The not quite Microsoft option
Some years ago Microsoft tried to buy Intuit (the company that produces QuickBooks). The US equivalent of our Commerce Commission deemed such a move anti-competitive - so Intuit survives today. Microsoft has ceased supporting MS Money - which is more akin to Quicken - the smaller brother to QuickBooks - with which it tried to compete.
In 1998 I compared QuickBooks 5 with MYOB 8. Each had its own strengths - but Intuit's R&D budget was greater then MYOB's turnover. This has shown as over time Intuit was able to address any weaknesses more smartly.
Since 2013, Reckon in NZ has started to release core Quickbooks products as Reckon Accounts - customised for NZ (such as bi-monthly GST returns). Apart from not being limited to one financial year, Reckon doesn't require account numbers, and generally works much more the way non-accountants think.
One lesser featured area that is generally unmatched is the accountant's copy. You take an accountant's copy (usually after we have reviewed it) and send it to us. You keep working, while we do your accounts. We then send back not only your completed accounts but also an update to Reckon Accounts. When loaded into your system, it brings your copy into balance with the accounts. This feature is a powerful time-saver.
As with MYOB Accountright, it can be run on the desktop or in the cloud. Unlike MYOB, only their top version (above the normal desktop version) runs in the cloud. That means a file used in that can only be run on the top desktop software. The cloud software runs in a browser, but using the Reckon interface, thus bypassing Xero's issues.
Support for Reckon accounts was outsourced to IBM in Delhi - but they have now arranged for agents (as opposed to users) to have access to their Australian support team - a major improvement.
As you may suspect from the fact that there's more information here than on the others, we use Reckon Accounts for our own companies, as well as being a long-time support agent for clients. Switching accounting systems is quite a big job, so we haven't been tempted to do that - despite being enticed to switch by some attractive offers.
The current pricing model (existing clients can upgrade without losing their old basis) means you now pay an annual fee. If you are upgrading an older version, please check first this applies to you, as some salespeople haven't got the message. This single change means we no longer have Reckon as an automatic recommendation for clients. For example, are they happy paying a regular fee to keep their trust accounts when they sell their business.
Their newest product (Reckon One) is not based on Quickbooks, and like Xero and MYOB's Essentials product, is only available "in the cloud"). Compared with their main product, it's relatively simple - and inexpensive.
For further information on Reckon Accounts, check out Reckon's website, or talk with us.