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Intuit QuickBooks Get Connected 2024
Intuit QuickBooks

QuickBooks confirms FRS 102 and personal tax filing

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At a busy Get Connected event in London, Intuit QuickBooks doubled down on its ambition to take accountants from bookkeeping to tax filing with confirmation it will be releasing FRS 102 and income tax products. The developer also unveiled a new ledger product and trailed its artificial intelligence plans.

29th Feb 2024
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Last year’s QuickBooks Connect conference saw California-based developer Intuit unleash a raft of new products for its UK accounting users, including practice management, payroll bureau, tax prep and accounts-filing tools.

The message for QuickBooks accountants and bookkeepers at this year’s Get Connected event was more around product refinement, consolidation and growth. However, there were one or two surprises thrown in for good measure, with a new pricing tier for year-end, tax-only, low-transaction clients perhaps the pick of the bunch. 

Pro Tax scales up

While Intuit’s TurboTax product is well established in the vendor’s home turf in America, the developer is a relative newcomer to the UK tax and accounts production scene, first announcing its ambitions to build products in 2022.

Fast-forward two years, and QuickBooks Online now has FRS 105 annual accounts and CT600 filing capabilities available, and speaking to attendees at this year’s Get Connected event, UK product director Nick Williams confirmed that full FRS 102 and income tax filing tools will be available later this year.

When the product is available, accountant users will be able to manage clients’ accounting data in QuickBooks Online, make adjustments in its Workpapers area, and then sluice the data into its Pro Tax tool for FRS 102 and personal tax filing.

The functionality will be available for QuickBooks’ accountant users only, with no additional cost to current subscribers.

“Like many of our products, Pro Tax is based on feedback from our accounting customers. People didn’t want to go to third-party software to file their returns,” said Williams. “It’s a real pain to have to export from QuickBooks and import the trial balance to third-party software. 

“Our users wanted a more streamlined workflow and we’ve delivered from books to tax,” he added. “We’ve had FRS 105 and statutory accounts with HMRC. Now we’re bringing in FRS 102 and income tax to make the full end-to-end – managing books, filing and Companies House.”

QuickBooks Ledger

The rabbit-out-of-the-hat conference announcement came in the form of QuickBooks Ledger, a new QuickBooks Online plan sitting below the current Simple Start subscription – perhaps designed with half an eye on the current Making Tax Digital for income tax self assessment mandation date.

Available just for accounting and bookkeeping professionals, QuickBooks Ledger is designed to help firms manage their year-end, tax-only, low-transaction clients. Its features include automated bank feeds, bank reconciliation, financial statements and the ability for accountants to push data into QuickBooks Online’s Workpapers and tax preparation tools.

QuickBooks Ledger will have CSV import functionality and offer the ability to switch between cash basis and accruals accounting. It will not have invoicing or billing capabilities.

Unlike the current QuickBooks Self-Employed plan, QuickBooks Ledger will be part of the developer’s accountant ecosystem, allowing firms to upgrade to higher tiers such as Simple Start, Essentials, Plus and Advanced, depending on their functionality needs.

Launching sometime this year, the developer did not specify how much it would cost, but the tool is expected to be competitive with the Xero Ledger product currently priced at £2.25 a month. ​

Artificial intelligence ambitions

Williams labelled the new wave of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) tools “the largest platform shift since the internet”, but added that the tools need to be used in the right way and in the right context.

“We want to be an AI-driven expert platform, combining the expertise of our accountant-bookkeeper community with the latest technology,” said Williams. “We’re still in the early stages of AI development, so we’ve added things like anomalies, error detection, income tax estimates and matching bank transactions with categories via our Train QB tool.”

Williams told AccountingWEB that the Train QB tool comes in at the onboarding stage. Accountants and bookkeepers can connect to a client’s bank account, answer a few questions about the client, and the system then creates automated rules to allocate transactions to categories, potentially saving up to 11 hours of work per client.

“We want our AI products to be used as a financial toolkit: a personal assistant for accountants and bookkeepers, there to reduce the admin burden but leaving the final decision with the finance professional,” added Williams. “For example, with the self assessment anomaly detection, the system will flag something but you can take or leave it.”

In the US, Intuit QuickBooks has begun trialling Intuit Assist, a GenAI-powered tool designed to sit across its bookkeeping, tax, personal finance and marketing products, offering insights, flagging anomalies and streamlining processes. This will arrive in UK products at some stage, but the vendor did not give a timescale.

Practice Manager and Bureau Payroll go live

Both QuickBooks Practice Manager and QuickBooks Bureau Payroll were announced last year, with the practice management tool going live in September 2023 and plans to officially launch its Bureau Payroll tool imminent. 

Williams told AccountingWEB that his team is now working on Practice Manager version 2, and has recently added functions such as digital signatures, an audit log for tasks, a business overview dashboard showing details such as the number of client transactions, and the ability to filter jobs by client manager.

Accounting and bookkeeping firms will also be offered QuickBooks’ premium Advanced product for free to manage their own finances, improving on the previous offer of Plus.

Other additions to the QuickBooks Online offering include simplified Workpapers tabs, Chart of Accounts templates for firms to use with different types of clients, improvements to the Receipt Capture tool, and a Google Drive integration which makes sharing financial documents such as invoices, receipts and financial reports between the two platforms much easier.

29 February 2024: This article was amended to correct the fact that QuickBooks Ledger will not have receipt capture functionality

Replies (6)

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By Rob Swan
29th Feb 2024 10:41

I like Intuit/QuickBooks and their announcements seem generally good, but "...an AI-driven expert platform..." Hmmmm?
AI and 'expert' systems are - as far as I'm aware - not the same thing. Specially generative AI, because all input is accepted and there's no validity testing or quality control.
I remain hugely skeptical about the use of AI in the processing of transactions and accounts, because errors in accounts are a legal liability on the owners/directors, and if you rely on AI you're effectively abdicating respoonsibility.
Tom, do you have any response to this concern - surely it's a good topic forr AW?
Anyone else have views/experiece on AI's reliability in accounts/transactionn processing?

Thanks (0)
Replying to Rob Swan:
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By Self-Employed and Happy
29th Feb 2024 11:28

I experienced it when using Receipt Bank, there were errors in the software reading the receipt correctly which then firstly means

1) You don't trust the product enough to rely on it and put your name to it
2) Then you spend more time checking transactions which could have been spent inputting them yourself and knowing they are right.

The issue here is that we won't ever get to a stage where a tax payer can blame AI for getting their transactions wrong, HMRC will always punish the tax payer themselves, so until there is a change in how HMRC / Tax Payers / Accountants treat AI and Tax returns there will never be full automation.

I actually think everyone is looking at it from the wrong angle, reacting to information already received (receipts / Invoices) rather than changing how information flows from supplier to customer and how that could automatically integrate with software.

Thanks (3)
Replying to Rob Swan:
Tom Herbert
By Tom Herbert
01st Mar 2024 09:28

A totally fair point Rob, my thoughts in the op-ed linked below:

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/community/blogs/tomherbert/ai-in-account...

The tl;dr is essentially 'by all means use these tools, but be aware the end user carries the can"

I think the point about information flows in Self-employed and Happy's quote is a good one too, but to achieve any meaningful change we're talking about a generational shift in the way accounting records are kept and processed.

Thanks (1)
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By Self-Employed and Happy
29th Feb 2024 11:14

Speaking to our Account Manager, he admitted they are going to focus on what accountants want as they have learnt end customers don't care what products they use to get the job done, as long as they can easily raise sales invoices and get money in the rest is secondary (especially as in our case we do bookkeeping for 95% of our clients.

Overall I'm happy with QBO (We do have a couple on Sage and Xero but 95% on QBO) but that doesn't mean they get it right all the time when they remove features etc, had to put a couple on Sage recently because it was better suited to their needs so feeding that back in the hope they can tailor the product to what we need.

Thanks (2)
Replying to Self-Employed and Happy:
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By agillies
29th Feb 2024 12:11

off topic but I like QB - I assume you bought accountant batch licences and re sell them to cover the cost.

Wondering if you have these issues: I was not happy with QB
1- offering 90% off for 6 months as it locks in data and undermines my discounted price
2 QB Product development can be poor on known issues: such as Tagging doesn't work with importing or split rules. (I can't use the suggested workaround of classes as I have a batch of essentials and classes are on plus) - undermining the good features - own goal really

Thanks (1)
Replying to agillies:
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By Self-Employed and Happy
29th Feb 2024 12:52

I don't have the issues mentioned.

1) I resell them at below the RRP direct to client, therefore I just show them that sure it'll be cheap for 6 months but thereafter it will just be more expensive.

2) Yes it can be poor (I had a huge argument with them when they released the Reverse Charge CIS rubbish), I think if you have a good Account Manager that really helps, some of the things I've suggested (I guess many would have suggested) have been actioned and I know a few other suggestions are on the designers "lists" to look at.

Thanks (1)