Low-end Battle in Full Swing

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One of the most notable moves was from Intuit, grappling with what it admitted was a loss of customers on the low-end for its year ended July 31.

Revenue for Intuit's Professional Accounting Solutions division, largely from sales of Pro Series and Lacerte, rose by 3 percent for Intuit's year ended July 31. But that wasn't the whole story since revenue from software licenses for the segment declined by 2.8 percent for its April quarter, the period that covers tax season.

To regain customers, Intuit has launched ProSeries Basic, with prices ranging from $250 to $525, depending on options purchased. The product is aimed at customers who find its pay-per-return pricing too expensive, says Kathy Kirkendall, senior product manager. Intuit also pictures the new product as suited for preparers who are just starting their businesses, who are winding them down, or who operate largely during tax season.

Partner Insights

Although Intuit did not cite what competitors were taking away the low-end business, Glynn Willett, CEO of ATX, has said that his company's strategy of offering bundled products at low prices has been luring customers from ProSeries.

Meanwhile, Intuit also launched ProSeries Express Edition for storefront providers and preparers competing with organizations such as H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt. The system is designed to appeal to bank product users and preparers using products from Drake Software and TaxWise.

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