As taxes loom, Outright parses point of sale data for small businesses (exclusive)

It’s tax season, and you can almost smell the sweat dripping from nervous small business owners’ noses. Accounting software maker Outright wants to be the sweatband by connecting a data hose to your website’s point of sale product.

“We’re going after the small and simple businesses where the business owner is doing all of the tasks inside that business,” said Outright chief executive Steven Aldrich in an interview with VentureBeat. “They are unhappy and frankly worried that they’re not organized for tax season.”

The company is integrating online shopping carts to its accepted data sources, and is starting with the Cashie Commerce cart. Outright takes data feeds from products that many small business owners use to make transactions such as PayPal, Etsy, eBay, banks, and credit. It then organizes the data in your Outright online account so owners can see what profit they’ve had, what they’ve already taxed, their operating costs, and more.

All you have to do to set up the data feed is go to a webpage within your Outright account and “click a button” to allow Outright to access that data. Outright will make the back-end connection on its own. You do have to sign up with Cashie separately if you’re not already using it. If the need arises, Aldrich says Outright would create a page where customers can create a Cashie account as well as sign up their data feed. That does not yet exist, however.

Outright decided to spur its shopping cart data program with Cashie due to customer feedback. The shopping cart company allows people to sell their wares on individual blogs or websites, and makes money through transaction fees. Outright isn’t going to stay exclusive with Cashie, however, and hopes to branch out into competing products.

Aldrich claims that 70 percent of these small businesses are still working with pencil and paper to keep up with their bookkeeping. But pen and paper isn’t their only competitor. Companies like Intuit’s Quickbooks, Xero, recently funded by Peter Thiel, and inDinero provide similar services.

According to Aldrich, these companies cater to the SMB, or the small to medium-sized business. Instead, he puts emphasis on the “small and simple” customer, the artist selling their paintings online, or the fashion-forward couple reselling vintage clothes through Etsy.

As for inDinero, Aldrich said, “They’re small, from what we can tell, in the marketplace. We haven’t seen them in the discussions that small businesses have with us.”

It’s free to sign up with Outright, the company only makes its money through sign ups to its premium service, Outright Plus, which costs $9.95 per month. There is otherwise no cost associated with integrating Cashie. To take advantage of the tax season, Outright is offering free admission to Outright Plus through the end of April, after which regular monthly payments will be due.

Outright was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. The company thus far has 150,000 customers and has taken on $10.5 million in funding. Investors include Sequoia Capital, Shasta Ventures, and First Round Capital.

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