September 18, 2018
Original Posted on Digital First by Sholto Macpherson
MYOB’s attempted purchase of Reckon APS at the beginning of this year – and its knockdown by the regulator – unearthed some pretty frank statements about the technology roadmaps for the two software companies. Reckon’s main explanation as to why the combined entity wouldn’t be anti-competitive was that it was so far behind on its cloud strategy and couldn’t afford the investment required to catch up. Reckon has since reversed that position and says it is going full steam ahead. But the moment of candour has drawn the first major competitor to Australia (and it may not be the last).
GreatSoft is a cloud practice management suite born in South Africa from the original Sol6 software. Unlike Sol6, which has evolved into MYOB Accountants Enterprise in Australia, GreatSoft is 100% in the cloud. It is used by many large accounting firms, including three of the Big Four in South Africa. GreatSoft has made a soft landing in Australia – targeting the MYOB and Reckon APS firms that were alarmed by the statements and reversals in the past 12 months. It has made contact with all the major accounting software companies and is busily connecting to popular practice management and tax compliance tools in Australia.
Worryingly for Reckon, the Australian managing director is one of the founders of APS and former manager of Reckon’s own accounting division, Brian Armstrong. In his first interview as managing director for GreatSoft Australia, Armstrong reveals his plans for taking on Reckon and MYOB on home ground.