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Intacct has signed a partnership deal with Clarizen ( so that between the two companies, they can provide all the cloud applications professional services and project-based businesses need to do work management and financial management. The two cloud computing applications providers will integrate their applications to work together more closely.

According to Laurie Wood, senior product marketing manager at Intacct, the partnership between Intacct and Clarizen will meet the two prime objectives services-based businesses are focused on – executing on their services and running the financial end. The front end of services businesses is focused on generating work, building the pipeline and delivering the work, and as their businesses grow in complexity and size, they find it more difficult to effectively manage their resources to deliver work to clients and to do all the invoicing and collections.

“The relationship with Clarizen has really brought to the market the needs of more sophisticated services-based businesses,” Wood said. “The firms have more than 25-50 billable consultants. They’re concerned in ensuring the resource scheduling and planning is down pat.”

In conjunction with the partnership announcement, Intacct also launched its new Project Accounting cloud application, which was designed to help professional services businesses maximize their performance profitability and improve cash flow.

Intacct Project Accounting is a set of tools that automate the financial and operational processes in the services delivery lifecycle. It can be integrated with Intacct’s accounting and financial management cloud applications to give customers better financial visibility. Clarizen’s work management cloud application is being integrated with Project Accounting and Intacct’s other financial management applications.

Services businesses are typically geographically distributed, so they can get a lot of benefit out of cloud applications, said Betsy Bland, vice president of product marketing at Intacct. Wood added that the scenario for services-based businesses is that they have many billable consultants in the field. The partnership between Intacct and Clarizen means those consultants can use Clarizen’s applications for the execution piece of their business, and then the data is send over to Intacct’s applications to do invoicing, profitability analysis, reporting, expense management and accounts payable.

“Their primary objective is to accurately capture time and expenses from those billable consultants,” Wood said.

Services businesses have unique cash management challenges because they incur expenses before they receive payment, she noted. Naturally, they want to get invoices out as quickly as possible so they can receive payment from clients.

What this means for the channel is extra value-add they can bring to their clients because of the Intacct/Clarizen partnership and the new Project Accounting application, Bland said.

“One of the things about Intacct is that we are very focused on building an indirect channel,” she said.

Intacct recently hired Taylor Macdonald as its new vice president of channels to drive further sales through the channel and build on the company’s existing channel strategy.

“I think there’s just a ton of interest right now in the VAR channel around the cloud, and we’re starting to see people move beyond interest in education and really start to sign up,” Bland said.