QuickBooks by Intuit has dominated the accounting software market for small businesses since it came out in the late 1980s, providing help with such things as payroll and taxes. Meeting the needs of small business owners who have no formal training in accounting, QuickBooks has been groundbreaking software from the start. Intuit has continued to upgrade the capabilities of QuickBooks so that it has remained a relevant, dominating force for over 25 years. Now QuickBooks has had a crucial upgrade which keeps up with innovative competitors; there is now a new overhauled online version.
Although from its launch QuickBooks commanded up to 85% of the accounting software market aimed at small businesses, many professional accountants cited various flaws in the earliest versions, such as no audit trail capability, lack of conformity to traditional standards in accounting, and poor security controls. Intuit answered these claims, increasing the functions of the software to include double-entry accounting functionality, full audit trail capabilities, and more.
Since 2000, Basic and Pro versions of the software giant have been available. Industry-specific editions include reports tailored for specific business types, terminology unique to particular trades, and workflow processes. Professional service firms, wholesalers, manufacturers, retailers, and non-profit organizations can all choose a version of QuickBooks designed specifically for their industry.
The reach of the software was extended in May of 2002 when Intuit launched accounting software designed for medium-sized businesses, called QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions. And now, with the overhaul of the online version, Intuit answers the competition in today’s market.
QuickBooks Online accounting software for small businesses has undergone a sweeping overhaul. Intuit acquired Mint.com in 2009, and many of the visual cues for the new online version of QuickBooks are taken from that site. Access to payroll and payment tools are only about a click away for business owners.
The online redesign was crucial, since Intuit expects that there will be more customers signing up for QuickBooks’ online version than for the desktop version by the fiscal year’s end.
Competition for accounting software that accommodates small businesses has been increasing significantly. Startups such as Belly, Shopify, and Square have all been claiming growing portions of various segments of the market. One-person businesses were given the capability of accepting credit cards through Square, for example; and Square has expanded their target to small retail shops, helping the businesses with the capability of online sales.
Effective strategies of Intuit’s competitors involve honing in on how to better meet the needs of small businesses. Accounting software is available that makes it easier for small businesses to attract new customers, better manage relationships with customers, accommodate easier communication with clients, retain patrons inexpensively, and accept a wide variety of payment options.
In the face of innovative competitors, Intuit aims to make it easy for other companies and developers to plug into the QuickBooks operation system. The goal is for small businesses to choose Intuit software as a core tool that pulls together the various technologies of their choosing. The latest version of QuickBooks online does that and will no doubt need to continually do more, to stay on top.