IntuitIntuit expects to have 2 million QuickBooks Online subscribers within three years. That represents an increase of almost three times the 683,000 subscribers it had when it ended its fiscal year on July 31. The amount would nearly equal the total number of paying QuickBooks customers on desktop and online versions of the accounting product for fiscal 2014.

 The company provided the figures in its earnings webcast as it this month reported results for the most recently ended year and igave the long-range outlook to show the extent of the shift of the business to online. For 2014, there were 2,113,000 paying QuickBooks customers including 1.1 million desktop units sold and 326,000 desktop subscribers. Intuit did not provide the number of desktop customers it expects for fiscal 2017.

The two-year guidance is not common for publicly held companies. But Intuit said it wanted to give direction as it reshapes the company to reflect the increasing shift to Internet-based computing.

"This past quarter, we reached a strategic inflection point, with more new-to-the-franchise customers choosing QuickBooks Online over QuickBooks Desktop for the first time ever," CEO Brad Smith said in his prepared statement during the webcast.

Intuit says the shift is also important because the overwhelming number of online subscribers have not purchased Intuit products previously. Seventy-five percent of new QBO subscribers are new Intuit customers.

Smith says that by the end of fiscal 2015 the company should added functions such as sales form customization, job costing and inventory that have been requested by users and accountants. "We believe that by the end of the year, we will have the key functionality we need for most of customers to up and running on QuickBooks Online," he said. That will be accomplished by the integration of software company, Lettuce, purchased this year.

For the fourth quarter – a quarter in which Intuit usually loses money—Intuit lost $39 million, compared to $16 million in losses for fiscal 2013. Revenue for the most recently ended quarter was $714 million, an increase of 13 percent from $634,000 a year earlier. Net income for 2014 was $897 million, a rise of 4.5 percent from $858 million in earnings the prior year. Revenue for 2104 was $4.5 billion, up 8 percent from $4.17 billion.

There was also a double-digit rise in the number of payroll subscribers over the year Intuit reported 326,000 subscribers on July 31 up 19-percent from 274,000 of July 31, 2013.

Last modified on Tuesday, 26 August 2014
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