After nearly 10 years and approximately 280,000 users on its QuickBooks Online product, Intuit has released a free, “pilot” version of the product designed specifically for accountants.

The company unveiled the Intuit-hosted product at Sleeter Group’s 2011 Accounting Solutions Conference in Las Vegas

QuickBooks Online Accountant was designed to make it easier for accountants to use the key functions they need right after logging in, including client contact information and report status. An Accountant Center offers tips for first-time users, product update information, and one-click access to created reports and reconciliations.

“We had two goals in mind with QBOA: provide the ability to manage client data in one place and perform essential accounting work faster online,” said Samir Khosla, director of product management in Intuit’s accounting professionals division. “The last couple of years we have seen a big turn in our online offering, with 40 percent growth in the past year alone.  But we were finding that some accountants using our online product were having difficulty finding the key things they needed, so we designed QBOA to support accountants and help them with their workflow. We are also providing them with a powerful collaboration tool so they can work in real-time with their clients.”

Key features in QBOA include one-click access to key features and reports and the ability to see a snapshot reconciliation of all accounts. Users can also troubleshoot prior reconciliations to detect changes, and undo prior reconciliations if needed. They also have the ability to reclassify transactions in batches and write off bad debt in batches, and find missing transactions with one click.

QBOA has already been beta tested by several hundred accountant partners, according to Khosla, and will remain free to the accounting community “until sometime next year, when we will look at the pricing and business model.”

Accounting professionals can join the pilot program at http://accountant.intuit.com/qboa.

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