Google Makes An Entry In QuickBooks

    September 14, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Users of Intuit’s popular accounting program will have several Google services available to them in QuickBooks 2007, as Google makes an interesting play for the local search advertising market.

Google’s announcement of the deal with Intuit looks like a very smart play by the search advertising company. As the drive for the multi-billion dollar local search market continues to draw the attentions of major Internet players, Google has scored an impressive win here.

QuickBooks has been a popular program for small business owners who need an accounting package for their enterprises. One could almost call an accounting suite part of the foundation of a business. Google’s arrangement to place some of its services in that foundation might at least elicit curiosity, if not immediate participation, in the company.

It’s all about finding customers for AdWords, a big component of Google’s massive revenue stream. Recently, Borrell Associates predicted local online advertising spends would increase to $7.7 billion in 2007. That would be an increase of nearly 32 percent from 2006 according to their research.

“By adding key Google services into the world’s most popular accounting product, we’re making it easier than ever for small businesses to find and use all of the tools available to them,” Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in the deal’s announcement.

Those services include the following:

Google AdWords – Starting with $50 in Google AdWords credits, QuickBooks users can use AdWords to advertise themselves online. QuickBooks users can select search terms related to their product or service and create customized ads that show up when shoppers search on Google for those products or services.

Google Maps – Businesses using QuickBooks can more easily be found online with a free business listing – even if the business does not have a Web site. Google Maps gives QuickBooks users a tool to reach qualified prospective customers by simply creating and managing an online business listing.

QuickBooks Product Listing Service – Product-based businesses will now have the ability to turn local shoppers into their customers with the new QuickBooks Product Listing Service, which will be in Beta at time of the QuickBooks 2007 launch. Small businesses can let online shoppers know they carry a specific product by using this service to make their merchandise searchable on Google through Google Base.

Intuit will use technology it acquired in the deal for StepUp Commerce to allow small business owners to automatically transfer inventory information to Google Base as it is updated.

Google Desktop will also be available with some of Intuit’s product line for US customers. Google said that for security, the new tool can search QuickBooks data only when it is accessed from within QuickBooks and is tied to QuickBooks user permissions so search results are limited by the searcher’s authorization level.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.