San Francisco-based HostBooks is stepping into the small business (SMB) accounting software industry, announcing Thursday (Jan. 24) that its solution officially launched over the weekend. In its announcement, HostBooks aimed to differentiate itself from industry leaders, including QuickBooks and Xero, by emphasizing its focus on automation.
“Being a CPA, I am aware of all the issues holding down the accounting industry,” said HostBooks Founder Kapil Rana in a statement. “With HostBooks, accounting professionals can manage their clients and records anytime, anywhere. We have deployed a combination of latest technologies and accounting expertise. The best part is our experts are just a call away and are available around the clock to help customers with any technical or know-how issues.”
The company noted that its team had previously worked at an Intuit ProAdvisor and accounting firm, though it did not name the company. HostBooks is launching itself into a highly competitive market, where top competitors have been focusing on automation as well.
Last month, for instance, QuickBooks struck a partnership with Paychex to automatically integrate payroll data via the “Link and Sync” solution. QuickBooks had also previously partnered with payroll firm ADP and supplier payments automation company Tipalti, additional efforts by the accounting firm to enhance data integration and automation for small business customers.
Xero, meanwhile, has been adding to its roster of integrated partners as well. Last year, the firm partnered with payroll provider Gusto, then Everlance to integrate fleet mileage and expense tracking into the accounting platform.
The small business accounting automation shift has positioned the industry at the center of debate over how technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and bots may impact human accountants’ and bookkeepers’ roles in the enterprise. In a recent interview with PYMNTS, Enrico Palmerino, CEO of SMB accounting automation company botkeeper, explained that this shift will force human accountants to evolve into strategic advisors for small businesses.