Today Intuit, the accounting software maker, is flipping the switch on QuickBooks Online, opening up the cloud-based financial software platform to the global small business community.
Primarily serving the United States, with localized versions for the UK, Canada and Singapore, QuickBooks Online is actively used by more than 360,000 small businesses to manage their finances and cash flow. With today's news, the company now targets more than 500 million small businesses around the world.
QuickBooks Speaks the Language
Of course, currencies, taxes and accounting standards can vary widely from country to country, even regionally in some cases. That's where QuickBooks Online's extensively customizable software-as-a-service (SaaS) foundation comes into play, says Mike Porcaro, senior public relations manager for Intuit's Global Business Division.
The QuickBooks Online team put "a lot of effort into making this product right for everybody," says Porcaro. Right out of the gate, visitors that reach global.intiut.com are just a few drop-downs away -- country, currency and date and number formats -- from a region-specific small business accounting platform.
Currently in beta, QuickBooks Online is already exerting its global reach. With the addition of built-in language translation via Google Translate and more than 500 tax customizations, the offering is being used in 130 different countries and 45 different languages, reports Porcaro.
Intuit's International Investments
It's still the venerable QuickBooks Online platform at its core, says Kevin Kirn, group product manager for QuickBooks Online. But to "make a product global-ready," he explains, there's "a lot backend work that you have to do." Intensive beta testing, Google Translate support and a flexible tax system are evidence that the company is serious about its global ambitions.
Another example, the $300 million the company has poured into its cloud infrastructure to assure high-availability and consistent access to its data centers from anywhere in the world. Already, Intuit's investments are paying off on the global stage.
While demand remains strong in markets like the U.S and Canada, says Porcaro, there are signs that Intuit's investments are helping the company gain traction on the global stage. He reports a brisk uptake in the Philippines. People from the African nation of Namibia have also taken the product for a spin.
QuickBooks Online, comprised of QuickBooks Simple Start, QuickBooks Essentials and QuickBooks Plus, is available globally today. Prices start at $15.00 per month.
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