In Part 1, I asked Jeff what Intuit’s culture is like, its challenges, its roadmap, and most of all what he loves about working for a leading technology company paving the way for cloud accounting. If you missed it, you can catch it here.
Now onto Part 2 of An Interview with Jeff Cates, CEO of Intuit Canada.
What trophy do you want to see on Intuit’s mantel next?
My heart is with the small-business space. I have often wrestled with the idea of whether I should be a small-business owner or if I should help small businesses. If I’m not going to be a small-business owner, how can I help as many as possible? And so there is an award Start Up Canada has for the private industry that has a role in helping small businesses. We have worked very hard, and I have personally invested a lot of time, to help the industry with financial literacy. We help teach basic fundamentals for business owners and connect them to accounting professionals to help them be successful. Then, of course, we bring in the technology to help that relationship.
That is the award I would like to obtain, as we have put a lot of time and effort in helping to solve the three-year failure rate small-businesses have.
We want to make a difference.
Note: since writing this article Intuit in fact did win the Startup Canada Award for Entrepreneurship Support, presented by BDC!!! Congrats Jeff.
In the past two months, what has been the smallest change Intuit has made that has had the biggest positive result?
Although this may not be the answer to your question, it triggers me to think this way. Six months ago, we realized that we need to scale the QBO platform. We were seeing challenges in our offering with downtime. To do such, we have had to put some of our planned features on hold to work on the core of the platform. We have taken our engineering resources and stepped back to have a look at our QBO platform. It’s not visible to the end user, but the result is that we now have better functionality. It has been a massive amount of work behind the scenes to help us get the platform to the point at which we can scale at the speed we want.
What word do you want at the forefront of your employees’ and customers’ minds?
When I started, we had a mission in which we created a charter. We described what role we wanted to play in Canada. We believe we can play a much bigger role on the Intuit stage. Part of this charter involves innovation.
We have an opportunity to innovate, which involves allowing innovation to be a part of the customer experience in everything we do. Like engaging on our support lines, how we use the eco-system, how we market applications, how we create products that work with other products, etc.
If we challenge ourselves to innovate in everything we do, then we can create opportunities for the whole company and our customers.
Thank you for stopping by to read this blog series. It is always a pleasure speaking to fellow accounting professionals in the trenches just like me. Please feel welcome to reach out to me on my social media channels.
Wishing you a lovely day inspired by innovation!