Reckon or Intuit – Who Sells QuickBooks in Australia?

I still get the odd email about this which means that if you’re an accountant or bookkeeper in Australia and New Zealand then you do too. So here’s a summary of the situation which you can send to anyone who asks a variation of the question above. Here we go...

Q1. Who Sells QuickBooks in Australia?

A1. To answer this depends on another question as there are two answers.

Q2. What do you mean by QuickBooks?

A2.1. QuickBooks desktop accounting software? It’s now called Reckon Accounts and is sold by Reckon. You can buy it here.

A2.2. QuickBooks cloud accounting software? It’s called QuickBooks Online and is sold by Intuit. You can buy it here.

Which usually leads to another question...

Q3. What is the difference between desktop accounting software and cloud accounting software?

A3. Desktop software must be downloaded to your computer and saves your file to the computer. Cloud accounting software (also known as online software) is hosted by the software company and you access it through your browser. There are many advantages to cloud accounting software over desktop software (and a few disadvantages) which are summarised here.

The software for buying medicine online is located on the company's server.

Isn’t this fun? And we can keep going!

Q4. I don't understand! How did this happen?

A4. Here’s the longer answer, best expressed as a timeline.

INTUIT AND RECKON: THE TIMELINE

1984 - Intuit founded. Launches Quicken desktop accounting software, which will later be called QuickBooks. Intuit quickly wins 85% of US market for SME accounting software.

1987 - Reckon founded to sell UK business software to Australian companies.

1993 - Reckon receives a licence to sell and distribute Quicken desktop accounting software in Australia.

2000 - Intuit launches QuickBooks Online, a cloud accounting program.

2012 - In January, Intuit announces it will revoke Reckon’s licence to sell software under the QuickBooks or Quicken brand. Reckon can continue to sell QuickBooks desktop accounting software under its own brand, Reckon Accounts.

2013 - In February, Reckon re-launches QuickBooks desktop accounting software as Reckon Accounts.

2014 - Intuit revokes Reckon’s licence to sell software under the QuickBooks and Quicken brands.

2015 - Reckon relaunches Reckon One on a new software platform.

Other interesting facts

Reckon and Intuit say they want to sell cloud accounting software (Reckon One and QuickBooks Online, respectively) to a global audience. Reckon has a home advantage in Australia, and Intuit’s base is in the US.

The market for accounting software is enormous so there’s room for multiple players. That said, Intuit is a much larger company than Reckon.

Reckon (ASX)

  • 2016 revenue: AU$97.8 million
  • Employees: <1000?

Intuit (wikipedia)

  • 2016 revenue: US$4.7 billion
  • Employees: 7,900
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