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This episode is sponsored by Xero. Join us at Xerocon San Diego in June! Go here for a registration discount for podcast listeners.Show Notes

This week, ProPublica got its hands on an internal video from Intuit CEO Sasan Goodarzi to his 9,000 employees defending the company’s actions before and after the Free File fiasco. Meanwhile, Wolters Kluwer negotiated on behalf of its customers with the IRS for a 7-day extension to file tax returns due to the CCH outage. Also, Intuit is increasing its QuickBooks Live workforce in anticipation of a June launch date, and Xero hired a new President to lead their Americas operation. All this and more on this episode of the Cloud Accounting Podcast!

03:11 - Thanks for the reviews! Click here to leave a review on iTunes and we'll read it on the air.

05:44 - Elon Musk tells Tesla employees he'll review all of company’s expenses in new cost-cutting plan | FOX Business

07:20 - IRS statement and instructions regarding recent software outage | Internal Revenue Service

09:07 - QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping Update: May 2019 | Firm of the Future

15:29 - Intuit CEO in Internal Video: Hiding Free TurboTax Was In “Best Interest of Taxpayers” | ProPublica

19:18 - Audio of a phone call with a TurboTax customer support agent who repeatedly cites false information | Twitter

26:12 - Intuit grows more defensive | Accounting Today

26:47 - Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP : Announces the Filing of a Consumer Class Action Lawsuit Against Intuit Inc., Maker of TurboTax, for Improperly Charging Fees

28:09 - Subscribers boost gives accounting software giant Sage profit spike of 16%

29:30 - Drury family stake in Xero soars to $1.1b after Xero moves into profit | Stuff.co.nz

31:09 - Sage's Nancy Harris: "We do not intend to push our customers to the cloud" | Twitter

32:42 - Xero announces Tony Ward as new President of the Americas | Twitter

33:31 - Matt Paff on the appointment of Tony Ward as President of the Americas | Twitter

34:56 - Sage Research Reveals that 90% of Accountants Worldwide Believe There Has Been a Cultural Shift in the Accountancy Profession | AP News

41:05 - Warren Buffett decries accounting rule change that has made a mess of Berkshire's earnings | Yahoo Finance

45:06 - Developing your own specialized niche practice | Journal of Accountancy

Thanks for listening! Follow and tweet @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Find us on Facebook and, if you like what you hear, do us a favor and write a review on iTunes.

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This episode is sponsored by Xero. Join us at Xerocon San Diego in June! Go here for a registration discount for podcast listeners.Show Notes

This episode is sponsored by Xero. Xero Roadshow is coming to a city near you. Expand your knowledge and keep up with all things Xero.

01:41 - Nicolas Cage Ponies Up $6.25 Million to Pay Back Taxes—But How Much Does He Still Owe? | E Online

03:14 - Wolters Kluwer takes services offline after malware attack | Journal of Accountancy

07:21 - What’s Behind the Wolters Kluwer Tax Outage? | Krebs on Security

12:20 - Read updates by Wolters Kluwer regarding the outage on their Facebook page (and comments expressing customer outrage)

17:00 - Surge of MegaCortex ransomware attacks detected | ZDNet

17:49 - A malware attack against accounting software giant Wolters Kluwer is causing a 'quiet panic' at accounting firms | CNBC

19:17 - A "Firm of the Future" finalist loses a client to QuickBooks Live | Twitter

21:52 - Vermont House Backs 'Cloud Tax' to Fund Clean Water Programs | Seven Days

27:05 - ADP and Intuit Partner to Enhance Cross-Platform Integration with QuickBooks Online | CPA Practice Advisor

31:21 - Los Angeles city attorney sues H&R Block and maker of TurboTax for allegedly misleading low-income taxpayers | NBC News

36:04 - Are all-white-male panels hindering diversity in accountancy? | AccountingWEB — Also see the original panel that started the discussion and the thread with Paul Meissner on Twitter.

37:40 - How New Accounting Grads Can Tune Up Their Diversity BS Detectors | Going Concern

42:57 - Everyone’s Income Taxes Should Be Public | New York Times

47:59 - Subscribe to Cloud Accounting Podcast show notes

49:16 - Don't miss the Desktop Accounting Podcast! | PodBean

Thanks for listening! Follow and tweet @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Find us on Facebook and, if you like what you hear, do us a favor and write a review on iTunes.

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This episode is sponsored by Xero. Xero Roadshow is coming to a city near you. Expand your knowledge and keep up with all things Xero.

Show Notes

(01:43) It looks like Intuit and H&R Block have been employing some super-shady marketing tactics for years to charge people who should otherwise have qualified to file their taxes for free. Here’s everything you need to know about the ProPublica “Free File” investigation. For more, be sure to read “Here's How TurboTax Just Tricked You into Paying to File Your Taxes,” and "TurboTax Deliberately Hid Its Free File Page from Search Engines”. You can get background on the 16-year-old IRS Free File Alliance on the IRS website. Check out the official TurboTax response here and read the text of Intuit’s agreement with the IRS to understand why this matters.

(7:22) It gets worse — former Intuit and H&R Block employees detail how both companies worked to prevent low-income taxpayers from utilizing the Free File program, despite their commitment to the IRS to promote their truly free offerings. Now the scandal has entered the Presidential campaign — Elizabeth Warren called for agencies to investigate the matter. With the political fallout, the fate of the Taxpayer First Act, which would have enshrined the Free File Alliance permanently into law, is now in question.

(15:21) To contain the damage, Intuit has started buying up a number of negative or offensive domain names containing their trademarks. Meanwhile, at least one TurboTax customer service agent called the whole thing “fake news.”

(18:39) Rich Preece of Intuit joins Friday Night Live on Facebook to talk the future of the QuickBooks Live with Bookkeeping test, including a go-live date in June. Meanwhile, Intuit is raising prices for QuickBooks (again).

(25:56) Divvy, which has set out to revolutionize expense management (for free), just raised $200 million in a Series C round. Listen to find out what they plan to do with that money.

(29:45) Over in the alternative lending space, OnDeck’s charge-offs are rising.

(31:33) Sholto MacPherson details how NetSuite’s new analytics tool shows how ERPs can win versus ecosystems when it comes to reporting.

(34:46) Here’s some practical advice on SaaS marketing.

(35:58) Learn why Amazon bet (almost) a billion dollars on certainty.

(37:10) Helm asks, “What the Heck is an Advisor?

(38:30) Here’s why accidents like the Notre-Dame fire happen.

Thanks for listening! Follow and tweet @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Find us on Facebook and, if you like what you hear, do us a favor and write a review on iTunes.

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This episode is sponsored by Xero. Join us at Xerocon San Diego in June! Go here for a registration discount for podcast listeners.Show Notes

(01:21) We got some more reviews! Leave us a review on iTunes and we’ll read it on the air.

(02:33) Scroll to the comments of this review on The College Investor for some pretty scathing reviews of Visor, the $99 tax prep service we covered in the last episode of the Cloud Accounting Podcast (they did not have a good busy season).

(03:15) Ryan Lazanis says that the only way traditional accounting firms can compete with accounting startups like Visor, Pilot, Bench, and Botkeeper is personalized service.

(05:30) According to a stat published in the Journal of Accountancy, only 60-70% of small firms (under $1 million in revenue) accept credit cards as a form of payment.

(06:31) Here’s a story about a CPA who has partnered with other professionals to act as the single point of contact for all his client’s financial needs. It's a great example of how accountants can create plenty of value beyond compliance, which will become increasingly automated over the next decade.

(09:31) Henry Bloch, the ‘H’ in H&R Block, died at 96.

(11:44) Intuit appears to be marketing QuickBooks Live to clients of ProAdvisors.

(19:24) Here’s why there won't be an Uber for Bookkeeping — at least that’s what Blake thought three years ago. Has QuickBooks Live changed that?

(21:49) Jordyn Dahl, News Editor at LinkedIn, posted about the QuickBooks Advanced Rate Limits. The quantity of comments suggests this is a big deal.

(22:32) Businesses that invoice via QuickBooks Payments can receive next-day funding for both credit card and ACH transactions. It’s only available to QuickBooks Online and GoPayment customers for now. It costs 1% (max $10) per transaction. Next day is also available for credit cards, with no additional fee.

(25:19) Intuit sees uptick in TurboTax sales this year. Intuit reported a 5 percent increase in TurboTax units sold this tax season compared to last year, thanks to a 7 percent increase in TurboTax Online sales. Intuit CFO Michelle Clatterback said the company’s consumer group now expects full-year fiscal 2019 revenue growth to be about 10 percent, at the high end of its previous guidance range of 9 to 10 percent. It will be reporting its quarterly earnings on May 23.

(26:33) Here are the top 10 cities for accountants. A study by AdvisorSmith analyzed 399 small, midsized and large cities across the country based on accounting salary and job availability statistics from the Bureau of Labor, and on the local cost of living from Sperling’s BestPlaces.

(28:04) The Desktop Accounting Podcast is headed your way soon!

(28:55) Here are three ways to charge $25K to your customers, courtesy of Greg Kyte.

(32:15) Listen to “I’m not a Robot” on Planet Money to learn how scammers are paying humans to defeat CAPTCHA.

(33:28) Slack is bridging email to chat, improving calendar integration and search.

Thanks for listening! Follow and tweet @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Find us on Facebook and, if you like what you hear, do us a favor and write a review on iTunes.

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This episode is sponsored by Xero. Join us at Xerocon San Diego in June! Go here for a registration discount for podcast listeners.Show Notes

(00:52) Welcome to our first guest co-host, Rachel Fisch!

(01:36) We got another review! Leave us a review and we’ll read it on the air.

(02:32) Visor, the $99 app-based online tax service, did NOT have a great busy season. David’s got all the sordid details in a detailed LinkedIn article.

(20:16) …and after all that, David didn’t even get to chat with Claudell :(

(23:30) Zoom raises IPO price and could begin trading with a $9B valuation

(27:16) Online tax filing on the rise, retail on the decline, data finds

(30:03) Pilot, the AI accounting service, raises $40M

(35:26) Eide Bailly is acquiring a data analytics service

(37:41) IRS releases 6-year plan to modernize aging computer systems

(40:14) Is the CPA license losing its lustre? (upcoming free virtual roundtable)

(45:37) Educating the next generation of leaders

Thanks for listening! Follow and tweet @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Find us on Facebook and, if you like what you hear, do us a favor and write a review on iTunes.

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This episode is sponsored by Xero. Join us at Xerocon San Diego in June! Go here for a registration discount for podcast listeners.Show Notes

(00:53) Thanks for the reviews! Give us a review on iTunes and we’ll read it on the air.

(01:51) The house passed a bill permanently banning the IRS from creating its own free online tax preparation software. Here’s the coverage in Huffington Post, Business Insider, and ProPublica. For the history on IRS-assisted tax prep and the arguments for and against, listen to Planet Money #760: Tax Hero.

(08:43) As cashless stores grow, so does the backlash — this time in Miami.

(12:44) Can you believe that educators are still teaching people how to use Quicken for business accounting? Here’s a keeper: “Using Quicken for farm and ranch accounting

(14:46) Xero's out with a new look for their invoicing feature, which now includes auto save and a nifty application of artificial intelligence for coding transactions

(16:24) Canopy released their new mobile app.

(17:38) TaxJar now integrates with NetSuite via SuiteTax, demonstrating their move upmarket in the wake of the SCOTUS Wayfair decision.

(18:31) Thanks to Caleb Jenkins for posting a screenshot of the beta “Receipts” feature in QuickBooks on Twitter. Take a look here.

(20:20) Here’s an update on the QuickBooks Online Advanced free upgrade period. Also, Blake has a hack so you can avoid ever paying for more than 250 accounts or 40 classes/locations.

(27:19) How many CPA firms permit flexible and remote work? Find out as Blake details stats from the 2018 Anytime, Anywhere Work Survey by ConvergenceCoaching.

(29:49) A 2-year Stanford study found that people are significantly more productive when working from home. Watch the TED Talk or read the article.

(33:59) People have a reason to be paranoid when it comes to smart speakers. It turns out Amazon workers are listening to what you tell Alexa.

(37:26) In China, the Communist Party under Xi Jinping is asserting ever greater ideological control over the population — this time with the help of an app.

Thanks for listening! Follow and tweet @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Find us on Facebook and, if you like what you hear, do us a favor and write a review on iTunes.

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This episode is sponsored by Xero. Join us at Xerocon San Diego in June! Go here for a registration discount for podcast listeners.Show Notes

(03:32) We got another review! If you like what you hear, do us a favor and leave a review on iTunes.

(04:00) Intuit is creating 200 to 500 jobs at a new “prosperity center” in the small city of Bluefield, West Virginia.

The benefit employees want most is unlimited paid time off, according to the MetLife 2019 Employee Benefit Trends Study.

(06:16) A new study says the top benefit employees want is unlimited paid time off (PTO), putting that benefit ahead of wellness plans, phased retirement programs, paid sabbaticals, and free or subsidized on-site services.

According to the 2018 Anytime, Anywhere Work Survey, only a small percentage of firms with fewer than 75 CPAs offer unlimited PTO.

(8:13) So given that employees want unlimited PTO, how many CPA firms offer this benefit? According to a 2018 survey, about half of major firms (75+ CPAs) have stopped tracking vacation time. For firms with fewer than 75 CPAs, fewer than 1 in 5 offer unlimited PTO.

(11:06) Here’s what accountants and bookkeepers can learn from taxi companies evolving to compete with Uber (as the profession will likely have to evolve to compete with integrated software + services competitors such as QuickBooks Live). For one thing, the taxi companies finally have apps.

(16:50) CryptoTrader.Tax now integrates with TurboTax. The software combo will automatically crunch the consumers' capital gains and losses numbers and generate the necessary tax documents including the IRS form 8949.

(18:25) David recommends every cloud firm owner read Ryan Lazanis’ article “Cloud Accounting Security for Your Firm” — a good follow on to Cathy Iconis’ blog about how to go about creating a virtual bookkeeping company.

(19:21) This past week at SuiteWorld, NetSuite announced a new, free benchmarking and research service for NetSuite customers called Brainyard. The company says it will eventually leverage twenty years of  anonymized NetSuite user data to provide benchmarking.

(24:51) Over the past 14 years, California has spent close to $1B on an accounting system that still doesn't work. Let that sink in for a moment.

(28:56) Californians might feel better knowing that Canada’s homegrown payroll system cost about the same amount and still doesn’t work, either.

(30:07) Blake shares details about FloQast’s new product, FloQast Matching, an AI-powered automated matching engine for high volume account reconciliations.

(35:44) This guy is why accountants on Twitch totally needs to be a thing.

Thanks for listening! Follow and tweet @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Find us on Facebook and, if you like what you hear, do us a favor and write a review on iTunes.

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This episode is sponsored by Xero. Show Notes

(00:52) We got some more iTunes reviews! Leave us a review and we might read it on the air.

(02:09) New usage rules for Intuit's popular accounting software could mean some customers will need to move to a pricier plan. And some entrepreneurs say it's one tweak too many.

(06:26) The next "QuickBooks With Live Bookkeeping" test is up and running. Say bye bye to Claudell... and meet David! He's a "bookkeeper 17 years." The price has now doubled from $200 to $400/month. What's included in the new test of QuickBooks Live? Listen to find out.

(15:50) Cathy Iconis lays out the basics of what you need to do to start your own virtual bookkeeping business. It’s a lot!

(18:59) Companies that use Box.com as a cloud-based file hosting and sharing system might be accidentally exposing internal files, sensitive documents, or proprietary technology.

(21:30) Here’s a how a scammer used phishing emails to steal over $100 million from Google and Facebook.

(25:32) Zapier tested options for screen recording software ranging from minimalistic three-button windows to complex apps overflowing with tools, priced from free all the way up to several hundreds of dollars.

(30:34) No matter what anyone tells you, we’re not ready for the massive societal upheavals on the way thank to artificial intelligence.

Thanks for listening! Let us know what you think on Twitter. Follow @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Also, to make sure you don’t miss any Cloud Accounting Podcast news, please like our Facebook page!

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Show Notes

(00:08) We got more reviews. Thank you! Give us a review on iTunes and we’ll read it on one of our weekly shows.

(01:43) A survey revealed that you’ll get the best results from a blog post if you spend six hours working on it.

(03:57) QuickBooks Live is now official — details on Intuit’s official Firm of the Future blog include the fact that Intuit has already hired 10 Boise-based ProAdvisors as part of the QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping team.

(09:07) A survey by the IMA suggests that the gender pay gap is closing for management accountants.

(10:57) A 2018 survey shows that mandatory busy season Saturdays are on the decline at CPA firms, but a shocking number still require their staff to work weekends.

(12:11) Meanwhile, 8 percent of CPA firms will hire “anyone who is breathing,” according to a survey of AICPA Engage 2018 attendees. Could there be a correlation?

(13:21) If you want to have a better busy season experience, stop pointing the finger at clients and start asking your team how you can facilitate a better process that makes it easy for clients to get you what you need.

(16:59) The cashless debate continues! LA Eater asks, “Restaurants Are Going Cashless. Is It Always Best for Business?” Meanwhile, Philadelphia has already banned cashless stores, citing discrimination, and San Francisco is mulling its own ban. Gene Marks says you’re crazy if you reject any form of payment.

(22:09) Facebook admitted that it stored hundreds of millions of user passwords in plain text for years, potentially enabling thousands of its employees to access them.

(26:34) Here’s a rundown of upcoming accounting and bookkeeping training shows and conferences in 2019, plus all the ones David and Blake will be attending.

(28:51) When you’re booking your accommodations this upcoming conference season, consider the Rodeway Inn. They’ve got the best hotel WiFi, according to research.

Thanks for listening! Let us know what you think on Twitter. Follow @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Also, to make sure you don’t miss any Cloud Accounting Podcast news, please like our Facebook page!

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Show Notes

(00:08) We got some reviews! Please do us a favor and give us a review on iTunes.

(02:08) Might tax season be extended to make up for the partial Federal government shutdown? Two house Democrats have introduced a bill to extend the tax-filing deadline by 5 weeks.

(03:51) Now you can track your team’s labor costs in QuickBooks Projects.

(05:08) New limits in QuickBooks Online are causing some angst for ProAdvisors. Research from APQC suggests that Intuit set the limit on accounts in the Chart of Accounts too low. Also, the messaging by Intuit as to why they implemented limits seems rather disingenuous.

(11:54) The State of Louisiana accidentally double refunded about 66,000 taxpayers, resulting in about $26 million in overpayments the state is working to claw back.

(14:25) Speaking of problems caused by software, those Boeing 737s might be crashing due to a delayed software update.

(17:05) Why is Blake so concerned about Botkeeper and the failure of many tech startups serving the accounting profession to disclose the offshoring of client data? Because as a listener pointed out, the Internal Revenue Code forbids disclosure of tax return information, which could include bookkeeping data, to anyone outside the firm without express written consent. There are even potential criminal penalties.

(22:51) Is Gappify another Botkeeper? The firm claims to have built an AI bot called “Alan,” but it looks like they’ve got accountants in Manila doing the same work.

(25:34) According to a survey from London venture capital firm MMC, 40 percent of European startups that are classified as AI companies don’t actually use artificial intelligence in a way that is “material” to their businesses.

(29:02) Canopy, the tax practice management software developer, laid off nearly half its staff, despite just a few months ago expanding into a huge new headquarters while saying it planned to double in size. Here’s the post by the CEO and founder, Kurt Avarell, on LinkedIn.

(32:13) David recommends anyone following the Canopy story read The Hard Thing About Hard Things, by Ben Horowitz.

(33:50) A fun and enlightening conversation ensued on Twitter after Accounting Today published an article called “Why is your firm worth less than you think?” that makes no mention of technology.

Partners at CPA firms are often surprised to find out that the recommended value for their owner’s interest is less than their notions of what the practice would be worth in a sale. Here's why a firm may be worth less than you think. https://t.co/NS5Ld3V1pT

— Accounting Today (@AccountingToday) March 11, 2019

Thanks for listening! Let us know what you think on Twitter. Follow and tweet @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Also, to make sure you don’t miss any Cloud Accounting Podcast news, please like our Facebook page!

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