NEW YORK CITY – With only about 40 per cent of Canadian smallbusinesses using financial management software as a primary tool to managetheir company’s finances, Barb Anderson, group sales and marketing manager for Intuit‘s global SMB division, says partners need to raise customer awareness levels to help eliminate the fear of the unknown.
Anderson said today’s small businesses are often short on timeand employees usually find themselves wearing different hats to keep thebusiness running.
According to external, online market research conducted for Intuit Canada on an ongoing basis, Anderson said specifically, only 38.4 per cent of Canadian small businesses are using financial management software as aprimary means to manage their finances. The other close to 60 per cent (57 per cent to be exact), shesaid, are using another method which may be a spreadsheet, or other manual method.
“There’s a fear of the unknown with these small businesses,” Andersonsaid. “They’re scared or worried it’ll take too much time to set up(software solution).
While Intuit is doing its part to help raise awareness levels andeducation around its solutions that “help small businesses save time,”Anderson said channel partners can also play a role in educating theircustomers.
“Partners can act as the trusted advisor to their small businesscustomers to help them get over the fear of change and the unknown,” shesaid. “The small business customer needs to have the confidence to be able to (work with the software) themselves.”
Tayloe Stansbury, senior vice-president and chief technology officer at Intuit said these days, customers want to be able to work with solutions in different ways.
“With more products and services moving online and in the cloud,customers want to work with solutions that are flexible,” Stansbury said.“All of our applications have a form that runs in the cloud and many alsorun on mobile devices. We want to address users in whatever forms they want so it doesn’t matter where they are or what device they’re using, we can offer them a service that’s appropriate for them.”
Mobile is a big push for the company this year with solutions such as SnapTaxwhere users can use their smartphone to snap a picture of their informationto file their tax returns. There’s also an iPad version of SnapTax now available, which will alsocome to Canada soon, he added.
Follow Maxine Cheung on Twitter: @MaxineCheungCDN.