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Intuit rolls out new QuickBooks product for mid-market customers

The new QuickBooks Online Advanced expands the market for the QuickBooks brand, taking on competing products like Microsoft Dynamics and Sage Intacct.

QuickBooks is a familiar brand in the small business world: More than 3.4 million businesses -- mostly small ones -- using the accounting software from Intuit. Once businesses reach a certain size, however, they tend to outgrow it. Now, Intuit is rolling out a product, QuickBooks Online Advanced, designed expressly for those mid-market businesses.

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QuickBooks Online Advanced expands the Intuit brand into a new market and puts it in comipetition with other accounting options that typically serve larger businesses, like Microsoft Dynamics, Sage Intacct and Netsuite.

As QuickBooks customers grow larger, "tens of thousands every year reach a point where they need something more than what our traditional QuickBooks software provides," Alex Chriss, chief product officer of Small Business at Intuit, said to ZDNet. Yet the next level of software, he said, "is significantly more expensive and is a significant change in how they've been doing their accounting. Many of these systems were built for much larger organizations than many of the businesses at our upper end of the spectrum -- there are a bunch of features they don't need and new levels of complexity."

While the average QuickBooks online customer is paying typically between $20 and $50 a month, customers can find themselves paying between $10,000 and $25,000 a year for software at the next level. Chriss said there's an obvious gap in the market that Intuit can fill within the range of $2,000 a year.

In fact, QuickBooks does offer an enterprise version of its desktop product and has more than 140,000 enterprise customers. QuickBooks Online Advanced extends the brand's reach with an online version for mid-market companies, most likely with 10 to 100 employees.

QuickBooks Online Advanced will over the next few months roll out features like advanced reporting, customized roles and permissions and bulk transactions. It will come with enhanced customer service, including membership in QuickBooks' Priority Circle program. The program comes with a dedicated customer success manager and free online training courses.

Users can also tap more than 500 applications to customize the software to their needs. Online Advanced allows for up to 25 users on the solution.

Chriss said QuickBooks also has unique offerings that will extrend to QuickBooks Online Advanced, such as access to the QuickBooks Capital lending service. Using machine learning to leverage the breadth of data from the QuickBooks ecosystem, QuickBooks Capital is able to offer loans to small businesses that may not qualify for traditional bank loans. For customers that upgrade to Online Advanced, QuickBooks Capital could be even more accessible, Chriss said.

"For many of our folks that started with QuickBooks... we now have a significant amount of data and history to offer them more and more capital," Chriss said. "We're now offering funding up to $100,000 for folks, with the click of a button. That's something we think is quite unique."