The small business accounting software company, Reckon, is a self-confessed latecomer to the cloud market with its latest accounting offering, Reckon One, but that’s not holding it back in going after a potentially large and lucrative slice of the burgeoning demand for web-based accounting solutions by SMEs and accounting firms.
Reckon has just staged the first of a series of roadshows to spruik its new cloud accounting package, drawing over 1,000 SMEs and accounting professionals for two hours to the Crown Palladium in Melbourne’s casino complex.
This morning in Sydney, Reckon stages its second roadshow and follows up with similar events over the next three weeks in Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane, as well as in major regional centres throughout Australia.
All in all, Reckon is throwing big bucks, big development teams and making a big effort to grab a share of the cloud accounting market, hoping to reach around 3,000 SMEs and accounting professionals in the process.
Reckon’s General Manager Business, Pete Sanders, agrees a major effort is needed to crack what he says is an “incredibly competitive market, no question”
“The harsh realty is, yes, we are late into the cloud,” Sanders told iTWire.
“The reason we waited is the change to the Intuit agreement and the way we could move forward with that. So we now have that freedom to build out our true cloud. Before, the Intuit agreement prohibited us from doing certain things.”
Sanders acknowledges that Reckon is throwing far more resources at the launch of Reckon One for the cloud than would normally occur for the launch of another new product, given that it’s not just a product launch but a repositioning of the company and the brand in an already highly competitive market.
“This is a major launch to reposition the Reckon company and the Reckon brand going forward and to show we are incredibly serious here in the cloud space, and we’re incredibly proud of it,” Sanders says.
Sanders does stress that while the company is now throwing serious resources at promotion of its cloud product, it will, nevertheless, still support desktop and hosted cloud. “It is very very important for us.”
Asked about competitor MYOB’s just launched new small business services online portal, allowing accountants to easily set up a new corporate structure “online anywhere, any time,” Sanders was quick with his reply: “We have actually had that function available for years with Reckon Docs, a product to set up companies, super funds…and it’s already in the cloud.”
Sanders is also quick to make the point that while Reckon is a latecomer to the cloud with its accounting software solution, that’s not the case in all areas, just in accounting.
“In some areas we are ahead of the competition,” he says.
All the functionality of Reckon’s new cloud accounting package, Reckon One, was detailed for the audience of 1,000 in Melbourne yesterday, with Sanders and his team claiming the product - still in beta trial - offers SMEs or accounting firms “significant cost savings” and flexibility of use.
Sanders says pricing of the modules within the Reckon One cloud are “already set below competitor products,” and by way of example he says an SME operating in the building industry, choosing three modules, might pay $14 a month across an entire year.
And, to reinforce the cost-effective message, Sanders makes the point that a user of the new cloud accounting solution can switch modules on and off when they are not needed – in short, only pay when needed.
With the online accounting software market in Australia, and to a lesser extent New Zealand, hotting up, Sanders sees the chief competitors to Reckon as Saasu, MYOB, Xero and, of course, Intuit.
Reckon One cloud accounting is currently being trialed in beta by a small group of companies in Australia until July, with the market-ready version scheduled for launch shortly after, with a New Zealand launch around September/October.
“We expect to see a massive ramping up of people adopting this product,” Sanders predicts, looking forward to the next six to 12 months.
Reckon has just launched a new website dedicated to its reckon One cloud accounting package - www.reckonone.com
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