With a hat tip to a clean shaven Mike, this post over on RWW surmises that an online accounting system might be in the pipline from Google. The rationale for the idea of Google entering this space is pretty much the rationale for them entering every space – eyeballs, data and stickiness.

If we look however at who Google are – they are predominantly a mass market player – as such they’re keen to get the maximum number of eyeballs in any one particular space.

With that in mind, I’m picking that Google will launch a financial offering, but it’ll be more along the lines of “Google your money” than “Google business money”. I’m picturing home budgeting (obvious advertising fit there ) and cashflow. Some nice calculators to work stuff out and the like. All these things can be rolled out pretty globally without customisation, accounting is much more location specific and not completely within the current Google model.

I’m sure they do have people looking at the business accounting space but I don’t see it happening in the near future… but then again I could be wrong. I wonder if Xero feel like commenting on the possibiilty?

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • We’ve talked about that one a lot internally in the past. I’d love to hear Rod’s thoughts. I posted mine on marclehmann.net

  • That article was, of course, pure speculation; and the author had obviously not heard of, or tried, Xero. If he had, then he would have known that Costs (Xero is reasonably priced and doesn’t offer a cut-down version) and Simplicity (Xero has an easy to use interface with no clutter) are two of Xero’s strongest selling points.

    Which then leads to an interesting thought… Google have mainly bought companies to get them a foothold into a particular market – Picasa for photo sharing, Writely for word processing, YouTube for video sharing, Blogger for blogging, and on, and on… So it would make sense that if Xero’s accounting software matches Google’s requirements, Google would make a determined effort to purchase Xero. But then Rod has publicly said on many occassions that he’s not planning to not sell Xero and focus instead of creating a global brand.

    Interesting indeed…

  • Hi guys.

    Google is not going to do accounting. I agree with Ben’s and Marc’s comments. But clearly Google is providing some very interesting ecosystem bits that are useful for all SaaS vendors.

    I’d put Google closer to a space like Wesabe or Mint or are doing great things there. Threat or an opportunity depending on your personality type.

    Microsoft also has a small business accounting product. Doesn’t bother us in the slightest.

    The winners of tomorrow will not be the incumbents of today. And accounting system of tomorrow will not look like the accounting systems of today either. The web changes everything.

    Oh and the author has had a good look at Xero. He’s based in SiliconWelly like us. Shhhhh, RWW is another great kiwi export!

  • I agree that it’s far more likely that Google may release something to compete with Wesabe as opposed to a full-blown accounting package.

    That article, by the way, wasn’t written by Richard, it was posted by two guest authors who aren’t based in NZ (http://blog.jayeyesea.com/the-authors/) which is why I mentioned that they probably hadn’t seen Xero before.

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