Tuesday, March 13, 2007

New Office Accounting 2007 article on Yahoo.com

I'm not sure how I missed this article, but it talks about how both Intuit and Microsoft are embracing online services directly in their accounting applications. The article takes a few shots at Intuit and praises Microsoft for it's efforts:

First, the shot at Intuit:
But Intuit's ballyhooed Google alliance was underwhelming at best. It boiled down to a single icon called MARKETING TOOLS just below the Items and Services link on the main QuickBooks page. ... But why do I need Intuit? All these Google tools are available free without QuickBooks.
Now, some of the praise for Microsoft:

I also give Microsoft the edge for overall feel and ease of use, if only because Microsoft Accounting runs better in the sexy new Microsoft Vista environment. QuickBooks also works in Vista, but Intuit's code lacks that intimate connection to Microsoft Office. Features such as word processing and customer-management tools are not as slickly integrated.

If you run an information-based business like mine, you'll love Microsoft Accounting's letter and spreadsheet features. Contact and financial data travel instantly into both Word and Excel documents. Reports, invoices, and pay-me-right-now-sucka letters are a breeze. Sure, I can get QuickBooks to do the same stuff, but it takes more time. And frankly, it's just not as cool.

Now to the Web. Microsoft flatly - and I mean flatly - wins the online-services battle. The gnomes of Redmond have developed a snazzy Web interface called Marketing Services. It includes a direct link to eBay that automatically updates your inventory balances. You'll also find online account-status information and even links to PayPal, credit card transactions and other features.

QuickBooks has similar capabilities, if we generously assume that Google's embryonic Base service is competitive with eBay. But Microsoft's Marketing Services environment is leagues ahead of the Marketing Tools for QuickBooks page, which feels as if it were tossed together in a few hours by a heavily caffeinated Google intern.

Wow. The author either really hates Intuit, or genuinely likes using the Microsoft product. Truth be told, he's echoing what I've been saying all along. The integration in the Microsoft product is just really, really good.