Milestones in the History of Web-Based Accounting
The history of web-based accounting dates back to the year 1998 when Larry Ellison from Oracle launched Netledger. The organization began with an initial capital of $25 million. Thereafter, an amount of $30 million was infused into the company in the year 2000. The client-base of the company increased to 3,000 in the year 2001. However, the revenue from customers was inadequate to sustain an organization that needed millions of dollars annually. Consequently, Larry Ellison was faced with a major dilemma.
Apart from this, the thought perspective of Larry Ellison was altogether different from that of his adversary Bill Gates. While Larry advocated centralized net computing, Bill Gates supported decentralized desktop computing. According to Larry’s approach, the application needs to be installed over a single file server that can be shared with everyone. However in Bill Gates’ approach, every individual is supposed to install their own applications on their desktop computers. Hence, only data is shared with every one.
Netledger had acquired considerable importance in the war going on between companies. So, the liquidation of Netledger could have been used as an evidence to support the fact that net computing is not practical. This would have led to the victory of Bill Gates thereby making every computer user his customer. To avoid the failure, Netleger’s product was improved and renamed Oracle Small Business Manager. Moreover, a number of modules, functionality and features were added to the new product.
In the year 1999, Peachtree launched its web-based solution known as ePeachtree. During the same year, ACCPAC was the pioneer medium-sized company that introduced ACCPAC Online that enabled its end-customers to utilize ACCPAC with the help of a simple browser. Soon SAP followed the counterparts and rolled out mySAP that featured a few SAP modules. Many other companies like eLedger and Intacct eventually jumped into the bandwagon. However, none was successful.
Later, Intuit followed the suit in the year 2000. The product was named QuickBooks for the Web. A key feature of the product was that it was completely re-built and re-designed, especially in terms of technology utilized. However, it resulted in lack of functionality and missing features for earlier versions of the product. Another interesting development took place in the year 2000. Peachtree improved upon its Peachtree Complete Accounting product through addition of a web-based module known as Peachtree Web Accounting.
The history of web-based accounting remains incomplete without the mention of Microsoft. Its product Microsoft Small Business Manager marked the entry of the company in the arena of web-based accounting solutions.