QuickBooks Connect 2017, Intuit’s fourth annual QuickBooks user conference, placed a heavy focus on QuickBooks Online Accountant, introducing various small, but significant, updates that were met with enthusiastic approval from attendees.

“Our product vision is extremely clear: We want QBOA to be the one place to grow and manage all of your clients and all of your practice,” said Accountant segment leader and Intuit vice president during his opening keynote.

Rich Preece addresses attendees at QuickBooks Connect 2017
Rich Preece addresses attendees at QuickBooks Connect 2017

New features in the Practice Management section of QBOA include the ability to toggle between QBOA and certain features in QuickBooks Online; a “Send feedback” field in order to help fuel software improvement; the ability to send notes to clients, with alerts and the capability of replying from within QBOA; and the ability to add clients into Practice Management even if they are not QBO users.

Another significant new feature is Client Insights, which uses analytics to compare a client’s business with other companies in their field, including key performance indicators such as revenue and expenditure. The data pulled by Client Insights comes partly from QBO, but primarily from all the third-party apps and plug-ins clients use. Accountants can curate what data they feel is relevant.

Preece announced that the business messenger app Slack will soon be integrated into QBOA, which was met with applause from attendees.

Preece went on to describe the ecosystem of third-party apps that accountants use with QBOA as a crowded field that’s only growing. Along with the QuickBooks Proadvisor directory and Practice Management platforms, apps will be one of the major focuses for Intuit in the coming year.

“The vast majority of problems will be solved by other people — on our platform,” Preece said.

Finally, the QuickBooks ProAdvisor directory is going to be overhauled to do a better job of representing tax professionals, who Preece admitted have been “underserved” on the platform up until now. Starting in December, users on the directory looking for tax help will be able to search for either accounting and bookkeeping or tax professionals, and the search results for tax will be more clearly demarcated.

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