Here’s my take on this: First, good for the AICPA (i.e. CPA2Biz) in seeing the value in cloud computing as a natural way for practicing accountants to better serve their clients. And good for them in helping move the process forward via alliances with the likes of Bill.com and Intacct. I’m particularly pleased about the value of this alliance to the main street CPA. With tens of thousands of sole practitioners and very small firms serving nearly 25 million small businesses, most with fewer than 10 employees, this solution seems very well targeted. Both Bill.com, CPA2Biz’s first SaaS offering, and now Intaact have adapted their service to that small firm. The announcement didn’t include pricing (why anyone would talk to accountants WITHOUT pricing is beyond me!) but I was assured that the price points would be moderate, at about the level most businesses would pay today for a hosted QuickBooks solution. Additionally the arrangement provides free internal use of the Intaact platform for firm accounting. That seems to be practicable to the vast majority of what REAL small firms and their small business clients need. And I submit that many, if not most, CPA firms will benefit greatly from a solution so targeted. It just doesn’t make sense for them not to take advantage.
Nice job, CPA2Biz --- now please go out and find us a more services that will help the masses. With more CPAs retiring and client expectations growing we need help. Fast!gll
FULL TEXT PRESS RELEASE FOLLOWS:
NEW YORK and SAN JOSE, Calif. – April 7, 2009 – The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), its subsidiary CPA2Biz, and Intacct today announced a groundbreaking alliance to benefit millions of small businesses across America and improve the productivity of the CPA profession.
The alliance will help CPA firms and small and mid-sized businesses adopt “cloud computing” to improve their financial performance, take better advantage of financial advice and make better and faster business decisions. Intacct and CPA2Biz will also co-develop a new version of Intacct’s on-demand financial management and accounting applications specifically for CPA firms and their clients that includes unique content from the AICPA.
“In today’s economic climate, small and mid-sized businesses need to actively manage their financial performance by becoming continuously aware of their financial position and collaborate with trusted CPA advisors to make the best possible business decisions,” said Barry Melancon, president and CEO, AICPA. “Our vision for this new alliance is to improve productivity, increase transparency and reduce costs for both AICPA member firms and the millions of small and mid-sized businesses they serve.”
“We have seen a dramatic shift in the way CPA firms provide accounting services to small businesses, with technology being the primary driver,” said Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO, CPA2Biz. “We’ve believed for some time that cloud computing was an effective model for firms to better support and collaborate with clients, but it’s taken many years for on-demand financial applications to mature. After an extensive, multi-year search for the right solution and partner we’re excited to be working with Intacct, whose applications, people, policies and track record are outstanding.”“We’re honored and excited to join forces with the AICPA and CPA2Biz as their preferred provider of financial applications,” said Mike Braun, president and CEO, Intacct. “When you combine advocacy and education from the AICPA with a new offering co-developed by Intacct and CPA2Biz, we are poised to improve the productivity of the CPA profession and millions of small and mid-sized businesses by driving the adoption of cloud-based financial applications.”
Key Details of the New Alliance:
· The AICPA, and its subsidiary CPA2Biz, have named Intacct as their preferred provider of financial applications. CPA2Biz has also been named the preferred distributor of Intacct to the CPA profession
.· The AICPA and CPA2Biz will make their unique intellectual capital, such as financial best practices, business guidance, benchmarks and industry templates available from within Intacct’s financial applications.
· Intacct and CPA2Biz are co-developing a new and unique version of Intacct which will allow CPA firms to work together collaboratively with their clients. The new co-developed product will only be available through the CPA profession.
· AICPA members will be eligible to receive discounts on all of Intacct’s financial management and accounting applications.· The benefits of the new alliance will extend to all of the more than 350,000 AICPA members, whether practicing in one of 45,000 member CPA firms or working in Industry, and to millions of small and mid-sized businesses across the country.