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About In House Tax

This weblog is a news and views site for tax professionals within the UK and international in-house tax community.  You will find information about appointments and people moves in and around the in-house tax market, issues affecting the in-house tax professional, opinions on the state of the tax job market, updates on tax technology, and other general thoughts of the day.

Hope you find it useful.

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Location: St Albans, United Kingdom

This site has been developed by Simon Godley, who also runs the niche tax recruitment company Talentpool Selection . Simon spends a lot of his time placing tax specialists into FTSE companies, large in-bound groups and some professional services organisations. He also recruits and is well networked around the UK tax technology and VAT markets.

Tax News

Microsoft creeping into tax software market?

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

By Simon Godley

I recently saw an article announcing that accounting firm Tenon has signed a deal with Microsoft to supply their accounting software, whereas previously they had favoured Sage. Tenon has said that they are continuing to use Sage, but the Microsoft offering is 'better'. Tenon will use the Microsoft product for outsourced finance function, presumably for their clients.

This prompted me to look at the Microsoft site for the product. There are actually two sites - one for financial management software and one for Microsoft Office Accounting, which seems to be for smaller businesses. Both sites are quite impressive, with video sales pitches which give a very convincing overview of the products. When you look at the add-ons available (for the Microsoft Office product), you can add a payroll service for an extra £9.95 per month. This does all the PAYE and NIC calculations, and can handle e-filing. The basic MS Office Accounting product is free to trial for 60 days, and then costs just under £150 to buy (for one user).

There is no evidence of specific corporate or personal tax products as yet, but I guess that could be another add-on from Microsoft in the future. Their current offerings seem to be pitched to the SME market, hence the competition with Sage, so no direct product competition with the suppliers of larger group CT software.

It is a brave move by Microsoft, and a move into mature markets (ie US and UK accounting software), but that seems to the their strategy on products - see what the competition has produced, and then design something better.

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posted by Simon Godley

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