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TheStreet Open House

Expense Software That Can Topple Intuit

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It just keeps getting worse and worse for Intuit (INTU - Get Report).

First, the Mountain View, Calif.-based digital business finance firm faced an army of competing low-cost, Web-based accounting packages. You know, tools like FreshBooks, LessAccounting and Xero to name just a few. Now the accounting giant faces a new generation of targeted small-business finance packages that effectively compete with it on an a la carte basis. These company are gunning for each and every piece of Intuit's pie.

These tiny business software application makers don't have memorable names -- usually monikers such as Consected, XPenser, GTax and Rupeal.

These operations do business domestically and overseas. And they really do offer a fabulous array of software tools that enable small firms to do critical stuff such as track expenses.

So, with tax season looming -- yes, we really are in the home stretch for April 15 already -- I took three of these expense finance accounting tools for a test spin.

And if I didn't worry about Intuit's future before testing them, I sure do now.

Concur Breeze (CNQR) (two users free, $8 per user per month after that)
Redmond, Wash.-based Concur got its start offering streamlined outsourced expense management for ginormous enterprises. But since that end of the economy has been shipped to Shanghai, Concur has begun focusing on small businesses. And its latest offering, Breeze, can actually be made to work well in many small shops. The expense management tool is nicely priced -- the first two users are free, then it's $8 per user per month -- and provides access to sophisticated expense tools that do all sorts of cool tricks, such as sync with most credit cards and track cash expenses. Obviously, this is still the Web, so there is a major pain-in-the-butt factor: You will need to master Concur's vision of how the expense world works, which does takes time. But once you get the hang of it, you will have a relatively efficient means of tracking credit card, cash and checking expenses for you and your employees.

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