Yahoo adds business applications

Yahoo Store and NetLedger Inc. are combining forces to offer real-time accounting information to Santa Clara, Calif.-based Yahoo Inc.’s merchant customers.

The new service integrates NetLedger’s small-business accounting software on the back end with Yahoo Store, providing small merchants with the ability to get a real-time snapshot of their sales information.

Merchant customers of Yahoo Store, a commerce service that allows businesses to quickly create secure online stores to sell products and services, will be able to eliminate the step of having a separate front-end system and back-end accounting system thanks to this service.

Customer information gathered by the Web sites of Yahoo Store will immediately go through to the NetLedger accounting system.

“This will give an up-to-date, accurate vision of the business through any Web browser,” said Evan Goldberg, president and CEO of San Mateo, Calif.-based NetLedger.

In addition, the service will enable customers of Yahoo Store merchants to view their invoices and other information about their accounts.

The service, enabled via NetLedger’s open data interchange standard, SMBXML (small and medium business XML), will be available to Yahoo Store merchants on Monday.

NetLedger’s accounting applications include accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger, time and billing, expense reporting, purchase orders, and customer access to invoices and other account information.

The partnership may improve efficiency for businesses operating via Yahoo Stores, said Amy Levy, an analyst at Summit Strategies, in Boston. “In the next six months you’ll see more partnerships like this,” she said.

NetLedger is challenged by competition from Intuit and Peachtree, “two titans in the industry,” Levy said. The partnership with Yahoo is a coup for NetLedger.

Although the company was formed to serve the needs of small businesses, NetLedger also has some heavy hitters backing it.

NetLedger was founded by Goldberg and Oracle Corp. Chairman and CEO Larry Ellison, who serves as chairman of NetLedger’s board.

“I ran a small business and recognized the needs of small businesses,” Goldberg said. “Larry [Ellison] at the time was focused on the ASP [application service provider] model. NetLedger was a marriage of those two ideas, created to give small businesses big business power.”

With that idea and the backing of Oracle, NetLedger built its services on top of Oracle database systems.