Here are answers to all your questions about Intuit’s QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping testing.
Over the past few weeks, there has been a lot of discussion and misinformation on social media around the new service that Intuit is testing called QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping. Now that the “dry test” is over, I am excited to share with you what I learned about their plans moving forward. I had a video chat with Rich Preece, QuickBooks U.S. country leader at Intuit to discuss a few concerns many people are voicing.
First of all, let me explain what this new service is: QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping is an online video demand service that will offer basic bookkeeping services to new QuickBooks Online customers as a monthly subscription. The service will be provided by ProAdvisors and other accounting professionals who meet specific criteria. At this time, they have not determined exactly how the pricing will be structured nor the consumption level. This will be measured and monitored over the next several tests.
There have been many concerns and questions around the new Quickbooks Live Bookkeeping. Here are a few concerns that I discussed during my call with Rich to clarify some of the questions and myths.
MYTH #1: QuickBooks is taking my business away.
The service intends to reach customers that signed up for QuickBooks Online, and when asked in the initial setup if they are working with a bookkeeper or accountant, or would be interested in finding one via QuickBooks ProAdvisor, they answered no. The data shows that 60 percent answer yes to this question and connect QuickBooks to their accountant or look for one on Find-a-ProAdvisor; and 40 percent say no because they aren’t ready or don’t think they need help.
Again, let me point out at this time they are only asking the customer if they want to sign up for QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping when the customer answers, “No, I do not have an accountant.”.
MYTH #2: QuickBooks is staffing up to offer services.
During this next phase of the test, they are working with fewer than ten customers and fewer than ten ProAdvisors to work through the test.
Again, let me point out at this time they are NOT adding a new site and hiring new people. They intend to work with these ProAdvisors to learn from the test, to understand where the small businesses need help and the time it takes for the ProAdvisors to answer to their questions. This information will help Intuit better define and create the service that benefits the small businesses and the ProAdvisors working with them.
MYTH #3: This will become a lead generator for ProAdvisors.
At this time, this is merely a service branded by QuickBooks to help customers who are not ready to invest in an accounting professional work better in QuickBooks Online. The customer will not get the same person every time, and the ProAdvisor on video will not solicit their own company; they will be under the QuickBooks brand to keep it uniform.
Side note to ProAdvisors: This is another way that we can position ourselves as a one phone number, one point of contact. The client can call QBO support and get a different person each time, just as they will have with QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping.
MYTH #4: They are going to push clients into signing up for QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping instead of sending them to Find-a-ProAdvisor.
This is not their intention. Their target customer is one that does not work with an accountant. They are going after those customers that are trying to do it themselves. They may have just started, be very small, have a very low budget, or are not ready to hire help. They are not diverting clients from “Find-a-ProAdvisor” to this service; it is offered during purchase AFTER they answer the question that says they are not working with an accountant.
After my interview with Rich, it is clear that this new service is still in the early stages. Right now, they are very intrigued by the results and interest customers are showing. This service will help close a gap where customers that should be getting help but are not ready to hire a consultant. It will enhance the experience for the QuickBooks Online user to use the product more efficiently. As they work their way through these tests, they will figure out a way to graduate clients when their needs outgrow the Live Bookkeeping and they need a ProAdvisor.
As this evolves over time, it will be similar to the TurboTax Live service. Intuit is listening to feedback from the ProAdvisor Community. They have assured me that they are keeping a clear line of communication open. Rich offered to continue to stay in touch with me and keep us updated as this program evolves so we can all see the benefits of the new program. They want to stay connected to the QuickBooks community and welcome feedback and suggestions to make this a win for everyone.