Quickbooks is making a comeback and announced for the first time in Brisbane Wednesday night and again last night on the Gold Coast that they have secured a prominent television advertising campaign that will be showcase their cloud services on the media over forth coming months.
It would appear that Xero’s success in the market place with cloud accounting, has resparked Intuit’s interest in the Australian market. Competition is absolutely essential for innovation, service and price competitiveness. The major winners here will be small business owners being spoiled for choice as to what cloud services will best suit their budget and online needs.
MOBILE APP MAKES BUSINESS EASY
Quickbooks was demonstrated live by Owen Howells to show how easy it was to invoice, accept credit card payments and check your business information on the go with your mobile phone. The interface is intuitive and as the presenter enthasied that it was fantastic for tradespeople. I met a number of small solo business tradies at the event and their comments with the mobile app were all very positive.
I can tell you that a number have not set up their accounts correctly, and this was hindering their productiveness. Of course, I handed them my card and offered to assist them to set it up for them to stop their procrastination……
BE A TRUSTED ADVISOR
Quickbooks was articulate in sharing online statistics, facts and figures as to why cloud technology will automate data more sophistically in the near future. Addon partners like receipt-bank and entryless are only the begining of this new automation movement, it’s time that we either embrace it or watch our business die. Strong words that many “old school” accountants and bookkeepers need to heed!
The event had two experiences by Regional Business Services and New Wave where both bookkeeping firms had embraced Quickbooks, and grown their businesses successfully in the cloud. What impressed me the most was the fact that Quickbooks is commiting to free training, support and business growth help through a partner’s porta.This will create connections by customers to accountants and bookkeepers who are certified.
TRUE PARTNERSHIP NOT A SALES CHANNEL
1. Training and certification
2. Marketing Support
Since the other platforms are all increasing their software pricing models, I was impressed with Quickbooks reassurance that the prices presented are here to stay. Refreshing insight and a clever strategic move.
They also stated that many business owners, due to the competive pricing of their cloud packages are connecting their trusts, personal accounts and property portfolios as well as their business. Which, to me shows an interesting business shift to the cloud for more than just general business use.
Data conversion for MYOB, Xero and Reckon was annouced as a free, along with Quickbooks Australia’s partnership with Key Pay, payroll is free up to 10 staff. Both announcements were well received by the audience on the night.
VALUE PRICING IS THE FUTURE
Why accountants and bookkeepers have to STOP IT when pricing hourly and look to the future
Quickbooks explained the origins of value pricing and then gave examples how it best comes in threes, look at your business services and offer base, medium and premium services. They enthasied the need to remove hourly rates and focus on productivity, technology and software partnerships to remain competitive and profitable.
Shaun Haque kindly gave me a personal demonstration of the new Quickbooks cloud interface. Shaun went quickly through the online platform, explaining how to source, personalise and save reports, the intuitive and visual interface and how it all comes together. The new cloud interface still reminds me of the traditional desktop interface in many ways. This is both reassuring ( I can find everything) but also a little disappointing that some features I would expect to see to make rescue work and corrections easier are non-existent.
For clients moving from Reckon or the old Quickbooks desktop software the new cloud interface would be easy to pick up.
The reports and dashboard is very visual, the colour coding for invoicing and expenses makes it easy to see where your business is with a glance.
Reports are easily personalised and saved for future use by the bookkeeper or the client.
Quickbooks for rescue and correction work would still require me to look at the Profit / Loss and Balance sheet to see what does not look right. Then you would have to zero in on a individual transaction basis. This process is the same old time consumingly, intensively labour intensive and makes value pricing models difficult.
THE ROADSHOW ITSELF
Attending the Gold Coast roadshow, I knew that it was never going to be as big as the Brisbane event. There seemed to me a bigger representation by business owners on the Gold Coast, compared to the number of accountants and bookkeepers present.
The Quickbooks staff that I met were amazing! Matthew Pisarski, Shaun Haque were friendly, accommodating, helpful and bent over backwards to answer any/all questions presented after the discussions. They had Wayne Schmidt from Karbon to present Social Media for Professionals which I did not attend. Being given a personal demonstration by Shaun on the Quickbooks cloud interface was a better use of my time.
The food and free wine / beer selections were excellent, hot seafood/potato puffs, fresh prawns with cocktail sauce and loads ot other goodies were continually being replenished.and passed through the room by helpful friendly waiters / waitresses.
I am new to Quickbooks and not very familar with it as a cloud accounting product. I attended the event with an open mind and really just wanted to get to know the staff and product better.
Although a smaller crowd then my two Brisbane MYOB and Xero Roadshows, the presentations, slides, experiences and case studies were polished and professional. The refreshments were delicious, with enough servings that even healthy appetites would have been satisfied.
I did not see as many partners present (which could have been due to being on the Gold Coast) but other than that I have no complaints about their overall hospitality, presentations or staff availabiltiy.
I was surprised to hear accountants and bookkeepers asking very basic cloud questions at this event. The murmurs I overheard in the presentation room and outside with the partners indicated to me that a number of those attending were unfamilar with cloud accounting, bank feeds, addons and the like. It’s been a decade now that these options have been presented to us in the finance industry. Maybe I am rather naive, but it seems that many accountants and bookkeepers are still playing catch up with it comes to the cloud revolution.
This is great news for those of us in the industry who are running to keep up with new technology and innovating our business models continually to be more service oriented and not solely focusing on compliance.
If you would like to have Quickbooks set up for you and your conversion process completed, please contact me by calling 0423463721 or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
BAS Agent and Bookkeeping