Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting has formed a new North American software unit led by Jason Marx, formerly the head of the company's Small Firm Services unit.

He will be reporting to Karen Abramson, CEO of  Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting. As part of the move, Teresa Mackintosh, president and CEO of Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting US, is leaving the company. Mackintosh had been hired away from rival Thomson Reuters in October 2013.

The new Tax & Accounting North America unit will combine all tax and accounting software businesses in North America, and will be organized by customer segment, including Small Firm Professionals, Medium and Large Firm Professionals, and Corporations. The Canadian operation will now also report into the new North American business unit.

Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting has undergone a number of changes since the company moved away from its earlier identity of CCH two years ago to emphasize the brand name of its Netherlands-based parent company.

Marx most recently held the title of president of Tax & Accounting Small Firm Services, formerly known as CCH SFS, and led Tax & Accounting Brazil where he has introduced new revenue models and products. Before joining Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, Marx worked for Wolters Kluwer Financial & Compliance Services.

“This enables us to focus better on our customer segments,” said Abramson, explaining the reorganization to Accounting Today. “Customers need different types of products and have different needs depending on how large their firm is and what kinds of customers they serve. Accountants have different needs depending on what part of the market they are actually involved in serving. The way that we were organized prior to yesterday is we had multiple units in the U.S. that were serving the same segments in the market, so that created a little bit of confusion on the part of the customer. I think many of our customers would like for us to think of them holistically as one group that we can deliver all of our efforts toward. This enables us to focus more on our customers and their individual needs in the segment. You end up with a leadership team that is completely focused on small firms, so everything that they do is related to all of the software that a small firm needs. They’re constantly working with just small firm customers and just understanding those needs, which are frankly very different than the needs of a national customer who is working in the Big Four. This enables that segment to be focused very differently by the team that’s working for those customers of ours. It enables us to really focus on stronger partnerships and deeper understanding of what the customer’s need is, and that’s really the reason for the reorganization.”

Mackintosh left the company amid the restructuring. “As we were working through the decisions that we were making around the reorganization, Teresa has decided to leave the organization,” said Abramson. “I’m not at liberty to discuss what her next plans are, but I know that you’ll be seeing some sort of an announcement in the upcoming weeks and months.”

Marx is not taking over Mackintosh’s role. “He is stepping into a new role,” said Abramson. “That new role has been created to have the Canadian software assets of SFS, and the software assets of what was the U.S. software business, all combined in this customer segmentation.”

Marx will be overseeing all North American software now, however, not just in the U.S., for small firms as well as large firms.

“All of SFS was small firm segment focused, but we do have a sizable number of small firm customers that had been part of the U.S. CCH software organization,” said Abramson. “We’re creating a new small segment that will enable us to focus on both of those customer groups together. It’s really an evolution of the brand.”

Larger firms are part of a medium and large size professional firm segment. “There’s no immediate change there,” said Abramson. “That’s the same level of attention and deep understanding that’s helped us deliver award-winning products like CCH Axcess. That will continue to be the focus of that group, so there’s really not a big change that’s happening related to the focus on large firms.”

The Tax & Accounting division within Wolters Kluwer, led by Abramson, has a regional structure: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and the rest of the world. The North America unit combines all of the division's software assets and will be led by Marx in North America. The units are organized by customer segments with a focus on various brands such as CCH Axcess, CCH ProSystem, ATX and TaxWise.

“The important point about this is that it is a way to become more aligned so that we look more like our customers look, and we can partner with them,” said Abramson. “With better understanding, we can support them in a more efficient way. It’s really a move to be more aligned with our customer base. We want to be aligned with the way that our customers are working, and we want to be very close to the issues that they have so that we can help them solve the problems that need to be solved so that they can continue to grow, manage and protect their businesses.”

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