The laws of supply and demand  dictate that if everyone is selling the same product, then buyers are going to make a decision based on price. And that’s true of the thousands of companies peddling accounting software.


The way out of this problem has always been to have Value-Added Resellers sell themselves as experts who can solve a problem. The other technique is to add a product particularly one that will get the dealer in the door to look at other applications.


Someone who has a vested interest in a particular product line suggested that sales-and-use tax software can be the foot in the door. It’s a product that can bring the VAR into an office to look at the accounting software and suggest that an aging package needs replacement.


There are a several companies lining up accounting software resellers to take on tax packages. Among them are SpeedTax and Avalara, which are relatively new companies compared to CCH, which is new to the reselling game.


Along with offering a differentiating product, VARs have another reason for pitching these company’s software packages.  In the current economy, taxing authorities that are seeing revenue decline steeply as people stop spending are going to make sure businesses are paying every dime they owe governing agencies.


If nothing else, VARs can push these as insurance policies that help keep users out of trouble. (And that’s a marketing pitch accounting firms, who are also being courted by some of the tax vendors, can understand.)


How much room is there for VARs to leap into this market? Obviously, if enough people plunge in quickly, it becomes another commodity. And that’s a typical business cycle.


But for the moment, there’s money to be made.

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