Brad Smith: Brace for "The New Normal"

Intuit CEO talks bluntly about big changes for accountants and small business

Accountants need to be able to help small business make the fundamental changes necessary in this economy, according to Intuit president and chief executive Brad Smith.

 

How does Intuit view today’s economic climate?

We’ve all seen fundamental changes in the economy in recent months. In fact, 70% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. I don’t view this as a short-term downturn. Rather, I think of it as the new normal. Small businesses, many of which are forced to do more with less, will have to change the way they operate their businesses and interact with their customers and suppliers. In this economy, Intuit is uniquely positioned to help consumers and small businesses save and make money.

 

How does Intuit view the accounting industry?

Intuit values accounting professionals as both customers and strategic partners within the broader small business ecosystem. In this economic climate, small business owners increasingly turn to their accountants to provide a range of business consulting services and personal financial advice. In a recent survey, nearly 80% of small business owners told us they’d feel more confident having an accountant as a close business adviser in this economy.

 

How does Intuit meet the needs of accounting professionals?

Our goal is to provide accounting professionals with products and services that improve their workflow, increase productivity and help grow their practices. And we do this with a combination of products, services and campaigns designed specifically for the accounting profession.

 

Our product lineup includes our signature software: Lacerte, ProSeries and QuickBooks Accountant Edition. In addition, we host ProAdvisor programs, which assist accounting professionals on two levels. First, we offer discounts on products and services; and second, we help connect accountants to potential new clients through our “Find a ProAdvisor” Web site.

 

Finally, we created the Accountant Work Exchange earlier this year as a new way for accounting professionals to manage and grow their businesses.

 

What is Accountant Work Exchange?

Accounting professionals tell us they have two major concerns. One is finding the right staffing to support a firm’s needs. The second is finding the right amount of work in an increasingly specialized and seasonal market. The Accountant Work Exchange is designed to address these needs, matching accounting professionals seeking help with those looking for work.

 

How much does it cost?

Accountant Work Exchange has been available since March and already has more than 4,000 professionals registered and participating. It is free to join, create a profile, post jobs and search for help. If someone likes what they see, they can join for a 14-day free trial. After that, they can become a member for either $35 per month or $249 annually. We’re confident Accountant Work Exchange will be a beneficial tool in today’s market where every dollar spent on staffing or looking for work must count.

 

Special Free Trial Offer to AICPA members – learn more at www.accountantworkexchange.com

 

SPONSORED REPORT

Revenue recognition: A complex effort

Implementing the new standard requires careful judgment. Learn how to make significant accounting judgments and document them and collaborate with peers for consistent application.

TECHNOLOGY Q&A

How to create maps in Excel 2016

Microsoft Excel 2016 has two new mapping capabilities. J. Carlton Collins, CPA, demonstrates how to make masterful 2D and 3D maps in Excel 2016.

QUIZ

News quiz: Economy and health care changes top CPAs’ list

CPA decision-makers’ economic outlook and the House Republicans’ proposed tax changes as part of replacing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act received attention recently. See how much you know with this short quiz.