If you look around, you will see a trend. Many believe the idea of front office and back office working in harmony need not be a pipe dream for small businesses…many of these same people are turning this idea into reality. Perhaps most notable, late last year, Square, a leading provider of a comprehensive point of sale solution, announced that its customers could seamlessly transfer Square sales to their QuickBooks account. Just three months later, Square added the same capability for Xero users.

Why did Square do this and why should you care? There are two reasons.

First, more and more small businesses are using accounting software than ever before.
Intuit, the creator of business and financial management solutions, recently reported 43% year-on-year growth in QuickBooks Online (cloud-based software) subscribers, while the legacy QuickBooks (locally installed desktop software) user base declined just 2%. Meanwhile, Xero reported 76% annual growth in its customer base.

What makes these numbers interesting? The numbers indicate these companies attracted nearly 400,000 net new customers in the last 12 months. Hence, the pie is getting bigger. These companies are succeeding in attracting new customers and not simply cannibalizing users of desktop accounting software. More of your customers—and a larger percentage of your base—rely on accounting software to manage their businesses than at any time in history.

Second, your customers demand that your services integrate with their accounting software.
Last year, the global business management consultant company, McKinsey & Company, surveyed a panel of small businesses. The panel cited the ability to integrate with accounting software as the single most important back-office function offered by a payment provider. Nearly 50% of small businesses reported this functionality as "important" or "very important."

What is the implication?
The small business dream is becoming a reality. If you are not providing your customers a seamless interaction with accounting software, you are living on borrowed time. Whether you aim to build a great shopping cart, payment gateway or point-of-sale system, we can help. Just ask us how.

Happy New Year!