QuickBooks Connect Toronto Demonstrates how AI and Machine Learning are Tipping the Odds in Favour of Small Businesses
TORONTO, ON – December 6, 2017– Intuit QuickBooks, the world’s leading online accounting software, unveiled several powerful AI and machine learning-driven innovations at QuickBooks Connect, the company’s flagship event that brings together small businesses, accounting professionals and developers to connect, learn and be inspired. Included amongst the list of announcements are an AI-powered virtual QuickBooks Assistant designed to help millions better understand and navigate their finances, an advanced payroll management solution and an enhanced accountant/entrepreneur matchmaking algorithm.
QuickBooks’ newest innovations are designed for Canadian entrepreneurs as they face the next technological frontier, embracing the potential of automation and AI to help eliminate mundane tasks, operate more efficiently and drive long-term growth. These technologies are already transforming Canada’s small business ecosystem, as Intuit’s latest study in partnership with Emergent Research revealed that 61 per cent of Canadian entrepreneurs use automation technology like AI, machine learning or automated communication, and more than half feel positive about the impact of this technology on their business over the next five years.
“QuickBooks is the world’s number one online accounting software for small businesses and the self-employed with over 2.5M global subscribers, and is also the largest in Canada, which puts us in a strong position to help drive technological adoption among Canada’s entrepreneurs. Cloud accounting software growth has been explosive in Canada, demonstrated by the fact that since launching QuickBooks Online here in 2012, it took four years to grow to 100,000 customers, and under 10 months to hit 150,000,” said Jeff Cates, president, Intuit Canada. “We’re leveraging the collective power of all of our customers, partners and developers to give small businesses a smarter way to do business, and helping them turn insights into action to drive long-term growth.”
At QuickBooks Connect Toronto, attendees experienced firsthand the ways QuickBooks’ ever-expanding ecosystem continues to evolve. Intuit unveiled three areas of innovation for the QuickBooks platform designed to put more money in customers’ pockets over time, eliminate work, and give them full confidence in their decisions.
Leveraging machine learning and data-driven insights, QuickBooks is becoming predictive and proactive, making customers smarter and more confident in the decisions they need to make. The latest examples of this in action at QuickBooks Connect include:
- Proactive and predictive help with the new QuickBooks Assistant: Announced on stage at QuickBooks Connect, the brand-new QuickBooks Assistant is a virtual assistant that offers a conversational chat experience, and solves a common problem for the self-employed and small business owners – quickly and easily staying on top of their finances. The new chatbot combines data-driven insights and natural language processing to ease business operations by merely asking questions or stating requests. The service understands intent and identifies context to uncover numerous financial data points – from tax obligations to expense tracking, cash flow, profitability and more – saving precious time and giving entrepreneurs the insights necessary to make informed financial decisions with confidence. It only takes a few seconds for QuickBooks Assistant to tell entrepreneurs how much money they made last month, how much tax they’ll owe at the end of the year, how long their current cash flow will last, or even how profitable the most recent customer was compared to the previous five. All they need to do is ask a question, and the QuickBooks Assistant answers. QuickBooks Assistant is coming soon and will be available in QuickBooks Self-Employed for iOS and Android as well as QuickBooks Online. The beta for QuickBooks Assistant is now available in QuickBooks Labs.
- QuickBooks Projects feature now available to all QuickBooks Online Plus users in Canada: Entrepreneurs can now manage their finances in QuickBooks Online like they organize their work—by project. QuickBooks Projects introduces QuickBooks Online Plus users to a new way to work and collaborate, all while seamlessly organizing all project components in one location, so they can run their business more efficiently and intuitively. QuickBooks Projects not only closes the feature parity gap with QuickBooks Desktop, it goes beyond it by allowing access to critical insights like profitability, expenses, and billable/non-billable hours in real time. To make project-based work even more seamless for small business owners, QuickBooks will be releasing Progress Invoicing, coming soon, as a follow up to QuickBooks Projects. This feature will allow QuickBooks Online Plus users to easily invoice progress on a specific job in stages, based on the original project estimate.
- Access to direct bank feeds with new CIBC integration: Intuit and CIBC are joining forces to help businesses make more informed decisions quickly. By combining CIBC’s powerful banking capabilities with critical insights from QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Online Accountant, clients can better manage their day-to-day accounting to free up time and resources to focus on their core business.
“Our clients are operating in an increasingly competitive environment and our priority is to provide the best advice and the innovative tools they need to help them succeed,” said Phil Griffiths, Senior Vice-President, Digital, CIBC. “Our collaboration with Intuit demonstrates how banks and technology companies can work together to best meet the rapidly evolving needs of our clients.”
Cash flow is the number one stressor for Canada’s small business owners, with one third (32%) citing it as the primary concern keeping them up at night. Entrepreneurs struggle to get paid on time, face friction obtaining loans they need to grow, and face a juggling act managing payroll. Intuit unveiled several new features and enhancements that make QuickBooks the smarter way for small businesses to manage their money:
- Getting paid: Intuit’s new QuickBooks Payments offers small businesses more convenient ways to get paid by their customers, and helps them get paid over two times faster. Coming soon, small businesses will be able to more easily sign up for QuickBooks Payments, and create “payments-enabled” invoices in less than a minute, allowing customers to pay instantly online with a credit card, and users can track when customers have received, opened and paid invoices. The new QuickBooks Payments also saves entrepreneurs multiple bank trips, as QuickBooks Online will automatically update their books and deposit payments into their accounts, and let them accept more payment methods than before.
- QuickBooks’ integration with Google Calendar, Invoice with Google Calendar, lets small business owners pull event details from their Google Calendar directly into a QuickBooks invoice, helping them save time on invoicing and ensure they’re being paid accurately and on time for their hard work.
- Paying employees: One of the biggest challenges for small businesses is managing payroll. QuickBooks Advanced Payroll powered by Wagepoint for advanced payroll processing is a new, comprehensive payroll processing software built directly into QuickBooks Online and takes the complexity and tedium out of payroll. It provides accountants and small business owners with a faster, effortless way to stay compliant with CRA payroll regulations, including automated tax payments and filings or automatically filing year-end forms.
- Managing taxes: Intuit unveiled QuickBooks Tax, a new way for Canadian accountants and bookkeepers to prepare taxes inside of QuickBooks Online Accountant. QuickBooks Tax will automate much of the tax work, effectively freeing up time for accounting professionals to be more forward thinking and focus on their practices. Through integration with QuickBooks, accounting professionals can quickly and confidently prepare and file taxes, allowing them to save their clients more money through proactive tax planning and manage all of their tax preparation work directly within QuickBooks Online Accountant, including books with client management, year-end with Workpapers, and now tax with QuickBooks Tax. QuickBooks Tax is expected late in 2018.
QuickBooks is connecting the self-employed and small businesses to accounting partners and tools they need to succeed – improving awareness, access and control and making it easier for teams to scale and grow. Intuit unveiled several key updates to fuel closer, more strategic collaboration between small business owners and the accounting professionals who help them thrive, including:
- Matching small businesses to accountants: Intuit’s ‘Find-An-Accountant’ directory connects small businesses to accountants in their area offering relevant services to help both groups grow their businesses. The directory drives 1,000 leads a month for Canadian accountants, connecting them to small businesses.
- Efficient and effective practice management with QuickBooks Online Accountant: QuickBooks Online Accountant gives accountants and bookkeepers one place to manage all their clients and run their entire practice. With new practice and client management features, QuickBooks Online Accountant helps them stay on top of tasks, host secure documents and messages with their clients, and deliver insights to make their clients more successful – remotely. The industry is moving from a desktop to online platform, and opening up the opportunity to reimagine how small business and their accountants collaborate and work in real time through new ways of doing business together in the cloud.
- Intuit announces 2017 Global Firm of the Future winner: For the first time ever, Intuit crowned a Canadian firm the winner of its Global Firm of the Future Contest, awarding AIS Solutions a $25,000 USD cash prize as the global firm that best embraces the future and emulates the Firm of the Future pillars to get online, be clients’ trusted advisors and grow their firm. Intuit selected AIS Solutions because education is at the core of everything they do. Service offerings for the firm’s small business clients range from Full-Cycle Bookkeeping, Small Business Advisory Services, Accounting Software Conversions to Intuit Products all the way through to QuickBooks Training and Support. In addition to using cloud-based technologies to serve clients, AIS Solutions has also launched the Kninja Knetwork Division, an exclusive online education and support community to help bookkeepers move their practices to the cloud.
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Intuit Inc. is committed to powering prosperity around the world for consumers, small businesses and the self-employed through its ecosystem of innovative financial management solutions.
Its flagship products and services include QuickBooks® and TurboTax®, which make it easier to manage small businesses and tax preparation and filing. QuickBooks Self-Employed provides freelancers and independent contractors with an easy and affordable way to manage their finances and save money at tax time, while Mint delivers financial tools and insights to help people make smart choices about their money.
Founded in 1983, Intuit serves 46 million customers in North America, Europe, Australia, Brazil and India, with revenue of $5.2 billion in its fiscal year 2017. The company has approximately 8,200 employees with major offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, Israel, Australia and other locations. More information can be found at www.intuit.ca