10 Years ago in South Africa, EasyBiz QuickBooks officially launched their business management software that makes accounting easy. The business was developed from the entrepreneurial spirit of Gary Epstein, who wanted to offer small to medium businesses the opportunity to take ownership of their business success and growth by offering them an accounting package that would help them to achieve these goals. Like most small businesses, QuickBooks had humble beginnings, with just 5000 users and operating from a small office in Sandton, where the storeroom and sales areas were literally all in the reception area, and the entire operation driven by 10 people.
It was the vision of Gary Epstein, who saw the value in the QuickBooks offering of an easy to learn, easy to use and easily affordable tool to assist entrepreneurs and owners of small to medium enterprises to manage their businesses. Guided by passion and a belief that this software truly lives up to its promise of making accounting easy, Gary started allocating his limited marketing resources to create brand awareness. His strategy was simple, target small to medium enterprises and entrepreneurs with the offering of a financially attractive accounting software package, underpinned by messages on the benefits of having good financial records. The strategy worked and the company has grown from strength to strength servicing the South African and Sub-Sahara African market. Just 10 years later, QuickBooks boasts 70 000 users and has gone from a relatively small business to a major supplier of accounting and payroll software in these regions.
This growth is not surprising when one considers the innovative and comprehensive nature of QuickBooks’ business software solutions combined with the entrepreneurial spirit that seems to proliferate the South African population. Says Gary Epstein, “We are an entrepreneurial society and QuickBooks’ exponential growth over the last 10 years is testament to that fact. What seems to make it work is the fact that QuickBooks recognises the challenges that most small businesses face – we have faced them too”.
QuickBooks also recognizes that many entrepreneurs, executives or managers are very good at what they were trained to do, but have very little idea about how the financial side of the business operates. Part of QuickBooks’ mission and vision, is to educate the small business owner on the importance of keeping a finger on the pulse of their business finances – the software packages offered assist them in ensuring that the admin side of their finances is in good shape, but it is still important to be a part of this facet of the business – this knowledge is what drives good business decisions and growth. This is why QuickBooks not only developed accounting software that is quick to learn and easy to use (for operators as well as senior management), but can be accessed by different levels of a business, as the business grows. For example, when a business is either small or just starting up, and can’t really afford a bookkeeper, SimpleStart is the perfect package to get an entrepreneurs business up and running.
As has happened with QuickBooks, they also realise that all businesses need to grow. With growth, the finances of a business become more complex, and so develops the need for more sophisticated software solutions. When it launched 10 years ago, QuickBooks offered only two accounting software options – 10 years on, the product range has increased to 8 products which are suitable for all sizes of business and is now a partnership that can tailor to both growing and established companies to manage their increasingly complex business finances and inventory. Quick Payroll and ACCTivate! have also been added to the mix to allow this complex and important part of a growing business to also be managed in the same, easy to understand way.
QuickBooks is proud that many of its original 5000 users are still part of the QuickBooks family 10 years down the line. One such user is Mandy Reynolds of Dejon Distributors in Cape Town. Dejon Distributors is an importer and distributor of high-end baby developmental products that has been in business for 17 years. Their accounts used to be managed manually in the past, and then they switched to QuickBooks. Says Mandy, “I don’t have any accounting or bookkeeping experience, and when I took on the role of Administration, I was concerned that I would not be able to manage, but as soon as I started working on QuickBooks, I realised that it really does make accounting easy. What is so great about QuickBooks Accounting and Payroll packages is that, although our company has the same amount of employees as it did 10 years ago, our needs have changed and QuickBooks has catered to our new demands seamlessly. That, combined with the service and support we receive from QuickBooks, is the reason that this is the only accounting and payroll package for our business”.
EasyBiz QuickBooks have grown with their customers and are now in a position to offer software solutions for EVERY size of business whether it be small, medium or established. Their entrepreneurial spirit and understanding of the needs of their customers has certainly been a contributing factor in creating the massive support network that they offer to businesses, whether they are just starting out or managing exciting change and growth in their organisation. Said Gary Epstein, “EasyBiz QuickBooks has been there – done that, but we recognise that we too continue to grow. We look forward to the next 10 years of growth and will strive to share this knowledge and experience with our loyal customers to ensure that they bypass all of the possible pitfalls associated with the transition from being a small business to a big business ”.