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Brad Smith, IntuitIntuit has 550 CPAs participating in its TurboTax CPA Select program, the company said in a recent earnings webcast. Begun last year, the program is in what CEO Brad Smith this week called a “full live beta” test. Although he did not quantify results during the earnings presentation, Smith said, “We like the early results of this experiment.”

He indicated it will be developed further for the 2015 tax season. Smith described the program as one in which customers start by using Intuit’s TurboTax software and then go to a CPA to finish the return. The satisfaction of customers with the program has resulted in a NetPromoter score that is 25 percent higher than the ratings of the overall category of professional preparers. NetPromoter is a metric in which the number of customers who would not buy a product or service again is subtracted from the number who would.

As described on the program’s website, taxpayers can get estimates on having their returns prepared by a CPA. Consumers answer a series of questions on the web site at before proceeding to chose a preparer. Questions include states in which the consumer earned income, whether that person had many deductions or investment income.

During the webcast, Smith noted the recent report from the Internal Revenue Service that the number of returns filed by professional preparers is off by 5.4 percent for the tax season through February 15 when, compared to last year’s corresponding period. In general, he said Intuit and its do-it-yourself software has gained marketshare over categories that include professional preparers and tax stores. Intuit says the number of TurboTax units sold grew by 7 percent during the period.

The company’s results for the second quarter ended January 31 reflected the impact of the delayed start of the tax season, whose opening coincided with the quarter’s ended. Intuit $37 million in the most recently ended period, compared to net income of $71 million in last year’s corresponding period. Revenue for the quarter was $782 million, off 12 percent from $884 million a year earlier.

However, Intuit said the lost revenue will be shifted to the current quarter as consumers prepare their returns. The company expects $120 million will be recognized during the third quarter, $80 million as a result of the federal delay and $40 million related to state returns received, but no processed before January 31

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
Last modified on Tuesday, 04 March 2014
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