Small Business

The Battle for Accounting Software


Dozens of startups are challenging Intuit's QuickBooks with new online tools that aim to make financial management easier

Since its launch 12 years ago, Intuit's QuickBooks has dominated the market for small business accounting software. Now dozens of startups are challenging QuickBooks with new online tools that aim to make accounting and financial management easier. Here are some fast-growing new rivals.

Outright

Users: 100,000

Price: Charges only for tax filings—$5 per 1099 form

Backers: Sequoia Capital, First Round Capital, Shasta Ventures, SoftTech VC, Felicis Ventures

Synchronizes with bank, credit-card, and PayPal accounts, categorizes income and expenses, and calculates taxes.

Xero

Users: 22,000

Price: $19-$39 monthly

Backers: Founder Rod Drury and board members Sam Morgan and Craig Winkler; publicly traded since 2007

Organizes a company's bank and credit-card accounts, expenses, invoicing, and contacts. New Zealand-based Xero offers limited services to American users today, but is upgrading its U.S. site in December.

inDinero

Users: 6,000

Price: Basic version is free; enhanced services $30-$100 monthly

Backers: Y Combinator, YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim, Eventbrite CEO Kevin Hartz

Organizes and analyzes information from credit-card and banking accounts to create financial reports and graphs and offers algorithms to forecast a user's cash flow.

Kashoo

Users: 2,400

Price: $10 monthly for unlimited users at a company

Backers: Canadian tax preparation firm FBC

Helps users create audit-ready, shareable financial statements. By yearend, companies will also be able to automatically synchronize their bank and credit-card accounts with Kashoo accounts.

Data: Companies; Registered Users for Outright, Active Users for the Others

Wong is a lifestyle and real estate reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek.

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