FSN interviews Paul Byrne, CEO Trintech

21st March 2011

Trintech is one of a small clutch of companies setting the pace in the rapidly moving financial reporting and compliance market.  In recent years it has established itself as a specialist in the ‘Last Mile’ of finance, i.e. providing process automation around the tasks necessary to deliver management, statutory, regulatory reporting and filings post-consolidation as well as electronic filings in XBRL.  Its CEO Paul Byrne talks to Gary Simon, FSN’s managing editor about the company’s move back into private hands last year and its ambitions for the future.

Trintech’s name hasn’t always been associated with ‘Last Mile’ processing. It’s roots some 20 years ago were in payment processing but since that time it has been through a major metamorphosis, creating deep capability in automated reconciliations, acquiring ‘Last Mile’ pioneer Movaris (which coined the phrase ‘Last Mile’) and more recently developing XBRL capability.  This has culminated in the creation of the broadly based Trintech Unity platform and confirmed Trintech as a major player in the financial reporting and governance space.

Unsurprisingly the company has drawn attention from potential acquirers and towards the tail end of 2010 it reached a deal with Spectrum, a venture capitalist, which saw all of the founding shareholders exiting and the quoted business becoming a private company once again.

“The deal was not about attracting capital,” Paul Byrne tells FSN.  “We are cash positive and making very healthy   profits.  The transaction gave the opportunity for Trintech founder shareholders to exit the business, but it also gave us access to a war chest to take on further acquisitions to meet the rapidly expanding needs of this market.” 

“Spectrum has a good knowledge of the GRC market and sees its potential.  The acquisition of Clarity Systems by IBM has changed the landscape for reporting solutions and tilted the balance of relationships in our favour.  We are not seen as a threat to client relationships by systems integrators and other potential partners. As a result we are looking for partnerships in new geographies to accelerate our growth and expand our reach into new markets. For example we have just signed up a South African partner that specialises in SAP implementations,” adds Byrne.

Byrne is also pleased to be operating as a private company once again. “We are not tied to quarterly reporting or making short term investment decisions just to keep the markets happy. It means we can save the costs of being a public company and make bigger investments for the long term good of the business.”

One investment that is paying off handsomely is the development of Trintech’s XBRL capability. Byrne is delighted that the product has proved its potency by being listed on the HMRC site as a provider of iXBRL conversion software but there is also a more subtle impact.  The mandatory requirement to comply with XBRL and iXBRL is piling pressure on an already stretched finance function which needs to find better, more productive ways of working with the same resources. 

“This plays heavily into our Unity suite of software which provides the process automation capability necessary to optimise financial processes and increase productivity,” says Byrne.

Now that the dust has settled on the ‘take-private’ Paul Byrne says that company is moving forward. New product announcements and partnerships are waiting in the wings and as reported in FSN in December, Trintech is certainly a company to watch in 2011.