QuickBooks Connect Day 1 -- All About Accountants and Appsby
So as with past years, the first full day of QuickBooks Connect (you know, Intuit’s annual QuickBooks-centric event) was all about accountants, their needs and of course the apps that will help them and their clients.
You’re not getting out of a vendor conference without product updates from them and their partners so today’s conference overview is going to read a bit more like an App Watch – QB Connect version.
But first some words from Jim …
The opening tone of the day was that Intuit continues its quest to embrace accountants through its products and messaging, pressing them (albeit politely) ever closer to this idea of being more of a valued service provider than a messenger of compliance. To wit, McGinnis noted: “It’s about blazing trails, not following paths … nothing will be able to replace the wisdom and advice accounting professionals provide. It’s the profession of the future.”
McGinnis also shared the stage with newly appointed Global Accountant Segment Leader Rich Preece, who reiterated that one of Intuit’s top priorities is “matchmaking accounting professionals with small businesses to form even more connections in the coming months.”
On the product side, the biggest news of the day is as follows and, in typical App Watch tradition, I’m going to attempt to offer a bit of insight into what the announcements mean where applicable.
News: Avalara TrustFile Now Available for QB Online and Desktop
Tax compliance automation business Avalara Inc. unveiled TrustFile for QuickBooks, a cloud-based system that allows small businesses running QB Online and QB Desktop to import their sales tax data, then automatically prepare and file sales tax returns. QuickBooks customers can sign up for TrustFile in just a few minutes and have the ability to: import unlimited transactions from either QB Online or QB Desktop; review sales tax filing deadlines and summary information in a dashboard view; access up-to-date state sales tax reports by jurisdiction; and automatically prepare sales tax returns to file in all 50 states.
Views: OK, so back in June, Avalara did a bit of a soft, but formal launch of TrustFile, the company’s first official accountant-centric offering. What it does is pull up all necessary sales tax forms, by state allowing tax preparers to auto fill and file the necessary forms for their clients. Now that it is integrated with QuickBooks Online and Desktop, all necessary data can flow between them with a couple of clicks. Every integration out there on the market today is, in essence, designed to make yours and your clients’ lives easier. Granted, you need to sit an learn how to do things in this way but stop and take a moment and look at how you’re doing it now and see how it can be better. Also, this particular offering was indeed accountant tested and approved for small clients and will iterate to be a bigger firm product next year.
News: Bill.com Collaborates with Intuit to Bring Digital Payments into QBO
Automated bill payments company Bill.com plans a partnership with Intuit that will power end-to-end accounts payable within QuickBooks Online. The integration gives small businesses a central home within QuickBooks for managing bill pay online. This new integration will offer small businesses the opportunity to: simplify bill pay; keep track of paying bills all within QuickBooks and gain better insight into cash flow at any time with online bill pay; and automatically track and reconcile transactions with QuickBooks, including ACH authorizations and cleared check images to protect against fraud.
Views: As a long-time QBO partner, this much deeper integration with Bill.com comes as little surprise. Honestly, aside from some first-time onboarding issues I’ve heard anecdotally from accountants and bookkeepers, I’m not seeing a downside here. Granted, as I’ve said before integrations are always great on paper and you need to test and test and..oh yes, test and work with a representative or colleague who has experience with product integrations to know what exactly you need to look for. Other than that, this seems a solid deal for you and your small business clients.
News: Intuit and PayPal Enter Deeper Partnership
Intuit and PayPal have expanded their partnership, which will now help provide QuickBooks Online customers with a new way of accepting payments via PayPal, and automate the work traditionally associated with managing the books. The partnership will include a deep integration with QuickBooks Payments for customers in the United States and Australia. This will enable small business customers to receive payments on eInvoices from their customers via PayPal in addition to existing methods, such as credit card or bank transfer. This is an expansion of an integration first launched in Australia in November 2015. In addition to helping QuickBooks customers get paid, the partnership will simplifies accounting by automatically importing PayPal transactions directly into QuickBooks.
Views: I’m not being lazy here, I swear but in all honesty … see my comments from the Bill.com integration deal, only add in the fact that it’s PayPal and we’re talking United States and Australia here.
And the final bit of news ... QB Online Accountant Integrates With QuickBooks Self-Employed and ProConnect Tax Online
QuickBooks Self-Employed (QBSE) and Intuit ProConnect Tax Online (PTO) will be fully integrated into QuickBooks Online Accountant (QBOA). With the QBOA integration, QBSE users invite their accounting professional to access their account inside the self-employed product. The accountant will then see their QBSE client listed on their QBOA dashboard. Via the client dashboard, accountants with one click are able to go directly into their clients’ books, manage them and ensure they are accurate and correctly prepared. Accountants will also have access to an accountant toolbox, which includes quick navigation to key reports, uncategorized transactions, the quarterly and annual taxes tab, the rules management page and a guide inclusive of tips for the accountant and resources for their clients.
Until tomorrow, when we hear from Intuit CEO himself, Brad Smith.