It’s been almost a year since I left Intuit and put on my Xero T-shirt and oh how great that year has been – beautiful online accounting software, wonderful people, incredible growth and, most importantly, amazing customers. The days of desktop accounting software are behind me (more like a sunset), and online accounting has been the dawn of bigger and brighter things.
But there are times that I am brought back to my past – a past where I spent over eight years driving a desktop vision. Fortunately this does not bleed into what I do at Xero, but I notice the differences when I talk to those that are looking to switch.
One of the things I talk about is that as a business you only use one version of Xero and you access it from anywhere. This has been particularly relevant over the past few weeks, with Intuit contacting users who are on a 3-year-old or older version of Quickbooks and telling them that online services associated with their software are being discontinued.
So anyone who has a 2010 or earlier version of Quickbooks has two choices: continue using the software but lose things like online banking, live technical support, email and online backup or upgrade to the latest version. How starkly different it is to live in the cloud, where you’re always up-to-date and you never have to choose between shelling out for an upgrade or losing critical services.
What is interesting in this example is that this “choice” is not really a choice at all. The discontinued services are critical to your business. Bank connectivity is important as it lets you know where you stand – not only at month end but every day you get up in the morning. 24/7 technical support (with people that can answer your question the first time) is necessary to ensure you are always confidently up and running.
Add the inability to collaborate, the never-ending product updates / upgrades, and the inability to manage your small business finances anytime, anywhere from any device, and again there is a clear distinction between the incumbent desktop software and Xero.
So if you find yourself being forced to choose between losing services or upgrading software, maybe it’s time to look at other options. You can make this next upgrade your last one and it is easy to switch – find out how.