Freshbooks today announced that it has struck a deal with Shoeboxed which will see Shoeboxed receipt scanning and categorization service added into the growing Freshbooks stable of integrations. Shoeboxed, has a tie in with Outright, the latest book-keeping service to make a splash, with which Freshbooks also recently partnered. The pitch is that Shoeboxed will export reclaimable receipts into Freshbooks for invoice creation with the rest held as deductibles for tax purposes.
Looking at micro business pricing, The current cost of the combined offering runs $23.95 per month ($14 FB, $9.95 Shoeboxed, Outright ‘free for now.’) How much this will rise when Outright declares its hand has yet to be reveased but it’s difficult to see them coming out for much less than $10-15/month and perhaps higher, given the service includes tax estimates. If I’m correct then micro business cost will run something $33.95-$38.95 per month.
This is an exceptional deal, considering the overall service components that will not only help customers get paid but also help ensure they’re compliant. It won’t negate year end tax filing costs altogether but close enough that filers may feel confident enough to use free servives to polish off their affairs.That’s for the US.
The downside is that while Shoeboxed claims international status, it is a mail in service to the US and categorizes according to that country’s tax rules. US deductibles are similar to the UK but are not quite the same. Outright is clear that it is going after the US market first. The bottom line is that it is really geared towards that constituency.
I called Freshbooks up on this point because it seems to me there is a risk that in adding in these providers without finding international alternatives it might alienate its non-US and Canadian customers. At the last count, Freshbooks counted 25% or 175,000 of its 700,000 new users as non-US and Canadian. Freshbooks wasn’t able to provide a definitive answer referring instead to Shoeboxed’s international status..
The difficulty is in knowing where Freshbooks might look for additional partners in territories like the UK and Australia, which account for 60% of the remainder. In the UK, a steady stream of new services are emerging and while we might like to think that our favourite service is only a mouseclick away, there comes a point where people want more.
So while Freshbooks is pointing the way towards a mashup model for the services it provides, I have to wonder the extent to which it is able to push its partners into international territories in which it plays. This will be a growing problem for both mashups and all-in-one providers as the saas market matures. Unlike client-server/on-premise applications, the saas providers are instantly accessible from anywhere in the world. But accommodating different tax regimes alone demonstrates that the world is anything but flat.
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