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Intuit expands Cloud services for US accountants

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24th Feb 2010
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QuickBooks developer Intuit has expanded its online services for US certified public accountants to let them offer hosted versions of its desktop accounting and payroll applications to their clients, reports AccountingWEB.com.

Users in north America already have the option of using Quickbooksonline.com, a specially adapted Cloud accounting application. But this is not the same application as QuickBooks as most UK users know it. After a series of pilots, the Intuit Hosting Program has been rolled out to provide the traditional QuickBooks user experience via a browser interface. The initiative is designed as a business opportunity for hosting companies and practices an option option for users such as franchise and not-for-profit organisations that need “anytime, anywhere” access to their QuickBooks data.

Under the hosting arrangement, which would not satisfay Cloud purists, end users license their desktop QuickBooks products with an authorised remote hosting facility which gives them access to the software on a virtual desktop accessed with a web browser over a secure connection.

While Intuit does not provide any guarantee or warranty on the services offered by individual hosting organisations, it has arranged for third-party accreditation through the International Association of Managed Service Providers (MSP Alliance).

Intuit UK spokesman Mike Porcoro was tigh-lipped about the prospects of the company’s online offerings crossing the Atlantic. “I can’t comment on what’s coming over. But if you look at the comments from our CEO downwards, making sure we’re really winning outside of the US is one of our priorities.”

While not able to commit to a specific roadmap, Porcaro said: “We’re always looking to introduce stuff that’s right for each specific market. We’re always tailoring and testing things to see where there’s an addressable market that we can serve well.”

In the case of web-based applications in the UK, the main question was, “Do we see demand for it?”, he said.

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