The QuickBooks Advantage – A Deep Dive for MSPs with Matt Bright

Mark Loveys sits down with Matt Bright, Senior Product Specialist at Intuit to discuss QuickBooks for MSPs

Are you an MSP looking for ways to streamline your telecom billing and accounting system?

In this episode of Talking VoIP With Datagate, Mark Loveys speaks with Matt Bright, Senior Product Specialist at Intuit, about how QuickBooks can benefit MSPs. Join us for a deep dive into the advantages of using QuickBooks, and learn how this powerful financial management tool can help your MSP succeed.

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Intuit is the global technology platform that helps consumers and small businesses overcome their most important financial challenges. Serving more than 100 million customers worldwide with TurboTax, QuickBooks, Mint, Credit Karma, and Mailchimp, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to prosper. We never stop working to find new, innovative ways to make that possible. 

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Matt Bright is a Senior Product Specialist at Intuit, a leading provider of financial management software for individuals and small businesses. With over 20 years of experience, Matt has built a deep understanding of QuickBooks and its products. He has spent the majority of his time at Intuit working in the Partner Channel, where he currently focuses on small business solutions.

Throughout his career at Intuit, Matt has remained focused on helping small businesses succeed. He is passionate about leveraging technology to streamline business processes and improve the financial health of small businesses everywhere.

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Episode 18 Transcription: The QuickBooks Advantage

Mark 00:00

Hi everyone. Welcome and thank you for joining us again for this installment of Talking VoIP With Datagate. I’m Mark Loveys, CEO of Datagate Telecom Billing. And in today’s episode, we’re focusing on QuickBooks Online. And our guest is Matt Bright, Senior Product Specialist at Intuit, the makers of QuickBooks. 

QuickBooks are very important to Datagate as most of our American MSP clients use QuickBooks Desktop or QuickBooks Online, and we are now offering the ability for our clients to subscribe to QuickBooks Online bundled with their Datagate telecom billing system, you know, all in the same purchase.

So for Matt, welcome and thank you for joining us today. 

Matt 00:45

Oh, really, I appreciate you having me today.

Mark 00:47

Excellent. Great to have you here. And, so we’ve noticed that QuickBooks, of course, is very popular with our MSP clients in America from very small businesses right through to very large businesses.

And in fact, it’s rare to find an MSP that does not use QuickBooks Desktop or QuickBooks Online. Why do you think that is? And how has QuickBooks become so popular over the years with businesses of all sizes? 

How has QuickBooks become so popular over the years with businesses of all sizes? 

Matt 01:11

Well, that’s a really great question Mark.  And to answer this, we need to really go back to the start of the company.

About 40 years ago our founder was sitting around the table watching his wife spend hours balancing their family checkbook and thought, “there’s gotta be a better way”. And that’s how Quicken got its start. That quickly became QuickBooks because that same thought process was run through business processes and how to make those organized and more easy to track your finances and get everything organized around tax time.

And now, fast forward a bit, as the world’s leading small business technology platform, we’re really focused on helping small businesses grow and run their businesses all in one place.  You know, connecting any services that you need, getting everything pulled into your accounting. And then also really listening to our customers on what’s important to them.

You know, what are those new workflows that are emerging that are really important for them to automate or solve? And that’s how we continue to innovate even though we’re not necessarily a startup company, we definitely keep that top of mind. And we’re really proud that our offerings can span across all industries and really wherever you’re at with your business, so whether you’re a very small business or a medium or mid-market size business, our ease of use and ability to scale can take you from something as small as before your first employee to more than 200 plus employees. 

And so we don’t wanna stop there though we’re excited about how far we’ve come, Mark. But we know we have a lot of work to do to continue to work for business owners who dare to dream, who follow their passions, who wake up every day, they’re working so hard. And we wanna help provide them tools that work as hard as they do so they can be more successful. 

So, thanks for that question and, and we’re excited about what’s to come.

What are the main differences between QuickBooks Online and Quick QuickBooks Desktop?

Mark 03:02

Absolutely. So a question we get asked quite a lot is what are the main differences between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop?

Is there a functionality difference between them? Are there any functionality areas that QuickBooks Desktop does that QuickBooks Online does not do, or vice versa? 

Matt 03:22

Yeah, that’s a really popular question Mark. And, you know, QuickBooks Desktop for the longest time was the foundation of our business, as we just talked about.

It’s where we got started, here at Intuit. But soon customers needed a tool that would allow them to work from anywhere, a tool that would help them, again, automate and talk across their tech stack and eliminate or reduce redundant simple tasks. And so we’ve worked really hard to make QuickBooks Online that cloud solution. 

And again, it’s great for if you’re just getting started as well as if you’re growing rapidly. And, we’ve really put the lion’s share of our resources and investments into improving our online platform. You know, in the last 18 to 24 months, quite a few significant changes, dozens of features have been added.

And so the beauty of QuickBooks Online – where we get really excited, you know, you avoid a lot of things that you do with a traditional on-prem software such as a desktop product or our desktop product. You don’t have to install patches all the time and have downtime. You don’t have to upgrade every year.

You don’t have to log out and you know, wait for all these changes to take place or worry about constantly keeping your security up to date, with the QuickBooks Online product you log in, all that’s taken care of. And hey, if we’ve added new features, they’re there and ready to go for you.

Mark 04:45

Yeah, that’s the great thing about cloud software, which we also appreciate at Datagate. And, so really there’s a lot of advantages. And QuickBooks Online comes in four different online plans: EasyStart, Essentials, Plus and Advanced. 

What sort of business is each version of QuickBooks best suited for?

Matt 05:06

Yeah. As we mentioned earlier, Mark, we have softwares that will help you wherever you happen to be at in your business journey.

Simple Start, you can think about that for startup businesses or as our Canadian friends, like to call it, Easystart and, think about that as like a hobby. You know, hey, I have a business, whether it’s, you know, a particular art or you know, maybe a shirts printing business and I’m printing for a few little league teams that I help coach, but then all of a sudden more people are interested in what I offer. And so, you know, typically that size business for Simple Start has no employees, minimal invoices, they don’t have a lot of expenses. They have some that need to track. They’re starting to get a few sales. They need to keep things organized for tax time.

And so, you know, that’s a great fit for Simple Start, just getting started. Small business. But we know businesses often don’t stay there. Volume picks up, maybe they hire their first employee again, maybe more and more people are interested in what they’re doing. So now Essentials comes into play. They need to keep track of more expenses, more incoming revenue, outgoing expenses, as well as, you know, maybe generating estimates and things like that. Now, once a customer gets to the point where maybe instead of buying inventory just for each job, maybe they want to start keeping some inventory in stock.

Maybe they wanna start keeping track of phases of jobs as they get larger jobs and projects. Well, this is really where our Plus is gonna come into play. And at this point, typically you have multiple employees helping you out. 

And then lastly, we’ll talk about QuickBooks Online Advanced, which is really exciting for us.

It’s a great business tool for customers who are starting to push the edge of SMB, they’ve really got to that middle or mid-market size, and they’re looking for more complex workflows. They’re looking for more tools to help, again, with those efficiencies and automating things that are done manually.

So, invoicing, customer tracking, income expense forecasting, dashboard reporting tools. You know, we could go on and on, but the point is they really are starting to dig in and use a lot of QuickBooks and are starting to grow at a rapid clip. And so they want predefined roles like an account receivable or payables person versus an inventory manager.

And we provide all those tools and QuickBooks Online, you can actually, you know, give specific access. So you know, someone who’s not your payroll manager can’t see a paycheck or someone who’s doing, you know, inventory management can only see those parts of the software. 

And what this really – the value for our customers and the value for you all, that are listening today is, unfortunately there used to be a gap in the market when you needed a mid-market set of tools. There was really nothing between SMB tools and full-on traditional ERPs. 

There was no kind of, you know, ideal product in the middle. And super excited to say that, you know, QuickBooks Online Advanced again along with those 750 apps really have helped to fill that gap. It avoids having to go all the way upstream to an ERP. You can still get all of your finances pulled back together. But, again, if you need to add a CRM or an FP&A Reporting, whatever the case may be, now you have a platform that can be customized and the tools that will grow with you as you continue to grow as a business.

Mark 08:45

Yeah, that’s very impressive. And I can see how those like the Advanced edition, you know, is designed for multiple people using it. And I guess with all your, you know, partner solutions that you can add to the product as well, it can really reach into quite large companies and it certainly helps explain it.

How can businesses migrate to QuickBooks Online from other accounting packages

Mark 09:07

So how can businesses migrate to QuickBooks Online from other accounting packages? What would be the process? 

Matt 09:13

Yeah. So we have, a lot of, again, great tools to help our resellers out who sign up for this particular program. And it’s so exciting because that’s what we want to do.

We wanna empower you and give you the help you need. So everyone may not be a data migration expert right out of the gate. But that’s okay. We have data migration tools to help if a customer’s converting from Desktop Pro or Premier or Enterprise or even other programs like Sage 50. We have a data migration tool that’s complementary and can take your data and your history, which is great, and get it into QuickBooks Online.

So it makes it a very smooth transition. You know, for other ERP customers and larger ERPs that you may need to migrate onto our platform, we even have services to help out with that. And so, you know, wherever your client happens to be in that journey, you know, let us know, we’ll be happy to consult with you, we’ll be happy to kind of get the ducks in a row, so to speak. You know, make sure their file’s ready, make sure that they can use our process, upload their data file – it only takes about 30 minutes in most cases to convert your data from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online.

And even if you’re coming from something a little bigger, like an ERP, [it] typically takes about 48 hours. So the implementation and the turnaround time… It’s pretty quick as well as again, we’re here to support you. 

Mark 10:45

Is there a cost involved in transferring data from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online?

Matt 10:53

That’s the great thing. There’s really two options, Mark. You know, if you want to, again do I-a-a-S, if you want to do implementation-as-a-service and you want to charge for it, that’s up to you. You know, you can learn from us as we do the data migration, and then you can provide it as a service and bill for it.

We don’t charge anything here at QuickBooks to do that. It’s complimentary. But a lot of our partners will, again, as part of the consulting, the onboarding, the training, helping customers get up with their new solution, they will put data migration in there as a billable service and customers are happy to pay for it.

Mark 11:35

Right. Excellent. So Datagate Telecom billing is one example of a specialized solution that integrates with QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop. What are some of the other Intuit partner solutions that MSPs might integrate with QuickBooks to streamline their operations?

Matt 11:48

Yeah. So it really, you know, depends on industry and where the customer’s coming from. But, some really common ones are like our CRMs, you know investing more dollars in going out and acquiring customers, and “I wanna understand a little better, you know, the dollars I’ve invested, you know, the opportunities that’s generated”. And then all the way through that first invoice or, or ongoing invoices for the life of that customer.

So, both our CRMs are really popular, you know, FP&A, again, when you start to get to that mid-market size, you’re wanting to do more complex budgeting. Not that our system doesn’t have budgeting, but if you’re really wanting to, you know, say, “Hey, I gotta bring 10 new employees on. Gotta get 10 new laptops, 10 new softwares”.

If you’re really wanting to model, if-then scenarios out in complex fashions you know, FP&A software is very popular as well as, you know, industry compliance and specific workflows, just to name a few – about 750 of ’em. So we won’t cover ’em all, but yeah, quite a few. 

Mark 12:50

What future initiatives does Intuit have coming up for QuickBooks?

Is artificial intelligence going to feature in accounting software sometime soon? 

Matt 13:00

You know, this is a really interesting question and, you know, big data and AI are kind of two buzzwords that you hear a lot and we’re really excited to say that we do currently use AI in our software and really for a number of workflow automations. 

You know, when you think about bank feeds getting all your bank transactions tied into QuickBooks Online – sometimes it’s gonna be easy enough and there’s gonna be enough information where it automatically matches, sometimes it’ll ask you, you know, who does this expense belong to?

But the AI learns from that, and you only have to do that a few times before then it memorizes it. 

So the more you work with those AI systems, the smarter they become and reconciliation becomes more automated. But we also have AI in our cashflow analytics. So, you know, maybe you want to take a look at, “Hey, I gotta buy a new fleet truck” and AI will tell you here’s all your income over the last several months. Here’s all your expenses, here’s what it’s projected to be for the next quarter or next six months, whatever time period you wanna look at. And it really uses AI to help model that out. And then you can even put those what-if scenarios in, you know, if  I start a new lease vehicle, fleet vehicle, et cetera. How will that impact my cash flow and my bottom line? 

So, you know, we’re excited about AI. We already started, it already is built into our software and we’ve already started to think of additional ways we can use it, but it’s really gonna be used to help to continue to drive automation, security, and efficiency in our product.

We’re really working towards the model of, don’t have to enter data twice, only enter data once and sometimes maybe not even have to enter data at all. The feeds from your banks and other things can pull your transactions into QuickBooks. So again, AI, we really want to help reduce that manual workload that’s on a business owner’s shoulders and excited about how we incorporate it and we’ll continue to incorporate it in the future.

Mark 15:00

That’s very cool. And that’s something we particularly like about QuickBooks. It’s something close to our hearts as well at Datagate, you know, eliminating manual work for people, eliminating rekeying. So this is very cool. Look, thank you Matt. Thank you for being our guest today.

To our audience, thank you for tuning into this episode of Talking VoIP With Datagate. Our guest today was Matt Bright, Senior Product Specialist at Intuit. We wish you success in all your MSP communications and accounting endeavors, whatever they may be. 

And as always, may the VoIP be with you. Thank you.

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