CPA2Biz has enough problems--a lack of direction and product strategy, a lack of market recognition, CPAs who use it as a target for their anger at the AICPA--in fact it is a bit hard to think of too much that has gone right. But the recent decision to market Payroll Services looks like a way to repeat the mistakes of the past.

In the mid 1990s, the AICPA owned and marketed the Accountants Trial Balance, a package that was later sold to Creative Solutions and is on its way out of the market. But at the time, tax software vendors were furious at the Institute for competing with them in commercial software. The AICPA was using its member-based resources to market a competing product and many feared the AICPA would get deeper into the software market. That anger led many vendors to withdraw from the AICPA Tech conference. Many of the tax vendors never returned to exhibit.

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