This national company just bought an Idaho software firm that is adding workers fast

TSheets CEO Matt Rissell, in the center in back, with 39 other employees (some not shown) in April 2015. The staff size has since grown more than sixfold.
TSheets CEO Matt Rissell, in the center in back, with 39 other employees (some not shown) in April 2015. The staff size has since grown more than sixfold.

One of the Treasure Valley’s fastest-growing technology startups just sold itself to a big Silicon Valley software company.

TSheets, the Eagle digital time-sheet firm co-founded by Matt Rissell in 2006, is being bought by Intuit Inc., the Mountain View, California, company that makes QuickBooks software for managing business payrolls, payments and invoicing.

The sale was a natural step for TSheets, which has had a partnership with Intuit for more than five years offering customers TSheets and QuickBooks together. “They are our longest and largest partner,” Rissell told the Idaho Statesman. “We already know so many people there.”

One of them is Brad Smith, Intuit’s CEO, whom Rissell considers a mentor. Another is Alex Chriss, the senior vice president and chief product and platform officer for Intuit’s Small-Business and Self-Employed Group, who will be Rissell’s new boss.

TSheets will stay put in its new headquarters on Eagle Road north of Chinden Boulevard. Rissell will lead it as vice president and leader of Intuit’s time-tracking and scheduling segment.

“I’m not going anywhere,” said Rissell, 40. “The plan is to continue to massively and quickly grow and scale the team here. Basically, we’ll keep doing what we have been doing.”

TSheets has 260 employees today, and it expects to have nearly 400 by the end of next year, Rissell said. The company needs more software engineers, sales and marketing employees, and customer-experience workers. The new building has enough room to handle several more years of growth, he said.

Rissell got the idea for TSheets in 2005, when he owned four Cartridge World stores in the Treasure Valley and noticed employees claiming time not actually worked on their time cards. He called his friend Brandon Zehm, a software engineer, who built a basic time-sheet application he could use to track time more precisely. Thinking other businesses could use it too, they decided to sell it.

The company lost money for years, began breaking even in 2010 and finally turned a profit in 2014, according to Rissell. By fall 2015, it had 80 employees and was doubling in size each year. Russell said Chriss approached him last summer about a possible acquisition.

Rissell and his co-owners — who include Zehm, “a couple of seed investors” and Summit Partners, a private-equity firm — will receive a combined $340 million in cash and other consideration. Rissell would not say how much of that he will receive. Nor would he disclose TSheets’ revenues.

Rissell is proud that TSheets has topped the “Best Places to Work in Idaho” list compiled by Populus Inc. for three consecutive years in the large employers (100-249 employees) category. “Under no circumstances do we plan on losing that title,” he said.

But the future of one of the company’s best-publicized perks is uncertain. For the past year, TSheets has reimbursed workers up to $1,500 for vacation expenses. Rissell said the future of the payments has not been decided. He added that TSheets has good benefits, but Intuit’s are better.

Intuit is publicly owned and has more than 8,000 employees, a market value of $39 billion and $5.2 billion a year in revenue.

“To pull an Intuit-size company into the local area is an incredible opportunity for the Treasure Valley,” Rissell said. “We’ll have the resources of Intuit to grow the team out. That’s a huge statement to the Treasure Valley.”

TSheets now has more than 35,000 customers, and its time sheets cover more than half a million employees and contractors, he said.

Chriss said the purchase “will unlock critical upstream data that will allow us to create frictionless experiences that remove work, make it easier to get paid, and provide valuable insights into the health of our users’ businesses.”

David Staats: 208-377-6417, @DavidStaats