Above the Forms: Are You Ready for the Rise of the Sharing Economy?

Client Relationships self employed

As a tax professional, we know nothing is more important to you than making a real difference in your clients’ lives. You aspire to be a financial coach who helps your clients succeed in ways they never thought possible.

As you work with your clients and provide valuable insights and guidance, you’ve likely noticed that more of the clients you serve today, and those who will need your counsel and support in the future, are self-employed. In fact, a third of the U.S. workforce is now made up of freelancers, contractors and entrepreneurs, including the 3.2 million on-demand workers in the emerging “gig economy” – think Uber, TaskRabbit and Elance.

With the rapid rise of the sharing economy, and those new to getting 1099s or completing a Schedule C, tax professionals have a unique opportunity to make a difference for the newly self-employed. In fact, a recent Intuit® survey revealed that 43 percent of the self-employed rely on a trusted accountant.

You’ve told us the same. Our ProConnect™ team regularly talks with accountants and tax preparers, and better serving your self-employed clients is rising to the top of your list.

It’s no wonder, since self-employed people face a range of challenges when managing finances: keeping track of multiple income streams, untangling commingled business and personal expenses, and understanding potential tax deductions. And, many are caught unaware in April, when they learn they owe more than they expected, because they either didn’t pay their quarterly taxes or didn’t set enough aside to pay when they file.

The IRS has also recognized this trend, launching a new sharing economy resource center to help taxpayers and tax professionals learn more about the unique tax needs of the self-employed.

Intuit is also working hard to help you serve the growing number of self-employed taxpayers. One of the ways we do this is with QuickBooks Self-Employed. With one-click export of tax detail and P&L reports, QuickBooks Self-Employed makes it easy for your clients to provide the data you need at tax time. It organizes expenses with a receipt capture feature, giving your clients an easy way to attach receipts to business transactions, has automatic mileage tracking that enables automatic deduction tracking, and effortless invoicing so you can create and send polished invoices in minutes. All of these features are built to save you, and your clients, valuable time.

We’re not stopping there. In a robust world of social, mobile, analytics and cloud services, we are working to make data entry obsolete. We’ll give you and your small business clients one place where everything works together; this enables accountants to provide highly personalized and anticipatory guidance to small businesses, who can then use that information to achieve their financial dreams.

It’s a new era for accountants. Intuit ProConnect is helping shape opportunities, such as the “gig economy,” so that the Firm of the Future is at your fingertips. Will you be ready?