MYOB’s proposed acquisition of cloud practice management software provider GreatSoft will now be scrutinised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
MYOB to acquire GreatSoft; competition watchdog kicks off review
MYOB is currently seeking to acquire 100 per cent of GreatSoft Australia, in a bid to bring together its cloud-based practice management software with MYOB’s suite of desktop products.
On Wednesday, the ACCC kicked off its review of the proposed acquisition, calling for submissions on whether the deal would likely have the effect of substantially lessening competition in the market.
The competition watchdog will only release its views in late January next year.
The proposed acquisition comes after the South Africa-based GreatSoft established itself in Australia in 2018, with founder and chief executive of APS (now part of the Reckon Group) Brian Armstrong at the helm.
It remains to be seen how the acquisition will affect other providers in the market, with GreatSoft reaching an agreement with Xero last year, and both companies securing mid-tier firm RSM shortly after.
MYOB has had to contend with ACCC scrutiny before, with their attempt to acquire Reckon’s Accountants Group met with scepticism by the watchdog that believed a deal would give MYOB a monopoly on practice software for medium to large accounting firms.
The acquisition attempt was ultimately abandoned, and MYOB later saw an ownership change after a takeover by US-based private equity giant KKR in 2019.
Former MYOB chief executive Tim Reed, who stepped down in the wake of the KKR takeover, had previously shrugged off GreatSoft’s entry into the Australian market, noting that it was just one component that accountants needed in running their practice, and that the market tended to drift towards “providers who can provide a complete integrated suite of solutions”.
An MYOB spokesperson told AccountantsDaily the company was looking forward to receiving the green light from the ACCC.
“We are excited by the opportunity to bring together GreatSoft Australia’s cloud-based practice management software and integration platform with MYOB’s suite of desktop and cloud software solutions, to provide additional practice management capabilities for accounting practices,” the spokesperson said.
“This will accelerate MYOB’s cloud-based practice management solutions for accountants, offering new features such as document management, client accounting and tax, as well as flexibility to integrate easily with other cloud-based software through APIs, which gives accountants greater choice, control and flexibility.”