Brad Smith, IntuitWhile Intuit's ProTax operations are not the normal purview of this publication, their presence impacts all of the company. Intuit does not talk much about this highly profitable business in which it holds the major share of the professional preparer market. Intuit has not published a press release about its ProTax products—Intuit Online, Pro Series, Intuit Tax Online—on its website since March 2013. Analysts say that they have trouble getting any information on these operations. "It's not just you," one commented.

In September 2014, CEO Brad Smith told attendees at the company's Investor's Day there were six major new ProTax products. I tried to arrange interviews about this and got one only by accident at the first QuickBooks Connect. There was no communication about ProTax with the trade press until Nov. 20, 2014 after most preparers have purchased their products (and that release was not published on the website). Asked for comment, Intuit pointed out 110,000 pros use the products and filed 42 million returns last tax season and the company has made a lot of changes. The high ProTax product margins bolster the company's profitability enough that Intuit is unlikely to ever sell them and it would seem that accounting firms are important in promoting QuickBooks Online. Still one prominent analyst said he thought the vendor is unwinding its Accountants' program. Well, we'll run this up the flag pole and see which way the wind blows.

Last modified on Thursday, 19 November 2015
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Bob Scott

Bob Scott has been informing and entertaining the mid-market financial software community with his email newsletters for 10 years. And he has been covering this market through print publications for 18 years, first as technology editor of Accounting Today and then as the Editor of Accounting Technology from 1997 through 2009. He has covered the traditional tax and accounting profession during the same time and continues to address that as executive editor of the Progressive Accountant.

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