QuickBooks was launched by Scott Cook and Tom Proulx, the founders of Intuit, shortly after the runaway success of Quicken. The then new program was originally designed to offer an accounting system for small business owners who had little if any accounting experience.
Shortly after its release QuickBooks captured approximately 80% of the accounting software market for small businesses. The company still enjoys having the largest market share of this fiercely competitive market.
Because professional accountants were not initially satisfied with the first versions of the program, Intuit eventually bridged that gap by providing double entry accounting functions, full audit trail capabilities, and a number of other necessities that professional accountants deemed necessary. So, beginning in the year 2000, Intuit offered both a Basic as well as a Pro version of the software.
Then, in 2003, the company began to offer versions of QuickBook that were specific to a number of different industries. These versions included reports and workflow processes that were industry specific. The Intuit programs included any terminology that was associated with the various trades the software was designed for.
So, at the turn of the century, not only did professional accounting firms – those who serviced multiple clients in different small businesses – have the apropos software, it was also available to contractors, retailers, manufacturers, non-profit companies, professional service firms, and wholesalers.
Because QuickBooks was so successful, a product that was targeted for medium sized businesses was launched in May 2002.
As of March 2008, the company controlled 94.2% of the retail units that were sold in the business accounting category. Currently more than 50,000 independent business consultants, CPAs, and accountants are members of the QuickBooks ProAdvisor program.
The products continued to evolve. QuickBooks now include electronic payment functions, remote outsourcing and payroll assistance, remote access capabilities, mapping features, marketing options, online banking and reconciliation, as well as improved email functionality.
By 2008 you could import Excel spreadsheets with the software.
Currently there are online versions of QuickBooks available that are supported by Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari for the Mac. It can also be accessed via BlackBerrys, iPhones, and Androids through the use of web apps. However the online versions don’t offer all of the features that the desktop versions offer. And quite a few of the online features work differently than they work in the desktop versions.
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