Microsoft Forms Cloud Accounting Startup To Rival Xero

Microsoft is collaborating with Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and KPMG to form a new cloud accounting startup, Financial Review reported.

Dubbed Wiise, the Australia-based startup will rival the market’s current industry leader Xero and fellow Australian small business accounting firm MYOB. Reports on Monday (May 14) said the companies will launch Wiise in July, owned by KPMG and operated through a joint deal between Microsoft and CBA.

In addition to small business accounting and financial management, Wiise will provide SMBs with job costing, scheduling, inventory management, payroll, sales, marketing and CRM solutions. Microsoft is also integrating its artificial intelligence, voice recognition and cyber security capabilities into the solution.

According to reports, all major banks will have access to Wiise, but customers of CBA will have added functionality like invoice and payment services. The companies also plan to add working capital financing options into the platform at a later time.

Though Wiise will compete with Xero and MYOB, its creators are reportedly noting that the company will target a market gap for businesses that operate in more than one location with complex supply chains.

Microsoft’s Australian Managing Director Steven Worrall said, according to reports, “Ultimately, this is about choice and we think this is very unique and because KPMH and CBA bring capabilities that differentiates this from what MYOB or Xero, or the other cloud accounting companies, might be doing. We will let the market decide. There is plenty of opportunity in the small-to-medium business market [and] we would not see this as limiting our partnerships and integration with other providers in the market.”

Earlier this year, Xero Founder and CEO Rod Drury announced he would be stepping down and Microsoft Australia CEO Steve Vamos was named as his replacement.

According to Adam Bennett, CBA group executive for business and private banking, the solution will benefit the bank by enhancing existing customer data with “up-to-date, real-time, cloud-based information, around their PNL and balance sheet, inventory and stock turns, and combine that together in a way that will allow us to provide solutions to customers in a far more frictionless and rapid way, particularly where there is a credit decision or underwriting decision applied.”