The major changes are to their AP Bill Automation solution and to automated usage billing for subscriptions.
SMB-focused accounting, financial and payroll technology software maker Sage has announced Sage Intacct 2023 Release 1, the latest version of its fast-growing mid-market solution. The new updates place a high priority on automation, specifically Accounts Payable [AP] Bill Automation and the automation of usage billing for evergreen subscriptions.
“Sage Intacct is our fastest growing product, and the best product of its type in the market today,” said Daniel Oh, VP of Medium Segment for Sage in Canada, who started out at Sage as a customer service rep and has been with the company for over 20 years.
Oh stressed that this release is centred on evolving Intacct to increase its Artificial Intelligence [AI] functionality to overcome gaps that still exist in customer capabilities.
“This release is very much focused on delivering automation and AI to Intacct,” he indicated.
While the advantages of automation are, or should be, well known at this point, Oh emphasized that a majority of businesses in Canada are nowhere near as proficient as they should be here.
“A recent study found that 56% of business in Canada don’t have complete automation in place,” he stated. “We handle that by connecting them with Canadian banks and business processing providers in the Sage Business Cloud. Through this they can automate AP processing , through reconciliation and reporting.”
This connection capability existed before. The difference with the new release is the level of automation that Sage provides in its execution.
“The process before was manual,” Oh said. “Now we are leveraging a lot of the AI and automation to streamline things, which in turn allows customers to be much more efficient. Something as simple as automating the AP process produces a significant return on their ROI. IDC calculates that it results in a 3-1 return on the customer’s investment.” It saves up to half the time necessary for AP processing.
In addition, the AP Bill Automation solution has no monthly subscription or implementation fee, so customers pay based only on what they use.
Canada is one of several countries, along with the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia, in which the AP Bill Automation solution is currently available to select customers through an early adopter program.
A second area where automation has been enhanced involves automating usage billing for subscriptions.
“This is what we call evergreen billing, and it is focused on subscription-based businesses,” Oh said. Through it, users can automate their financial processes without the need for additional third party billing applications, improving visibility and minimizing complexities.
“We automate it every month for every customer,” Oh said. “Without the automation, this process can be very arduous if you have a lot of customers.”
Automated usage billing for subscriptions is now available in Canada, the US, UK, South Africa, and Australia.
Some Sage solutions have been expanded to new geos, although none of these directly impact Canada. Sage Intacct Planning, which was already available in both Canada and the U.S., is now available in South Africa and Australia, with the United Kingdom to follow in the first half of 2023. Sage Intelligent Time, an AI-powered time assistant, which was also available in the U.S. and Canada previously, is being expanded to the same geos as Sage Intacct Planning, over the same timeframe. Access to the early adopter program for Sage Intacct in France is also now open.
Oh noted as well that a new report released in mid-February, Managing Modern Finance in a Time of Unprecedented Change, found issues with how finance leaders are currently facing challenges.
“60% of Canadian financial leaders said that time they spend on tedious manual processes limits their ability to work on strategic projects,” Oh said.