QuickBooks Connect 2019: Product roundup

Sasan Goodarzi QuickBooks Connect 2019
Intuit CEO Sasan Goodarzi takes the stage at the sixth annual QuickBooks Connect on Thursday, Nov. 7, in San Jose, California.

QuickBooks Connect 2019 didn’t arrive with any big product releases or company news. Instead, Intuit discussed injecting artificial intelligence into its existing products, and adding capabilities to the QuickBooks suite.

“The reality of running a small business is hard, and often small businesses are left to figure out how to leverage and take advantage of AI by themselves,” said Alex Chriss, executive vice president of Intuit’s small businesses and self employed group, in a statement. “QuickBooks is changing this by leveling the playing field, giving small businesses access to data and insights they’ve never had before. By turning data into meaningful and useful insights, QuickBooks will be able to help small businesses make more data-driven decisions, spotting mistakes that would otherwise cost time and money.”

Here is a summary of new functions just released or coming soon:

Coming soon: Cash flow planner

Using AI, this tool is designed to enable small businesses to predict their daily cash flow over the next 90 days. The planner alerts business owners when a negative situation is on the horizon and provides recommendations around how to navigate the situation. QuickBooks pulls data from its own customers — anonymized, of course — to generate predictive scenarios with cash flow forecasts. The planner can also be used for scenario planning to help users answer questions such as, “Is it safe to hire another employee now, given my forecasted cash flow in the coming few months?”

New: QuickBooks payments

QuickBooks Payments currently enables next-day payment and will soon enable instant deposit payments, giving small businesses access to funds after getting paid, whether through bank transfers or credit cards, rather than waiting several business days. Businesses can create a payment-enabled invoice with their hours, expenses and mileage added automatically by embedded AI. They can also customize their invoice, take a deposit or structure installments, and allow customers to pay in a variety of formats.

QuickBooks now ensures that small businesses get paid wherever they are with the introduction of a new set of features in GoPayment, a mobile payment app. With GoPayment, business owners can set roles and permissions for staff so they can accept and get paid at a job site.

Updated: QuickBooks Capital for QuickBooks Desktop

QuickBooks Capital provides loans to small businesses that may not qualify for bank loans. At QuickBooks Connect, Intuit announced that loans will be made available to QuickBooks Desktop customers as well as those using QuickBooks Online.

New: Receipt capture

The new QuickBooks Mobile app now includes Receipt Capture, which allows small businesses to upload, email or snap receipts for improved expense management. Receipt Capture extracts relevant data from the receipt so small businesses can either create a new transaction or find a match between the receipt and an existing expense transaction in QuickBooks.

New: Mileage tracking in QuickBooks

QuickBooks first introduced its patented mileage tracking technology in QuickBooks Self-Employed. QuickBooks has now expanded the offering to QuickBooks Online users so they can track and separate business mileage from personal mileage to identify more potential tax deductions and savings. QuickBooks Mileage Tracking uses AI to automatically recognize frequent trip routes, allows users to mark locations as “favorites” and can proactively recommend rules to ensure trips are consistently marked as business or personal.

Updated: QuickBooks Online Advanced

QuickBooks Online Advanced was introduced in 2018 to serve a gap in the small business market, providing high-growth small businesses with a cloud-based solution that leverages AI, automation and data innovation to deliver more ways for them to grow.

New features coming soon in QuickBooks Online Advanced include the ability to automate transactions and workflows, and an integration with a yet-to-be-named leading cloud-based organization and customer relationship management tool. Also coming soon are advanced reporting, the ability to process more transactions, and increased in-product support, as well as new app integrations.

New: QuickBooks Online Accountant business performance dashboard

The new Business Performance tab in QuickBooks Online Accountant provides key metrics, trends and ratios. Ratios and trends are calculated from an accountant’s own client’s data, creating benchmarking for comparison, and identifying areas where clients can focus for improvement. Coming soon is industry-wide benchmarking, using data from all of QuickBooks customers to provide insights accountants can use to benefit their own clients.

New(ish): QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping

QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping made its unofficial debut earlier this year, but enjoyed an official launch at QuickBooks Connect. It’s a platform that connects small businesses that don’t have an accountant with live bookkeepers, who are (for now) all certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors. The parties connect through a one-way video conferencing capability. To learn more, see earlier coverage of QuickBooks Live here.