Over the past couple years I've been making trips to Intuit's headquarters in Mountain View CA. As a current participate of the Intuit Accountant's Council it's been a pleasure getting to know the developers and visionaries of the software we depend on.
This last trip was unique and particularly profitable. We met in San Jose CA last month to participate in the first Intuit Quickbooks Connect conference.
It's safe to say that Intuit invested a great deal in this conference. Our activities started with a VIP type reception on a Monday evening, and wrapped up Thursday morning with a Design for Delight workshop. Did I mention Train put on a concert!
Many big announcements about Quickbooks Online (QBO) enhancements were made. This is particularly interesting to me. We began using QBO at the VERY beginning, in 2003 when QBO was first launched. We loved QBO way before it was popular. In fact, a couple years ago, we were identified as the 2nd biggest user of QBO in the country! Since then, QBO's popularity has skyrocketed and I doubt our little firm is #2 anymore. But still, we're at the top somewhere. And I regularly keep in touch with the firm that likely holds the #1 spot. Of course none of these rankings are official. It's just based on conversations with people who seem to have a pulse on this.
While at the conference, I participated in a discussion panel on Intuit Tax Online (ITO) along with 2 other CPAs. We've been using ITO since the 2010 tax year and love the product. It's a powerful cloud based professional tax package that runs the high-end Lacerte tax engine. Firms like ours benefit from the cloud in some many ways, and this is a big one. The classic server based Lacerte tax package is way out of our budget, but the cloud based platform gives us access to that same engine on a pricing structure that works for small firms. In turn, this means we use the BEST tax software when preparing your returns. Very important!
The conference included a huge Gallery Walk, featuring many of the top software vendors that integrate with Quickbooks Online. I've picked up a number of great resources and ideas for our clients! I'll be sure to share more on this later.
Kevin Simpson, CPA