- 00:57 – Meet Ariege!
- 02:44 – Fun fact: 500 new small businesses start up for every one new accounting professional entering the workforce
- 03:18 – How is Intuit helping small businesses succeed? Mainly through automation and a high level of quality
- 04:19 – Fear is not an option - with the obvious shortage of accountants, the only way to effectively help clients is with automation
- 05:38 – Ariege explains why the new QuickBooks feature, the Optimization Center, was created
- 07:37 – Intuit's pain, and solving for it - in entering the bookkeeping game - could ultimately be a gain for everyone
- 09:29 – As mentioned in our last episode, accountants are an unexpected market for the QuickBooks Live offering, according to Ted Callahan, Director of the QuickBooks Live Offering
- 11:00 – Check out Jade Simmons’ QuickBooks Connect 2019 presentation! | YouTube
- 15:02 – Ariege gives us the rundown on the Business Performance Overview feature
- 17:32 – According to futurist Michael McQueen, innovation isn’t slowing down. See his QBC presentation here | YouTube
- 17:53 – Change is gonna come - but Ariege doesn't have the details yet
- 19:27 – You heard it here first ... Sort of ... Ariege spills some new feature news!
- 21:33 –Start talking!Intuit's priority list is constructed around what users want and need
Connect with Ariege
- Ariege Misherghi, Global Accountant Segment Leader, Intuit
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This episode of The Cloud Accounting Podcast is sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks. Accounting professionals and bookkeepers have long been at the forefront of using cutting-edge technologies to take the profession to the next level and to ensure they're delivering the best possible service to their clients. Whether you want to grow your firm or sharpen your skills, Intuit QuickBooks provides you with the AI-driven products, services, and the resources that you need to help all sides of your career take shape. To learn more about how QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Online Accountant, QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping, and the ProAdvisor program can help you grow your practice and scale your impact, head over to CloudAccountingPodcast.promo/quickbooks. That is Cloud Accounting Podcast dot promo forward slash Q-U-I-C-K-B-O-O-K-S. QuickBooks - Backing you.
Ariege Misherghi: I wanna make sure that I'm helping accounting professionals get the work done, not just track the work. Blake Oliver: Welcome to The Cloud Accounting Podcast. I'm Blake Oliver. David Leary: I'm David Leary. Ariege Misherghi: And I'm Ariege Misherghi. I lead the Accountant Team at Intuit [00:01:00] QuickBooks. David Leary: Ariege, we finally caught up with you. You were one of the most [inaudible] people at QuickBooks Connect this week. We're now on day three, but you were the opening keynote of day one. Ariege Misherghi: Oh, man, I'm not fancy, but I've been watching you guys talk to so many cool people as I've been walking by, just waiting for my turn. So, glad to be here. David Leary: I've been looking forward to it all week. I texted you a little bit to give you the heads up that we were gonna try and get you on. So, I'm very excited that you're here. I'm actually excited about the announcements that you made on stage. Blake Oliver: Oh, yeah. Ariege Misherghi: Oh, rock on. Blake Oliver: So many massive product announcements. We're not used to this. We've [00:01:30] been going to a lot of conferences, and a lot of times, it's like, "Well, we did one thing. We're gonna try to stretch that out for an hour and talk about that one thing," and- David Leary: They were good. They weren't 'pie in the sky' announcements. Blake Oliver: No. David Leary: I was like, this is real things that are gonna help accountants and bookkeepers get more efficient. Ariege Misherghi: Oh, I'm so glad you guys feel that way. What's funny is I was working with my team to just figure out what specific things we were gonna break in to the actual speech. There was so much we couldn't fit in. So, it just feels ... It's awesome to hear that you feel that way. Thank you. David Leary: The stack makes [00:02:00] sense, right? We can get into the details of each one, but it's just make your clients efficient, make yourself efficient, and now you can do some advising [crosstalk] you really stacked it up really nicely like that. Ariege Misherghi: Oh, thank you. David Leary: Can you talk about- what's the tool, like this optimization? What's it called? Blake Oliver: Yeah, so the- Ariege Misherghi: The Optimization Center, yeah. Blake Oliver: The Optimization Center ... There was applause in the audience. It was like you were a rock star up there. Ariege Misherghi: Oh, well, thank you. Blake Oliver: I saw a screen of a list of clients, and here's an optimization score, a percentage. Then [00:02:30] you can drill down, and there's a breakdown ... Tell us a little bit, for our listeners- David Leary: What's the genesis of that? Blake Oliver: Yeah, what was the genesis of that? Then, for our listeners who weren't here at QuickBooks Connect, who didn't get the chance to see it, try to paint a picture for us ... Ariege Misherghi: Yeah, 100 percent. The genesis is basically this - we know the challenges that accounting professionals around the world face; they're more the same than they are different. Really, it comes down to two things. There's an objective to grow, and there's an objective to scale. Our objective [00:03:00] for accounting professionals around the world is to help you grow your practice and to help you scale your impact. As we think about scale, that's becoming more and more important. One of the things that was fascinating to me was to learn that there are 500 new small businesses that get started for every one accounting professional that enters the workforce. Blake Oliver: That's quite a ratio. Ariege Misherghi: It's intense, right? Blake Oliver: Yeah. Ariege Misherghi: You think about accounting professionals and how many small businesses they tend to support on bookkeeping, it's 25:1, on average. The need to scale is massive. So, if Intuit's mission [00:03:30] is to help small businesses succeed, and we know the number-one way to help them do that is to connect them to a pro, well, how do we help the pro scale? That's really the question that we were asking ourselves. Ultimately, it came down to two things. The first is there is work we need to automate. The second is we wanna make sure that the work that happens happens with a really high level of quality. When we think about automation ... It's so funny. I feel like - and you guys tell me what you think - but I feel like when I hear people talking about automation, especially with the accounting-professional community, it's about the work going away. It's like this heavy, [00:04:00] scary thing. When I- Blake Oliver: Right, yeah, but that doesn't make sense because what you just said- there's not enough accountants for the businesses out there- Ariege Misherghi: 100 percent. Got it. Blake Oliver: You look at the unemployment rate in accounting and bookkeeping, and it's like half the national average, which is already less than four percent. Ariege Misherghi: Totally, yeah. Blake Oliver: The work is going away, and yet we don't have enough accountants? David Leary: Well, and you can make it worse. What if the Find a ProAdvisor site was perfect, and 100 percent of people that visited that were sent to an accountant? Intuit would just be sending so much work to accountants, who would not be [00:04:30] getting more efficient if you don't have automation ... Ariege Misherghi: Right. David Leary: Somebody's gotta help these clients, and the only way it's gonna happen is automation. Ariege Misherghi: That's right. Blake Oliver: So, clearly, you do not have the same doom-and-gloom prediction, right? Ariege Misherghi: I think that's exactly right. When we look at the most- the accounting professionals that are leveraging automation most effectively, they're serving clients at a ratio of 50:1, and they're not sacrificing time with their clients; they're actually spending more time with their clients. There's this element of they're saving time, they're picking up new clients, and they're spending the time on the things that they wanna do, which is the [00:05:00] face-to-face. When I talk to accounting pros, that's what drives them; that's why they're in this, in the first place, is they wanna help somebody, just like Intuit is trying to help people. You're not really helping somebody, if you're categorizing transactions, but you are, when you're helping them understand their business, you know what I mean? Blake Oliver: Yep, yep. I just wanna call out those numbers you said. You had a lot of numbers in your presentation [crosstalk] David Leary: I could not write them down fast enough. There were so many awesome numbers. Ariege Misherghi: I am so data-driven. Oh, man ... Blake Oliver: Which is good because accountants are data-driven- Ariege Misherghi: Yeah, there you go. Blake Oliver: -you speak to accountants, give them stats, right? You said the typical [00:05:30] accountant, or typical ProAdvisor is 25 clients to one ProAdvisor; but if you are really efficient, you can make that 50:1, right? Ariege Misherghi: Exactly. Exactly. That's where the Optimization Center was born is we thought, "Okay, well, how do we help people get from 25:1 to 50:1?" So, we went, and we really studied those people that have more clients than the average. What we found is they're using automation. Then, we went, and we talked to the people who aren't. We're like, "Hey, what's going on? Why is it that you're not using this?" Number one is they don't know. [00:06:00] They don't know what automation is available in QuickBooks. So, that's one is awareness. The second thing that we found out is they think they're using it, which is great, but they don't realize that they can actually improve the way that they're using; deepen the way that they're using. So, we're like, "Oh, fantastic ..." There was zero resistance. I didn't talk to a single person, and my team didn't talk to a single person who said, "I am not interested in ways to be more efficient so that I can bring on more clients or help the clients that I have even more deeply," you know what I mean? That's where it was born. What we decided was, number one, [00:06:30] let's give people an objective measure of where they are. Optimization Center gives you an efficiency score, and the efficiency score is effectively this - it looks at all the transactions that have been created in QuickBooks. We're looking for how effectively were the transactions created automatically? How effectively were they categorized automatically and then, reconciled automatically? We look at the percentage that you really only had to touch once to accept them in, and all those things just happened - check, check, check. Then, we let you know, really ... That's what [00:07:00] determines your score. Then we [crosstalk] Blake Oliver: It's a mix of those three factors. Got it. Ariege Misherghi: That's it. It's those three factors. Then, we look- we give you the breakdown, too, so you can see what is driving your score and where your inefficiency is coming from. For example, if you haven't yet adopted bank rules to categorize transactions, we're not just gonna say, "Adopt bank rules." We're gonna show you the rules that might be effective for that specific client, and you can just accept, accept, accept. That's one example of what we might do as a result. Blake Oliver: A lot of applause at that - those suggested matches- Ariege Misherghi: Yeah! People seemed to really dig that- Blake Oliver: Taking that [00:07:30] idea of suggested matches and creating suggested rules. Ariege Misherghi: You got it. Yeah. David Leary: And the copying of the rules from one client to another - a lot of people loved that idea- Blake Oliver: Oh, that was big. Ariege Misherghi: Yeah. David Leary: How much is driven by your team listening to accountants, talking to accountants, and how much is ... One thing that ... I'm sitting in the chairs watching this get presented, and I was like, "Oh, my God, this is what Intuit needs internally for QuickBooks Live." I was just thinking, like ... Because, now, QuickBooks is getting into the bookkeeping game a little bit with QuickBooks Live. In a way, Intuit's now- because they're becoming [00:08:00] a bookkeeping firm, a little bit, they're gonna really understand the pains at a huge level they never understood them before at. Now, Intuit ... It's gonna force Intuit to build solutions better than they would have just by, "Hey, accountant or bookkeeper, what do you want?" Intuit's gonna feel those pains and have to go solve these. Everybody's gonna win. Ariege Misherghi: Well, here's kind of how I think about it. I think that's- yeah, it's an interesting way to think about it. The way that I think about it is this - in the past, our objective was to help accountants grow and manage their practice. We built an awesome [00:08:30] practice-management solution that people are using in the hundreds of thousands. What we've realized, though, is it's not just about tracking your work. It's about getting your work done. That was an insight that came to us, as we were digging into how do we help people be more effective in managing their practices? We've gotta help them get their work done. As I moved from the product leader role to the segment leader role in the Accountant Team, that was a big objective for me. As I think about strategy, I wanna make sure that I'm helping accounting professionals get the work done, not just track the work. There's been [00:09:00] a flame in me to do that for some time. There are two additional changes within Intuit that have really helped us, from a resourcing perspective, just get all the energy of the organization behind it. So, the strategy is there. Then, the second piece is - you're right - it does help Live agents. That's why you heard me talking about we're building an expert platform, and Live is a part of that platform, but we all get the benefit of everything we're doing to help accounting professionals get- scale their impact. Blake Oliver: We spoke to Ted Callahan who's the new [00:09:30] lead, or head of QuickBooks Live, and I was amazed ... You found somebody even more well-spoken than Rich Preece, or equally well-spoken, I should say. That's amazing. It was so great. One thing he said, in particular, stuck out to me, when we talked to him about it. He said that a lot of accounting firms have expressed a tremendous amount of interest in actually outsourcing a lot of their own bookkeeping to QuickBooks Live because they don't have the staff to do it. So, they're saying, "Hey, can we use QuickBooks Live? You help our clients with the bookkeeping, and we'll [00:10:00] do the tax and advisory." Ariege Misherghi: Yeah, that was a real surprise to me and to all of us, as we were working on QuickBooks Live. That day that I gave my keynote, a couple of the other things I did is I went to some QuickBooks Live sessions and I was like an emcee, just trying to support the team as they were helping people understand our intention with QuickBooks Live and also what the profile of a bookkeeper would be, for those that are interested. There were two types of questions that we got. We took a ton of questions in the sessions. One type was just trying to evaluate, "Is this the right service [00:10:30] for me to participate in? I'm a bookkeeper, or I'm an a CPA, and perhaps this is something I could do to gain revenue, but does this work for me?" The other types of questions we got were from practices, live in the room, saying, "Hey, could I use this as an outsource solution?" We've heard it in pockets before, it's just not anything we have yet pursued, but it's fascinating to me. It's just one of those things where it's like, you go, you try and solve a problem ... Jade Simmons was actually talking about this. She closed QuickBooks Connect, and if you guys have not seen that, it was one of the most incredible- Blake Oliver: The pianist. [00:11:00] Ariege Misherghi: Oh, my God, she was so good! Well, she's a pianist, and a storyteller, and she was so compelling, and so emotional. It's all on YouTube, so you could check it out. One of the things that she said was pay attention to what your customers are telling you, like what business your customers are telling you you need to be in. That was an element, for me, that was just such a huge A-ha, which is accounting professionals are telling us perhaps they are the target for QuickBooks Live- Blake Oliver: Which is not what you thought, originally. Ariege Misherghi: No, we just did not expect that. Blake Oliver: That's amazing. Well, [00:11:30] there were two more big announcements that I wanna hit on before we go. Ariege Misherghi: Oh, and I'm so sorry, Blake, to interrupt you ... But back to the previous question- Blake Oliver: Oh, sure. Ariege Misherghi: What else is the inertia that's behind all this automation? There's a third piece, which is QuickBooks Advanced. What we find is that mid-market customers are far more likely to have an in-house CFO or an in-house bookkeeper. So, now, the Accountant Team is thinking about three different types of accounting professionals - the mid-market, in-house accounting professional, the independent practice, which we've always been [00:12:00] serving, and now, QuickBooks Live. It's the three of those that are really getting us to get just a tremendous level of momentum in the organization. Blake Oliver: We've been talking about automating transactional categorization; getting the data in the system. You also talked about what happens after that - the review process, which a lot of times is not really formalized. There's sort of like a soft close that happens every month. You guys announced Bookkeeping Review, which I think is gonna do a lot to help tighten [00:12:30] things up for firms. Ariege Misherghi: Well, that's the hope. What we found is, number one, that there are a series of reviews that established practices do at month end to make sure that everything is ticked and tied. Then, we also found that, for less-established practices, people are just figuring out what's the right process. Blake Oliver: Yeah, "I know it in my head ..." Ariege Misherghi: You got it, or the Sticky Notes, which is great; the method works ... But then, there's also this really generous nature I've found in the accounting professional community, which is people [00:13:00] wanna share best practices; they want the profession to move forward. So, we thought, "How can we help that? How can we aid it?" The intention is to pull together an end-to-end workflow, but then, also automate steps in that workflow, so you're not hunting and pecking for issues. What could we do to automatically find duplicate transactions, to automatically find changes to prior periods, or whatever it is that people are spending a tremendous amount of time digging into? If we could put that in one place, that could help. Blake Oliver: There was something similar like this in the Desktop product, at one point, but it was for like annual reviews, right, I think ...? Ariege Misherghi: Yeah. [00:13:30] Data Checker? Was that what it's called? I don't remember. David Leary: I don't remember either [crosstalk] That's not good ... Blake Oliver: I remember, it was like your client would send you the Desktop file for taxes and then, you went through this workflow that helped you- Ariege Misherghi: A scan, right? Blake Oliver: Yeah, that helped you fix all the mistakes they made throughout the year? Ariege Misherghi: Yeah. Blake Oliver: It's funny to think we don't have to deal with that now because we can do it every month. That changed very quickly. David Leary: What I liked about that whole concept of the month-end ... What are you calling that feature? Blake Oliver: The Bookkeeping Review- Ariege Misherghi: Bookkeeping Review. David Leary: Bookkeeping Review ... It's how you pulled everything into one place, including statements. Instead [00:14:00] of people having to go to ... "Oh, I have to go run this report over here to find the uncategorized transactions; I have to do something over here to do this ... I have to go over here, and I have to go to a bank website and download a statement- Ariege Misherghi: Totally ... David Leary: -everything just in one little section I can- it's just efficient. Blake Oliver: And click to get there, right? That's the thing ... Ariege Misherghi: Which is fascinating, right, because QuickBooks is an accounting tool. We know this, right? People are using it to do their bookkeeping, but there is no bookkeeping workflow until now. So, now there is a workflow to complete the actual bookkeeping review at the end of the month. Blake Oliver: So, the last bit was the Business Performance [00:14:30] over ... The last bit was the Business Performance Overview tab, and that's within QBOA, right? Ariege Misherghi: It's actually in your clients' books, but it's a QBOA feature. Exactly. Blake Oliver: Got it. So, can they access it themselves, or is it something only the accountants see? Ariege Misherghi: For everything that we've announced, it's only for experts. So, only the accounting professionals see it. But we've learned from accounting professionals, you wanna see it in the books, so we put it in your client's books, but only you can see it. Blake Oliver: Got it. Tell us a little bit about why you created a Business Performance Overview. Why KPIs ...? Why do that? [00:15:00] Ariege Misherghi: Yeah. I think David said it best, which is there is a flow that we're looking for, which is how can we help you scale? How can we help you ensure the accuracy of your work? Then, as you have that free time, you can either bring on more clients or you can deepen the impact that you have on the clients that you have. That third piece about deepening impact and helping more small businesses succeed, that just led us to believe, like, hey, we've gotta figure out how ... We can't just tell accounting professionals that advisory is where [00:15:30] things are going. We gotta give you the tools, and the training, if we can, to support the community in that transition. That's where Business Performance Overview came in. This is just the first step, but I think is a pretty darn good first step, based on what I'm hearing from people at the conference. It's effectively this - we start with P&L KPIs. They're just a set of P&L KPIs that are useful for you to get a quick view of, "How am I doing relative to a prior period?" You can set the prior period. We find most people do month over month. "How am I doing this month on this KPI, [00:16:00] relative to last?" Then, we show you trends. QuickBooks is really moving into beautiful visualizations of data. What my team is trying to do is just make sure those visualizations represent what it is that an accounting professional wants to see. What we're doing is we're showing you how you're performing against certain reports that you would normally pull over a 12-month period. We're also comparing you to prior year, so you could see micro and macro trends. We're doing that across a series of reports. Our [00:16:30] intention is to expand it, so my hope is that the community engages and just lets ... Well, it's not just a hope! People are engaging and giving us their perspective now on what they wanna see next. So, it's just a start, but really exciting stuff going on there. Blake Oliver: In a way, it's an extension of the Bookkeeping Review because you need to check those KPIs to make sure ... If COGS suddenly jumps 10, 20 percent, maybe something wasn't coded properly, right? I don't know. Who knows? Ariege Misherghi: Could be ... Yeah, that's right. David Leary: I've got two things left, I think, til we let you get on your way here; head home. Everybody's catching flights after they get off the interview, like, "I just have to get off [00:17:00] this podcast ... I'm catching a flight!" I feel like, for 2019, for ProAdvisors, especially, the amount of change ... Massive amounts of change from Intuit this year.
There's been price changes, wholesale changes. There's QuickBooks Live. There's just been tons and tons of change. The pricing of QuickBooks, externally, for their clients ... They're clients are gonna be, "What do you mean QuickBooks now costs more?" Are things gonna stabilize a little bit in 2020, or are we gonna see ...? Or is it still gonna be just as much variance as [00:17:30] we had in 2019? Ariege Misherghi: You know, after I spoke on day one, Michael McQueen spoke. He's a futurist, also definitely worth catching. He one of the things that he said that's still stayed with me is like the pace of innovation is faster than it's ever been, and it will never be this slow again. Blake Oliver: There's your answer, David- Ariege Misherghi: You know what I mean? Blake Oliver: Yeah. Ariege Misherghi: Well, I do; I think that changes ... It would be disingenuous of me to say that more change isn't coming. [00:18:00] If I knew what it was, I would tell you right now, but I will be just as surprised as the community, as we think about new problems and how it is that we wanna solve them. I think there's fair feedback for Intuit, as well, in the way that we've managed change in the past, I think about the initial roll-out of QuickBooks Live; I think about some of the advanced notice on pricing changes. These are things that we wanna get much better at, so know that they're top of mind for me. My hope is that the community sees what we're doing to get on top of that. We're increasing the frequency at which we post blogs on Firm of the [00:18:30] Future, which is a phenomenal place to get information. We're also, for the first time, putting product-update notifications in the product. As QuickBooks Live changes and evolves, we're notifying people in the product. We're ensuring that people get plenty of advance notice on changes before your clients are aware, when we make lineup changes, or price changes. There are a series of things and policies that we're putting in place just to make sure that we're thinking about the accounting professional and how their business operates through this change. I think that's where I'm putting [00:19:00] my energy because I don't think it makes sense for anybody to try to put their body in front of a change train ... The change is coming. It's coming. Blake Oliver: Get on the train ... Ariege Misherghi: But I can make sure that the way that we manage change is done really well. David Leary: There's one thing that ... Obviously, you only have limited time on the keynote. Ariege Misherghi: Yeah. David Leary: Is there anything that didn't get announced this week that maybe you wanna share, special for our listeners? Ariege Misherghi: Possibly ... Blake Oliver: Ooh, exclusive? Ariege Misherghi: Yeah, I could give you one ... I could give you one that I'm really, really excited about [00:19:30] and it's cool ... I mentioned it to a couple of accounting professionals in the hall, and they seemed to really get excited about it, too. We talked about- actually, it's in Bookkeeping Review. So, we talked about Bookkeeping Review is a process to ensure that you're cleaning the books completely and accurately at month end. One of the things that we know happens is just information exchanges between the accountant and small business. You don't get everything you need from your client when you need it, which is a big, big hassle. You [00:20:00] guys know that we're working to automatically pull bank statements - that's not a surprise - which is gonna help tremendously. But we also know there's a lot of conversation around individual transactions; like, "Hey, did you have any cash transactions?" or, "Was this a personal expense, or what have you?" or, "What did you buy at Costco? Because I don't know if that's tech or that's food. You gotta let me know." All those kinds of things, right now, get handled in email or people have to type those into Excel or whatever it is, but there's some like 'get data out of QuickBooks in an inefficient way, send [00:20:30] it to my client, hope that they get back to me, and then, figure out how to get that data and information that my client gives me back into QuickBooks.' What we're doing is we're gonna give you a way to select the transactions that you have questions about. We'll then send a text or a push notification to your client. We might also post it on that client dashboard, so it's the first thing they see, saying, "Hey ..." It's not just 'ask my accountant' anymore, it's 'ask my client.' Here the specific transactions with the specific questions that the accounting professional has, and you can see the answers. They're entered [00:21:00] into QuickBooks, real time- Blake Oliver: Wow ... Ariege Misherghi: Which totally eliminates the need for you to go out of band to get the answer to those questions. David Leary: All right, so I'm hearing this correctly - Blake's my client; Blake scans in some receipt, and he forgot write what it was for, or what customer job it was for, something like that. Ariege Misherghi: Yep. Never happens ... David Leary: I'm now in Bookkeeping Review ... Previously, I would have to call Blake, send him ... I'd be tracking him down, like "What's the receipt say?" "I don't remember ..." This is gonna be some sorta ... I will send him some sort of push notification. He'll get it. He'll go to a website. He'll be like, "Oh, yeah, that was for this job." He codes it, and then it gets into QuickBooks ... It's tracked. I have some sort of dashboard, and I [00:21:30] know it's been done [crosstalk] Ariege Misherghi: You got it. Exactly. Blake Oliver: So, when's this coming? Is this ... Ariege Misherghi: Yeah ... Well, everything that I've shared with you and the things that we're thinking about next, the way that we determine what is the order of those is to understand from the community what you wanna see next [crosstalk] David Leary: Oh, so, our listeners, if they want this, you need to tweet at Ariege- Ariege Misherghi: Yes, that's totally fine. The other way you could do it is in product. There's a feedback link on every single page that we build for experts, and we read every single response. I [00:22:00] start and end every day ... Actually, I was just reading them this morning, and we got a ton just because of QuickBooks Connect. Any submission we get really helps us determine what do we do ... In aggregate, we look at those, and we figure out what's the right next thing for us to do? So, if this is a problem and you have it, tweet me - @Ariegem, or you're very welcome to just submit a feedback link through the product. Blake Oliver: Before we go, Ariege, how did you end up at Intuit? You've been there for a long time, right? [00:22:30] Ariege Misherghi: I have, yeah. Blake Oliver: How did you start there? Ariege Misherghi: It's kind of a funky journey. I studied computer science in school, but I had this internship, and I just realized ... This is like the early 2000s, so the work of an engineer is so different than it was, at least at that time. My experience as an engineer at this little startup was that we didn't have much control over what we got done, and that wasn't what I wanted to do. I would like to have a say in [00:23:00] the work that actually happens. I thought, okay, well, maybe engineering isn't for me. I just didn't have the network at the time, I think, to even understand that there were potentially other scopes for engineering roles. So, I thought, okay, let me do something different. But I was in a position where I needed to work, and actually, the first job out of college was a customer-support job at a startup at a payroll company called PayCycle. I started at that company, and I loved it. I absolutely loved it. I loved it because the people were awesome. But more than that, I loved [00:23:30] it because the satisfaction you get at the end of the day from answering a call ... you know, your payroll calls can be really intense ... You get a paycheck that- you need that for your mortgage- David Leary: Yeah, I did tech support for payroll, my first four years at Intuit [crosstalk] Ariege Misherghi: You did tech support? Rock on! [crosstalk] QuickBooks Desktop? David Leary: QuickBooks Desktop- Blake Oliver: Also, quality assurance, as well, right? David Leary: -I got into quality assurance, eventually, but yeah, definitely, I took my fair share of "Why is line X wrong on my 941?" Ariege Misherghi: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. [00:24:00] I was taking calls for customer service, really shortly after I started there; like, "Hey, this woman seems to know what she's talking about. Let's put her on the Accountant line," which was very intense. Actually, some of the first customers that I served were accounting professionals, which was really neat. That startup actually ended up getting bought by Intuit, and it's what's now Intuit Online Payroll. Yeah ... Blake Oliver: So, Ariege, if people want to connect with you online, find out what you're up to, what's the best way for them to do that? Ariege Misherghi: Yeah, you're welcome to reach me at Twitter. My handle's @Ariegem. Would [00:24:30] absolutely love to connect with people. Blake Oliver: Wonderful, and as always, I am @BlakeTOliver, and how about you, David? David Leary: I'm @DavidLeary. Blake Oliver: Ariege, thank you so much for your time today. This was really a pleasure. What a great event you all put on here at Intuit. Great- Ariege Misherghi: Well, thank you. Blake Oliver: Thanks for having us. Ariege Misherghi: Oh, this is wonderful- David Leary: Thank you so much.