Last week, Intuit held an event in New York City to showcase its new and upcoming technology. The company debuted new practice management software for QuickBooks Online, new integrations with G Suite, and also exhibited several other experimental technologies including a smart mirror and an interactive augmented reality landscape for financial management.

QuickBooks Online Accountant Practice Management is currently in beta release, and will be in wide release at the end of the month. The software allows accountants to see the current day’s, the following week’s and the following month’s tasks in that order. The tasks can be filtered to show just the user’s tasks, or another specific partner’s or all tasks; and they can be sorted by client. User permissions are configurable, so specific users can be permitted to access or not access certain views. For a video demonstration, click here.

Upon surveying its accountant users, Intuit found that they “wanted to be confident nothing falls through the cracks,” executive vice president and general manager of the ProConnect Group CeCe Morken said; so the company turned its focus to workflow, which is how the practice management product was born.

Intuit's new practice management software is now part of QuickBooks Online Accountant.
Intuit's new practice management software is now part of QuickBooks Online Accountant.

New integrations with G Suite
Intuit has launched a new Gmail add-on for invoicing for small businesses, which lets users invoice their clients directly from the Google e-mail service. In development is another integration that brings team collaboration and QuickBooks functionality to Google’s Hangouts Chat, the new intelligent communication app in G Suite.

Intuit CEO Brad Smith addresses the crowd.
Intuit CEO Brad Smith addresses the crowd.

According to Alex Chriss, senior vice president and chief product officer of the Small Business Group at Intuit, “Half-a-million QuickBooks Online customers use Gmail to communicate with their clients.”

Intuit announced its first integration with G Suite in October, when it launched Bill My Time from Google Calendar. This software partnership is designed to let business owners schedule client work and appointments with Google Calendar, and makes these billable appointments available in QuickBooks for invoicing and managing finances.

Experimental technology
Intuit was also eager to show off what it’s experimenting with in terms of disruptive technology. The event included an augmented reality demonstration for which Intuit had built a forest landscape that consumers and small business users could navigate, encountering different functions of financial management such as investment health and stock prices.

An attendee experiences Intuit's augmented reality landscape.
An attendee experiences Intuit's augmented reality landscape.

Similarly, a “smart mirror” demonstrated how a user could get a visual brief of their financial health as they go through their morning routine in front of their mirror. For the sake of the demonstration, the smart mirror consisted of a tablet attached to the back of a two-way mirror. A voice recognition technology was used to respond to verbal inquiries, and the responses were translated to visual information on the screen, visible through the mirror.

Software engineer Cindy Osman demonstrates the smart mirror concept.
Software engineer Cindy Osman demonstrates the smart mirror concept.

Another experiment on display was an integration with Siri and Mint, a bill pay and money management app from Intuit. Using Siri’s voice recognition technology, a user can speak instructions on paying bills using multiple payment methods.

The goal: One ecosystem
The theme of the day was that Intuit is trying to build a single ecosystem of software, emblemized in, for instance, the integration between QuickBooks Online Accountant, QuickBooks Self Employed and ProConnect Tax Online initiated last year.

“Intuit has grown and thrived for more than three decades by consistently reimagining and reinventing ourselves,” said Brad Smith, Intuit chairman and CEO, in a statement. “We’re continuing to embrace new technologies and approaches to deliver breakthrough benefits as one ecosystem …”

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