The next version of Simply Accounting will come in three flavours and will be bilingual.
Best Software, which acquired the Simply Accounting product from its purchase of Accpac International earlier this year, will be released in a Basic, Pro and Premium form.
New to the mix is Premium,
as the company tries to bring more mid-market features such as consolidated reporting, better forecasting and sales analysis tools to the small business package.
The Premium version also offers industry-specific reporting capability and a flexible chart of accounts with up to eight digits and the ability to define account ranges. According to Scott Zandbergen, product marketing manager, Simply Accounting for Best Software Canada, these are features that are typically found in complex, expensive accounting packages.
Part of the strategy, he said, is to move customers up in the accounting world.
“”Best was successful in moving its Peachtree customers to the MAS product line and by pairing them up with partners, and we are taking this strategy to Simply Accounting,”” Zandbergen said.
Premium will have a premium-type price of $499, while the Basic version is only $199 and the Pro version costs $299. Zandbergen said the price is designed to show the market that Premium is a high-level package.
“”Premium is a customizable product for these companies who do a lot of consolidated reports or have multiple businesses,”” he said.
Zandbergen added that a survey showed that 59 per cent of Pro users have more than one business.
Pro and Premium will be available in five-pack licenses starting at $699 for Pro and $1,199 for Premium. With the higher price, Zandbergen said, resellers will be getting more margin. He was unable to pin-point how much more by press time.
Best has more than 1,000 VARs in Canada, but it will be the 5,000-plus Simply Accounting consultants in the country that will drive sales for the Premium version.
Best has more than 400,000 Canadian customers of Simply Accounting. “”This is a Canadian product that was originally made in Canada and we address Canadian needs, and I think it is an important distinction to be made,”” Zandbergen said.
“”We know the market in Canada because we have been servicing it for several years. This is not a convert of a U.S. product,”” he said in reference to the product’s chief rival, QuickBooks from Intuit.
Simply Accounting 2005 will have more than 75 new features and enhancements. One of the more prominent features is the bilingual toggle. Users can now switch on the fly from English to French reporting. Users can also issue invoices in French, while working in English and vice-versa.
The new versions will also have instant Pocket PC integration. “”Now you can enter orders, look up customers, read time slips and hot sync Simply Accounting data to your desktop,”” Zandbergen said.
Palm and BlackBerry integration is not in the works, but Best is exploring those options for the future, Zandbergen said.