Cloud accounting vendor Xero said it was unfazed by the release of conversion tools and services by competitors MYOB and Intuit to encourage businesses to move from Xero.
“All I would say is that I saw the (press) release from MYOB and we weren’t concerned,” said Chris Ridd, Xero managing director for Australia, in response to a report on BoxFreeIT last week.
Xero Australia considered building a conversion tool for MYOB users a year ago, Ridd said. The company decided to focus its resources elsewhere as a string of entrepreneurial Xero accountants set up their own conversion services.
“The fact that a whole industry (of MYOB to Xero conversion services) has emerged suggests there’s more demand,” Ridd said.
“We are signing up 200-300 new business customers every business day. Of those, 40 percent are coming from no software – either Excel or manual books. Most of the others are coming from MYOB. We know that because they tell us when they sign up,” Ridd said.
Ridd also questioned the wisdom of MYOB’s purchase of BankLink. New Zealand and Australia’s first aggregator of bank feeds claimed to have superior accuracy than international competitors such as Yodlee, used by Xero, Reckon and other vendors.
“We went to one of the banks and said, ‘you’re charging a lot for bank feeds’, and we told them what price we wanted to pay” to receive bank feeds directly, Ridd said. “The pricing is going to fall through the floor. We have three banks not charging us for bank feeds.”
Xero claimed 10 percent of transactions were provided through bank feeds sourced from Yodlee.
Xero recently released a conversion tool for US versions of QuickBooks but it still required manual effort to complete the migration, Ridd said.
Intuit was attempting to undercut Xero on price but businesses were prepared to pay more, Ridd said.
Intuit “have clearly positioned themselves as a cheaper product. One of the things that encourages us is that there have always been cheaper alternatives. Saasu and LiveAccounts are $29 versus $49 (for Xero) but these are not slowing us down,” Ridd said.