Jim McGinnis joins Intuit® ProConnect™ as vice president of product management, transitioning from his role leading Intuit’s Accountant Segment in the company’s Small Business Group, a role now assumed by Rich Preece, who most recently served as vice president and managing director of Intuit Europe.
In his new role, Jim is responsible for Intuit’s professional tax products, including driving a holistic product strategy and roadmap, grounded in deep customer insights, to help deliver on the promise of creating “one place” where accountants can do all their work, from books to tax, within QuickBooks® Online Accountant.
We sat down with Jim to learn more about his background and why he’s deeply committed to Intuit’s accountants.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I began my career as a beer salesman and the 17th hire for Sam Adams before craft breweries were cool! Then, I gained deep marketing experience in the United States, China, Argentina and Australia with Proctor & Gamble and PepsiCo. I very much enjoyed my time as executive vice president and general manager of Activision’s Licensed Products business unit, making video games for movies, such as Shrek, Spiderman and James Bond, before joining Intuit six years ago. At Intuit, I’ve led marketing for the then Accountants Professional Division and, most recently, led Intuit’s Accountant Segment. My focus continues to be on strengthening our relationships with tax and accounting professionals, and bringing them into the center of the work we do every day at Intuit.
Q: What is it about working with accountants that inspires you?
I just like accountants. I like spending time with smart people. What most people miss is that accountants rarely talk about themselves. Instead, they love to talk about helping their clients. Accountants are focused on others and how they can solve other people’s problems. That inspires me, and it’s what makes accountants so unique. That selflessness and commitment to their clients is why they have such an incredible impact on the people they serve.
Q: What excites you about your new role?
Intuit has unlocked a truly great network-effects platform, connecting accountants to small businesses, developers and consumers. We’re doing this by applying technology in innovative ways. So, while it’s not new for accountants to work with small businesses, we’ve created an online platform as an entirely new and better way for them to work together. My role is at the intersection of connecting our professional tax products and services to QuickBooks Online Accountant, enabling Intuit to deliver unprecedented insights, practice growth and time savings to accountants and tax pros. I can’t think of a more worthy endeavor.
Q: Can you explain the critical role accountants play in Intuit’s ecosystem?
I can’t overstate the importance of accountants to Intuit. We’ve shifted our thinking from accountants as customers, to thinking of them as true partners; as a result, our growth, together, is exploding. We understand the importance of tax to accountants, and we know how important our professional tax business is to Intuit overall. Having worked in the Small Business Group, I’m really excited to roll up my sleeves in tax, continuing to build on our momentum and deliver amazing experiences that help accountants make a difference in their clients’ lives.
Q: Why is Intuit uniquely positioned to serve accountants?
Intuit’s true competitive advantage for accountants is our growing, worldwide base of small businesses. Bar none, we’re the global small business market leader.
I deeply believe in Intuit’s mission: to improve people’s financial lives so profoundly, they can’t imagine going back to the old way. I’ve learned that accountants are equally passionate about improving their clients’ financial lives. In fact, the first person most people turn to for financial advice is their trusted accountant. We are natural partners.
Q: How does a marketing guy end up as a product leader?
I began my career in brand management, whose core function is marketing, but in that world, the brand manager really owns the product end-to-end. So, I’ve always been passionate about product offerings. Being a great marketing leader and being a great product leader starts with deep customer empathy and understanding, so I’m excited to bring my experience working with accountants to my new role. I’ll continue to work across the organization to build great products, and I’m excited to learn from other product leaders. We have an immense opportunity to further integrate QuickBooks Online Accountant and Tax Online to deliver real benefits to our customers.
Q: What do you do when you’re not at work?
I have two boys, ages five and seven. I love being with my family. We build Legos, kick soccer balls and recently chased Pokémon. I believe you have to put your full energy into what’s most important to you. For me, it’s my family and working with accountants. That keeps me plenty busy, and I know I’m doing something that matters.
Editor’s note: You can meet Jim McGinnis at QuickBooks Connect 2016, Oct. 24-26, in San Jose, Calif. There are several sessions across the three-day conference that include tax content. For more information and registration information, click here.