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Thomson Reuters Unit Gets Boost From Cloud Sales

  • Michael Cohn
  • August 02 2012, 9:50am EDT
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The Professional Segment of the Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters saw sales growth of 22 percent this year in its accounting and practice management product lines compared to the same period last year.

The unit announced Wednesday that it also experienced a 19.4 percent increase in new sales of its UltraTax CS software, including on-premise and cloud-based configurations.

Tax & Accounting Professional Segment managing director Jon Baron attributed the numbers to a strong focus on the needs of the profession, and to continued emphasis on product innovation and technology leadership, along with the willingness of tax and accounting firms to invest in tools designed to improve firm productivity and profitability.

“Whether it’s mobile or cloud technology, workflow intelligence solutions, or new client collaboration advances, we’re continually raising the bar for what integrated tax and accounting software suites can deliver to practitioners,” Baron said in a statement. “We’ve been able to bring various new products to market that harness those advances for the benefit of our customers and their end clients, and it’s leading to some very exciting new possibilities in the profession."

Thomson Reuters reported its second quarter financial results Tuesday, with revenues from ongoing businesses of $3.2 billion, a 3 percent increase before currency. Part of the growth was driven by the Tax & Accounting business.

"Our results for the quarter and first half of the year were on track," said Thomson Reuters CEO James C. Smith in a statement. "Growth in the second quarter was driven by the strong performance of our Legal, Tax & Accounting and Intellectual Property & Sciences businesses.”

Revenues in the Tax & Accounting unit increased 25 percent (5 percent on an organic basis) driven by acquisitions and strong growth in revenues from the ONESOURCE system and software sales to professional accounting firms. EBITDA increased 22 percent and the corresponding margin decreased 40 basis points to 29.7 percent due mainly to acquisition dilution. Operating profit increased 19 percent and the corresponding margin decreased 70 basis points to 19.8 percent.

Baron also cited the availability of the CS Professional Suite in either on-premise or cloud-based configurations as a major factor behind the excellent results of the Professional Segment.

“More and more firms are looking for a deeply integrated suite that’s based in the cloud, and we’ve been offering that since 1999,” Baron said. “Every day thousands of tax and accounting firms and tens of thousands of individual tax and accounting professionals rely on our market-proven online solutions. The peace of mind that comes from partnering with a vendor that has been delivering cloud-based solutions for more than a decade is reassuring, as is the automatic availability of our new products in a cloud environment like Accounting CS, Accounting CS Payroll, Accounting CS Client Access, and the recently released Workpapers CS.”

Thomson Reuters’ series of thought leadership events, including the Users’ Conference and Partner Summits, has also increased in sales. The 2012 results indicate a brighter outlook in the tax and accounting profession and further evidence that technology that allows firms to operate in the cloud and serve their clients over the Web are now being widely adopted, according to Baron.

“The profession is moving toward a future where it’s not about how big you are; it’s about new ideas that you can bring to the table to better serve your clients,” he said. “For the firms that are willing to invest, it’s going to lead to a more innovative, more collaborative, and more profitable future.”

This story first appeared on the Accounting Today web site

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