While attending the very first QuickBooks Connect in San Diego, members of the press were invited to a small group briefing session with then Intuit CEO Brad Smith, along with several QuickBooks product managers. 

After touting the virtues of QuickBooks Online (which the second generation was almost still brand new), including new features for payors and recipients at the time, I posed the following question: “Now that you have an increasing number of QuickBooks users connected to Intuit via the Internet, and many of them do business with one another, when are you going to let those who need to pay using QuickBooks do so directly such that a payment made in one users QBO shows up immediately in the other users QBO as a payment received?” 

The response came back, “We’re working on it.”

A year later, I asked a similar question, this time asking, “Are you any closer?”

The reply, “We are getting closer.”

Years have come and gone, but it seems that something similar has finally hit home, because Intuit has just introduced its QuickBooks Business Network.

According to Intuit, it knows that there are many businesses and vendors working with one another, and often they are both using QuickBooks (Online). With the Business Network, it (Intuit) is helping establish the connection between the payee and the payor by offering a simpler, safer way to pay and get paid. 

Intuit understands that other payment methods can be frustrating—checks can be unpredictable and can impact cash flow and exchanging payment information can be risky. Reportedly ,these struggles inspired the QuickBooks Business Network. (Apparently, not the questions Murph posed years ago.)

Intuit’s new service for QuickBooks Online customers, the Business Network is designed to simplify and streamline administrative tasks, while also creating an efficient business management experience with an enhanced ability to connect and collaborate with other QuickBooks Online community members.

Key benefits of the Business Network include:

  • A searchable directory of QuickBooks users. When adding a new contact or sending an invoice, your clients now can access a searchable directory of thousands of businesses.
  • Enhanced accuracy of contact information. Users have direct access to the most accurate contact information for customers and vendors. Clients will get automatically populated forms that eliminate time-consuming manual entry and possible data entry errors.  
  • Security and safety of user data and information. All the information in the Network database remains secure within the QuickBooks ecosystem. 
  • Integrated accounts payable automation creates workflow efficiency. When an invoice is sent to another network member, a bill will automatically be created for them in their QuickBooks account, ready for their review and approval. 
  • Privately connect with a vast number of other QuickBooks users. Any customer-facing business contact information is only visible to members of the Network. Visibility in the network also can be turned off. QuickBooks customers will be notified prior to being added to the Network, having the ability to set their company to “invisible.” 

Based upon the current information Intuit has released, there is no fee to utilize the QuickBooks Business Network, users simply need to have a version of QuickBooks Online. The Network and its features currently are rolling out in waves to accountants and their small business clients.

Intuit expects all US accountants to have access in the summer of 2022, making the network one of the largest communities of accountants and small businesses in the country.

You can learn more about the QuickBooks Business Network HERE

I will not attempt to take credit, after all I just asked a couple of questions—and maybe they took hold somewhere in the mind(s) of someone that mattered. The important thing is that it appears the nail has finally been hit on the head, and you may soon be able to pay your QBO vendors with the click of your mouse such that instantly your vendor notices that you, their QBO customer, has paid their invoice, and that’s really what internet-connective-accounting is about. (Murph)


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