Unveiled today, Reckon One ushers in a new era for the company that was previously behind the QuickBooks brand in Australia. So what does it look like?
Reckon One is the latest product to join the likes of Xero, Saasu, MYOB AccountRight Live and QuickBooks Online in the push to win over business owners attracted to the advantages of cloud accounting.
Unveiled today, but not ready to go on sale yet, Reckon One is particularly significant as it will be marketed to tens of thousands of Australians who have stuck by the QuickBooks product over the years. QuickBooks was recently renamed Reckon Accounts. Now, Reckon One joins it, for those ready to switch to the cloud for their accounting. You can register here to be notified when Reckon One is officially available. The QuickBooks name lives on separately as a different product called QuickBooks Online from another company.
Selling these people on the benefits of Reckon One will be a big ask. The company claims half a million users of its products, including more than 100,000 users of QuickBooks (now called Reckon Accounts), but at today's Sydney demonstration, a spokesperson said that 95% of people in the room were probably using desktop software.
The message coming from Reckon is one of reassurance that desktop software isn't being abandoned. "We're excited about the cloud, but at the same time we will continue to invest and enhance our desktop applications," said a Reckon spokesperson. "Some country areas today don't have the broadband yet, they don't have the ability to put their business on the cloud."
"We're not saying we're moving everything from desktop to cloud". "We're going to continue on all three areas," said the spokesperson, referring to cloud, hosted software and desktop products.
The Reckon One modules
A key selling point is that you only pick the modules you want. You start with the "Core" module, then you can add Invoices and BankData modules. You only pay for the modules you choose.
"The important point here is they are all Reckon one modules. Same development team, same guys, same code," said a spokesperson.
For each module, you can choose "Lite", "Medium" or "Advanced" levels of features.
So how much does Reckon One cost?
- The cheapest option is the "Get Started" package, which is just the Core module for $5 per month. This doesn't include the bank data capability, or invoicing, time billing and some other key features.
- For $20 a month for the "Lite" package, you get the Core module, plus "Lite" versions of the various other modules, like invoicing, bank feeds and others. The web site says this is "ideal for small businesses".
- For $28 a month for the "Medium" package, you get "Medium" versions of the same modules. The web site says this is ideal for "businesses that need approval process and have complex projects".
- Alternatively, if you only want a couple of key modules, you can just pay for those. The photo above shows how much they all cost. For example, if you just want the Core module and the invoicing module (Medium level) it's $5 plus $5 a month.
- Another selling point is the ability to save money by "turning on" and "turning off" modules as you need them.
The ability to pay only for just the features you need is a key selling point of various cloud accounting products. But it can also means the price can increase if you need lots of features, something Reckon representatives acknowledged today.
"Once you start adding all the pieces you need to run your business, all of a sudden the price starts to get maybe more than what you'd pay for a desktop application," said a spokesperson, referring to cloud products in general.
Nevertheless, Reckon spokespeople claim the product is a good value. "From a starting point, Reckon One is less expensive than the competition," claimed one.
Reckon also unveiled a phone app, which allows users to take photos of receipts and enter expenses into their phone, which can be categorised and billed to customers, as well as perform other tasks like updating timesheets and accepting payments.
Certain key features won't be there when Reckon One is first made available (payroll and inventory in particular).
A beta version will be launching "hopefully" in July, according to a Reckon spokesperson at today's Sydney event.
"We are getting very, very close to a release," said a spokesperson. "We're up for the fight and in for the long run."