Recently, a wonderful opportunity was offered to me: a chance to interview the president of Intuit Canada, Mr. Jeff Cates.

I wanted to share the responses with you to provide the inside scoop on Intuit and hear it right from the top!

Here is what I asked.

What makes Intuit’s culture so amazing?

The people make it amazing, including employees, customers, partners, accountants, developers, and shareholders. We create an awesome environment for employees to innovate and be close to the customers [so they can] solve for [them]. Then the customers will be happy. When customers are happy, they bring in partners like accountants and developers. When they are happy collectively, then shareholders are happy. So it’s that emphasis on the people that makes Intuit’s culture special. We all work together.

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Tell us what you love about your role as president of Intuit Canada.

I love the company. What I love is that we are making products for Canadians by Canadians in Canada. I love that! There are very few large tech companies that still do that.

What I really love is [that] our employees, including myself, can spend time with customers and get feedback from them and actually do something with that. We have the ability to influence products. That is gratifying. It is awesome to be a part [of and to] lead that environment.

This is an environment I would look for as an employee. I love being able to create that.

How do you see Intuit changing in two years and how to see yourself being a part of that?

Over the last two years we have changed from being an apps company to a platform company; we need to think significantly different by allowing applications to integrate into our platform. We have become more open-minded in delivering for our end users and partners in a way that will be most impactful for them.

We are at the beginning of this journey. We are advancing on the small business side. On the consumer side (Turbo Tax & Profile, etc.) we are still [mainly] an apps company. I can see how we can integrate those two to use data and solve problems [to] make those eco-systems even stronger. I’m really excited for that day to happen, when we can integrate Mint, Turbo Tax, etc. and do all sorts of new stuff.

QuickBooks Self-Employed, which is not in Canada yet, will simplify small personal and business finances. We are excited to be able to work to take that data and stream it into Turbo Tax or Profile. That is something we can do that no one else can. It’s durable, it saves time, and [it] is a real delight to use the data we have.

One of the biggest challenges for any business is being relevant, so what does your team do to ensure you are meeting the needs of the financial industry?

We do things like Thrive, which is spending the day with our clients, partners, and developers. [We] have the opportunity to learn from them. We have a table set up with developers to get feedback right away from customers and put it into place. It a fast way to develop offerings.

We [use the] “follow me home” program, where we go onsite to an accounting practice to see their workflows and pain points. And [we] ask our employees to spend time doing “follow me homes” every quarter and on the phone talking to partners. This not only makes us a better company but enables us to offer better products because we are grounded in feedback. It also connects the heartstrings of the employees by empowering them to solve problems. That is a huge motivator.

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Stay tuned for part two, when we dive into more passion that Intuit has and how this company is changing the industry to help end users.

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