Reckon sells accounting division for $100m

Australia’s only ASX-listed accounting software company, Reckon, has agreed to sell its Accountants Practice Management Group to the UK-based Access Group for $100 million.

The Reckon board has recommended the all-cash sale to shareholders and will return proceeds via a special dividend once the deal is complete.

The deal takes in Reckon’s APS Practice Management software for larger firms and Reckon Elite for smaller firms. The company said it would work with Access to ensure a smooth transaction and “business as usual” for users of the products following the acquisition.

The Sydney company will continue to operate its Business Group, which boasts 114,000 users for its SME accounting and payroll software, plus a Legal Group focused on practice management software and based in the US.

“The sale agreement with Access Group represents a compelling offer, which we believe is in the best interests of our shareholders,” said Reckon Group chief executive Sam Allert. “This acquisition is the natural next step to ensuring continued investment in our vision to simplify business for the benefit of all our customers.

“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.”

The president of Access Group in the region, Kerry Agiasotis, said: “We are bringing together two businesses with a strong track record over more than 30 years of 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.”

The Access Group’s expansion into the Asia Pacific began with the purchase of HandiSoft as part of its acquisition of Sage’s Australia and Asia businesses in 2021.

It has since acquired Attaché, Unleashed, Joyful, Volcanic and Asian businesses, Definitiv, EziTracker, FastTrack360 and Vincere and now employs 900 in the region from a global workforce of 5,000.

Reckon, which began three decades ago and listed on the ASX in 1999, would be able to focus on its business and legal operations once the sale was complete, said Mr Allert.

“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,” he said.

“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 and payroll cloud solutions to help small businesses turn ambition into accomplishment, building upon our 114,000 cloud customers.”

The purchase of Reckon’s Accountants Practice Management Group is expected to be finalised in three months.

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