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BenefitMall Moving to Consultative Sales

BenefitMall has pushed out a new payroll platform that also offers benefits. And the Dallas, Texas-based company is taking a new approach to working with its channel, which includes banks, accounting firms and brokers, who resell the BenefitMall line or refer customers to it. With slightly more than five weeks on the job, SVP Kevin Thornton pledges field sales representatives will become more consultative, instead of simply taking orders.

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Understanding CCH's Changes

The looming departure of CCH president Mike Sabbatis might have surprised a lot of people. But it was one of several signs that significant changes have been coming to the tax and accounting powerhouse and that more are on the way. Read more...

Intuit: Warning on the Low End of Tax Prep

Intuit did not say that it was issuing a warning to part of the income tax preparation market. But its statements during its conference call for its second quarter financial results should be taken that way. And the warning is that the company's decision this year to provide tax advice to TurboTax users represents a threat to part of the professional tax preparation market.

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Intuit's Technology Problems

intuit_logoWhen Intuit told its users on a Facebook page two weeks ago that maintenance had caused an outage of some of its web pages, it was more than lightning striking twice. It was the third time since early in the summer of 2010 that the company has admitted to maintenance spurring an outage. Then couple that with the company's announcement that it is steering QuickBooks graduates to Intacct.

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Goodbye RALs; Hello Cash Advance

For those who applauded the probable death of refund anticipations loans at the end of tax season, it is time to start thinking about how you feel about cash advances funding by consumer lending institutions-because the bank product market is not going away.

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Desktop, the Internet and Risk

Good coaches also tell basketball players to keep their hands up. And so it is in most fields that among the most sophisticated advice is to take care of the basics. In technology, that means securing data, both through physical and technological means. Read more...

Do Taxpayers Want D-I-Y?

H&R Block made an insightful point last week about how taxpayers want to handle their returns. And in doing so, it attacked a central point of Intuit's message about online preparation. And I think Block is on the mark.

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Vendors Buy Their Way into the Cloud

Development of software often comes down to a make-versus-buy decision - is it more cost effective for a vendor to develop software or to somehow gain access to an application already on the market? And for those wondering why the tax and accounting market has been slow to move to Internet-based software, the vendors themselves have been having some problems getting there. So instead of make versus buy, some leaders took the ally-versus-make route.

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Better Software Tools Needed?

Sometimes it is difficult to understand the need for the new crop of small business accounting and invoicing applications that have emerged on the web. But maybe that's implicit in a statistic that intuit has used about its only highly successful QuickBooks software. Read more...

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