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Intuit Unveils AI-Powered Digital Assistant to Transform Small Business and Consumer Experience

Joe Woodard
Posted by Joe Woodard on Sep 12, 2023 1:41:45 PM

In a game-changing move, Intuit® has introduced its first-ever customer-facing generative AI-powered digital assistant called “Intuit Assist.” This innovative digital assistant is designed to revolutionize the way small businesses and consumers interact with Intuit's suite of products, including QuickBooks®, Credit Karma®, TurboTax®, and MailChimp®. The AI code to be launched through these platforms will provide a wide range of “advisory” level information to inform small businesses and consumers with information to inform decisions related to their finances, marketing, and taxes.  

These powerful new features will impact over 100 million small businesses and consumers and can be enhanced, optionally, by Intuit’s human-delivered services like Turbo Tax Live and QuickBooks Live. 

This is a herculean leap forward for Intuit’s five “Big Bets,” where the first and foundational “Big Bet” is for Intuit to become an “AI-Driven Expert Platform.”  

The Benefits for TurboTax Users 

Within TurboTax, Intuit Assist taps into the company's extensive tax domain expertise and AI-powered Tax Knowledge Engine. It analyzes customers' unique tax situations, guiding them through the complexity of the tax code. By collecting initial customer data, Intuit Assist generates personalized tax checklists, answers queries, and provides customized insights and recommendations. For TurboTax Live users, the digital assistant collaborates with human experts, offering precise answers based on collective insights. 

The Benefits for Credit Karma Users 

For Credit Karma users, Intuit Assist harnesses customers' financial data to deliver personalized answers and recommendations to their financial queries. This includes tailored financial options and guidance, enhancing financial decision-making. 

The Benefits for QuickBooks Users 

Within QuickBooks Online, Intuit Assist identifies cash flow hotspots, highlights top-selling products, and flags spending anomalies. It also supports newcomers to the QuickBooks platform by facilitating data imports from their websites, personalizing profiles, and generating customizable invoice reminders. 

The Benefits for MailChimp Users

Intuit's generative AI-based assistant personalizes marketing strategies, aligning them with each user’s brand identity and market intent. It also streamlines campaign management, helping users to schedule campaigns within their marketing calendars. Perhaps the most existing feature is the ability to generate automated email content using QuickBooks' product and service data! 

The AI “Engine” Driving these Features  

Intuit Assist is powered by Intuit's proprietary generative AI-based operating system, GenOS, launched earlier this year.  

GenOS has the following key components:  

  • GenStudio interacts with large language models 
  • GenRuntime facilitates automatic orchestration 
  • GenUX provides customer-facing applications for user interaction, and large language models themselves, including both third-party and proprietary ones, form the foundation. 

Ashok Srivastava, Intuit's Chief Data Officer, emphasized GenOS's adaptability to switch between Intuit's proprietary models and third-party models as needed, avoiding the fragmentation seen with multiple solutions. 

When Will Intuit Launch These New “Advisory” Features? 

Intuit Assist is already accessible to TurboTax customers, with planned enhancements set to debut for the 2023 tax season. It is currently available to select Credit Karma members in the U.S., with wider availability in the coming months. Beta customers on QuickBooks can also experience the assistant, which will roll out to all U.S. users shortly. Moreover, a select group of Mailchimp customers can access Intuit Assist, with a broader expansion on the horizon. 

The Implications for Accounting Professionals, Marketing Consultants, and Financial Advisors 

Woodard® has been part of a larger chorus of thought leadership regarding artificial intelligence and its impact on the profession. We joined this “chorus” back in 2017 after I read the groundbreaking book by Daniel Susskind called The Future of the Professions. That book, alongside a wide range of additional research, inspired us to use the theme “Tame the Machines” for our 2018 Scaling New Heights® conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Since that time, we have provided regular updates on the development of AI and its impact on the profession, most recently in my keynote address at the annual “Firm Growth Summit” hosted by Accounting Today entitled “The Future of Client Accounting Services.”  

Simply put, we have had our eye on this particular ball for a while, and it is exciting – and a bit daunting – to see an emerging (or even imminent) singularity around AI.  

Intuit is a powerful innovator and market leader, so it should come as no surprise that they are taking a leadership role in the advancement of AI in all the areas impacted by their products, but Intuit is not the sole or primary driver of AI technology. This “AI singularity” is much larger than Intuit or any single company, even companies at the scale of Microsoft or Google. AI, especially when coupled with the emergence of Quantum Computers, is an unstoppable force and will change the whole of the way operate as businesses and individuals in the coming years. 

So, we encourage accounting professionals not to react to these developments by Intuit as if Intuit (or any single developer of AI) is a threat. Intuit is simply part of a larger technological disruption impacting the whole of the human condition. Instead, respond to the changing environment by: 

  • Leveraging these technology innovations to increase efficiencies and to provide enhanced services to your clients. 
  • Transcending these technology innovations to offer value to your clients in a way that artificial intelligence cannot (or ought not) do. 

The future is bright for the accounting profession, but the game is changing. To thrive, you must innovate and adapt. In other words, per the theme of our 2024 Scaling New Heights conference, you must “Boldly Go!” 

Did You Know? 

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