Sage Software doesn’t track the number of accounting firms among its resellers. And that’s a very big symbol of what’s happened in the software reselling market. State of the Art, the company that Sage acquired to help form Sage Software, enlisted thousands of CPA firms and its literature used to report the number representing its MAS 90 line.
But no more.
Sage’s official position is it’s not fair to hone in on this change.
“The accounting community continues to be an important resource to our customers and therefore to us, and we continue to focus on building that community and mutually fruitful ways to work with accountants as part of our overall partner community – some as resellers and many more in programs like the Accountants’ Network,” was a statement from John Schoutsen, the executive who oversees the company’s public relations program. He also said that many CPAs had chosen not to resell.
Over the years, however, it was very clear that a lot of organizations were counseled out of the reselling program.
Of course, accounting firms remain in the Sage dealer base, and in the channel programs of other vendors.
For example, Deltek lists members of its much smaller channel, and offers a separate section of lists of members of its CPA Network. (While many vendors offer or have offered online resellers, Sage has never done this.) Deltek lists 18 CPA firms, all but one resells its Vision product. Most are larger than the typical MAS CPA reseller. But it’s also a small channel that’s not going to grow to the size of Sage’s program.
“CPAs are getting out of technology,” a friend opined, which is hardly a new statement.
But are they getting out? Or are they specializing? I’ve said before that CPAs didn’t get out of reselling. They stopped selling over-distributed products on which they couldn’t make money.
And maybe the market is simply normalizing? By that, I mean, thousands of CPA firms didn’t provide construction services the way thousands once handled accounting software.
It’s just possible that technology has now become a specialty in the same way medical, construction and healthcare services are a specialty, and not a club open to everyone.
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