What is most surprising about these results is that 60% of local practitioners avoid QuickBooks in their accounting even though it is the largest brand in terms of market share among their clients. Responses indicate that most practitioners avoid QuickBooks due to its cost. Those who do use it only do so because their clients use it.
One respondent stated, “I use QuickBooks internally because so many of my clients also use QuickBooks that using anything else doesn’t make much sense.” The same respondent also indicated that he does not use Intuit’s other tax preparation software because it is more expensive than other options and, in his experience, Intuit “nickel and dimes you to death.”
Respondents pointed out that companies like ATX provide all Federal and state documents for personal, corporate, partnership, LLC, W – 2, 1099, Quarterly P/R taxes, Sales and Use, Fiduciary, Pension/Benefit, Exempt Organizations, etc for the standard fee. Intuit, on the other hand, provides only individual return tax return preparation software for the same price. Intuit additionally charges fees for electronically filing each Federal and state return. Some respondents pointed out that they are also moving to web-based, software as a service options for both accounting and payroll processing because it is less expensive and has faster update cycles.
The question that remains to be answered after this survey is why business operators continue to use QuickBooks? The answer would seem to lie in the fact that Intuit has a very aggressive marketing program and that their software “appears” to be inexpensive until businesses are too invested to switch to an alternative. As Kirk Ward, Managing Director of Secrets of Marketing Accounting points out, “Intuit’s software does not scale well. It starts out inexpensive, but as functionality is added it becomes increasingly more expensive than the competition. The end result is that many businesses are stuck with overpriced software because switching is even more expensive. Unfortunately, this means many accountants will also find themselves using software like QuickBooks in an effort to integrate well with what their clients use. This extra expense can cut into margins.”
One simple example of the way Intuit “gets customers” is that its software only allows checks to be printed on pre-printed stock. The application even has a pop-up screen that offers to sell users the pre-printed checks. Most accountants prefer to use blank stock because it cuts down on workload if they do not have to reload the paper tray each time they need to print checks for a different client. It is also less expensive to buy blank stock.
In the end, it would seem that most accountants do not appreciate the increased workload and increased expense that comes along with Intuit software. It also seems that it is up to accountants to educate clients and the general public about the alternatives that are available. Cutting down on software costs is one way to increase margins for both accountants and their clients. If accountants are able to show their clients that web-based “software as a service” alternatives work well and are inexpensive, the clients will be grateful and likely to return for business for years to come.
About Secrets of Marketing Accounting Services:
Secrets of Marketing Accounting Services is the premier source of marketing tools and materials for small and growing accounting practitioners, providing a variety of pre-written and private label resources that practitioners can use in growing their practice.
For more information, visit http://secrets-
Secrets of Marketing Accounting Services
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