Intuit Now Servicing 80% of US Small Businesses

cr-07bIntuit remains the undisputed leader of accounting and financial services for small business owners. According to a recent report, it services approximately 80% of all small businesses in the U.S., which is far more than any other financial software provider.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) estimates there to be some 27.9 million small businesses operating in the U.S. — a number that’s expected to grow even higher in the years to come. Running a successful small business isn’t an easy task, as many entrepreneurs struggle to keep up with their revenue and expenses. Intuit aims to make this process a little easier with its wide range of software and services like Quickbooks Online, Quickbooks Desktop, etc.

In a recent interview, Jim McGinnis, Vice President of the Accountants and Advisors Group at Intuit, gave some insight into two key markets targeted by Quickbooks: the 400,000 accountants who work directly with small business owners to help them with their finances, and the five million or so small business owners who are currently using the Quickbooks software. Even so, this means roughly 15 million small businesses are not using Quickbooks, meaning there’s plenty of room for Intuit to grow even larger and more dominant.

Quickbooks has launched a new tool to help reach these 15 million small business owners — Quickbooks Online Self Employed. Located at, it’s optimized specifically to meet the unique needs of self-employed workers.

But Intuit’s services aren’t limited strictly to the U.S. As noted by Nikhil Arora, India as a prime market for Intuit, as it attracted 100,000 new Quickbooks users just last quarter. This means Intuit now has a total of 841,000 paying Quickbooks users worldwide — an impressive number to say the least!

 “The rapid year-on-year traction that Intuit QuickBooks has experienced in India is indeed very encouraging. Intuit is the world leader in cloud financial management solutions, available in over 124 countries. Last quarter we added 100,000 new QuickBooks subscribers and now we have 841,000 paying subscribers worldwide,” said Nikhil Arora, Vice President and Managing Director of Intuit India, in a recent press release. “Our vision is to become the operating system behind Indian small business success by delivering powerful solutions on the cloud. We will continue to work on empowering small businesses in their journey to success. Today we serve one out of five practicing chartered accountants in India and by 2020 we are looking at one in four small businesses to be using Intuit products and services.”

Tips To Eliminate Debt

10-dollars-01Do you want to know how to eliminate debt? First and foremost, you have to realize that you aren’t alone with your battle against debt. There are millions of people across the country who are in your exact same shoes and feel like there’s no way out. However, the fact is that there many different ways which can help you eliminate your debt once and for all.

When you own credit cards, you can be placed in a dangerous situation. For instance, you get laid off or your salary drops and you have no way to pay the bills. So what do you do? Most people in this situation will use their credit cards to pay their bills. Unfortunately, this can put you even greater danger than before, as you wont have the income to pay off the cards and your debt will continue to grow.

Debt can quickly turn into a downwards spiral with no way out. When you start paying your credit cards or other bills late, they up your interest rate and charge you even more fees. Logically, this should be the other way around, but it isn’t. If you’re having trouble paying your bills, you’ll probably only find it more difficult as time goes on.

To eliminate your debt, you have to first change your spending habits. This means you have to stop making impulse purchases and cut back on unnecessary expenses. Sure, going out to the bar or clubs with your friends is enjoyable, but is it really worth spending the extra $50 to $100 a week? The fact is that a lot people could gain 30 to 50% more income simply through budgeting and making smarter purchasing decisions.

Most of us have heard of the dreaded “B” word before. Bankruptcy is always an option, but it should only be used as a last resort. While you file for bankruptcy, you’re essentially telling your creditors you’re unable to pay them back, and while it can wipe your debt clean of most unsecured debt, it will tarnish your credit for at least 6 years. During that time, you probably wont be able to purchase a house, get a new car, take out a loan, or even get a credit card.

Instead of filing for bankruptcy, you should contact your creditors and see if they are willing to work out a more suitable payment plan with you. A lot of consumers in large amounts of debt simply avoid talking to their creditors. After all, they’re the ones who constantly call their phone all day and night trying to collect their debt. I recommend picking up the phone and talking to them. Who knows, you might be surprised at what they have to say. You don’t have to agree to anything right away, but just be honest and let them know how much you CAN pay right now. A lot of credit card companies and other credits are willing they are to work with you on trying to get you out of debt.

How Debt Consolidation Works

money-houseIf you’ve searched for ways to help you get out of debt, you’ve probably come across debt consolidation. This is one of the most common and widespread methods used for helping individuals with large sums of debt. But, how does debt consolidation work? And what are the advantages of it?

Essentially, debt consolidation is a process which involves paying off ones debt by taking out single loan or lump sum amount. For instance, if you have 5 credit cards totaling $18,000 in debt, you could take out a debt consolidation loan for this amount and use it pay off all of your credit cards. Now, instead of having to make 5 monthly payments to your credit cards, you’ll only be required to make one payment towards the loan.

There are many benefits associated with debt consolidation, which is why so so many people in debt seek this solution. One of the most attractive advantages is the lowered interest rates associated with a debt consolidation loan. No longer are you forced to pay those ridiculously high interest rates with your credit cards. Just be sure you get a good interest rate on the loan before accepting it.

Because you’ll only have one payment to make with a debt consolidation loan, you’ll likely find it much easier to keep up with the payments. When you have half a dozen credit card and other bills sent to your mailbox each month, it can become quite difficult to keep up with all of them. However, when there’s only one bill for the debt consolidation loan, it will be easier to stay on top of.

Credit consolidation is an excellent alternative to filing for bankruptcy. It will likely still negatively affect your credit score, but not as severely or long as bankruptcy will. For this reason, you should check and see if you qualify for a debt consolidation loan first.

Debt consolidation works for all types of unsecured debt, such as credit cards, personal loans and other unsecured loans. Although, it wont work for secured debts, such as mortgages, auto loans, boat loans or any other type of debt which has something backing it. If you have unsecured debt, you’ll either have to pay this off separately or consider forfeiting the item.

When choosing a type of debt plan to take, you should always look into debt consolidation. While it’s not always as feasible option for some, it’s helped millions of people get out of debt. You’ll still have to pay back the loan, so only take out the loan if you have the ability to pack it.

There are dozens of financial institutions that offer debt consolidation loans. I recommend first checking local banks where you have open accounts with. Not every financial institution will offer you a loan. They’ll look at your credit history, ability to pay, bank accounts, and they may still have you back it with some form of collateral, such as the title to your car or vehicle.

Intuit Wants To Help Developers Create Apps

smartphone-01The mobile app marketplace continues to grow with each passing year, presenting new opportunities for developers. As small business owners and entrepreneurs look towards the cloud for solutions, there’s an inherit void to be filled with apps. Well, Quickbooks maker Intuit is hoping to fill this void by helping to educate developers on how to create apps.

In a recent report published by Intuit, the company found that approximately 600 million small businesses operate in the cloud. The Application of Small Businesses found that the average small business spends $630 per year on software solutions, and that they are willing to spend even more money in the following years. But the most interesting take away from this report is that nearly half of all small business owners rely on their smartphone as their primary device to run their business. That’s a pretty substantial amount considering the fact that there are more than 600 million small businesses that utilize the cloud.

This research provides concrete evidence of why developers should pay attention to the small business opportunity, and how they can go about creating game-changing apps,” said Avi Golan, vice president and general manager of the Intuit Developer Group. “We believe that developers hold the key to unlocking the true potential of the small business cloud. That’s why we’ve turned QuickBooks Online into an open platform with best-in-class developer tools and a dynamic apps store.:

So, how does Intuit plan to help developers build apps for small businesses? As you may already know, Intuit offers the single most popular cloud-based business management solution. With more than one million customers, Quickbooks Online leads the pack in terms of popularity. But Intuit isn’t stopping there, as the company recently launched a new portal on its website to help developers.

You can learn more about the Intuit’s initiative to help developers create apps for small businesses by visiting Here, developers can sign up for an account to explore Quickbooks Online tools and API. Some of the topics covered in the portal include software-as-a-service (Saas), simple apps, sandbox, PaaS, payments API, Azure, security, and more. Feel free to clink on the link previously mentioned to browse through Intuit’s developer center.

What do you think of Intuit’s new plan to help developers? Let us know in the comments section below!

Intuit Acquires SF Startup Playbook HR

intuit01Intuit has acquired San Francisco-based startup Playbook HR for an undisclosed amount. This is just one of many recent acquisitions made by Intuit, bolstering its portfolio of services and products. So, what does the Quickbooks maker plan to do with Playbook HR?

Playbook HR is a StartX accelerator company that offers services for hiring and managing independent contractors. As more and more small businesses seek independent contractors, there’s a growing need for services such as those offered by Playbook HR. Of course, it only makes sense for Intuit to acquire Playbook HR given its focus on accounting and business management software.

According to a recent report published by CareerBuilder, there are an estimated 10 million self-employed jobs in the United States. Granted, this number has declined in the past few years, but millions of Americans continue to work for themselves without the constraints of a parent company. And with analysts expecting this number to grow in the upcoming years, the need for self-employment management software is apparent.

Intuit Vice President and General Manager Alex Chriss cited the growth of on-demand services as being a challenge for both contractors and marketplaces. What exactly is an “on-demand” service? Well, one example is the surge of new transportation services like Uber and Lyft. Rather than calling a taxi, individuals in need of transportation can fire up an app on their smartphone to locate an Uber or Lyft driver. These companies use independent contractors as their drivers, employing tens of thousands of hard-working men and women in dozens of countries throughout the world.

The rapid growth of the on-demand economy has created new compliance challenges for both contractors and marketplaces,” said Alex Chriss, Vice President and General Manager. “Our mission is to serve both sides of this economy. We want to make it easier for independent contractors to manage their finances and pay their taxes, and we also want to make it possible for on-demand marketplaces to manage their growing rosters of independent contractors and help them stay within the compliance guidelines.”

  • Other recent acquisitions Intuit has made in recent years includes the following:
  • Cloud-based payroll service provider Acrede
  • Cloud-based bookkeeping software Invicto
  • Small business appointment scheduling software Full State
  • Data consulting firm Level Up Analytics
  • Small business marketing and customer communications software DemandForce

Debit Card Transaction Fees: What You Should Know

Photoxpress_1338171With millions of people suffering from exorbitant amounts of credit card debt, individuals are choosing to use their debit cards to make purchases with. The advantage of using a debit card is that it limits you to spend only the amount that’s in your bank account. Besides, no one enjoys getting a credit card in the bill every month. However, you might be shocked to hear that many banks are now charging their customers for using their debit cards.

For most individuals, myself included, paying to use a debit card sounds kind of counter-productive. After all, reason people use them over credit cards it to save money and prevent fees from occurring. Unfortunately, the days of free debit cards might be coming to and end, as banks are in the early stages of charging their customers for debit card usage.

SunTrust is one such bank that’s begun charging their customers $5 per month if they use their debit card. This isn’t a per transaction fee, but rather a monthly fee if they want to use their debit card. Both Chase and Wells Fargo are also charging their debit card customers, although it’s slightly less at only $3 per month. A $5 per month fee probably isn’t going to break anyone’s bank account, but that’s an extra $60 bucks per year. When people expect free usage of their debit cards, they don’t want to be hit with an annual fee of $60.

There are a couple of things you can do to help avoid such fees, one of which is to limit the amount of times you use your debit card. Depending on the terms of the bank, you should be able to prevent the fee from occurring if you refrain from using your debit card in a given month. Perhaps you go could go every other month using your debit card. Doing this will cut your annual fee from $60 down to $30.

You might be able to avoid paying a bank debit card fee by switching banks. While most of the larger banks are charging their customers a monthly fee, the smaller ones aren’t. Spend a day calling or visiting some of the local banks in your area and asking them about their debit card fees. Chances are you could bypass some of these new fees by switching to a smaller bank. In addition to lower fees, small banks usually offer other perks such as reward programs, higher interests rates, etc.

How To Export a Quickbooks File To Quicken

computer-intelligence-01Want to export your Quickbooks data to a Quicken-compatible format? While Quickbooks has become the leading and more popular business accounting software on the market, it’s not uncommon for some business owners to also use Quicken. However, the default settings of Quickbooks and Quicken have their own unique file format, preventing users from opening one file type in the other software. The good news is that you can still export a Quickbooks data to Quickbook.

Chart of Accounts

The first step in converting Quickbooks data to Quicken is to export your chart of accounts and vendor list. After opening Quickbooks, choose File > Utilities > Export > and Lists To IFF Files. Next, select the chart of accounts that you wish to export to Quicken and save it to your computer. Here’s the important part: select IFF as your preferred file type.

To export the vendor list, you’ll need to access the vendor center in Quickbooks and click the button labeled “Excel” in the header. Next, choose Export Vendor List > Export. Give your file a name and click the Save button to save it to your computer. And like before, you’ll want to make sure the file type is set to IFF format.

Transferring Data To Quicken Format

After saving your chart of accounts and vendor lists to your desktop, you can start transferring it into a Quicken-compatible format. Go ahead and open both of these files using Microsoft Excel. This is done by right clicking on the file, choosing the “Open With” option, and selecting Microsoft Excel. Once Excel is open, select File > Export > and choose the QIF format (note: that’s Quicken format).

Now that you have your chart of accounts and vendor lists, you can begin transferring the account into Quicken format. Located the previously saved files on your desktop or hard drive and open them using Microsoft Excel. If this is your first time attempting to open files using this method, let me explain how it’s done: locate the file and right click on the icon using your mouse. You should then see a list of options appear, one of which should say “Open With.” Hover over the option and left click on Micosoft Excel. This will tell your computer to open the file using Excel. After doing this for both the chart of accounts and vendor lists, you should now be able to open them in Quicken

Retirement Savings Tips

budget-013Millions of Americans make the mistake of waiting until their golden years before saving for retirement. The fact is that we simply don’t know what the future holds for us, and as such, we should begin saving for our retirement at much earlier age. Doing so will ensure that we’re able to enjoy the later years of our life without having to worry about work.

Let me first say that you’re never to young to start saving for retirement. According to the United States Department of Labor, the average American spends approximately 20 years in retirement. If your lifestyle and medical expenses cost roughly $50,000 a year, you’ll need $1 million to sustain your retirement. As you can see from that example, the sooner you start saving for retirement, the better.

You should know by now that saving for retirement at an early age is important, but where do you actually start? If you haven’t done so already, check with your employer to see if they offer a retirement plan such as a 401(k). Signing up for a 401(k) plan is one of the easiest ways to start saving money for your retirement. Basically, they’ll take a small portion out of your paycheck, add their own money to it, and place it a retirement account for you.

There are several advantages of using a 401(k) retirement plan, one of which is the reduced taxes. This means the more money you’re able to put into it, the less income taxes you’ll have to pay when April rolls around the following year. To really take advantage of the lower taxes on a 401(k), you should try to add the maximum amount of money possible to your account.

If your employer doesn’t offer a 401(k), perhaps you should try asking them to start one. When enough employees voice their concerns over an employee retirement account, the company may listen and respond by taking action. You can’t always place your retirement in the hands of an employer, though. Speak with a financial adviser about setting up an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). There are two types of IRAs – traditional and Roth, both of which allow the individual to contribute a maximum of $5,000 per year if they’re under the age of 50.

The number one reason why some people have difficulty saving for retirement is because they withdrawal their money too early. You have to treat a 401(k) and any other type of retirement savings account as just that – money for your retirement. When financial hardships occur, see if you can’t get a short-term loan from your bank. Taking money out of your retirement account early will likely cause you to lose your tax benefits and even accrue some other hefty fees as well.

When you’re ready to retire, you should visit the Social Security website to see if you’re eligible to start reviving benefits. While the amount you’ll receive varies from person to person, you can expect to get around 40% of what you earned before retirement. Along with an IRA and 401(k), social security will help to add some financial padding to your bank account during retirement.

How To Record a Bounced Check In Quickbooks

Photoxpress_9308896(1)When a client or customer’s check bounces, you must adjust your Quickbooks account to reflect the lack of funds. Failure to do so may throw off your entire balance, forcing you to reconcile later in an attempt to find out why your Quickbooks balance doesn’t match your bank account balance. Thankfully, Quickbooks offers a simple solution to dealing with bounced checks and other forms of non-sufficient funds.

The next time you discover a bounced check from a client or customer, log into your Quickbooks account and click on the Receive Payments icon on the home screen. Now, scroll through the list of payments you’ve received until you find the bounced check.  If you know the customer’s name, you can streamline the process by clicking Customers > Customer Center > Customer & Jobs. If you don’t know or remember the customer’s name, keep clicking the previous button until you find the bounced check.

Upon clicking the bounced check, you’ll have the option to specify a fee charged to you for the transaction. It’s not uncommon for banks to charge wire fees or other types of fees, for which this function is primary used. In this case, however, we’re going to use this field to specify the amount charged by the bank for the bounced check. Go ahead and enter the bounced check fee into this field and proceed to the next step.

You aren’t out of the woods just yet. Assuming you want to charge the customer for the bounced check fee (which you should), you’ll need to click the “yes” option next to the question “Charge customer for fee?” It’s important to note that you are free to specify any amount in this field. If the bank charged you $25 for the bounced check and you want to tack on an additional $25 as a “service fee,” you can enter a total of $50 to charge the customer. Click save and close when you are finished to complete the process. Sorry if you were expecting more, but that’s all it takes to record a bounced check in Quickbooks!

Did this tutorial work for you? Let us know in the comments section below!



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