Intuit ends free document management due to an accounting rule?

Really? Does this make any sense? Intuit announced that QuickBooks 2011 will not have a free document management plan due to a change of accounting policies. The email they recently sent to QuickBooks users said:

Free Document Management will be discontinued in QuickBooks 2011

What’s Changing?

Document Management is free in QuickBooks 2010, and it will stay that way. But after May 15, it will no longer be free in QuickBooks 2011.

Why?

A change in our accounting policies requires us to stop offering free services in any version of QuickBooks after 2011. We’re not happy about it because we know Document Management could be an integral part of how you do business.

Waaaa? It’s an accounting software company, you’d think they could figure out a way to not let the accountants drive important business decisions. Does this mean that Intuit will never offer a paid version of Mint because they’ll have to end the free version? Does this mean that no packaged software companies can do a freemium upsell model for attached services? If the latter is true, will a company like Microsoft – that makes a lot of money off of one time installed software – be totally unable to acquire freemium SaaS companies? Will Intuit never be able to acquire a freemium company like Box.net? This seems nutty.

I just don’t get this move by Intuit, unless the real reason that the free plan is being eliminated is because they just aren’t making money off of the free to paid upgrades and this is a way to kill off the free plan with an excuse that is so obtuse customers are unlikely to question it.

What do you think? Are the accountants just running the show at Intuit and forcing business decisions to be made off of accounting rules, or is it likely that the free plan just wasn’t working for Intuit as a business/marketing model?

Here is most of the email that I was able to screen capture:

Quickbooks discontinues free document management

QuickBooks discontinues free document management

Note, I have no info other than this email about Intuit’s document management policy change. And these opinions and questions are 100% mine, having nothing to do with my employer.

Author: Healy Jones

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1 Comment

  1. What a terrible piece of marketing!

    They’re already losing market share to the likes of Xero, this really isn’t going to do them any favours.

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