By Hana Medina
AS THE NEW year approaches,
it’s a great time for reflections and
resolutions, not only for your personal life, but also for your small
business. Ensuring that your
company is on track to reach its
top potential for 2016 could be as
simple as enlisting the help of
QuickBooks Online (QBO) and
Intuit Payroll services. These
tools help track sales, expenses,
inventory, payroll and taxes so
that you don’t have to.
“We’re making the accounting
happen without small-business owners really
having to think about it,” says Dan Wernikoff,
executive vice president and general manager
of the Small Business Financial Solutions
Group at Intuit.
Wernikoff says, “[QBO is] about saving
time. As much as we like to think of accounting as a really exciting thing, most small businesses didn’t get into small business to do
accounting. They did it to offer a product or
service to their clients.”
The Connection chatted with Wernikoff
to discover how QBO simplifies the complex
tasks that come with owning a business.
The Costco Connection: How does QBO
go beyond being just an accounting tool?
Dan Wernikoff: We’re able to give small
businesses lots of insights into how to run
their businesses better. Things like helping
them increase sales and work with customers
to be more profitable, helping them to man-
age things like their receivables, helping them
to keep their bills in order to pay
those on time so they don’t have
fees assessed to them—all of
those types of things work around
the core accounting system.
Ultimately, what we really
want to do is help them manage
their cash flow more effectively.
Most small businesses fail because
they just run out of cash.
CC: What sets QBO apart from
other accounting methods?
DW: The main alternative to
QuickBooks is really manual methods. When
we look at how [our customers are] managing
their company on paper, they make a lot of
mistakes. There’s a lot of wasted time in there
that really could be better used to run their
When they start to use QuickBooks, they
see a couple really key benefits. One of them is
that almost all accountants and bookkeepers
use QuickBooks themselves, so you get this
extra bit of collaborating with financial advisers [through online community support].
You also have this nice benefit of integrated services. So payroll is just one example
we talked about; payments is another. You can
process a payment and it’s automatically
recorded; you can run payroll and it’s automatically recorded.
[QBO] can also grow with you. This is
whether [you’re] a self-employed freelancer,
all the way up to larger enterprises.
CC: Is the service available on mobile devices?
DW: QuickBooks is now everywhere you go.
It has mobile interfaces on iOS and Android
so you can access all of the data about your
business wherever you are.
CC: Is the user interface friendly for those who
are not so tech savvy?
DW: That’s really who we target. We try to
make it as easy as possible, and that means, as
a small business, you [log in] and answer a
few questions, like: What size is your busi-
ness? Do you have employees or not? What
industry are you in? And QuickBooks really
configures for you specifically.
CC: Tell me about your security measures.
DW: We have the same level of security as the
largest [financial institutions] out there. We
have a Tier 4 data center, which is the highest
level of data center security. And the other thing
that’s nice is that we have a very consistent and
CC: What is your customer support like?
DW: We offer it multiple ways. We have
[Monday through Saturday] phone support.
… There’s in-product support, where, directly
in the flow of using the product, you can find
answers to questions. We have an active
[online] community with our own customers
and accountants, where you can ask them a
question and they’ll answer it for you. And
then we also have an online help center as
well. We really leave it up to a user.
CC: Have you changed your product at all to
reflect customer feedback?
DW: We’re listening to [customers] all the
time. One thing that they’ve been asking for is
inventory capabilities. We just did a launch of
an inventory management feature, and we’re
starting to build out other inventory capabilities, such as integrating with e-commerce so
they can sell online.
CC: What kind of benefits can Costco’s
Executive members receive?
DW: The Costco users are growing faster than
the general population of QuickBooks users.
We’re offering a good discount to members
[ 20 percent average savings], and Costco has
a great group of members in the small-business space. C
Executive members receive a free 30-day trial
for both QuickBooks services. For more information or to sign up, visit Costco.com, select
“Services” and choose “Payroll Services” or
QuickBooks can help
your business soar