Intacct cuts entry-level costs, adds global consolidation

By , IDG News Service |  On-demand Software, accounting software

Intacct, maker of on-demand accounting software, is accelerating its attempt to snare customers who are outgrowing Intuit's popular QuickBooks product by slashing entry-level pricing and adding advanced features.

Intacct now starts at US$400 per month, a 50 percent cut, and some of its partners are offering migration services from QuickBooks for about $2,000, a drop of up to 80 percent from before, the company announced Monday.

"We'd like to be known as the 'life after QuickBooks' guys," said Daniel Druker, senior vice president of marketing and business development at the San Jose, California, company. "We just want to make it brain-dead simple to switch over."

Intacct has also added functionality for global financial consolidation, which could have appeal for larger companies with operations in multiple countries.

"In real time, the CFO can get information from any of those [countries], and roll them up in real time," Druker said. "Underneath the seams, all the accounting rules and currency conversions are being taken care of."

Users can also "ask questions that are impossible to get answers to in the offline model," Druker said, such as, "who are the top 100 customers who owe me money across the world?"

In addition, Intacct has added an integration with QuickArrow, software used by professional services firms. This creates a continuum along with Intacct's existing hooks into Salesforce's on-demand CRM (customer relationship management) software, as sales information from Salesforce can be pushed into QuickArrow and subsequently synced with Intacct for billing and other functions, Druker said.

The new capabilities are "a representation of what we're seeing throughout the SaaS industry," said Jeff Kaplan, managing director of the analyst firm THINKstrategies. "More and more they're demonstrating they're not just skinnied-down, less expensive applications aimed at those who couldn't afford more expensive traditional apps."

The global consolidations feature could appeal to companies in the process of expansion, such as a retail chain that wants to open a franchise in a new country, said Forrester Research analyst Ray Wang.

But Intacct's price cuts were also a necessary move, according to analyst Laurie McCabe of Hurwitz & Associates.

"The economy is causing huge inertia. People are just hunkering down and nobody's going to replace anything unless they really have a reason," she said.

In addition, many companies besides Intacct, such as Sage and NetSuite, are trying to woo QuickBooks customers that have outgrown the basic software, but there aren't too many companies that actually fit the criteria, she said: "Most small businesses tend to stay small, and they're probably happy with what they've got."

So the price cuts are "really about how do we entice that small amount, when they do need something else what's going to make them look at us?" she said.

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