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Dan Maurer, IntuitIntuit says it will "personalize" TurboTax for the upcoming tax season. And the company's comments suggest that personalization may involve customizing elements of the popular consumer tax product for occupations such as educators. That appeared to be the thrust of remarks made at this week's investor day by Dan Maurer, who runs the company's consumer group.

"More teachers use TurboTax than any other method [of tax preparation]," according to Maurer, SVP and general manager of Intuit's consumer group. "What would it mean if we personalize it?" He did not elaborate on what personalization means. But after a tax season in which it failed to grow market share and its online share dropped a percentage point. Intuit is revamping its approach significantly."We are going to have a technology refresh for a substantial part of our new users to TurboTax this coming year," he said. Besides changing technology, Intuit also plans an important change in its TurboTax advertising.

 

Part of the new direction is apparently based on the fact that those using manual preparation are no longer a major source of new Turbo customers. Prospects now are more likely coming from tax stores or have been using professional preparers. Maurer also repeated Intuit's recent theme that it can attract a slice of the business going to professional preparers. That segment includes filers with simple returns. In Maurer's words professional preparers "would tell you '"They're a simple tax filer; they should be using software.'"

The company provided professional advice to consumers from CPAs and Enrolled Agents for the first time during the 2012 tax season. But Maurer repeated a view expressed earlier by CEO Brad Smith that while those who took advantage of the service were extremely happy with it, not enough customers were aware of it. Maurer said advice needs to be more accessible, more relevant and there needs to be increased awareness of it.

Intuit also plans to provide its agents the ability to know what products customers are using and history.

 

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 Sunday, 02 June 2013
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