Mountain View, Calif. (July 10, 2003) -- Intuit's Quickbooks Online package grew by more than 200 percent over the past year, and expects to reach 10,000 subscribers by the end of July, the company announced Wednesday.

The company said its research shows that the increase in subscriptions is due partly to strong word of mouth from current users, and that most turn to the Web because they want to have access to their books from multiple locations or give access to more than one person.

"We've always known that QuickBooks Online Edition was a great solution for small businesses wanting to take advantage of the Internet's flexibility," said QuickBooks vice president Allison Mnookin, who said the company is focused on an easy-to-use solution that doesn't "overwhelm users with a suite of applications they have no use for and can't afford."

Intuit was a relative latecomer to the online accounting software trend. In early 2000, the company said its users weren't yet demanding an online version of its popular software package, but later that year it rolled out the online product, and gained 5,000 users by October of 2002.

The company also noted that, according to research group Yankee Group 1, the strategic importance of the Internet to small businesses nearly doubled, from 44 percent in 1999 to 81 percent in 2002.

"As broadband penetration grows small and medium sized businesses are learning how to leverage the Internet to adapt to their business work style," said Yankee Group 1 senior analyst Helen Chan. "Because of this, a growing number of businesses are becoming more amenable to solutions like Web-based accounting, as they can more readily accommodate changing organizational dynamics in the business."

-- WebCPA staff

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