Reckon to split with QuickBooks

Australian accounting software company Reckon has announced plans to abandon its licensing agreement with Intuit for Quicken desktop products in favour of its own.

Australian accounting software company Reckon has announced plans to abandon its licensing agreement with Intuit for Quicken desktop products in favour of its own.

In a statement to the market yesterday, Reckon cited diverging strategies between the two companies as the reason for the split.

"As a consequence of the gradual divergence ... of our online ambitions, Reckon Limited advises that we have entered a notice period, effectively a transition period, at the end of which, on 10 February 2014, the licensing agreement will be formally terminated," Reckon told the market yesterday.

Instead of licensing Quicken products like QuickBooks on the desktop, Reckon CEO Clive Rabie told ZDNet Australia that it would focus on offering its own Cashbooks product — a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product in a private cloud.

He added in an interview today that the desktop environment is still profitable, but SaaS offerings are where the company is seeing its best growth.

"As time goes by, we have more and more customers moving to SaaS online. We see the strength in revenue in our desktop solutions, and we don't see that as an issue, but the [big] growth in revenue is coming from online," Rabie said today.

Rabie said that the move away from selling QuickBooks will lead to less confusion in the marketplace between the Intuit product and Cashbooks.

"It's hard to sell our two brands, and it's very expensive. We'd rather [market it as] Cashbooks Online and Cashbooks Desktop," he said. He added that dropping the QuickBooks name in favour of Cashbooks would save the company money in the marketing department.

Reckon says it will maintain QuickBooks until the licence period ends on 10 February 2014, before hosting the product online for another 100 years for customers who are already on the platform. Ending its licensing agreement with Intuit is set to save Reckon millions.

"From a Reckon Limited perspective, it is business as usual until 10 February 2014, whereafter Reckon will effectively enjoy royalty-free rights to continue selling, and may independently develop the then-current Intuit desktop technology and QuickBooks Hosted technology for a 100-year period, resulting in an annualised royalty saving of about $6 million," the company said in a statement yesterday.

Reckon added that it will release more privately hosted, online-based products in the coming months.

Reckon thanked Intuit for the time spent as partners.