Intuit and QuickBooks in 2020: 10 Potential New Network-Based Services Offerings (Part 2)

In the first installment of this series, we covered five initial opportunities for Intuit/Quickbooks to provide additional network-based services to the users of its SMB accounting packages based on its vision and some of the initial steps it is taking with Tradeshift. These are:

  1. E-Invoicing connectivity to larger buying organizations
  2. Supply chain finance/discounting
  3. Supplier registration linked directly into supplier management tools and other networks
  4. Certification/credential management (e.g., diversity, insurance certificates, regulatory compliance, material certifications, environmental/health/safety)
  5. Benchmarking

 

We continue our analysis by exploring five more use cases for a network/platform that sits between Quickbooks users and larger enterprise buying customers (or third parties working with Intuit in a broader ecosystem that could extend to banking and other partners besides customers). Note, these are Spend Matters ideas and opinions and may or may not reflect the views of Intuit, Tradeshift or other third-parties.

6.    Accounting/banking repository – Small businesses owners often have significant paperwork headaches around maintaining tax returns (personal and business) and other types of documentation they need to provide to banks for lines of credit/relationship management and their accounting firms. Intuit could provide a network-based repository with appropriate permissions/workflow to enable specified partners (e.g., banks) to have access to specific or aggregated information. For example, if a SMB wanted to explore a new banking relationship, an owner could upload all of their information a single time and the specifics could be shared with approved potential partners and aggregated information could be shared with those which it would like to solicit offers from. On a more basic level, this repository could help manage the monthly, quarterly and year-end “close” beyond simply keeping the books up to date – i.e., providing a repository for additional documentation for accountants, bookkeepers and the like

7.    Supplier directory/on-board for search – Companies such as ThomasNet and MFG.com have built businesses focused on making suppliers more visible to potential customers, from custom website development through to marketplace visibility and onboarding. Intuit should provide a similar service for QuickBooks users, which on the most basic level, could provide SEO benefits for websites. More advanced use cases would include making supplier capabilities searchable via an Intuit network and ultimately, via other networks integrated with the Intuit platform (e.g., Ariba/SAP) including mapped taxonomies

8.    Leveraged contracts – As QuickBooks users ourselves, we live for the day when Intuit serves up an offer that promises to beat Amazon Prime on pricing (and with similar delivery terms) for basics such as printers, toner, pens, paper and the like. Intuit should be in the business of enabling users of its SMB accounting packages to buy off of contracts based on the aggregate buying power of the broader user base, including preferred terms and conditions. This could even extend to broader related services including vendor managed inventory (VMI) programs and the like. Imagine, for example, a tailored offering by Intuit and Grainger for MRO, focused on specific QuickBooks customer segments

9.    Buying groups and network intelligence – Taking leveraged contracts a step further, the opportunity exists for Intuit to create communities of interest for QuickBooks users that could become ad-hoc buying groups (e.g., a group of 500 companies agrees to a common specification for a SKU and “source” this specification through a free service provided by Intuit, which gets paid on the back-end much like a GPO through the supplier). Further, such services could provide market intelligence on pricing, common RFP specifications, etc. to those using it

10. Contextual Offers – An Intuit platform/network-based offering could provide one-time and contextual offers to users based on their activity. For example, for companies invoicing in foreign currencies, this might include a one-time “pop up” offer to use Tradeshift app partner The Currency Cloud for cross-border transactions and to get a credit of $20 for any currency fees associated with a transaction to try the service. Such a service, through the platform layer that exists in the network, would integrate seamless with the QuickBooks environment, making adoption painless (e.g., as easy as ordering from a non-Amazon supplier that still is part of the “Prime” program).

With its captive QuickBooks base, Intuit is sitting on a massive opportunity to create greater value for business owners and to line its coffers in the process. Tradeshift may or may not end up being core to this strategy. But regardless, we suspect Intuit will use the coming years as a period of accelerated learning to create an ultimate strategy that by 2020, uses accounting software as bait to catch a much bigger fish without having to troll in new waters.

Recent related coverage:

Tradeshift’s Analyst Day: Intuit and QuickBooks (Part 1)

Tradeshift’s Analyst Day: Intuit and QuickBooks (Part 2)

Connecting SMBs: Intuit’s Procurement, E-Invoicing and Network Opportunity 

Intuit and QuickBooks in 2020: 10 Potential New Network-Based Services Offerings (Part 1) 

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