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Kiran Patel, Intuit Twenty percent of those who buy QuickBooks never use the product, according to statistics used this week at Intuit's Investor's day by Kiran Patel, EVP and general manager of Intuit's Small Business Group.

Since Intuit sold 1.6 million units of its accounting product in the year ended July 31, that's a lot of boxes left lying on the shelves. Patel said Intuit has learned a lot about what issues deter buyers from using the package and the installation process is part of the problem. Intuit worked on that barrier with QuickBooks 2010, which debuts next week.

The product goes from 17 screens and 11 minutes in a typical installation of QuickBooks 2009 to six screens and four minutes invested in the new version. In a newsletter in a previous life, I noted that QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions had a high fall-off rate based on statistics Intuit gave when it switched how it reported the software package's sales. Originally, Intuit reported unit sales, but in fiscal 2008, it switched to counting active users. For fiscal years 2005 through 2007, Intuit said it sold 35,000 QBES units. When it implemented the new system, Intuit reported there were 27,000 units on July 31, 2007. Given the rate of unit sales in 2007, there should be around 52,000 copies in the market. However, Intuit said there were 37,000 active customers on July 31 this year.

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