QuickBooks is a small business accounting system owned by the American, publically traded company ‘Intuit’ (INTU – Nasdaq Stock Market). Intuit employs about 8,000 people and grossed over US$ 4.7  billion during their fiscal 2016 year. They’re big ! Very highly regarded and clearly offer what has become the world’s leading accounting software for the small business.

The QuickBooks product range has been marketed throughout Australia and New Zealand by Reckon, an ASX listed company under a rather exclusive distribution agreement with Intuit. That distribution agreement has been terminated. Since February 2014, the product range previously enjoying the outstanding reputation of QuickBooks, is no longer available from Reckon nor any of Reckon’s business partners.

Is this the end of QuickBooks for Australia and New Zealand ? At the risk of sounding like a Politian ………… it’s virtually impossible to respond with a yes or no. Intuit is actually already here; (www.intuit.com.au), thus no, the QuickBooks brand is alive and well, offered directly from the source – Intuit. QuickBooks via Intuit does however appear to be limited, at least at the moment, to the online products.

The other confusing bit of good news relates to the very interesting arrangement where Intuit has agreed to allow Reckon to use of the base code for the next 100 years. We do not have access to the legal definition, of ‘base code for the next 100 years’ but we are certain that ‘Reckon Accounts’ looks virtually identical to the previous releases of the down under version of  QuickBooks for both Australia and New Zealand.

Reckon conducted an extensive rebranding effort emphasising the ‘Name Change from QuickBooks to Reckon Accounts’.  Interesting, I do wonder how many other divorces are referred to as a ‘name change’. This separation is much bigger  than a name change !

The Reckon version of QuickBooks …. Has been considerably different than the ‘real’ QuickBooks available elsewhere. Indeed the underlying code for Australia and New Zealand has not been in sync, nor updated to the US versions for years. Although we’ve missed out on recent American advancements, on the plus side, the down under version has, for many years, enabled multi-currency, and GST – items which have previously eluded our American counterparts.

Probability is that  Reckon Accounts … will continue to look just like the old version of QuickBooks – with our already embedded down under customisation in the short term.  I would expect little change by the Reckon  development team relative to the underlying, base code.