Private equity-based Ascend, which has invested in three regional accounting firms, has announced that it has acquired Sentient Solutions for Accounting, an offshore accounting services provider with offices in India and Mexico.
Sentient will serve as the resource for firms that join the Ascend platform. So far this year, Ascend has invested in the non-attest businesses of Vancouver, Wash.-based Opsahl Dawson San Antonio-based ATKG and LMC of New York.
Sentient has over 100 highly trained employees, primarily in Hyderabad, India, who provide outsourced services in tax, assurance and client accounting. It also has a technology arm that develops and markets AI tools such as those that proofread assurance reports and automate employee benefit audits.
“The reality is that smaller CPA firms cannot do offshoring themselves, even though they would love to have the extra capacity,” says Ascend founder and CEO David Wurtzbacher. Building an offshore team is extremely difficult, especially when CPAs are already buried in client service. Furthermore, smaller firms don’t have the critical mass to be a top client of an outsourcing firm, so they miss out on dedicated service teams, rapid responses to feedback and smooth integrations. Bringing Sentient onto the Ascend platform will give our partner firms the opportunity to scale up and balance out the work they are assigning to their U.S.-based teams.”
Venkat Sharma, Sentient’s founder and CEO, who is joining Ascend’s executive leadership team, says, “This investment from Ascend fuels Sentient to further drive success for accounting firms with the same focus on quality, flexibility, and technology we’ve had from the beginning.”