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Intuit seeks out the best small business in THEWEST Midlands; Aston Villa sponsors Intuit QuickBooks are currently seeking out the best small business in the West Midlands in their Small Business Big Success Awards which offers a PS20,000 prize package. As their hunt for the most entrepreneurial and original firm continues we take a look at international online accounting software provider which has been serving the UK for more than 12 years.

Corporate information Intuit has been working to transform the financial lives for its customers for more than 30 years.

It was founded in 1983 by Scott Cook and Tom Proulx in Mountain View, California who developed a personal finance management tool for consumers who were struggling to balance their cheque books.

After seeing small businesses try and use the tool, they developed a custom solution for them to manage their books called QuickBooks. The company now has a full range of offerings for consumers, accountants and small businesses and does $4 billion a year in revenue.

QuickBooks is now the world's number one accounting software provider, supplying 90 per cent of small businesses in the US.

Intuit has been serving the UK for over 12 years, it also supplies customers in Canada, India, Brazil, Australia and France.

Intuit UK has been voted the 13th best place to work by the Great Places to Work Institute.

Last year, Intuit customers worldwide: ? Created over 100 million invoices ? Transacted payroll for more than 1 million employees ? Served 32 million new customers Competitors: While it's the leader - and a household name - by some distance in the US, Intuit is more of a challenger brand in the UK.

It is aiming to dominate the market as accountants and small businesses move to the cloud.

Intuit is in the process of using the strength and experience gained as a leader in the US to reach the same position in the UK.

Products: Intuit aims to simplify business life for consumers, small businesses and accountants with products that are easy-to-use and intuitive.

These products focus on helping small businesses manage their money, pay their employees and get paid faster.

They also aim to allow accounting professionals to save time and grow their practices The company's flagship products in the UK include QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Payroll, Quick-Books Payments, QuickBooks Online Accountant and QuickBooks Self-Employed -.

QuickBooks Online - subscribers number more than one million worldwide and have more than doubled outside the US, reaching 215,000 customers.

The product is at the leading edge of the small business shift to the cloud.

By 2020, 78 per cent of small businesses will be fully adapted to the cloud, up from 37 per cent in 2014 and the number of business-specific cloud applications used by them will grow from 3.1 in 2015 to 8.2 in 2020.

Small business owners spend an average of four hours a day online with their top online tasks being accounting and bookkeeping; generating invoices and accepting payments; and managing relationships with customers.

QuickBooks Self-Employed - enables freelancers, independent contractors and home-based entrepreneurs to manage their finances simply and more efficiently.

The product aims to: simplify tax year end, by matching the tax summary report to the HMRC, making self-assessment quicker; connect accounts by importing bank and credit card transactions to easily track income and expenses with no data entry required (protected by bank-grade encryption); separate work from personal by classifying, categorising and untangling personal and business expenses with a click of a button; and know how much is owed by tracking necessary tax deductions all year round and working to a time-line of tax events to help prepare, save time and money and avoid surprises.

QuickBooks Online Accountant - helps accounting professionals in the UK save time, grow their practice and transform how they communicate with and deliver value to their clients ? 240,780 QuickBooks Online Accountant users have at least one attached QBO client (globally) ? 68,645 QuickBooks Online Accountant users have three or more attached QBO clients (globally) ? 89 per cent of small businesses say they are more successful with an accountant ? Intuit serves more than 200,000 accounting professionals worldwide with 120,000 certified ProAdvisors.

Future plans for Intuit in the UK Mike Williams, Director of Finance, Europe, Intuit QuickBooks, said: "We're very focused on building our presence in the UK and continuing to serve the needs of small businesses and accountants across the country.

"This year we'll be rolling out a lot of new innovations to our Quick-Books offering including new features and functionality.

"We're especially excited about some new mobile capabilities as well as great third party app integrations that will help our customers handle their accounting in a few taps and get back to doing what they love most about their business."

How to enter the Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Awards Intuit QuickBooks are seeking enterprising small businesses in the West Midlands to enter their competition which offers a PS20,000 prize package.

It is the second year that the company has run the competition with the Birmingham Post and Mail.

Businesses who wish to enter should visit where they are invited to describe their biggest success story Interstate and how they want to develop Interstate their business in 2016.

Entries need to be received before 11.59pm on Monday, February 29.

Entrants must be a legal resident or UK citizen, and be 16 years or older.

They must own a small business, defined by having 50 or fewer fulltime employees, and registered with HMRC.

Entrants must either be the small business owner or an employee, submitting with the permission of the owner.

Their business must be based in the West Midlands county (comprising Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Solihull, Walsall and Sandwell), Staffordshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Interstate Worcestershire or Warwickshire.

The winner will be selected by a panel of judges including Mike Williams, Director of Finance at Intuit; Tom Fox, CEO at Aston Villa Football Club; Graeme Brown, Head of Business, Birmingham Post and Mail; and Saqib Bhatti, President of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce.

The winner will be announced at the gala dinner at Villa Park on March 22.

We're very focused on building our presence in the UK and continuing to serve the needs of small businesses and accountants across the countryMike Williams


<BMike Williams, Director of Finance, Europe, Intuit QuickBooks

<BFormer Intuit QuickBooks award winner Boo Boo Coffee in Lordswood Road, Harborne, with co-owners Keon Heidarinia and Matt Eagles

<BIntuit QuickBooks are seeking enterprising small businesses in the West Midlands to enter their competition which offers a PS20,000 prize package
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 4, 2016
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