June retail software sales figures from channel research organisation Inform show a slight downturn from a bumper May with all categories except for finance down.
While there was an across-the-board 6 per cent drop-off in retail sales from month to month, the finance software sector showed a 22 per cent improvement over May 2002 and a 31 per cent increase over June 2001. The value of this sector increased 55 per cent monthly and 84 per cent year on year.
Phil Burnum, research manager at Inform, said most of the action in the finance sector came from upgrades.
"The finance software sector has been comparatively dormant since the heady days of GST implementation in the winter of 2000 but it has seen an upturn in recent months," Burnum said. "The huge uptake of finance software in 2000 created a large installed base that the two leading publishers, MYOB and Quicken, have been able to sell upgraded software to."
Burnum added that in June 2001 "only 9 per cent of the financial market was derived from upgrades but in June 2002 that figure had risen to 16 per cent".
According to the Inform research, MYOB accounted for 48 per cent of the June unit sales but 64 per cent of the market in terms of value. Quicken achieved a 43 per cent unit share but this represented just 33 per cent of the value.
"In terms of boxed units, MYOB and Quicken have often traded places in the race to be the top publisher, however the higher priced MYOB products have given it a clear lead when it comes down to a share of the market's value," Burnum said.