Now this is an interesting piece of scuttlebutt that I was alerted to via a private message. It seems that Intuit have quietly begun pushing QuickBooks users who have “outgrown” their own solutions on to Intacct. This is particularly interesting given the fact that Intuit, a venerable provider with a massive customer base, thinks long and hard before going out on a limb to push other vendors.
Intuit are keeping things a little quiet – in fact despite multiple emails to their PR folks they gave no comment about the arrangement. Intacct however are (as expected) very keen to talk about the deal. Dan Druker, Intacct’s VP of marketing, was keen to talk about Intacct for QuickBooks graduates but referred questions about the partnership to Intuit. He was quick to point out that Intacct is a great fit for QuickBooks graduates and points out that the deep channel relationships that Intacct have lessen’s the risk and cost when graduating from QuickBooks (at least compared to moving to an on-premise mid-market solution). In some material I’ve been privy to, Intuit is articulating the rationale for this deal as follows;
Intuit has teamed with Intacct, the leading cloud computing-based mid-market financial software company, to meet the sophisticated financial management and accounting requirements of companies that are stretching beyond QuickBooks.
Companies love the ease and flexibility of QuickBooks but some of our larger customers require more advanced functionality, increased automation, and improved financial controls. Some signs that your company may be ready to graduate from QuickBooks are:
- You are struggling with reporting and can’t analyze operating metrics.
- Inefficient manual processes are reducing productivity and introducing errors.
- Your team depends on spreadsheets to run or report on your business.
- You’re dealing with multi-entity,multi-currency, and/or global business issues.
- You seek real-time visibility into project costs, revenues, and profitability.
- You require formal financial consolidation and/or are concerned about GAAP, IFRS or Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.
In the past, moving from QuickBooks to a more advanced system was a relatively costly and risky process. It involved purchasing, installing and implementing complex financial software, buying servers and staffing IT personnel. It was a difficult and expensive experience for companies used to the simplicity and elegance of QuickBooks.
Interestingly 60% of new mid-market customers for Intacct are coming from QuickBooks having butted up against the functional limits of the product – this is an impressive trend and indeed begs some questions about where this partnership might head. Intuit is walkign a tight rope – their larger customers need to feel that there is a progression for them as they grow, but Intuit also wants to avoid losing customers who are still well served by QuickBooks. This balancing act is highlighted when Intuit says that;
If you are happy with QuickBooks, we look forward to serving you for years to come. But, if you are stretching beyond the capabilities of QuickBooks, we encourage you to take a look at Intacct.
It’s also worth noting that this is the year that most pundits are predicting an IPO for Intacct, should this partnership with Intuit become more formal, that would be a serious validation for the company, and would give it a nice hook on which to hang their claim of being the mid-market financial solution of choice.
I’ll continue reaching out to Intuit and report more as and when they make a public comment about the partnership.
(Cross-posted @ The Diversity Blog - SaaS, Cloud & Business Strategy)