What Intuit Gets Right

What Intuit Gets Right

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Hector Garcia: Welcome to the unofficial QuickBooks accountants podcast. I am joined by my good friend Alicia Katz Pollock, the original, the one and only Qbo Rockstar CEO and founder of Royal White Solutions.

Alicia Katz Pollock: And I have the privilege of collaborating with Hector Garcia, CPA, the founder of Right Tool for QuickBooks.

Hector Garcia: In this episode, we're going to talk about what Intuit gets [00:00:30] right. So in the backdrop of all of us proadvisors, accountants, tax preparers complaining about all the things that we don't like about what Intuit does or what QuickBooks does, or what QuickBooks doesn't do, or what TurboTax is doing, or QuickBooks Live or whatever. In the backdrop of all that, we're still using QuickBooks. We're still using QuickBooks online. We're still upkeeping our QuickBooks online certifications. We're still engaged in social media, helping other people, our colleagues, through [00:01:00] these issues, and they're helping us. There's still tons of advocates for Intuit and QuickBooks, so they gotta be doing something right, you know? And as much as it pains us in the backdrop of saying, I disagree with this particular action and how this affects me as an accountant and as a partner, I want to like just kind of like peel back and say, hey, if you were running a business like this and you see the results that it has brought as a business, would you have agreed, uh, to [00:01:30] it? Like, now that you have a hindsight, would you have agreed that this is a good idea? So, Alicia, maybe I'll start with you. Like, what is your favorite thing about working with Intuit? Like, what do you think Intuit gets, right? Well.

Alicia Katz Pollock: Just reflecting on what you what you just said, you and I spend so much time on the minutia of, like, the tiniest little detail in a workflow that really being able to, like, pick your head up from your computer and look out around us at the Intuit whole ecosystem is really important. [00:02:00] So I'm really glad that we're talking about this, that my favorite thing about working with Intuit is that the people are just fantastic, that it's a really amazing culture where they're really trying to foster individuals that in their hiring process, everybody's really personable and supportive and goes out of their way to help each other. And it's just I have never run into a single employee [00:02:30] who I didn't like, like genuinely as a person. And that means that makes it for me that daily working with Intuit has been just a joy, because I get to really get to know interesting people doing interesting things.

Hector Garcia: Yeah. And when I particularly started experiencing that. So let me give you some background. The first major person I interacted with at Intuit that I did a lot of communications with was Allison Ball. Allison ball. Yeah. [00:03:00] So Allison Ball ran the train and rider network, which has recently been dismantled and. Uh, the current moment, I would say that doesn't feel like that. That's done right. It feels like it's absolutely wrong. But they said we'll replace it with something else, something better, etc., etc. now that's we're yet to see whether that's going to be true or not or what better means to them versus us. I mean, that's a whole another conversation. But the Train Rider Network, I think, was a really good thing that they did right for a very long time. Right now, [00:03:30] it doesn't exist right now. It's been dismantled right now. We're not happy about that.

Alicia Katz Pollock: This is supposed to be an episode about what we like. Hector.

Hector Garcia: Yeah, I know, I know, I know, but I but but but the reality is that we, I don't think we should always just, like, only live in the moment and that's it. And not look at the good things they've done in the past and some of the examples of things that they break and destroy and dismantle, but then they create something better to replace it, you know, like we kind of have to think through that too. So I want to [00:04:00] I want to emphasize that the train, the Rider Network was was right. It felt like it was really well done. Alison Ball ran that some other people that are no longer into it, which were sort of in the ProAdvisor training world that, um, hired us to do tours across the country to teach people how to get into QuickBooks online. Uh, we we fed them. We taught them, we they allowed us to say the things that we our opinion about the things that are broken and not functional, as long as we spend most of the time [00:04:30] talking about how to get certified, we had free range to to to state our opinions about that. And I, I was I had the privilege to do this with Michelle, along with Stacy Kildal, with ABM Raymond and all of us.

Hector Garcia: I think we are professionals with integrity that stayed true to what we believe and we we were able to balance. Hey, this is what QuickBooks online is doing. This is what it's doing wrong. However, if you get certified, the doors will open and it has the doors have opened to the [00:05:00] doors have. It has been proven that the doors have been open for a lot of us. So I think the the training side, Intuit did really well. Uh, that ties into the ProAdvisor program. Okay. I don't think the ProAdvisor program should be free, but there is a free ProAdvisor program. So if you want to get certified in QuickBooks online and once you get certified, you can get certified in QuickBooks Online Payroll. And you can also get certified in QuickBooks Online Advanced, all for free. Plus, if you go into the ProAdvisor program again, [00:05:30] free program, there's all sorts of other training like bookkeeping, advanced QuickBooks techniques, uh, apps. So the educational content that Intuit makes available for accountants with CPA and everything, it's, I think above and beyond the call of duty, they get that absolutely right. And they invest tons of resources in it. And they also get us involved, the users, the colleagues of the accounting profession. So I [00:06:00] think they get that right. Yeah.

Alicia Katz Pollock: And don't forget that there's also the Coursera course on the bookkeeping certification, which isn't free. But Intuit did realize that bookkeepers, it's not just what buttons to push in the software. You actually have to know about the accounting life cycle. And so they do have a course for that on Coursera. Now, something else that you just mentioned and emphasized that all of this is free. There's actually a whole vocal core of us that don't want the ProAdvisor program to be free, because [00:06:30] you get people who aren't really bookkeepers using Qaoa. It doesn't demonstrate a commitment, like they don't see us as customers ourselves because we're not paying them. And so there is a small vocal contingent who is actually trying to get the ProAdvisor program not free. So everybody, a year from now, when Intuit decides to start charging us to make sure, you know, ahead of time that that's good. Not bad. I mean, sure, it's a little bit of money out of your pocket, [00:07:00] but it's only going to improve the program. So. We're going to we're going to cede that one now because eventually they will start charging us, I'm sure.

Hector Garcia: Exactly. The other thing I think Intuit gets right is their in-person events. So I had the privilege of being part of the into, uh, into the Intuit Accountants Council in 2016, I believe. And I got to meet the CEO, Brad Smith. And I'm going to loop back to what you said about the people [00:07:30] that worked there. Uh, first of all, the councils are fantastic and they make you feel super welcome. They make you feel super important. They do take your suggestions into consideration. Now, consideration doesn't mean action, but that's a whole nother ball game. It does take a very long time to get these considerations to turn into action, but they do eventually get there. I mean, sometimes it takes five years, but okay, let's not get into that. But but one thing I told, uh, Brad, I specifically told Brad Smith, the CEO of Intuit, that [00:08:00] I really enjoyed about the council. It was it was like 20 of us, and each of us had a chance to give suggestions about how we feel about the product, the company, etc., etc. and then when you started speaking the peanut gallery, all the Intuit employees that were there listening, you see them make a slight head movement towards like they basically making the gesture that we're listening. And I got to tell you something, I've dealt with many software companies in the past, and when they say they listen to their customers, it they're literally reading [00:08:30] that off a teleprompter and they don't actually do it now, even though it takes forever for my feedback to turn into product.

Hector Garcia: They are listening. I mean, Intuit is a feedback gathering machine, and you just have to remember because they're so good at feedback, they're so good at listening to feedback. They're not going to be so good at listening to your specific feedback. That's the challenge. The better they are at feedback, the more people that are listening to and the more the suggestions get, you know, muddled [00:09:00] in. And Alicia and I have said this before, we feel as accountants, as pro advisors, that the listening to the wrong people. But that's a different issue. The point is they do feedback listening. Right. I think that could be a there's there could be better execution at turning that feedback into public communication, saying, by the way, these are all the things that we heard. These are all the things that we're working on. This is the roadmap of how we're going to be working on these things. I think they failed at communicating the status of that, the actionable feedback. But [00:09:30] they do listen to the feedback. And I've been on the other side. I've been there when I've seen their systems and their CRM systems or their feedback systems, and it's all there and people are reading them.

Alicia Katz Pollock: Yeah. And if you are not an active user of feedback up under the big gear in the upper right hand corner, there's a feedback panel and you're it's not going into the ether. There's a monitor in on the Intuit campus where all the feedback is coming in. There's a guy who gets it on their phone all the time to make sure that there's not any system [00:10:00] wide outages. And every Friday they look at all the feedback that came in for the week, and they see what's been frequent and what's important, like mission critical. And that sets their development priorities for the following week. So don't be shy about using the about using the feedback tool and putting in your feedback. Um, Hector, I want to go back to what you just said about the live events. That is also one of the things that I think Intuit does really, really well. Quickbooks connect is my favorite of all [00:10:30] of the conferences. They feed you well, they swag you up. They the the conversations are top notch, the breakout sessions are excellent, and the keynote speakers are just out of this world. And it's like coming home to family every time I go to that conference. And it was the conference that inspired me to actually step in to the community and take even take a leadership role. Was having such a great time at QuickBooks [00:11:00] connect 2015 that I'm like, I want to do this all the time, and boom, now I'm literally doing it literally all of my time. But that's something that that Intuit has done, right?

Hector Garcia: Yeah, my life has just become the dull moments between QuickBooks connects, you know, pretty much. Right? Like, oh crap, I have to wait another 360 days to get back to QuickBooks connect. You're right. Quickbooks connect is a is a fantastic conference. I will warn you, it's a QuickBooks online infomercial. The whole thing from top to bottom [00:11:30] is an entire QuickBooks online infomercial. But in the accounting world, all conferences are an infomercial for something. Okay, at least with QuickBooks connect, you know what? You're what. You're what you're getting. It is QuickBooks. You know, like you're not being surprised, but by what you're you're being sold and you're being sold QuickBooks in a classy way. You know, they're they're giving you a summary of what they've done. They give you a summary of what they're working on. They tell you what you know, their vision for the future. All the executives [00:12:00] that are up there, you do get face to face time with. With executives. These are like for most software companies, you don't get to talk to these people. These people are locked up. They're high and mighty. This is not how into it is. Like Brad Smith, the CEO of Intuit, I don't know so much about Sasan, but he used to be on the floor chatting with people, shaking hands. So like the proximity to leadership at Intuit that you get on these events is absolutely fantastic. And when you talk to them and give them suggestions, they lean in and they listen and they go, thank you.

Hector Garcia: Let me write it down. Let [00:12:30] me put you in contact with someone. So I think once again, a QuickBooks connect is absolutely fantastic. I haven't been to the one in UK, um, and I haven't been to the one in Canada, but I know they have, uh, Canadians and UK, maybe Australia. They have one too, but I know the US one, the one that's in Las Vegas, um, or has been in Las Vegas the last couple of years. It's absolutely fantastic. And I want to make a personal recommendation. If you're listening to this podcast and you've never been to QuickBooks connect, go to QuickBooks connect. Com sign up to to be told or to be notified [00:13:00] when the official tickets are are going to be on sale. Buy them immediately because they sell out. They're selling tons of people. Yeah, they always sell out. Uh, people get FOMO at the very end. They try to scramble to see who's canceling, to try to get a ticket. It's. You will have an absolutely fantastic time. Alicia and I are probably going to be there this year again. I mean, most likely. And you know, obviously, you know, we can't predict the future, but we both like I said, life is just dull moments between QuickBooks connect. Um, so we'll be there. [00:13:30] We'll be there chatting. So so they so they get that right. Um, and then going back to the people and the hiring, you know. I don't know what the magic formula is in terms of how Intuit picks the people that work there, but when you interact with Intuit employee, you always walk out saying, I would be friends with this person.

Hector Garcia: I would have a beer with this person. Like, this person is extremely enthusiastic about their job. They, they, they, they, they have built in empathy for what you got to say, whether you're excited about an idea [00:14:00] or whether you're flustered with some problem that you have. Because, believe it or not, there's a lot of people going into QuickBooks connect just so they can complain about the one thing that has been painting them the whole year. You know, like the people that work at Intuit are just amazing people. I mean, they're just incredible people. I think there's way too many, and I think there's way too much shifting of roles. And I think that you'll you'll be working with someone and you'll be super excited that six months, you know, of that conversation, you're making progress and they're finally doing something you want them to do, and then they change roles, [00:14:30] and then they're gone. And you got to start over with someone else that, you know, that's that happens a lot and into it. Um, but that's how they keep their talent. They can't they don't keep people in the same role. So they don't get bored and go somewhere else. So that's kind of it's the good with the bad, right. Like it just kind of comes with the territory.

Alicia Katz Pollock: Mhm. Yeah. And the fact that the Intuit's staffing is so positive that also has kind of like that, that community external feel that Intuit has also expanded out that we're [00:15:00] not employees, but we are also passionate and dedicated to the software. I mean, how many companies are there out there that have these vast communities of people who are so inspired by their software or their services that they actually go out and talk about it and train about it and help each other about it. So I think Intuit has done does a really good job at fostering community as well.

Hector Garcia: Yeah. The other thing that they do. Right. And I'm going to put an asterisk to this, [00:15:30] and I may have to mince my words on this one. Um, I think they do they do positive spin. Right. So let me go back for a second. I don't like being spinned. I don't like being told something when you really mean something else. I don't like when you make a promise and you break it. We spend tons of episodes discussing that. But in terms of making sure that the overall feeling about the future of the accounting world, of the software world, of the industry [00:16:00] stays in a positive note, and they always find a way to, um, to to show you the good parts, like, like, what's the good part of this? Like, for example, you know, QuickBooks Live bookkeeping. Okay. So like, most accountants wouldn't, wouldn't automatically say, oh, this is not good for us, right. But but what what Intuit does, it says, hey, think about the potentiality of this expanding the pie. And as much as I disagree with Intuit, almost every time they make [00:16:30] a decision where I think, you know, this is going to this is going to take away from us, it's going to take away from us.

Hector Garcia: And they say, hey, don't worry, this the pie will get expanded. They have been mostly right about the pie getting expanded every year. I feel there's a lot more QuickBooks users, which gives me more opportunity to do training and consulting. Every year I feel more business owners are moving away from paper and spreadsheets. Are they using QuickBooks? So whether or not you agree with QuickBooks Live or assisted live [00:17:00] expert, um, support or whatever into it keeps expanding the pie of total number of business owners that are encouraged and excited about using QuickBooks or QuickBooks online or QuickBooks desktop, whatever it happens to be. And if you are an accountant that's QuickBooks centric, it will translate to more work for you. Like it's proven to be like that, even if it's happened by accident. You know, maybe, you know, they were spinning back then that don't worry, they expand, the pie will get expanded, and it was a spin. But it wasn't a spin because when [00:17:30] you actually do see it, there's more users, there's more customers. The opportunity has gotten better for accountants, in my opinion.

Alicia Katz Pollock: Now, when Hector talks about the about the pie getting bigger, that's an analogy. Like you, they're also fond of saying, you know, a rising tide floats all boats. But at royal wise, we have had this analogy, and it's through all of my business classes where it instead of fighting over slices of the pie, where there's industries where you are in [00:18:00] competition with your peers in order to get the client or do the business or make the most money or whatever your end goal is. So many industries are competitive, and your colleagues are like, it's either you or them. With bookkeeping and with QuickBooks in general, instead of fighting over slices of the pie, we're just baking a bigger pie. Then there's enough to feed everybody, and Intuit has done a really good job at figuring out [00:18:30] what's missing in business owners experiences, and then developing into those open spaces so that the pie gets bigger. And think about the different companies that Intuit has acquired over the last five years, ten years, MailChimp, because it's a no brainer to be able to leverage your QuickBooks online to do your marketing and send out emails based on people's sales. Credit karma making funding [00:19:00] available to small business owners TurboTax you run your business. But it all comes down to paying your taxes. You know, these are all big gaps and needs that business owners have, and I really like that. Intuit has taken these strategic directions in making a whole, encompassing experience for the business owner, and that's why the pie keeps expanding.

Hector Garcia: Yeah, specifically on MailChimp. [00:19:30] Um, I'll confess to you, when MailChimp was acquired by Intuit, um, I was less than enthusiastic about that. Um, because I've actually used MailChimp for over ten years. My current MailChimp bill is $800 a month. I have a huge mailing list that I that I run through MailChimp, and, um, I probably one of the best customers. I just say it like I think at least from the accounting category, I'm probably the small accounting firm that has used MailChimp for [00:20:00] a very long time, and MailChimp was one of those apps that I never really had any drama about. Like, you know, like there's so much drama in QuickBooks world, but in MailChimp, there never was drama. And I said, oh God, Intuit is going to buy MailChimp and they're going to run it through the ground. Like, in my opinion, it felt like they did. They did that with Tsheets. Um, you know, such a great company that they almost, almost ran it to the ground. And we could go back to that, because I think that now the Tsheets conversion, they're doing it right.

Hector Garcia: But we'll go back to that for a [00:20:30] second. But Alicia knows. Right. But put that on a on a little asterisk there. But, uh, but MailChimp has not gotten worse. Intuit didn't destroy MailChimp. As a matter of fact, they took some of the best leaders over at Intuit, like Michelle Tate and stuff, and they brought him over to MailChimp. And I feel MailChimp. Mailchimp is stronger than ever. And I think probably the biggest opportunity that that Intuit has is to integrate QuickBooks and MailChimp even more. I think they they failed at creating a more cohesive integration, [00:21:00] but I think Intuit owning MailChimp has been a net positive thing because they haven't messed with the product at all. They haven't Intuit ties there. Shyboy's MailChimp MailChimp feels stronger and more stable than ever. The marketing at MailChimp is fantastic. If you actually follow their marketing, it's really fantastic. So. So I think they whatever they did with MailChimp, whether they did a lot or did nothing, I think they did that right. I think MailChimp is an incredible acquisition.

Alicia Katz Pollock: And if you [00:21:30] didn't realize this, if you're not a MailChimp user, you can actually integrate your QuickBooks online with your MailChimp. And so if somebody bought a product, you can send an email through MailChimp to everybody who bought that product. Or if somebody hasn't had an appointment with you for two years, you can go target those people and send an email to those customers gathering all that information out of your QuickBooks online, which is genius. So big fan on that one as well.

Hector Garcia: Yeah. [00:22:00] So I alluded to Tsheets earlier and what I meant by that, they felt like they kind of ran into the ground is the first 3 to 4 years of of Tsheets they went through a period where they didn't touch it. It was it felt like a third party app. They integrated some of their employees. Then they changed the name and that's fine. Okay. The app was still the same. They changed the name then, which is what we're going through now. They're dismantling aspects of the separate app and they're building it into Qbo. [00:22:30] And I think that by the end of next year, I don't want to speculate on this. The plan is that that it isn't a third party app anymore, quote unquote. And it's completely part of the Qbo, uh, interface, and it's part of the regular Qbo app. I think it has taken way too long to do this. I think when they acquired Tsheets, they should have been a two year period in which tissue becomes completely QuickBooks online. I also think that, um, Tsheets should have been included, you know, in [00:23:00] every payroll subscription, not just the middle subscription or even included in Qbo natively.

Hector Garcia: Um, I think that Intuit's acquisition of Tsheets should have been a net improvement of product features, not a revenue channel. And I think that making Tsheets in the first couple of years, a separate revenue channel created additional consternation that didn't need to be there. So as a result, not that many people, especially accountants and experts, have gone through [00:23:30] QuickBooks time, formerly known as Tsheets and know how to use it. So there's a lot of misunderstanding of how it works. You know, Alicia does a whole class on this, and I believe that most of the people that go to that class, they go, Holy crap, I had no idea that it could do this. And and I think, I think, uh, Intuit didn't do a good job at integrating it in the first couple of years. But now, as they proactively actually kill the third party app, I think that's what they were supposed to do. They were supposed to always make, uh, QuickBooks time, [00:24:00] you know, a built in feature of Qbo. Alicia, you got anything to say on that?

Alicia Katz Pollock: Yeah. I mean, you're right that a lot of people don't know how incredibly powerful it is. And while you've been saying, well, you wish that they had done development sooner, the complexity of trying to integrate QuickBooks time, both with payroll and with the project center has honestly kind of been daunting for them. And they're I think they're actually taking it responsibly. Step by step by step and making sure that it doesn't [00:24:30] break along the way. I've had a couple really complex projects where it was like a kind of an either or. Do we use the built in time sheets to populate the products, or do we use QuickBooks time? And I even have one client where we have to export their QuickBooks time to ADP and then re-import it back in so it shows to projects. So I'm the complexity of it is enormous. And so I honestly don't mind that the rollout is slow. But for those of you who [00:25:00] haven't actually taken the time to look, you now have time in your left navigation bar and there's a whole universe under there of scheduling your employees. They can clock in on their phones. They can, um, you can do their approvals. It all flows to payroll. All right. I'm I'm digressing. Um, but I did. So there is I do have a class just on QuickBooks time. But that also I think is a checkmark in Intuit's positive positive. [00:25:30] Like I'm okay that it's taken as long as it has because there's still so much more that the app can do that is not yet in QuickBooks. It's still going to take them another couple of years to get everything migrated over.

Hector Garcia: Yeah, no, the decision to make it all migrated is the right decision. My complaint was just how long it's been taking to to move. And right now we're in that moment where it felt like the third party app worked better. Okay, that just bottom line. That's that's, uh, that's how it felt. And within the same, uh, uh, conversation [00:26:00] about third party apps, I think the API equals the QuickBooks online ecosystem is done right. Number one apps.com. What a fantastic domain name. I don't know how much they paid for that. Oh yeah. But incredible domain name is just like very easy apps. Just go to apps.com. When you think of the word apps you're thinking QuickBooks not iPhone. That's huge. I mean, that's huge because, you know, the word app was dominated by the iPhone for so long. There's an app for that. There's an app for that. Well apps.com. It almost [00:26:30] feels like there's an app for that. It's something that QuickBooks owns. So I think they did that right. That was actually a beautiful job. Um, the way they bring in, the way they bring in new developers and how easy it is for developers to develop for the QuickBooks online platform. It's incredible. I've, I've spoken to so many developers that tell me I worked with many. You know, we're talking about integration with many other companies out there, and the easiest one to work with has been Intuit.

Hector Garcia: So, you know, from the developers mouth [00:27:00] that I talked to, they're like developing Intuit is super easy, super, um, super streamlined. The documentation is really good. Yes, there's complaints about some of the fields not being available. Yes, there's complaints about, you know, things that could get better. Look, uh, always things could always get better, okay? We have to agree with that. But the ecosystem of apps that integrate with QuickBooks is huge. The amount of options that you have in terms of using some other app to talk to QuickBooks is [00:27:30] huge. I think. I think they could do a better job at vetting these apps to make sure that accountants are verifying that the data is coming in correctly in the right account, the right debit, the right credit, all that stuff. And and the group of apps that are quote, accountant approved is still too small. Like if you go to apps.com and you look at the some of the apps, they'll have a little star that says accountant approved. Those are the ones that have actually been vetted by accountants where they go, yeah, what what this app [00:28:00] is doing to my accounting makes sense. I think they should speed that up and invest more in that. Maybe make the app developer pay for that. I think the problem is they don't, you know, they haven't monetized, um, uh, the, the app development yet.

Hector Garcia: So it's still mainly a free program for developers to develop for Qbo. So I feel that the resources allocated to developing third party apps might be too small for what it could be if apps or third party companies were to pay, uh, you know, pay [00:28:30] in to, to to to get a little bit more. Okay. Which, which alludes back to what we were saying about the ProAdvisor program being free. Um, I think some of us would be okay with paying for the ProAdvisor, which is currently free if in exchange, we get more. Right? So I think that sometimes offering so many things for free, um, confuses things, and that I think that holds into it from doing things right. Okay, QuickBooks online users pay monthly and they pay a whole bunch of money. Okay? And [00:29:00] that's why Intuit is always developing and fixing things for QuickBooks online, because there's a revenue stream attached to it. But all these things that don't have revenue streams attached to it, it just almost feels like you're not a customer in that situation. So I think Intuit could get that right by again, either in the ProAdvisor program or in development program to have a way of monetizing that. So so the other people involved also have skin in the game.

Alicia Katz Pollock: Yeah. So what you said about the about apps. Com and the developers I think is [00:29:30] really something to emphasize is that literally anybody who sees a gap in the offerings of what QuickBooks online does can open up a developer account. And if you have the programing chops, you can develop an app that solves a problem. I mean, that's how retool was, was inspired. But all of the there's like literally hundreds of apps out there, and every single one of them came from [00:30:00] a user who had an idea. And now we have this whole ecosystem of being of plugging in that QuickBooks online serves as the centralized general ledger hub, and it's all of the external apps that do all the things that we need for our day to day. And, you know, I've heard people say, well, you know, why should I have to go pay for an app to do this thing? Well, it's actually excellent that you can have a core piece of software that does the essential [00:30:30] essentials for reporting, but then how you get the data in, you can have a customized experience that specifically fits your company's needs. Because QuickBooks can't be all things to all people. That is actually one of the problems with desktop is that in a way, it was bloatware because it had so much that it could do, but only the small handful of people ever used that one feature that instead of making all of that in and having to support and maintain [00:31:00] that huge variety of abilities, I like the idea that Qbo is that central core hub, and that you pick which of the expense workflow apps is the right one for what your company needs, and then you integrate it in. So I also think that's something that Intuit did well does well.

Hector Garcia: Yeah. And and the other challenge with that specifically is we accountants, we project our cheapness into our customers. So like because we don't want to pay [00:31:30] for a third party app, we feel the customer doesn't want to pay for a third party app. Customers absolutely pay for things that save them time. Okay, just because as an accountant, I feel that I shouldn't, you know, import data. I shouldn't pay a third party app to import data or edit data, you know, using SAS or whatever, just because I feel I shouldn't have that. Customers gladly pay for that. If if the contrast is spending eight hours versus one hour. So I think that one of the challenges that we have as accounting professionals is that we project how [00:32:00] we feel about paying for an app onto our clients, and all you really need to do is have the client pay for that third party app. Once you once you kind of get it out of your head that this is your client's business, is their problem that you're trying to solve. Like like stop like assuming this is your business. Like have them pay for the app so they can so they can make your life easier because they're going to pay one way or the other. They'll pay you by working double, or they'll pay the app and you know, and pay you less. And that's fine, because you [00:32:30] should always be focusing on moving your your services to advisory and higher end stuff, not the minutia stuff. And a lot of these apps, that's why they fixed they fixed the the day to day minutia on QuickBooks online accountant specifically. One of the things that I think that they're right, very right is how easy it is for you to switch across clients.

Hector Garcia: I mean, I go back 15 years to when I used to support QuickBooks desktop, moving from client A to client B, it's a whole production. [00:33:00] It's calling the client. Is your computer on a TeamViewer? You know, give me the password. Let me log in. Oh, yeah. Close your other stuff. I don't want to see their stuff you're looking at. Okay, wait. I have to do an update. I mean, like like the way it used to work with desktop switching across clients was way too much. And what Qbo promised, which is make it easier for accountants to work with multiple clients. It works really well. Like for you to switch from client A to client B, it takes five seconds. It takes I mean, just client switching [00:33:30] in general is absolutely fantastic. It gets a little cumbersome if you want to open two clients at the same time. A lot of people don't know that you can have two different browsers or two different Chrome users, and you can open them separately. There's also an attempt to fix this with the QuickBooks Online Advanced Desktop app. I'm not a fan of it because that desktop app is a closed system. I can't add extensions and stuff like that. Different issue, but in Qbo and QuickBooks accountant, switching across clients is super, super easy. And if [00:34:00] you actually compare that to the backdrop of how I used to be, um, you like you learn to appreciate, you know, is simple thing, which is it takes 10s to go from client A to client B.

Alicia Katz Pollock: And what client what Hector is referring to, for those of you who don't know, is that when you're using Chrome, if you look in the upper right hand corner, there's a little circle up there that might have a picture. It might have your initials on it, but if you click on that, that's. The profiles, and you can add a different profile for each one of your clients. Give them their own [00:34:30] color, give it their own bookmarks for the banks that they that they bank at, or their e-commerce platforms or their apps. You can create a whole environment specific to that client, and you can have as many of them open as you want at the same time. So you can literally serve all of your clients simultaneously, which is impossible with desktop.

Hector Garcia: And the last thing that QuickBooks does right, but particularly QuickBooks does right, is QuickBooks online. It's a really easy to use software. I [00:35:00] know most, most small business owners you feel is daunting because they just don't understand accounting. And you kind of have to just just remember that, you know, they're not accountants and and they're not going to understand accounting. It'll take them a long time to understand accounting. But when you actually compare QuickBooks with other pieces of software that are as powerful, I'm not saying compare it to wave, which is like a quarter of what QuickBooks is, or to FreshBooks, which is half of what QuickBooks is, or zero, which is three quarters [00:35:30] of what QuickBooks is. I'm not saying compare. Like if you compare it to a piece of software that has less buttons and less options, of course it might be easier, but something that has as many features and as many options as QuickBooks. Super easy to use like go try NetSuite and then come back and like never look at another piece of software again. Like the competitors on the higher echelon of small business mid market, um, especially the apps and the third party apps connected to them, [00:36:00] they're very difficult to use. You have to get all sorts of consultants to help you implement. Getting up and running with QuickBooks online is absolutely, incredibly fantastic compared to the the options out there. And I think that with all the complaints I have about QuickBooks online, all the things that I wish they they did different, all the things that are in desktop that I wish they were in QuickBooks online, I have to give them credit.

Hector Garcia: Getting up and running with QuickBooks online is very, very easy [00:36:30] for the average user. And I tell you that because I'm a YouTuber and I create videos and I help people get on QuickBooks, and I see the comments and I see so many people said after watching one video for one hour go, wow, I'm up and running. Thank you. And you know what? Having people feel like that about accounting software is no easy task. Okay? Like like I love my accounting software. It's something that no business owner has ever said. And with QuickBooks online, this actually [00:37:00] it's happening. And a lot more often than what you think. Now that's different than people going from desktop to online. I totally understand you're already used to doing things a certain way and QuickBooks online change your paradigm. That's a whole nother ball game. I'm not talking about those. Those are much, much harder to please, you know, converters from desktop to online. But brand new businesses getting into QuickBooks for the first time, especially when they watch one two hour video that kind of walks them through it. It's a it's a fairly pleasant experience. Okay. Once you get to reconciling [00:37:30] and stuff okay. That's you need an accountant for that. But but for the most part, getting up and running, invoicing, getting up and running to managing accounts payable, getting up and running to connect your banks. It's a very, very easy process and I got to give kudos to into it. They did that part right.

Alicia Katz Pollock: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it's kind of a flip side, though, that, you know, they make it. Well, they used to advertise that it's so easy. Anybody can do it. And we know that that's not true. And we know that even [00:38:00] though a business owner can just start using the software and get fairly dialed in, they still need to, you know, watch your videos or my videos. There is still training to be done. And that's why our role as pro advisors is so incredibly important. But like anybody can start up a file and it takes you through the the Wizards for getting set up. And you know, Intuit has done a pretty good job at the onboarding process for sure.

Hector Garcia: Right. And I will clarify [00:38:30] that on the power user side, on the accountant side, I don't feel the same way. I think that there's a lot of opportunity to get that part right, like to give us the tools that we need. Um, you know, as much as I took up how great the third party ecosystem is, um, and how potentially damaging is that, Intuit does some of the things that the third party apps do. It's it's absolutely what Intuit needs to do. They got to look at the App Store, are really good, figure out why they're good, and bring that into the system. Okay. [00:39:00] Yes, I hate that. Economically speaking, some of these companies that that, you know, spend all this money to build a system that Intuit eventually quote unquote, copies and then builds it into their system. But that's how the way it's supposed to be. You know, that's how Amazon works. Like when they see a vendor selling a lot of X batteries, Amazon starts selling their own. I mean, that's that's that's how it works. Like you see what works, you see what's successful, and then you start adapting it into your own system. It will never be the same. Like we [00:39:30] talked about the expense claims in advance. Um, that was a very popular feature for other apps to do, but it'll never go as in depth as a third party app could. You know, like some of the importing tools, importing customers, vendors, importing transactions, importing journal entries. Quickbooks has some of that now. It won't. It will never be as, um, as high end as some of the third party tools. I think there'll still be a world where the third party apps go super niche, go super specialized, and go super deep and [00:40:00] advanced, and QuickBooks starts adding these things into into Qbo. There is there's a there's an opportunity for that. And and the more that they add to QuickBooks online that they've seen successful as a third party app, I think that's a good thing for the QuickBooks user, right?

Alicia Katz Pollock: I mean, Qbo is kind of like a multifunction printer that it it it prints it scans it, faxes it, copies it does everything a little bit so that if the company's [00:40:30] needs are fairly basic and routine, it's in there. And if it doesn't do what they need it to do, that's because they're a little bit more complex or a little bit more advanced. And so that's um, kind of why that why that ecosystem works. But touching on, on what you just said, I mean, one of the things that I really why I support Intuit and, and feel confident about having it be my niche in my career is that they do [00:41:00] make these responsible, financially responsible decisions that whether it's where to go with development or app app acquisitions or even killing desktop, you know, even even being a moving desktop to just enterprise level, the decisions are not going to ever be popular. Well, sometimes they'll be popular. Those decisions are not usually popular with the people that are affected. But that's because human beings [00:41:30] hate change. We have complex lives, we have work and we have family, and we have health and we have entertainment. We have stressors on our life.

Alicia Katz Pollock: And any time something breaks our routine, it's never fun. And our gut reaction is always, ah, not yay! Unless there's something like obviously positive about it. But that's something that I want everybody to really take into consideration because business [00:42:00] is going to continue to evolve. But the fact that Intuit continues to grow, continues to add users, continues to find things, uh, issues that haven't been addressed for business owners. Those are all really, really good things. And we're all building our own businesses around those decisions. And so I just really encourage everybody that, you know, some people have said like, oh, Alicia, you're always a little ray of sunshine, but I live a positive life because [00:42:30] I frame everything as okay. It is how it is. How can I thrive and how can I help other people thrive based on it? And that's always Intuit's perspective when they're doing it. They are. Never, ever making any of these decisions in order to just do better for themselves at the expense of everybody else. They're doing better for themselves in a way that forwards somebody's needs, [00:43:00] and I have big respect for that.

Hector Garcia: Yeah, and to kind of end this, I will truly be genuinely depressed the day that they kill desktop 100%. But I also support that the way forward is to have a single cloud based platform, period. So I have to I have to. Be both. I have to accept how I feel and also accept what the right thing is and what the vision to move [00:43:30] QuickBooks to QuickBooks online, which I'm not sure exactly what the pivotal point was 2007 2008. I'm not sure when that was where the energy started getting built around this, and it was like 2013 until they did the sort of the last major, um, redesign called the Harmony redesign, where it actually felt like a serious thing. It felt like the wrong decision. Then when you go back and look at the growth of the company, the growth of the user base, how easy is for, you know, companies [00:44:00] to connect, get up and running ecosystem, third party apps to connect. It was the absolute right decision. Moving to a single platform on the cloud is the right decision. The the the current state of things is rocky. We don't have all the features we want. Desktop has more than online. Uh, there's tons of glitches. They have to sort of like they're fixing the airplane. What? The airplane is on the air, and you see things being fixed live.

Hector Garcia: And we get beta tested on the whole time. But moving to a single platform was an absolutely [00:44:30] right decision. And that's where Intuit is, where it is. It's a very powerful company with tons of profits with, you know, every decision being a sound financial decision. Like Alicia says, how many great companies or great little restaurants, uh, you go to that disappear, and the reason they disappear is because they made the wrong decisions financially. Maybe you loved what they did and how they were, and you go back and go away. I wish they still existed. Well, they didn't make the right [00:45:00] financial decisions. Intuit is making the decisions that will make sure that QuickBooks lives forever, and that means that I will retire. Still using QuickBooks most likely. And they're securing my future, my career as well, because the worst one of the most frustrating things for an accounting professionals to become really good at one thing and that one thing disappear. That's the one thing that you could probably trust QuickBooks to do, is that they're always be profitable. They'll always make money, and they will always exist. So. So at least that's a silver lining from [00:45:30] maybe all the things that you might disagree with. But that's a great silver lining to have.

Alicia Katz Pollock: And that's something that you can adopt as well as proadvisors. Everything that Hector just said about Intuit is true for you too. You just can't be afraid of change. You have to embrace it.

Hector Garcia: Absolutely. So with that being said, Alicia, what's going on in your world?

Alicia Katz Pollock: Oh, um, my next thing that I have coming up is I'm going to the AGN conference, another accounting networking, and I'm actually doing [00:46:00] a workshop on training the trainer. So I'm going to be talking to accounting firms about how they can build in, um, QuickBooks online, training into their firms as part of their CAS practice and as part of their retention strategy for their employees, and how royal wise can help, um, help them with that. And what are you doing, Hector?

Hector Garcia: Well, since you're talking about conferences, I am going to speak at a conference called Bridging the Gap in Chicago. I believe it's in July. Yeah, [00:46:30] July. Um, I'm obviously going to be at my own conference in October. Um, which is, uh, reframe 2024, reframe 2020 For.com quick plug show up. Influential conversations for accountants is going to be incredible. And probably, uh, which I'm thinking maybe it will be after my conference somewhere around beginning of end of October, beginning of June, we'll have QuickBooks connect in, uh, in Las Vegas most likely, as well. Uh, that will probably be the last conference I go to for the year. [00:47:00] So I will be traveling at least a couple times for conferences this year.

Alicia Katz Pollock: So and I'm going to be at Bridging the Gap as well. I'm actually sponsoring.

Hector Garcia: Oh that's awesome. So I'll see you then. Yeah. So with that being said thank you very much. And we'll see you in the next one.

Alicia Katz Pollock: See you in the next one.

Creators and Guests

Alicia Katz Pollock, MAT
Alicia Katz Pollock, MAT
Alicia Katz Pollock, MAT is the CEO at Royalwise Solutions, Inc.. As a Top 50 Women in Accounting, Top 10 ProAdvisor, and member of the Intuit Trainer/Writer Network, Alicia is a popular speaker at QuickBooks Connect and Scaling New Heights. She has a Master of Arts in Teaching, with several QuickBooks books on Amazon. Her Royalwise OWLS (On-Demand Web-based Learning Solutions) at learn.royalwise.com is a NASBA CPE-approved QBO and Apple training portal for accounting firms, bookkeepers, and business owners.
Hector Garcia, CPA
Hector Garcia, CPA
Hector Garcia,CPA is the Principal Accountant Quick Bookkeeping & Accounting LLC, a globally-serving Technology-Accounting firm based in Miami, FL (USA), specializing in QuickBooks Consulting, but also providing traditional accounting services such as: Bookkeeping, Payroll Processing, Tax Return Preparation, and General Business Advisory. He has over 10 years of experience working with small business finance and accounting, along with 3 Post-graduate degrees from Florida International University (FIU) in Accounting, Finance and Taxation.