Another service that I said we would see coming up, in my article on QuickBooks Online Is the Future for Intuit earlier this year, was the integration of small business financing with QuickBooks Online. This is an area that Intuit has been very interested in. As I discussed before, Intuit generates more revenue from attachments than they do from the basic accounting software itself. Attachments are things like payroll, merchant services, and — in this case — small business loans.
QuickBooks Capital is launching in QuickBooks Online, providing the small business with easy access to business funding. This can be accessed via your web browser or your mobile device. I’m going to show examples from both kinds of access.
Applying for short-term capital through a bank or other lender can be a major hassle. It takes time, the process can be complex, the information you receive from lenders can be confusing, and if you are approved it still takes time to get the funding. Many small businesses don’t even bother to apply.
If you are running your business with QuickBooks Online, Intuit has detailed access to your data. They know how well your business is doing. In addition, they know the kind of business you are in and they can compare your data to the aggregated data of all other businesses that are similar to yours, that also use QuickBooks Online. With all of this data, Intuit can provide you with access to business capital with just a few clicks, and deliver the funds to you in just a few days. You don’t have to fill out lengthy loan applications or wait weeks for a decision.
From within your QuickBooks Online account you can look into what kind of funding is available to you.
Click the Apply Now button and within a few minutes QuickBooks Capital has analyzed your data and makes you an offer.
You haven’t made a commitment yet, you are just seeing the offer. There is a slider that lets you choose how much capital to borrow, and you can see all the details of what the commitment is. You see the total loan cost, your payment schedule, the term, and the rate. The details are important, and Intuit has done a great job in making them clear.
If you like the terms, with just a few additional clicks you will be approved. The funds will be automatically deposited in your back account in just a few days.
Then you can manage the loan right from QuickBooks Online.
This is very interesting, but I’m a bit concerned on several counts here.
Perhaps I’m old fashioned, but I find this to be a bit creepy. Heck, I am old, but that can’t be the only explanation for this feeling? Just by using QuickBooks Online, Intuit knows all my inner, dark secrets. At least as far as my business dealings. I know that other people can’t see my detailed data, and I’m not worried about security in this case, but it still bugs me a bit. It’s funny, though, that this bugs me, while the QuickBooks Assistant (which is seeing the same data) doesn’t.
In a press conference at the show, one media person asked Intuit if people were expressing this same feeling. I wish I had recorded the Intuit representative’s response so that I could relay it accurately, because it was very funny. He essentially said that they didn’t believe that they had hit people’s limit on feeling creepy, yet. The point was, no, people are not being creeped out by this, in general.
The other area of concern that I have is that this is providing people with a loan, a liability, perhaps a bit too easily? There isn’t a person involved in this, in counseling the businessperson as to whether it makes good business sense to take on this loan. I wish there was a way to have the businesses accountant involved with this some way? Of course, Intuit is not in the business of predatory financing, it is in their best interest to only make good loans, and they have detailed access to your financial health.
All in all, once I get over my initial qualms, I think that this has a lot of potential to be a good program. It certainly takes a lot of pain out of the process. We’ll have to see how it works out, though.