The company founded as Somerset Cloud last year has a new name, new majority owner and an even higher growth curve than originally projected.
In August 2019, locally based accounting firm Somerset CPAs PC launched Somerset Cloud—a software-as-a-service firm offering wares that help businesses automate and outsource bookkeeping, payroll, expense reporting and other back office functions. It also named Matt Tait, an entrepreneur and a veteran of the local tech sector, the new limited liability corporation’s managing director.
Six months earlier, Somerset had hired Tait with the idea of starting a new company.
Now, Tait has closed on a deal to buy the majority share of the company and has changed its name to Decimal. Somerset CPAs maintains a minority share of the firm.
“People ask me if Decimal is an accounting firm or tech company, and I say yes to both,” Tait told IBJ. “Decimal signifies a middle ground of both. Decimal emerged to us as a great name in the marketplace.”
Somerset officials said the sale of Somerset Cloud was good for both operations.
“With all of the uncertainty, we, like the rest of the world, were trying to deal with related to COVID, Somerset made the decision to focus on its core business in order to help our clients through these uncertain times,” Ben Kimmerling, Somerset principal told IBJ. “The management of the Somerset Cloud business was focused on the same thing, therefore we put together a deal good for both sides. Ultimately it turned out to be good for both parties.”
Decimal is growing its staff and customer base.
The company has tripled its revenue in the last six months, Tait said. He declined to say how much revenue the firm is bringing in.
The company, he said, is operating in 13 states and will have about 100 customers by the end of this year. “We’ll be in 14 states within a week,” he added.
While 35% to 40% of Decimal’s business comes from Indiana, it also has customers across the country, Tait said.
Decimal does work for customers in various verticals including consulting, marketing, technology, professional services, wealth management and construction.
“I think we can do 250% growth next year,” Tait said. “By 2023, our goal is to be a $10 million company. The likelihood of that is extremely high. I actually think we can beat that.
“We’ve been building slowly and growing quickly,” he added. “We’re just now starting to add gas to our engine, kicking up marketing and adding sales staffing.”
The company has grown much faster than Tait initially anticipated.
“All goals and expectations we made, I can throw out the window,” he said. “We’ve exceeded those by 50%.”
The company has grown by word of mouth and through email and social media marketing. Tait expects marketing to increase nationally in the coming months and also expects to make a bigger push for growth in the firm’s own backyard.
“We are going to start launching in the Indy market,” he said. “We got a bunch of Indy referrals and that’s what’s kicked this off.”
There definitely seems to be a pandemic push to Decimal’s growth.
“Right now, there are a lot of companies looking to outsource and cut costs,” Tait said. “It’s cheaper to hire [Decimal] for $2,000 a month rather than hire a bookkeeper for $60,000 a year.
“Finding a company that does [outsourced back office functions] well at a fixed cost can be difficult. That’s what we do. We fill a real need that companies have in all market places. And in many cases, we can do it better and more efficiently than companies can do in-house.”
Tait said customers can get started with Decimal for as little as $500 a month. He’s not interested in working for customers on an hourly basis.
“As a person who has paid a lot of billable hours, I’ve never liked that system. We want to give [customers] fixed rates, and it’s our problem if we quoted it wrong,” Tait said.
Decimal also has been boosted by small and mid-sized companies that needed help obtaining federal paycheck protection program loans.
“We can help with PPP loans at the push of a button,” Tait said. “Our clients got in [their PPP request] in a heartbeat.”
Tait credits Decimal’s local and regional banking partners, including First Merchants, Stockyard Bank and the National Bank of Indianapolis, for helping its customers secure loans quickly.
“Our banking partners have been absolutely fantastic,” Tait said. “We even have our out-of-state customers using them.”
Tait insists Decimal’s value is beyond number crunching.
“The accounting is the commodity; true operations is the skill set,” he explained. “What we do is dive into how to make this easy for the businesses while giving them real-time data. We put processes in place so customers can go about their normal business. The operational value is what’s really important to businesses.
And while Decimal is a tech company, its employees don’t solely rely on the increasing number of digital communication methods.
“If it’s going to take more than five minutes to explain something, I tell my employees to pick up the phone and call the client,” he said. “It benefits the client to talk to them. We act like a remote team member. We spend a ton more time with our clients on a weekly and monthly basis.”
Decimal, Tait emphasized, is not competing with big accounting firms.
“What differentiates us in the marketplace is we don’t want to touch taxes and advisory services,” Tait said. “We have great partners for that.”
Decimal, which is working fully remotely, has eight full-time employees. Tait anticipates having 10 by the end of this year and 22 by the end of 2021.
Most of Decimal’s employees fall into one of two categories. “They’re either controller level or technology people,” he said.
At this point, Tait has no plans to establish a physical office.
“I like working with people all over the country as well as people right here in Indianapolis,” Tait said. “Our goal is to maintain a remote work force and give our employees an opportunity to get their job done wherever they feel comfortable. I think we’re building a really cool remote culture, and I think that will continue to grow. We may be far apart but we’re staying closely connected through various virtual events, meetings and gatherings.”