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Portal to Serve TurboTax Live Pros

Stacie Herring, Intuit Intuit has created a portal to serve professionals who assist taxpayers via the TurboTax Live program. The Intuit Pro Portal, which is said to perform 90 percent of the tasks needed to run a tax office, may someday be marketed to all customers.

The portal replaces a hodgepodge of systems used last season to communicate with consumer with questions, who are using TurboTax Live. “Last year, we put together a bunch of legacy back-office systems,” Stacie Herring, VP of consumer services experience, said in a recent interview.

The portal has obvious potential for expansion beyond Live. “It could potentially be used on a wider basis,” Herring said. The program will also be extended to extensions, although it was used on some of those returns last year.

For TurboTax Live, Intuit hired 2,000 credentialed preparers—CPAs, EAs and attorneys—for the 2018 tax season. Customers with questions could reached them via a button within the software package. The company designed the program for consumers who uses software but have occasional requests requiring professional assistance.

While Intuit was very happy with results, it has described the initial stages of TurboTax Live as not satisfactory. The software organization deliberately did not market Live to all customers. That is changing this year. One problem described by Intuit was Live was not designed for all easily onboarding all customers, including those using free services and with simple returns. “It was a bit of a one-size fits all thing,” Herring said.

The program lacked uniform communication targeted at different groups and there was not a consistent approach to pros  “Last year, they would have gotten a bunch of disparate emails from TurboTax,” Herring said. 

Pros now have a web-based onboarding center where they can take courses and view their schedules, This year, they will be sent a standardized package of materials, which has a welcoming packet with instructions on setup, along with hardware.

As was the case in the 2018 season, Intuit will send participants laptops with a head set and a web camera. Intuit decided to provide the hardware platform to it could ensure the level of security it wishes to provide.

The company anticipants hiring about 2,000 professionals again for tax season—and is “in hiring season,” said Herring, who noted, “We will scale to meet demand needs.” 

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
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