Industry Insights: Agworld and Leap the Pond
Steve Hilton, CFO of Agworld, recently shared with Intacct Partner, Leap the Pond, why Agworld chose Intacct.
Leap the Pond: Steve, can you tell the readers a little bit about Agworld?
Steve Hilton: Agworld was founded in 2009 by three people, Doug Fitch (AU), Matthew Powell (now in the US) and Chris Ramsay (left Agworld). We offer a collaborative farming solution to the agricultural industry that allows the grower or the farmer to connect with an advisor, a bank, the suppliers, and/or the R&D companies. We enable them to scale and make their businesses more effective. I joined Agworld in 2013 and have been the CFO since 2014.
I look after the financial operations of the Australian head office, two locations in the US, along with New Zealand, and we are exploring opportunities in Brazil and Canada. It’s an exciting time for Agworld!
Leap the Pond: How did you hear about Leap the Pond and Intacct?
Steve Hilton: I met David Furth, the founder of Leap the Pond, initially. I was really impressed with David on how responsive he is – I don't think he sleeps! He was always responsive right through the Leap the Pond implementation phase.
Leap the Pond recommended Intacct as a cloud ERP company that really supports growing businesses. I realized Intacct could support Agworld through our high growth phase and beyond. We looked at NetSuite also but I was just a lot more impressed with Intacct as a whole.
Leap the Pond: Prior to Intacct, what sort of things did Agworld struggle with?
Steve Hilton: I was pulling reports from all different data sources: Excel, the Agworld system itself, etc. And then trying to update with the usual SaaS metrics that a business like ours wants to monitor: churn, lifetime value, cost of acquisition, monthly recurring revenue, ARR, etc. This data was taking weeks every month to pull together.
Leap the Pond: And what attracted you to Intacct?
Steve Hilton: The first thing that struck me about Intacct was its UI; it is quite nice. I've used SAP and Oracle in the past and they are really clunky pieces of software that can take you months to learn where you're going and navigating. With Intacct though, it was, “Wow, everything’s there, it's simple to use.” I thought that was really useful. We have only been using Intacct for a few months, but I've found it very valuable.
The power of dimensions also blew my mind – it was a real light bulb moment for me.
The other four things in Intacct that I’ve been impressed with was automated revenue management, the great chart of accounts design, the Intacct Digital Board (which I’m expecting to go live April-17) which Leap the Pond recommended to me, and also the Salesforce integration, which unfortunately we have not implemented just yet due to internal processes.
Leap the Pond: Are there any particular moments that stick out to you since implementing Intacct?
Steve Hilton: I realized the power of Intacct fairly quickly. We went live in July and we had two month ends which were transitional and then September month-end I basically approved remotely. I was traveling to San Francisco for our board meeting and managed to approve all purchase orders and invoices on the go. I was also flying to Machu Picchu from San Francisco and I managed to close the month end and pull out reports and metrics all on the go in between flights. That would never have been possible with our earlier systems and all our Excel-based reporting. That was really powerful to me and I realized how quickly the value can come out of such a system and I was really impressed.
A lady in my team who is part-time was previously doing all the revenue management via an Excel spreadsheet separately. Basically all our revenue is deferred, it's paid up in front annually. She didn't actually believe me when I said it was all going to be automated with Intacct.
There was about a week at month-end where I would just need her to review all the revenue schedules and it was a lot of work and then it would take me about a week to review it as well because it was all Excel based. We've had three months now where we've done automatic revenue schedules and my Board is thrilled.
Leap the Pond: What’s in store for the future with Agworld, Intacct, and Leap the Pond?
Steve Hilton: Next step I think we'll look the Intacct Digital Board and then potentially the Salesforce integration.
I see our work with Leap the Pond as a long-term relationship as well. I think when someone is asked, “Would you ever recommend software or a company?” The best value of that is being able to say, “Yes.” I have no hesitation in recommending Leap the Pond. And I have done so and will continue to do so. I'm more than happy to talk through my experiences with other businesses, not just Australia-based but other businesses as well.