40 years of collaboration with Exact: Accounting firm Utrecht shares their story

40 years Exact: Accounting firm Utrecht shares their story

Exact is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Accounting firm Utrecht is nearing its 80th birthday, and the financial experts there have been working with Exact for 40 years. As a long-time customer, current owner Jan Verwoert reflects on four decades of collaboration. “I’ve experienced all the innovations, from DOS to Online and everything in between.”


“Our founder established the company a few months after the war,” Jan begins. “In the late fifties, Mr. Van der Linden took over, and in 1993, Accounting firm Utrecht was acquired by two certified public accountants. I joined in 1996 and am now the sole owner. Together with seven employees, I look forward to our 80th anniversary in 2025. And to 2034, when we will have worked with Exact for 50 years! I want to reach that milestone, then I can retire.”

I want to make it to 50 years, then I can retire!”

Innovation through the years

In 1984, Mr. Van der Linden decided to automate the office. He chose the DOS package Grote Beer. At the time, this was a competitor of Exact, but since Exact acquired it in the 90s, it has become a part of it. “For a long time, we did our accounting in Grote Beer,” Jan explains. “Not long after I joined, we switched to Exact for Windows. Later it became Exact Globe, and then I was called to switch to Exact Online. For a while, we used both Globe and Online side by side. Existing customers in Globe, new customers in Online. About six years ago, we moved all customers over and now work entirely in Exact Online.”

I’ve seen the entire development of computers and took each step in automation."

Business software

From DOS to Online

“I worked in the era of diskettes for software,” Jan continues. “I’ve seen the entire development of computers and took each step in automation. At Accounting firm Utrecht, we are not early adopters. I always waited for two or three updates. Get the bugs out first, then we will follow, was my opinion. The switch from DOS to Windows was the biggest step and took some getting used to. Windows brought more structure and was less easy to play with. Moving from Windows to Globe was even more refined, and once in Online, everything came together. The package is so well-equipped, and almost everything is pre-processed. Filing a VAT return without processing everything first? That’s a thing of the past.”

Serve more customers in the same amount of time

“Exact Online takes over many of the manual tasks. I can serve more customers in the same amount of time. Take for example the processing of bank statements. Since the transaction data is automatically processed, it saves 90% of the work. Processing bank statements used to take about 1.5 hours per customer, so you do the math on the savings. However, some of our customers are still hesitant to use it. We try to convince them, but ultimately the customer decides how we provide our services for them. In the beginning, we still sent 130 invoices on paper and 40 digitally. Now it’s 30 on paper and 140 digitally. 100% digital invoicing is the next step. Maybe I’ll still see that happen, after all, I have a few years left.”

Exact Online communicates perfectly with other systems, so I'm not worried about anything.

Achieving goals together

The goal of Accounting firm Utrecht is simple: to serve the client. ‘And Exact helps with that by letting us handle their administrations efficiently. Without it costing much,’ says Jan. ‘They've been doing that for 40 years and I see no reason why that doesn't become 50 or 60. We are simply satisfied and not easy switchers. At one time we did look at an ERP package that offered everything in one. We then sought external advice. ‘You have the best software now, both for accounting and for tax and payroll processing. Why would you want to switch and depend on one supplier?", was the answer. And that's exactly how it is. If something works well, we stick to it. Of course, sometimes I do see improvement options. For instance, I think Scan & Recognise is a bit too detail oriented. That will probably be optimized in an upcoming update. Other than that, there is little that I miss. Exact Online communicates perfectly with other systems, so I'm not worried about anything.’

A good cooperation

Every now and then Jan contacts Exact Online's helpdesk, which always goes smoothly. ‘It's not like I have coffee with the account manager every year or attend all the events that Exact organizes,’ says Jan. ‘I'm not into that. If there is news, I see it appearing in an e-mail. Sometimes personal contact is handy, for example if they want to explain a new feature. Once I participated in a pilot of a product. That was a few years ago and was about spreading costs over several years. When it comes to developments especially for accountancy, I like to help.’ In summary, Jan just wants software that works well, which is the case with Exact. ‘I actively promote Exact Online to my customers. It connects (with other apps) nice and easy. And you save a lot of time on manual work. It works as it should. And that's what it's all about. So on to the next anniversary!’

40 years of continious innovation
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