Hot on the heels of the announcement yesterday by Xero about multi-currency, I received an email from someone commenting about some multi-currency and pricing issues around Saasu, another SaaS accounting product. Saasu have been developing multi-currency for awhile and the implementation of this feature had apparently been delayed for a period of time. On top of this the pricing structure for Saasu has changed.
It seemed only fair to contact Marc Lehman, CEO of Saasu to give him an opportunity to comment on the news. Marc replied saying that;
we gets dozens of SME’s asking why our price is so low relative to Xero/Netsuite/MYOB/EXO etc. “You’re too cheap, what’s the catch?”. But that’s not the reason for the price change. See our blog post out today…
Multi currency was delayed 4 weeks initially when we had customer reviews that altered our approach quite a bit. Lots of them didn’t want hover or popup style FX because it isn’t keyboard/print friendly and because speed of entry is everything to them. Also a lot of changes occurred internationally with payroll thanks to the GFC so we had to attend to that first as a priority. You may not be aware but australia had changes to super, tax, employee payment summaries amongst other things. That cost us another 4 weeks In essence..
To summarise the reason for the price change is both a reflection on the competitive landscape (pricing their product at a similar level to the competition) but also to allow for the new functionality. Like Xero, Saasu is charging an extra for multi-currency functionality and has also upped the price somewhat to provide for their new file hosting function (which as an aside is a useful feature in my opinion) – like Xero the extra is a mere $10 per month.
I think what we see here is not so much a problem with what Saasu did, but rather something of a lack of communication, and articulating milestones too early. The email I received primarily expressed dismay at the delay to the multi-currency implementation, from my perspective it would have been better to not announce a release date, seeing as these things tend to get delayed once development realities come into play.
As for the price change, again one can argue on the relative merits of separate pricing for add-on modules versus group pricing – again I have no issue with what Saasu has done but believe that perhaps they might have communicated it better.