Posted March 19, 2007 9:27 am by with 6 comments

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Nicholas Carr and Rob Hyndman are at odds over whether Google should acquire Intuit – maker of Quicken and QuickBooks – or new kid on the block, Freshbooks.

Google already has a partnership with Intuit, so that tends to make sense. Carr believes…

Right now, it would be an ideal complement to Google Apps. Roll an accounting/payroll service into Google Apps, and you have a suite that literally covers all the software required by a whole lot of small businesses. And you have a strong base for moving up into the mid-market.

Hyndman counters that Freshbook is more Google’s style…

Freshbooks is a superb app with a growing base, more in the spirit of what Google buys, and is soon to be moving into accounting, too. And if Google moved quickly, they might be able to get it for under $400 million or so.

Either way, a move into the financial software space would be another reason for Steve Ballmer to take shots at them. 😉

So, who do you think Google should acquire?

  • Google acquiring Intuit would be a dramatic departure from it’s purchases so far.

    Yes, it would in one fell swoop get them into the business software game, but I think it would be an ugly purchase from a logistical perspective, with Intuit far too big to see an assimilation into the Google umbrella. Intuit has 7500 employees and would cost $10 billion. My call is that Google does not do this deal.

  • anonymous

    Freshbooks is not exactly innovative. The UI is so Web 1.0 it’s not funny, even though they are making all these claims about being very chic and Web 2.0. Also, my guess is that the majority of their users are free users, not paid. That said, you may need to adjust your $400M price tag.

    On the other hand, Intuit is a complete pig. With their hand in everything, you’re only really buying a piece of what Google would find useful — an outdated online accounting app. This one is circa 1996. MAN….

  • Re: Freshbooks website. Is anyone else starting to get sick of the 37signals rip offs with the oversized fonts and highlighted text?

    Or is this just a sign of more to come?

  • To me this is a no brainer. Intuit all of the way. Comparing Intuits products and Freshbooks are like comparing apples and oranges. One is a full blown accounting package while the other does a very small bit of the accounting piece.

  • As a Freshbooks user for two years I think you are missing the point. I also use sage. Just like intuit you are not comparing like with like. I use freshbooks for the easy of electronic invoicing, online payment, automated debt chasing.

    Web 2.0 or not, 37 signals rip off or not – I don’t care – It provides a very important service for me that compliments my accounting package.


    Rob Wilson’s last blog post..Tip: Seeing more than ten results on Google


    It just doesn’t sound good. Google buying either Intuit or freshbooks. I think Google is actually too big for both of them. Moreover, these applications are small (I am not questioning their importance) and cater to small and medium enterprises, freelancers etc. whereas Google caters to the masses and for completely different reasons. So, I think It will be a flop deal for both the parties if at all this happens. Though I am sure it won’t.