EXCLUSIVE – First SME loans, now tax preparation features, business software provider Intuit QuickBooks clearly has plans of becoming a comprehensive platform for its SME customers. Is employee payments through the Quickbooks platform going to be their next feature?
“Well, from an evolution standpoint this new tax feature sets the foundation to where we can go and what we can do with other offerings,” Tad Milbourn, contractor ecosystem leader at Intuit, told Bank Innovation.
Milbourn’s role at Intuit entails “bridging the gap between the various Intuit products.” And that’s exactly what he did with the new tax feature, which — among other things — connects QuickBook Self-Employed users to its SME counterpart Quickbooks.
“We realized that collecting necessary tax information from independent contractors or freelancers was becoming an increasing pain point for our small business customers,” Milbourn said. “So now, we’ve added two new features: one is adding a way small business owners can collect necessary tax information from their contractors. And the second one is that we’ve taken on the task of electronically delivering tax documents to both the IRS and those contractors.”
This collection and delivery of tax information happens within QuickBooks. It appears as tab in a SME’s QuickBook dashboard. There is also a separate tab where the business owner can manage each employee and keep track of their payroll and other information.
Which leads to the next logical question of whether an employee will be able to pay the employee through the QuickBooks product. Milbourn, who did not confirm the notion, neither denied it. Instead, he admitted it seems like a logical step “from an evolution stand-point.”
“This is the foundation of great things we want to do. This is where the economy is going [SME businesses and independent contractors] and we look to this trend as an opportunity to keep adding to our sweep of products.”
Over the past year, Intuit QuickBooks has been moving beyond providing business management software. In November, it launched its first loan product, QuickBooks Capital. Like the new tax feature, the application process and management of the loan is all within QuickBooks.
The loan is a short term working capital one ranging from $5,000 to $35,000 over a period of three to six months, with the average amount being $15,000 (more on this here).
The loan product is just one application of the customer data Intuit QuickBooks can leverage to expand its product offerings and services. The latest tax feature is another example.
Seems like employee payroll could be next.
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