Partnerships and people help AcctTwo soar

Since its foundation in 2010, Houston-based firm AcctTwo has grown quickly, and has in fact been one of the fastest growing value-added resellers on Accounting Today's VAR 100 list, doubling its revenue between 2015 and today. The firm attributes much of its success to its long-standing partnership with Sage Intacct, this year marking the fifth in a row that AcctTwo won the cloud accounting provider's Partner of the Year award. But the technology partnership has worked hand in hand with a successful recruitment and culture-building strategy to make the firm what it is today.

When AcctTwo was launched in 2010, CEO and founder Marcus Wagner wanted to use his experiences as an auditor with Big Four firm PwC, and from the firm he founded later in Houston, to help small businesses outsource back-office accounting processes. He adopted Intacct’s accounting software (the company became Sage Intacct when Sage acquired Intacct last year), and the technology company has been his partner since the firm’s founding, helping him build a strong consulting, development and technical services practice.

But profits, numbers of clients and investment in software aren't what earn AcctTwo the top partner honor from Sage Intacct every year. Rather, it’s the “softer” or less quantifiable achievements that push AcctTwo to the top, founder and CEO Marcus Wagner said, like “the degree to which [the firm] contribute[s] knowledge to the overall partner ecosystem.”

Marcus Wagner AcctTwo

“If Sage Intacct asks us to participate in a panel, or co-develop a methodology, we do that for them,” Wagner said. For instance, AcctTwo, together with Top 100 Firm Armanino, developed a sales cycle methodology for creating a deep understanding of a company’s needs — organizational structure, challenges, current systems in place — that Sage Intacct now uses for their sales process.

AcctTwo has achieved such stellar growth by “recognizing an opportunity when it presents itself,” Wagner said. “About the only thing I personally take credit for is seeing an opportunity to migrate middle-market companies from outdated, on-premise systems to the cloud. The opportunity was huge in 2011, and it’s accelerating, and there’s still so much untapped potential in the market. But recognizing it is one thing, doing it is another.”

When Wagner says that’s the only thing he takes credit for, he means that he couldn’t have built his firm without good people. He is hungry for growth, and invests heavily in recruitment to make sure that the firm's high rate of growth remains steady. Historically, Wagner explained, AcctTwo has been dominant in the faith and nonprofit space, so he hired a leader in that industry, Tammy Bunting, who served many years as the director of finance for a church group, to serve as director of AccTwo’s not-for-profit services. She in turn brought with her a dedicated team of specialists to help her grow the firm’s NFP business.

“At every stage of growth, we hire for two stages forward,” Wagner said. “We over-invest in the present to be ready for the future.”

Sage Intacct has also proven a strong partner for a firm like AcctTwo that wants to create very distinct service capabilities for their specific client verticals. The firm has its own team of developers that build feature sets for Sage Intacct’s existing platform, customizing the software for its NFP, faith, and oil and gas industry clients.

Wagner’s growth goals for the firm include finding a new customer vertical to expand into, now that AcctTwo has solid footing in its existing markets. He plans to “double down” on providing managed accounting services: “Clients are really ready to be able to buy the outcome, instead of building an accounting platform from scratch,” he said.

“The Sage Intacct Partner of the Year Award is validation that we’re doing the right things, and that they continue to value us,” Wagner added. “That’s always gratifying. It’s something we celebrate with our employees and thank them for — because none of what we talked about would be possible without our employees and our culture.”

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