Machine Learning: Unlocking the Power of Millions for the Prosperity of One

by QuickBooks Online Team

3 min read

At its Innovation Gallery Walk last month in New York City, Intuit® brought together the innovators, products and technology experiments that are changing the lives of 42 million people today and countless more tomorrow. Dubbed “The Intelligent Economy,” the event showcased 26 products and experiments that demonstrated the unique power of Intuit’s online business and personal finance ecosystem. One of the most exciting demonstrations focused on how machine learning was already providing insights and making daily tasks simple for QuickBooks® customers.

Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence that enables computers to learn without being explicitly programmed. Through machine learning, the software or product changes, or “learns,” by analyzing the massive amounts of data stored in the cloud from the aggregate activity of millions of other users just like you. The software uses this data to forecast and provide insights to help you make better decisions and streamline the work you do every day.

In many ways, the future is already here, as Intuit has approximately 100 patents pending related to machine learning and artificial intelligence, and more than 30 machine learning systems are already in its products today.

Machine learning is powering global accounting services, enabling them to get smarter every day with every transaction it sees from millions of QuickBooks users worldwide. Today, machine learning is taking the work out of getting important business insights and powering prosperity for small businesses and the self-employed. Let’s look at some examples of how we are putting more money in your pocket, with no work, and complete confidence:

QuickBooks Self-Employed: ExpenseFinder

For self-employed professionals, keeping track and differentiating between personal and business expenses for tax purposes is a complicated problem that requires diligence and knowledge of complicated tax laws to capture all potential deductions. And, since the average customer has 2,000 transactions per year, of which 500 are business transactions, it can be a tedious and time consuming process.

Intuit’s Expense Finder automatically imports, organizes and categorizes expenses to help identify more taxable deductions for you. We applied natural language processing and machine learning to historical transactions to build an algorithm that takes the guesswork out of identifying business deductible expenses.

Leveraging the integration between QuickBooks Self-Employed and TurboTax Self-Employed, ExpenseFinder securely imports a year’s worth of bank transactions and automatically finds deductible business expenses, even ones you may not have thought about or know you can claim. With Expense Finder, you have confidence and peace of mind that your taxes are done right and you get every dollar they deserve.

Since launching in January 2015, QuickBooks Self Employed has helped users find on average $4,340 in potential tax savings per year. These deductions could cut their tax bill by 36 percent!

QuickBooks Online: Auto-Categorization

Categorizing expenses is an important, yet tedious task for small business owners. In the past, to effectively manage finances, you often need to spend hours manually categorizing every transaction.

With Auto-Categorization, your transactions will automatically be categorized for you when you import your spending activity from your bank into QuickBooks Online. QuickBooks Auto-Categorization offers an enhanced ability to auto-categorize transactions with business segmentation, saving you time and increasing accuracy. This means you can quickly get insights into how your business is doing, both by profit and loss and by expense breakdown.

Watch a video of auto-categorization here or click on the box below.

 

QuickBooks Self-Employed: Mileage Tracking

Throw away those pen and paper log books. Automatic mileage tracking in the QuickBooks Self-Employed App tracks mileage every time you drive your car, even if your QuickBooks Self-Employed app is not open. At your convenience, you simply swipe to the left or right to tag mileage for each trip as a business or personal expense. Since January 2015, QuickBooks Self-Employed users log an average of $7,393 in potential mileage deductions per year, and find on average 45% more potential deductions by logging miles.

Machine learning makes QuickBooks smarter, automatically categorizes incoming data and creates a personalized, automated experience. Continued learning will increase accuracy, helping you spend less time doing manual financial tasks and more time focusing on growing your business. Learning from the data and usage of more than 1.8 million QuickBooks Online users around the world, machine learning in QuickBooks will continue to get smarter and provide unique insights for all customers worldwide.

After attending the Gallery Walk, SMB Group analyst Laurie McCabe wrote, ““As evidenced at the Gallery Walk, Intuit is continuing this trajectory, investing to innovate with AI, machine learning, IoT and other technologies that will help its customers – and Intuit itself – with new and better ways to flourish well into the future.”

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