop accounting systems, and recently have been integrating with the small business cloud accounting systems via API,” Mr Couper said.
“With the drive to the cloud, our midsize and large clients have not been able to take full advantage of the cloud accounting systems on the market as the smaller systems typically have feature limitations or system limitations, where the larger systems are often too expensive for the mid market.
“Gem provides simPRO users with a well priced, fully featured cloud accounting solution.” Mr Couper said.
The investment would also provide simPRO with exposure to the rapidly growing cloud-based accounting software market.
“With the likes of Xero establishing the broader market acceptance of cloud accounting we realise that this market is only going to continue to grow... with no major players in the mid-market we believe that getting in early will deliver significant returns in the long term.”
Gem Accounts managing director Andrew Crowe said the investment would provide Gem Accounts with the capital to expand its product offering and market presence.
“More importantly it gives us access to the knowledge and experience of a proven, Australian software company that has successfully expanded internationally,” he said. “We will be working closely with the simPRO team to integrate Gem into the simPRO group and to collaborate on international market growth with resource sharing where needed.”
Although Gem will be part of the simPRO Software Group, it will run independently and will not be limited to targeting clients in the same vertical niche as simPRO. Mr Couper said simPRO would also become a major Gem client, with the accounts of its five operating companies in three countries switching to the software.
Established in 2002, simPRO Software is a Brisbane based self-funded software company with operations in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. It claims to be the global leader in job management software for the services and contracting sector to improve productivity and profitability in businesses.
Melbourne-based Gem Software Solutions produces the Gem Accounts cloud accounting software for mid market business. Gem Accounts is a fully featured accounting product with multi country capability providing multi currency, multi language, and line-by-line eliminations for consolidation.