From the October 2005 Issue
A note from Gregory L. LaFollette, CPA.CITP, Executive Editor:
MICROSOFT officially launched its Small Business Accounting
program on September 7, 2005. This long-planned launch just happens to coincide
(well, within a few months anyway) with rival INTUIT’s
release of QuickBooks 2006, which just happens to be the most revolutionary
rewrite of the company’s flagship product since it’s original release.
What does this mean to us, the practitioners, and what do we say to our clients
when they ask the [inevitable] question: “Which product is better?”
Contributing writers Randy Johnston and Doug Sleeter have crafted an outstanding
article dedicated precisely to helping you answer that question. You’ll
also find excellent analysis from developer Shafat Qazi and from Technology
Editor Isaac O’Bannon. Taken as a whole, these articles represent the
profession’s most thorough expert examination of the Intuit – Microsoft
question. Note that, in our opinion, the correct question is NOT “Which
product is better?” but rather “What software should (enter your
specific client here) use to manage its small business?” We hope you find
this section particularly helpful, and, as usual, we look forward to your feedback.
And, also as usual, remember that you can count on The CPA Technology Advisor
for more coverage of these important products in future issues.
- Recommending The Right Small
Business Accounting Solution To Your Client:
Understanding the key differences between Intuit’s QuickBooks and
Microsoft’s Small Business Accounting software
Microsoft’s introduction of Small Business Accounting (SBA) has
had a positive impact on the small business software market. Microsoft
has built this product from the ground up. Consequently, the development
team was able to create new features and innovations with the product
that take advantage of the Windows platform in ways never seen before.
By bundling SBA with Microsoft Office and taking advantage of SQL server
database technology, Microsoft has forced competitors to reconsider
their current strategy and product features. It has also given consumers
a reason to stop and think about their accounting solutions for their
small businesses. What should you be recommending to your clients based
on this new entry to the market? To appropriately advise your clients,
you’ll need to do the following:
- Microsoft’s Entrance Draws
Attention Of SMB Accounting Vendors
- Over the last year, much of the attention in the
small business accounting area has been focused on the brewing showdown
between Intuit’s QuickBooks software and the just-released Small
Business Accounting program from Microsoft. The entrance of Microsoft
will likely have major effects on this market in the coming years, and
the increased competition should spur continued development of functionality
and features in accounting software. QuickBooks currently accounts for
about 90 percent of the small business accounting software sold at retail
stores each year.
- Should You Consult For Microsoft,
Intuit Or Both? A Developer’s Perspective
Microsoft’s release of Small Business Accounting 2006 (SBA) carries with
it excitement and top-level positioning in the minds of small business
owners. This is Microsoft’s marketing machine in action. The impact
on your firm is that your clients and prospects expect informed guidance
regarding their accounting software in general, and SBA in specific.
Each time the topic comes up, a new opportunity arises to strengthen
client relationships, gain new clients and grow revenues.