Meet the Makers: How Intuit develops apps for tax season

Apr 1, 2011
Finance

We are in the peak of tax season. As individuals and small businesses get their books in order, Intuit has multiple mobile applications across dozens of devices to file efficiently and on time. In this week’s Meet the Makers, Intuit Group Product Manager Pranay Kapadia explains what apps work best for the iPhone, iPad and […]

We are in the peak of tax season. As individuals and small businesses get their books in order, Intuit has multiple mobile applications across dozens of devices to file efficiently and on time.

In this week’s Meet the Makers, Intuit Group Product Manager Pranay Kapadia explains what apps work best for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

Across what platforms and devices does Intuit have apps available?

We develop our apps on the most popular platforms and devices to give small businesses a seamless and simple mobile experience. The leading platforms amongst our customer base are iPhone and Android, and we develop on other platforms based on customer demand and the experience we can provide. For example, GoPayment, our mobile payment service, is available on more than 40 devices.

Describe the differences in developing applications for smartphone vs. tablet users.

Two key differences come to mind in developing apps for tablets (versus smartphones) – screen size and offline usage. Tablets, of course, have much larger screens than smartphones, so as developers, we think about how we can best use the extra real estate. Also, since tablet users don’t typically require a constant Internet connection, as many smartphone users do, we consider offline capabilities of tablet apps as we develop them.

What apps do you recommend for small businesses new to filing taxes and managing finances via mobile devices?

As you may already know, our QuickBooks financial management solutions are excellent tools to prepare small businesses for tax time and thus make filing taxes easy. QuickBooks Connect provides a way for small businesses using QuickBooks to access their essential data and functions while on the go (e.g. customers, transacting), so that they’re always on top of their business. The user interface is simple, so key tasks take just a few taps to complete – whether looking up customer information before a meeting or creating a new invoice or proposal in the field. Small businesses tell us they love how professional the app makes them look, and the time it saves them, as data automatically syncs with QuickBooks to keep their books up-to-date and accurate.

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What apps do you recommend for the seasoned SMB who has more experience filing taxes and is beyond using a computer or accountant to file? Is it possible for an SMB to file using just an app, or should an app be used as a preparation tool instead?

People with simple tax returns can check out SnapTax, which is a mobile app from TurboTax that allows users to file by scanning in their 1040EZ via their phone camera. Most small businesses use mobile apps, like QuickBooks Connect, to get organized while on the go, and so they have their financials in order when it tax time comes.

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Brad Spirrison

Brad Spirrison is the managing editor of appoLearning and Appolicious Inc. In this capacity, he has sampled and evaluated thousands of iOS and Android applications. He also holds an M.A. in Education and Media Ecology from New York University.

Spirrison worked in concert with appoLearning Expert and Instructional Technology Specialist Leslie Morris while curating and evaluating educational applications.

A longtime media and technology commentator and executive, Spirrison is also a regular contributor to ABC News, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Bloomberg West and The Christopher Gabriel Program.

Spirrison is married and lives with his wife and young son in Chicago. As his son was born just weeks before the debut of the iPad, Spirrison takes his work home with him and regularly samples and enjoys a variety of educational applications for young children.

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