QuickBooks® and DCAA Compliance
Many small businesses use QuickBooks® software for their accounting. QuickBooks® has been the number one selling accounting software for small business for many years. The reasons for this are many but primarily the program has been very comprehensive and easy to use for a small business owner plus you can easily afford to purchase the software and install it on almost any computer. Many small business government contractors have also used it but this requires the addition of outside applications to bring the system into full DCAA compliance.
I just read a Forbes article recently that raised the question if the market for QuickBooks® is changing and if small businesses may move away from QuickBooks® in the future. As we all know, the capitalistic model of the marketplace can result in changes and provide opportunities for all companies. This model makes it difficult at best to dominate a market with a product or service for any period of time unless the company pays attention to the market, the customer and their offering constantly. I'm not saying the Intuit is not paying attention to their business but changes in technology (market influences) can make a difference. Who would have thought, in 1975 for instance, that a company like Kodak would have a hard time competing in the camera market within 25 years? Who would have thought that IBM would not have controlled the typewriter market going into the 1980's? Certainly IBM adapted to the market and have succeeded. Kodak is a different story. Is QuickBooks® at such a critical juncture?
Just consider the market change in the last couple of years where software was purchased as a license and installed on individual servers to today's cloud based software model (Software as a Service or SaaS). This market adaptation changes the dynamic of the software market totally. Many new companies are looking at the change as an opportunity to design and release more powerful software on a SaaS basis that companies may not have afforded previously. This not only provides new, modern looking features to the software, but also provides a way for the software supplier to continually provide fresh, up to date features to their users without requiring the user to purchase a new license. Intuit does have an on-line version of their software but it does not have certain features that the desktop version had. Some of these features are necessary for making QuickBooks® into a DCAA compliant system. Other competitors may recognize this and offer cloud based introductory accounting software that is DCAA compliant and affordable for the small business. This would be a problem for that segment of the QuickBooks® market. Intuit never has considered the government contractor market a big enough business segment to re-design their software to be DCAA compliant out of the box. Perhaps this segment is not worth the efforts for Intuit to worry about keeping. Or, perhaps, Intuit is depending on companies like ReliAscent to take QuickBooks® and host on their server for clients and at the same time providing DCAA compliance.
Going back to the Forbes article, the point is that there are a lot of new companies out there that are designing products to take market share away from QuickBooks®. If the products they design and release into the market are perceived by the market as meeting needs better, or look newer and fresher, then the marketplace will again speak and make choices. At ReliAscent we have worked with QuickBooks® for years as it was the number one software for small business. We have also worked with other software packages and are constantly looking at new software offerings so that we can give honest feedback to our clients on what best suits their situation. We will continue to do that going forward. The market will dictate here what the best solution might be.