Exact (company)

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Besloten vennootschap
IndustryInformation technology, software
HeadquartersDelft, Netherlands
Key people
Phill Robinson (CEO) Eduard Hagens (Founder)
  • Exact Online
  • Exact Globe
  • Exact Synergy
  • Exact Financials
Revenue 216.59 million (2016)[1]
Number of employees
1619 (2016)[1]

Exact is a Dutch software company that offers accounting, ERP, and other software for small and medium enterprises. Exact develops cloud-based and on-premises software for industries such as accountancy, wholesale distribution, professional services and manufacturing, serving more than 400,000 companies.

Exact, founded in 1984, has its headquarters in Delft. It has subsidiaries and offices in Europe, North America and Asia. The company was listed on Euronext until March 2015, when it was bought up by a group of investors led by Apax.[2]


Exact Head office in Delft

Exact was founded in 1984 by Eduard Hagens, Rinus Dekker, Arco van Nieuwland, Paul van Keep, Paul Fijling and Leo Schonk. The six had worked as freelancers for Grote Beer ("Ursa Major"), one of the first Dutch companies to produce standardized accounting software. When Grote Beer fired all of its freelancers, Hagens et al. started their own business.[3] Their Exact Software would later, in 1994, acquire Grote Beer, which at that time had an annual revenue of ƒ100 million,[4] expanding Exact's customer portfolio to some 60,000 companies.[5] The former company's name was used as a trade mark until 2000.[3]

Internationally, Exact grew by acquiring Belgian firms Cobul and Cubic (17,000 customers) in 1989.[5] The opening of offices in the United Kingdom and Russia meant that, as of 1995, 20% of Exact's revenue came from abroad.[6] Expansion into the German market soon followed with the acquisition of Pcas, Bavaria Soft, Szymaniak (1997) and finally Soft Research (1999), German market leader in salary software.[5]

In the 2000s, Exact acquired US manufacturing ERP software providers Macola, JobBOSS and MAX.[7] In 2007, Exact purchased Longview Solutions for US $51.5 million.[8] Longview Solutions got sold off to Marlin Equity Partners in July 2014 for an undisclosed amount of money.[9]

The mid-2000s saw Exact embroiled in internal power struggles. In 2004, founder Eduard Hagens returned from ten months of sailing round the world, to find his company reorganized in a decentralized way that didn't suit his vision of how Exact should be led. Hagens clashed with CEO Lucas Brentjens and CFO Bert Groenewegen, leading to the resignation in September and October of that year of Brentjens, Groenewegen, and subsequently the company's entire board of directors.[10] Hagens's "coup" (as de Volkskrant put it) caused a staff drain within the company. The following April, after the resignation of the company's new CFO, Hagens announced his own departure.[11] He was succeeded by Rajesh Patel.[12]

In October 2014, Exact announced a buy-out by Apax Partners.[1] That acquisition was completed in April, 2015 for a sum of €730 million.[13] The acquisition meant that Exact was de-listed from the Euronext stock exchange, on which it had been listed since 1999.[14]

Exact became the personal sponsor of Dutch Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen in 2015.

In 2017, Exact acquired the French software vendor Dièse Finance and later the administration software company Reeleezee in the Netherlands. Later that year, Exact sold their American division including Macola, JobBOSS and MAX to ECi Software Solutions. Finally, Phill Robinson was announced as Exact’s new CEO


Exact's rise to market leadership was mostly based on its MS-DOS-based accounting package, also called Exact. The company also launched a Windows version of this package, but this was heavily criticized because it never attained the full functionality of the DOS version, leading many companies to stay with the DOS software into the late 1990s.[5]

The Exact package was replaced March 30, 2000 with a new product, Globe 2000. This Windows NT-based product was designed around a modular architecture dubbed "One-X" that underpinned all of Exact's offerings.[5] Criticism of this software focused on the fact that the One-X architecture was incompatible with the older Exact software, and that it was tied to Microsoft SQL Server, which was considered too heavy of a database management system for the small computers typically used at Exact's small and medium enterprise customers.[5]

In 2005 Exact Online was launched, the company's effort to bring Exact software to the cloud.[15][third-party source needed] With this product, Exact initially targeted only the Benelux countries, until in May 2010 it announced a joint venture with Turkish software developer Triodor to market its product in Turkey as an experiment.[16] The trial ended later that year, with Exact citing a lack of results and announcing a sole focus on its Dutch and Belgian markets.[17]

In 2011 a more extensive version of Exact Online was launched; the focus broadened from accountancy software only to an industry ERP solution. In 2018, Exact Online was expanded with the collaboration tool Exact My[Firm].

Other products of Exact are:

Exact Synergy, for CRM, HRM, DMS and workflow

Exact Financials, financial software for non-profits and enterprises with a large transaction volume

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Apax-Linked Funds to Acquire Dutch Software Maker for $925 Million". Dealbook. New York Times. 9 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Aandeel Exact eind maart van de beurs" [Exact stock of the exchange by end of March]. De Telegraaf. 2 March 2015.
  3. ^ a b Pim van der Beek (21 January 2010). "Exact zet merknaam Grote Beer aan de kant" [Exact ditch Grote Beer trade mark]. Computable. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Exact software slokt concurrent Grote Beer op" [Exact Software swallows competitor Grote Beer]. Trouw. 24 September 1994.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Kim Loohuis (17 September 2004). "Exact groeit in twintig jaar tijd uit tot internationale speler". Computable.
  6. ^ George Marlet (31 May 1995). "Software-bedrijf Exact wil groeien door expansie in buitenland" [Software company Exact wants to grow by expanding abroad]. Trouw.
  7. ^ "Exact Software will acquire US based Macola Technologies Inc" (Press release). Exact Holding. February 7, 2001.
  8. ^ "Dutch firm to acquire Longview". The Star. Toronto. September 18, 2007. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  9. ^ "Longview Solutions Acquired by Marlin Equity Partners". prnewswire.com. PR Newswire. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  10. ^ "Machtstrijd breekt Exact op: 'Control-freak' zet onderneming weer naar zijn hand". Computable. 17 September 2004.
  11. ^ "Oprichter Hagens gaat softwarehuis Exact verlaten". de Volkskrant. 8 April 2005.
  12. ^ "Exact koestert boekhoudende bakker". de Volkskrant. 28 July 2006.
  13. ^ "PE HUB | Apax Partners closes buy of Exact for 730 mln euros". www.pehub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-09.
  14. ^ "Exact neemt afscheid van de beurs". Computable. 31 March 2015.
  15. ^ "Accountant werkt samen met ondernemer in Exact Online" (Press release). Exact Holding. November 2, 2015.
  16. ^ "Exact Online gaat Turkse markt op via Triodor". Computable. 12 May 2010.
  17. ^ "Exact beëindigt Exact Online pilot in Turkije". Exact. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011.

External links[edit]