Brad Smith, IntuitIntuit wants to double the number of customers and substantially increase the number of tax filers by 2018. That was a goal outlined this week by the tax and accounting software company during its annual shareholder meeting. CEO Brad Smith also talked about reaching a point where data entry in preparing tax returns is automatic.

Intuit wants to go from serving 5 million customers to 10 million from 2013 through 2018. It wants to increase the number of those who file their taxes by utilizing Intuit products to increase from 64 million to 84 million at the same time, a 31-percent increase.

"We have to continue to invest in acquiring new users," said Smith. A key to achieving that is to make tax software "drop-dead simple."

The goal of having no data entry for taxes is one he says would benefit accounting professionals. That would help CPAs and other professionals by eliminating the need for them to spend time entering data and enabling them to concentrate on more valuable services.

"CPAs spend 60 percent of their time keying in information that could have been imported," Smith said.

He also discussed the perceived need of getting cloud products into the hands of paid preparers. But Smith not discuss plans for specific tax products, only issues and the general direction of the market.

However, he did single out QuickBooks Online, which the company believes has been significantly improved with the most recent release. Smith said setup time has been reduced dramatically and he said the product is starting to win over accounting professionals, who have had a dim view of the cloud-based product.

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
Last modified on Wednesday, 29 January 2014
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