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Springbrook Acquires Small Government-Focused BIAS Software

Springbrook was itself just sold by Accela to the private equity firm Accel-KKR. Now, a matter of days later, it is acquiring a firm that works in the same space but with different customers.

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Immediately upon becoming an independent company for the first time in five years, Springbrook Software’s first act is to acquire a smaller tech firm.

BIAS Software, based in Spokane, Wash., will be joining Springbrook after nearly 30 years in business. The company is in much the same arena as Springbrook — it mainly offers financial and accounting software, with a heavy focus on local government.

But there are some key differences, according to Springbrook CEO Max Schnoedl.

“The way we’re different, and the reason for us to acquire BIAS is — No. 1, they’re a market leader in Washington state, where Springbrook is strong, but BIAS has more jurisdiction,” Schnoedl said. “More importantly, from a product perspective … the BIAS product is really designed for smaller agencies.”

Most of BIAS’ business is in Washington, and its base of about 200 customers leans toward governments serving fewer than 25,000 constituents, he said. Springbrook, in contrast, had more than 800 customers prior to the deal, focused on governments serving about 50,000 people and works with clients in some 40 states.

“We have figured out the procurement vehicles, we know how to do business in these states,” he said. “So we can help BIAS … in bringing [its software] to those states.”

Another difference is that Springbrook is built on Government Accounting Standards Board principles, whereas BIAS has a focus on Other Comprehensive Basis of Accounting — a simplified method more common among smaller organizations.

The deal, the price tag of which remains unrevealed, follows hot on the heels of the announcement that Springbrook was being acquired by the private equity firm Accel-KKR. The company bought Springbrook from Accela, itself owned by the private equity firm Berkshire Partners.

AKKR has done several deals with gov tech companies in the past. Dean Jacobson, a managing director at the firm, wrote in an email to Government Technology that Springbrook fits in with much of what AKKR is used to.

“We work with companies that have great products, provide mission-critical solutions to their end clients, and are led by strong management teams: Springbrook fits right in that sweet spot,” Jacobson wrote. “Local government agencies provide essential services that all of us depend on every day, and good technology solutions that specifically address the intricacies of running a local government can make all the difference in terms of being able to deliver services with efficiency and transparency. With Springbrook, we see a lot of opportunities to bring focus, innovation, scale and client support into this space.”

Editor's note: This story was corrected to reflect the right accounting standards used by Springbrook.

Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.