Thursday, 11 February 2021 11:58

ACCC concern for ‘lessening’ of competition over MYOB’s GreatSoft acquisition Featured

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The competition watchdog the ACCC has raised preliminary concerns over the “substantial lessening” of competition in the accounting software market from MYOB’s proposed acquisition of GreatSoft.

MYOB and GreatSoft both supply practice management software to medium-to-large accounting firms and ACCC Commissioner Stephen Ridgeway said that the Commission was concerned that if MYOB acquired GreatSoft, “there would only be three major suppliers of practice management software to medium-to-large accounting firms.” .

“We are concerned that if MYOB acquired GreatSoft, there would only be three major suppliers of practice management software to medium-to-large accounting firms,” Commissioner Stephen Ridgeway said in a statement on Thursday.

“GreatSoft is a new entrant that has won several medium-to-large MYOB customers, and we are looking into its potential to grow stronger.

“We received feedback that accountants now have a strong preference to move from traditional desktop-based software, like MYOB’s, to online ‘cloud’ software. While GreatSoft’s customer base is currently small, the ACCC is investigating its potential to become a strong competitor as it appears to be a viable choice for many medium-to-large firms wishing to migrate to the cloud,” Commissioner Ridgeway said.

Commissioner Ridgeway said other competitors in the industry include Reckon APS, a desktop-based provider, and Xero Practice Manager, “which despite being designed for smaller firms, has attracted a number of medium-to-large customers to its cloud-based product.”

“While there are alternative products available, the ACCC was informed they have generally been adopted by limited numbers of medium-to-large accounting firms.”

“Medium-to-large accounting firms require more sophisticated features from practice software than smaller firms, as a result of their more complex business structures and processes,” Ridgeway added.

“It appears difficult for new competitors to enter this market. Software suppliers have to invest significant time and resources to develop functionality to meet the needs of larger accounting firms, and require a proven track record in order to convince accounting firms to switch software.”

“While GreatSoft itself faced some of these challenges, we consider that as it has operated in Australia for the past two years, it may now be well placed to overcome them.”

Submissions and responses to the ACCC’s Statement of Issues on the MYOB/GreatSoft proposal need to be submitted by by 5 March 2021, with a final decision scheduled for 22 April 2021.

The ACCC invites submissions from interested parties in response to the Statement of Issues by 5 March 2021, with its final decision scheduled for 22 April 2021.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - an iTWire treasure is a mentor and coach who volunteers also a writer and much valued founding partner of iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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