What’s Going On? And What is Xero Anyway?
I received a call from a customer saying they had purchased Quickbooks and needed some set up and training. They had used Quickbooks in previous years and wanted to keep the same system. They went online and downloaded Quickbooks Online. What they got, however, was a completely different software package and had no idea how to use it. Why? The old Quickbooks is now called Reckon Accounts and the new Quickbooks online is nothing like the old Quickbooks. Confused yet? Well, many business owners are just as confused.
Reckon was the Australian subsidiary of Reckon Intuit. Quickbooks (in the cloud) became known as Quickbooks Hosted. Reckon split from Intuit and they agreed Reckon could keep using the name ‘Quickbook’s until February 2014.
Effective from February 2014, Reckon renamed its previously titled ‘Quickbooks Hosted’ to ‘Reckon Accounts Hosted’. Then, they recently dropped ‘hosted’ and now the product is titled ‘Reckon Accounts’. Intuit have developed their own software range and called it, you guessed it – Quickbooks! Quickbooks by Intuit is a completely new product.
The functionality of the previous Quickbooks program (run by Reckon and Intuit) now lies in the software package by Reckon called ‘Reckon Accounts’. The bottom line: If it’s Quickbooks you’re after, you probably mean Reckon Accounts. It looks and feels the same as the old Quickbooks and retains very similar functionality. If you’re not sure, check out both. They’re both online and designed for bookkeeping in Australia. Hope that clears things up a bit 🙂 Read on for a little background info on bookkeeping in the cloud.
For many years in Australia, business owners and accountants alike have preferred MYOB or Quickbooks (now Reckon Accounts) for small business accounting software. They were desktop versions that had been tried and tested and many of us knew them very well. They retained a comfortable majority of the share of accounting packages preferred by small businesses in Australia.
Then in 2006, Xero came onto the market with a very slick marketing campaign. Dubious onlookers observed in shock, and then surprise that the marketing aimed at accountants, bookkeepers and strategic alliances with the big banks began working and has enabled Xero to smash through the previously impenetrable wall of accounting systems for small business in Australia.
A few years on and you can ask any bookkeeper or accountant. There are three major players in the game competing for the small business market: MYOB, Reckon Accounts and Xero. Xero is taking off in leaps and bounds. It is a complete cloud solution, where MYOB and Reckon Accounts are partially cloud based. Xero is fast, easy to use, integrates beautifully with bank accounts and offers an easy migration platform from its competitors. They really have ticked many of the boxes. I, for one of those skeptics am very surprised at how far Xero has come. If MYOB and Reckon Accounts don’t want to be left in the wake of Xero’s simplistic sophistication, they had better move fast to adapt.
MYOB attempted to compete on this new cloud platform by writing their version: MYOB Accounts Live. Essentially, it is a rewrite of the desktop version of Accountright into a cloud system. MYOB Accounts Live had a rocky start, with a much anticipated but ho humm debut. Since then, it has redeemed itself somewhat. It has integrated bank feeds and added some merchant features and SBR, but server speed is slower than the desktop version and there are not many new features to lift MYOB into the WOW space. As the market leader in Australia, MYOB has it’s share of loyal customers.
Reckon Accounts, like MYOB accounts Live is in the cloud. It runs a little faster than MYOB Accounts live and also integrates bank feeds. Unfortunately, it is also sadly lacking new features.
This sets the scene for the inevitable – the slow but steady influx of new cloud based packages competing for a share of the cloud accounting market. This is where Quickbooks online sits in my opinion. It’s a new player with a little to learn but judging by the last few years, could become a new competitor, along with others like Sassoo, Freshbooks and Kashoo.
What do you think?