Intuit and Xero Duel (LOL)

Do you know about the newest Intuit and Xero duel?

It was hilarious to read reports of this new Intuit and Xero Duel. I was LOL because Intuit never had competition like Xero. Intuit began in California in 1983, with Quicken. It designed Quicken intuitively, to look like a business check, check register and other business forms. It also invented usability tests, or was among their first users, writing and rewriting Quicken based on these very extensive tests.

It took some of the few experienced computer users up to four hours to install some of the 46 competing accounting programs. Novices could install Quicken and write a check in 15 minutes. This let California’s Intuit use Quicken, and later QuickBooks, to dominate the home and small business accounting program market (market shares reached about 95%) for many years. Not even Peachtree or mighty Microsoft could come close to beating Intuit (Microsoft failed three times, over about 25 years).

Now, all this is changing very quickly. Xero, a seven-year-old New Zealand company, came to the United States 18 months ago. Xero:

  • Pays far more attention to users, especially professional accountants
  • Upgrades beautiful highly automated accounting software far faster
  • Hired away the top QuickBooks ProAdvisor boss
  • Is increasing users by about 120% a year

To the contrary, QuickBooks is losing many users, as I previously detailed in Xero badly beating QuickBooks, so QuickBooks marketing now directly targets Xero. The latest on the Intuit and Xero duel (LOL) involves Xero – Intuit combative CPA meeting schedules. A week after Xero announced its first accounting professional conference (Sept. 4 and 5, in San Francisco), Intuit announced a nearby conference on the same two days.

As U.S. Xero President Jamie Sutherland said, “Xero software is game-changing. Intuit got wind of what we’re doing and is obviously resorting to different tactics because they feel threatened.” Intuit says the conference has no bearing on its event, for a small group of influencers, advisers and customers.

Intuit is chasing the online accounting market. It wants feedback about QuickBooks Online features. Sutherland said Xero has software for online and mobile, in contrast to Quickbooks, an adapted small business desktop product.

What is LOL funny, about the Intuit and Xero Duel, is that Xero hopes to attract 500 to 600 accounting professionals. Giant Intuit expects only 40 to 50, but this may change if many Xero professionals crash the Intuit party.

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