The Tales of Two QuickBooks Online Users

For most of my career, I’ve dealt with the reality that none of my family or friends really know what I do for a living. I’ve even been dubbed the female version of Chandler from Friends, according to my baby brother. If only it was as easy as “I’m a pediatrician” or “I’m a lawyer,” but telling someone, “I’m a business development manager for a document management software company,” normally elicits a blank stare in return. Even when I worked for a well-known company like Fujitsu, I still managed to get my share of, “Oh yeah, they make the cameras!,” to which I’d typically reply “no, that’s Fuji … never mind, yes, yes indeed.”

As you can imagine, it’s a bit of a different world when you work for a company whose products range from TurboTax® to Mint.com, to Quicken® and QuickBooks®. Suddenly, I’m in a world where it seems everyone knows exactly what I do … and the whole world is my customer.

Over the past year since I started at Intuit®, I’ve been trying to get moving on several household projects in between my insane travel schedule. During this process, I’ve encountered two business owners, a general contractor and a landscape architect, who both lit up when I told them I worked for Intuit.

However, my conversations were incredibly different – and so were the experiences these two small businesses had with QuickBooks.

First, we have Steve, a general contractor who runs his two businesses with QuickBooks Online (QBO). Steve immediately asked me what I do for Intuit; after hearing I help firms migrate clients over from QuickBooks Desktop to QBO, he smiled and said, “That’s the best decision I ever made!”

He went on to explain that he’s always on the go due to the nature of his work, and that he’ll often catch up on office work at night, approving invoices, for example, while watching TV with his wife. He loves the fact that he can access his QBO file from his phone, iPad or any computer. We started talking about the NEW QBO interface, and he even gave me a few tidbits of feedback on his initial thoughts on the new, improved QBO experience.

Next, meet Jim, a landscape architect serving Southern California, who operates his business with a QuickBooks 2010 file that, in his words, “still works just fine.” Yes, I’m afraid that Jim represents that client each and every one of my firms tells me about. Jim, too, is out in the field for most of his day, visiting the various jobs he works across Orange County and the Coachella Valley. In fact, he often spends his weekends in the OC, but maintains his QuickBooks file on his desktop back in his Palm Springs office.

Steve’s and Jim’s attitudes on technology investments could not have been more contradictory. From my perspective, the difference was night and day.

Steve shared that his accountant had recommended he move his file online to enable him to send invoices and receive payment quicker, as well as to give her access to his books in real-time vs. after the fact. The proof was in the pudding; when he was working for me, I consistently received any invoices or updated information on my projects from Steve in a timely manner. Not only did he do a great job at my house, but I also feel like he provided me with a delightful customer experience. I will not only highly recommend him to others, but I will also be using him for numerous projects in the future.

On the flip side, trying to get updates from Jim was a different story. By the time he got back to his office after a long day in the field – or potentially, the next week after being out of town for the weekend – it seemed he never quite remembered the conversation from that previous day or week. I’d often have to remind him that an invoice or change order was needed. We chatted one day about the fact that he loved having his iPhone, and how, if he used QBO, he could do so much of his business. For example, he could email the updated invoices right from the backyard, right on his phone. But, of course, he’d always end the conversation with some complaint about paying for a SaaS solution when his QuickBooks Desktop still “worked just fine.”

For more reasons than his software choice, I’ll likely not use Jim for future landscaping needs, but I can’t help but look at this from my accountant partners’ and their clients’ perspective. So often, we talk about how QBO can benefit an accountant, or can benefit their clients, but in this past year, I’ve seen first-hand that the domino effect is beyond that. The power of working in the cloud makes an impact on their clients’ customers as well.

Providing excellent customer service is something that Intuit and I are very passionate about. I love that I’ve had the chance to walk in my customers’ shoes and can share my experiences with them. It makes me that much more motivated to share with my firms that using QBO and QuickBooks Online Accountant can truly change the way the entire small business ecosystem better serves its customers.