Thomson Reuters to buy Deloitte's tax software firm Abacus Enterprise

Source: Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, today announced that its Tax & Accounting business has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Abacus Enterprise suite of products and related business operations from Deloitte LLP, a leading professional services firm.

The Abacus suite of products helps corporations and their advisors plan, comply, and remit income taxes and value added taxes (VAT). Based in London, the business offers software products to customers in the U.K., Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Hong Kong as well as supplying VAT software for 20 countries in the European Union. Approximately 40 employees will transfer with the business, and the business will continue to be based in London.

With more than 400 multi-national corporations as clients, Abacus Enterprise's leading web-based software is used by customers to determine applicable taxes, and to comply fully and accurately with ever-changing local tax laws. As tax laws increase in complexity and scope, tax compliance and remittance has become more important for corporations, and for the accounting firms who support them. Intensified regulatory scrutiny and audits of tax returns have dramatically increased the need for accuracy, and since complex corporate returns can number in the thousands of pages, tax compliance software has emerged as a critical tool for tax professionals.

"Abacus is an excellent complementary fit with our business and our strategy, and we believe our focus on software and customers is a perfect match with the Deloitte approach that has been so successful over the years. The Abacus products will combine well with our global product suites, and build on our strong and growing position in the U.K. market," said Roy M. Martin, Jr., President and CEO of Tax & Accounting. "Our plan is to thoughtfully integrate the existing Abacus product line with our global products in tax planning, transfer pricing, provisions and workflow management, while simultaneously providing meaningful investment in new product development, customer support, and broader marketing of the Abacus line."

"Integrating the Abacus suite of products with a leading global provider of tax and accounting software and service solutions will allow the Abacus business and the Abacus product team to realize their full potential," said David Sproul, Managing Director of UK Tax at Deloitte LLP. "Deloitte's strategy is to remain the leading consulting firm when clients are considering how to use technology in managing their tax compliance and accounting processes. Our Tax Management Consulting business comprises over 500 people globally focusing on tax technology consulting, which we combine with our leading tax advisory services."

The Abacus products fill a gap that enhances Thomson Reuters' overall portfolio in the U.K. market. Abacus solutions will be integrated with other leading Thomson Reuters software and digital brands such as ONESOURCE, a web-based corporate tax portal that provides single sign-on capabilities and tools that help practitioners manage documents and track their workflow, as well as TaxStream, Paisley, and Checkpoint. This announcement follows Tax & Accounting's launch of its sales and support operations in the UK in 2007, and the very successful acquisition of national software provider Digita in 2008.

Digita provides integrated tax compliance, and accounting software and services to accounting, tax, and corporate finance professionals serving a client base of over 5,000 users, including 16 of the top 50 accounting firms and three top 10 firms. Abacus also has a strategic distribution relationship in the UK with software provider Sage, which will be retained by Thomson Reuters. Post acquisition, Thomson Reuters will employ over 150 tax technologists and professionals in the U.K.

"We are excited about the prospect of the future for both our U.K. businesses, and for the Abacus customers in Europe and around the world," said Mr. Martin. "Our vision is one that will offer our customers a steadily increasing array of high-quality and leading edge software products and services, all designed with one goal in mind: to help customers accurately and efficiently comply with complex tax laws, wherever they may be."

The transaction is expected to close at a later date. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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