“Find something you love to do, and you'll never work a day in your life.” Unfortunately, this famous quote doesn’t ring true for thousands of small business owners, many of whom went into business because they wanted to provide a product or service they were passionate about. Instead, they have found that they spend more time working on their business than doing that thing they love.
There are hundreds of products that are targeted towards small businesses with the promise of helping owners manage the various tasks that must be completed on a regular basis, such as accounting, document management, workflow management, payroll and tax compliance. However, many small business owners struggle to find the perfect product for their needs. Once they have identified a solution, they oftentimes find it doesn’t integrate seamlessly with solutions used in other aspects of their business, thus leaving them with two options: only use one vendor’s suite of products with limited functionality for their specific needs or spend hours duplicating processes and manually entering data into numerous programs.
Intuit (http://www.intuit.com/) realizes how painful and tedious both options are and wants to help eliminate as many pain points as possible with its new open platform strategy. At the core of this strategy is the completely new and redesigned QuickBooks Online.
“Currently QuickBooks Online holds a lot of data for small businesses, but the real focus is on how well that data integrates with other applications. By opening up our platform and allowing QuickBooks Online to integrate with other programs, we plan to solve a lot of process issues and problems for small businesses,” said Dan Wernikoff, senior vice president and general manager of Intuit Small Business Financial Solutions.
The new QuickBooks Online was built from the ground up with open platform integration capabilities, making it even easier for users to integrate with other programs. Currently, QBO is one of Intuit’s fastest growing solutions with more than 1.3 million users worldwide. The embedded open platform is designed to provide small businesses with a customizable suite of solutions that will grow as their business grows and eliminate issues that are specific to small businesses.
“One of the things that make small businesses unique is that while 80 percent of their business processes may be common, the other 20 percent is specific to their business, which means they need specialized products and services. Our open platform is about leveraging outside developers and experts to better serve the needs of our customers. This is about more than just accounting – this is about solving every problem specific to small business,” said Wernikoff.
In line with its new strategy and the new QuickBooks Online, Intuit announced last month the upcoming integration between QuickBooks Online and Square (http://squareup.com/). The integration with Square, available November 19, will allow users to import their point-of-sale transactions from Square directly into QuickBooks.
“As a provider of an open platform that strives to enable small business success, we realize and understand that our priority is to integrate and enable the use of products that aren’t our own, even when they may compete with our products. The Square integration is proof of our commitment to the open platform strategy,” said Wernikoff.
See inside November 2013
Is Your Firm Plugging In, Or Pulling Out?
We have been heading toward this turning point for several years, driven by the mass adoption of the Internet.
Building a Company is Like Raising Kids
Bill.com is the second company that I have started and it is the fourth startup where I have been part of the founding team. And as I think about all the challenges in growing a company from nothing to something, I am struck by how similar being a parent is to growing a company. From late nights, unpredictable days and tearful goodbyes; the emotional roller coaster is similar.