Weighing The Risks and Rewards Of Surge Pricing Tax Returns

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Blake Oliver: [00:00:04] Higher education is is already done. Like 80% of of lecturers and professors in higher education are obsolete already. It's just a matter of time until we apply AI to do a lot of personalized, individualized education.

David Leary: [00:00:24] Coming to you weekly from the OnPay Recording Studio.

Blake Oliver: [00:00:28] Hello and welcome back to the show. I'm Blake Oliver.

David Leary: [00:00:31] And I'm David Leary. David? Yes?

Blake Oliver: [00:00:35] Are you a Wendy's customer?

David Leary: [00:00:37] Not anymore. But I used to be, because when I first started Intuit The Office, the only choice there was only two restaurants. It was McDonald's or Wendy's. So you used to just do a lot of Wendy's for lunch. If you like.

Blake Oliver: [00:00:49] You could walk to there, you could walk there.

David Leary: [00:00:50] You could walk there essentially. Yep. Mhm.

Blake Oliver: [00:00:52] Well Wendy's was in the news recently. The CEO was talking on some sort of, uh, investor call about how Wendy's is going to start experimenting with dynamic pricing, changing the price of menu items, using digital displays throughout the day. And of course, it completely backfired and became a public relations nightmare for Wendy's. Although you could make the argument that there's no such thing as bad press. But they were all over the news because, uh, the, the, uh, internet, the interwebs started going after Wendy's for surge pricing, which a lot of people really, really don't like.

David Leary: [00:01:33] Well, anybody's ever experienced. I mean, the most famous surge pricing is Uber. Yes. Like, you could get an Uber one night and it's $180. Right. And that's why people and their brain, they've really associated surge pricing with negativity.

Blake Oliver: [00:01:46] Right. It's it's having to pay a really high price. When you really need something which is painful. You need to buy a ticket last minute. The price is $500. When if you bought it six months ago, it would have been $50 to $100.

David Leary: [00:02:02] Airplanes, hotels. Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:02:04] Uh, what are other good examples of surge pricing that we see? Ticket sales. You want to go to a concert, right? If you didn't get your ticket right when the concert was announced, you're going to pay huge prices.

David Leary: [00:02:17] Retailers have been doing this. So you've probably seen like at Best Buy, those digital, uh, price tags they have everywhere.

Blake Oliver: [00:02:25] I haven't been into a Best Buy for, I don't know, last time I went to one, why would I, why would I buy electronics anywhere other than online? But go.

David Leary: [00:02:33] Ahead. You want to touch it before Amazon ships it? Maybe, I don't know, I can just return it.

Blake Oliver: [00:02:38] But go ahead.

David Leary: [00:02:38] But but stores Best buy Kohl's grocery store chains. They have these digital pricing and they can change it real time okay. Right. For whatever reason they need or desire to change the prices. And Amazon's been doing this forever. That's why you and I both could go to the same product on Amazon. And we might see two different prices, right? Yeah. Dynamic pricing is everywhere.

Blake Oliver: [00:02:59] Depending on the inventory. The price goes up or down like really fast. And sometimes it can create funny situations where like something's 100 times more expensive than it should be. But anyway, usually it works, right? And we should say there are like positives to surge pricing, which is if you really need something last minute, you can get it right. Like that's the economic theory of why surge pricing is good for consumers is that if you need to get on that plane tomorrow to go to the funeral or go to that business event, that was last minute, you can actually buy a ticket, whereas if it was cheaper it would already been sold.

David Leary: [00:03:33] Economists love it because it's true market balance. And this is why, you know, people get so upset when there's a hurricane and people are charging $25 for a bottle of water, but that keeps somebody from buying all the water, right? So it's available for everybody. And so economists love this. But yes, as a consumer, even myself, I mean I don't want to pay a surge price, right.

Blake Oliver: [00:03:53] So getting back to Wendy's, uh, when the Wendy's CEO talked about this. And said, we're going to start doing this by the end of 2025. Prices will fluctuate depending on the time of the day. The investors seem to like it, but then the internet did not. And here's a story on Axios titled Why Fast food fans Flipped Out Over Wendy's pricing. And I think we kind of described it right. It's that I don't want to I don't want to go into a Wendy's and see a price that's higher than I expected when I left the house. Right. It's the. It's the expectations. That hits you like you need this thing. And now all of a sudden it's more expensive and you have no choice. Really. You got to go pay for it. What else?

David Leary: [00:04:43] I mean, I think the lesson on this, right? Because we, you and I have talked about surge pricing tax returns for a long time. Mhm. And I think the real lesson here is don't call it surge pricing.

Blake Oliver: [00:04:53] Right. Well and that's the thing is that.

David Leary: [00:04:55] Early filing incentive or who knows. Right. You have to be very creative about this.

Blake Oliver: [00:04:59] So the CEO of Wendy's he didn't call it surge pricing. They called it like something else dynamic pricing. But then surge pricing is the negative connotation, right. And that's what everyone started talking about. You know Wendy's tried to clarify it. They tried to say, no, no. What this means is that it's actually we're going to we're going to lower prices during times of less demand. So if you go at an off hour, you're going to pay less, right? That's probably how they should have characterized it. Like we're going to do dynamic discounts. We're going to save our customers money, that sort of thing. Right? People love saving money. They hate paying more as a penalty. It's psychological. Right. Yeah. So so let's talk about this in the context of, uh, of dynamically pricing tax returns, something that we have talked about on this show before, the idea that firms could manage their workload, make more money, um, by changing the price of a tax return. During tax season or really anything. An audit. Um, when a client comes to you and they need a huge amount of catch up work done in a very short amount of time, do you price that the same as if they had come to you 12 months ago, and you're doing it every single month? I would argue no, that's crazy.

David Leary: [00:06:19] You'd argue, no, you shouldn't do it or you should argue nobody's doing it.

Blake Oliver: [00:06:23] Well, I would say, okay, let's use that example of like, I have a client that has a whole year of accounting work because this would happen to me all the time because that was my business. They have a whole year or multiple years of accounting work, and they come to you and they ask you to do all the books real quick because I need to get a loan or I need to file my taxes or something like that. Right. How do you price this? A lot of firms will actually charge that customer less than they would have if the customer had been a client every single month, they'll actually give them a big discount to do the cleanup work. And the rationale is, oh, if we do it all at once, it costs us less. Because we're doing it all in bulk. We're doing it in a batch, right? Or we really want to get this big job, right, so we can't charge what we would have charged every single month. We can't simply take 12 months times the fee we would have charged them. And that's the fee to do the cleanup. And they discount they actually charge less. But I would argue it should be more. Because you're stepping in and helping out this client in their time of need.

David Leary: [00:07:28] And if they have this like deadline, like you need to do, I have to get this bank loan or my I'm merging with another company. This has to be done by a certain day. Yes. If there's some time based deadline. That's ridiculous. You should charge more for that. Yeah. To meet that deadline, because you're going to have to drop other work for existing clients.

Blake Oliver: [00:07:46] And while perhaps it might take less time that you then you'd budget every month to do this work if you, you know, multiply how many hours you'd estimated throughout the year to spread it out versus doing it all at once. It's probably fewer hours to do it all at once, but it's still a lot more than you have capacity for necessarily, right? You may not have the capacity. You may have to work overtime. You may have paid people to sit around and have capacity in order to take on this kind of work. So everything says you should charge more for that. But most firms don't. They either charge the same or even less. And that to me is kind of crazy. And you could say the same thing about a tax return, right? There's a big difference between a client who signs up in December for you to do their tax return versus a client who comes in in March or April or the day before. Literally the day before. So how could we use dynamic pricing surge pricing in an accounting firm to prevent that kind of behavior or get our money's worth, get our value for that? Maybe you take the client that comes in the last day, but you say, look, you want me to do your return before the deadline? It's going to be ten times the usual price, or you.

David Leary: [00:09:08] Can be open, right? You just keep that open because, you know, one person's going to come in that might be willing to pay that price.

Blake Oliver: [00:09:14] And it's just like the airline seats, right. As you get fewer seats. The prices get higher. Or in the case of southwest, they have those four tiers of different pricing and they sell out the earlier tiers. So the only thing left is like the business price, price business select or whatever, right?

David Leary: [00:09:35] That's actually a more interesting way to do it for accountants because you know your capacity. We can do this many returns a year. Yeah. So the first 300 customers get it a little bit cheaper than the next 300, then the next three and the last 100 pay.

Blake Oliver: [00:09:47] I actually really like that. Yeah, that would be easy to manage. Right. Because you could like number all the returns as they come in the door and, and you could base it based on like when, not when the client signs the engagement letter necessarily. But it could be when they give you substantially all the documents you need to do the return. Right. So you're incentivizing the client if you get the docs to me in January. Yeah, it's this price. If you get them to me in February, it's this price. If you get them to me in March, it's this price. If you get them to me in April, it's this price. And just have a very clear pricing system in your engagement letters. So that explains this.

David Leary: [00:10:27] Do you know any firms that are doing this? I mean, we've talked a lot of firms that automatically file extensions and spread out the workload. They smooth the year out. But do you know anybody that's doing this type of pricing at all. Have you met anybody?

Blake Oliver: [00:10:39] I would be curious to know if any of our live stream viewers do dynamic pricing or surge pricing in their returns. I don't know many firms that do this in a systematic way. And to me, it's like if you if you want to reduce the busy season pressure, this would be a great way to do it. A lot of firms, right. Like you can't do dynamic pricing if you charge hourly after the fact. If you charge after the fact at all, you can't do dynamic pricing, I suppose. I mean, you can you can try you can try, you know, but the client will be like, what the WTF, right?

David Leary: [00:11:12] I feel like that was my experience with firms. I just got like a bill, I don't know, like, is this the normal price? I wasn't like there was a website that stated my the price I was going to pay. I just got a bill. I'm like, okay, all right.

Blake Oliver: [00:11:23] Well, same thing happened to my father in law, right? My my father in law got the bill from his new tax preparer, and they hadn't discussed the price up front. And he calls me and he's like, Blake, I just got this this bill. Like it seems like a lot. And I looked at it and I said, well, he's charging you about the same as TurboTax full service. And you got a CPA with 30 years of experience to do your return. I think you got a really good deal on this. And then he was okay. Right. It's all.

David Leary: [00:11:51] Perspective.

Blake Oliver: [00:11:51] It's all perspective.

David Leary: [00:11:53] So I was thinking a lot because of a whole nother article. I was thinking about pricing on accountants pages. And the reason I was thinking that got me there is. So the IRS has piloted their direct file pilot. So this is the, you know, the file your taxes for free. The IRS is building the website.

Blake Oliver: [00:12:10] They built their own tax software, their.

David Leary: [00:12:12] Own tax software.

Blake Oliver: [00:12:12] Figure.

David Leary: [00:12:13] In theory, this is what's going to compete with the TurboTax. Free the H&R block free all the free, uh, File Alliance software that's out there. So I just jumped in and I was going through the Wizard. So let me go back to screens. So let's let's see if we're eligible to direct file. The good thing is for Blake and you and I, we're in Arizona. So we'll click on Arizona. It's just making sure we're. We can do this. If we're using married filing separately, we can't do it right. Uh, I'll hit next. Uh, then they talk about ID, so there's no fraud, blah blah blah. Then it talks about the income and this is where it shows. Direct file only works if you have certain types of income. And it's very clear that a W2 at 1099 G, as I say, 1099 1099 interest boxes one and three. But all the forms that if you have these forms, you can't use the direct file system.

Blake Oliver: [00:13:07] So if you have it, okay.

David Leary: [00:13:09] 1099 misc or 1099 or 1099 K, if you have allocated tips, unreported tips and reported tips, you can't use this system. And I was like, well, that sounds really similar to TurboTax, right? Right. Where TurboTax has a list of the things you can use for their free TurboTax version, and a list of things that they can't do right. So as soon as you have 1099 and you see income or 1099 G, you can't use the free TurboTax you have to use the paid product. And this got me to thinking about accountants and their websites. Right? So if you have your packages listed, should you list a column that says free return? Even if it has buttons to the IRS direct file or TurboTax that show just what they'll do versus what you'll do in your package.

Blake Oliver: [00:13:55] Are.

David Leary: [00:13:56] And price against this the because I price against the.

Blake Oliver: [00:13:59] Free.

David Leary: [00:14:00] I the government's going to do X for free TurboTax H&R block everybody else is just going to probably match it, right? Right. They're not going to do anything extra for free. And like, so should you be pricing against that? It's kind of the what went off in my head, I think.

Blake Oliver: [00:14:15] So I think anchoring pricing is great and showing your value is great. Like, yeah, you can get this for free, but you can't get this for free anywhere else. That could work. I like it in theory. Yeah.

David Leary: [00:14:26] Um, with the surge pricing, everybody's pricing pages are gonna be very complicated.

Blake Oliver: [00:14:30] Well, no, it can be really simple. There was an article on CPA trendlines that suggested just bumping the price by 20% every month during tax season. Right. So you get me now. Now there's an argument to be made that you should actually start with a higher price and give discounts for early because people perceive it differently, like a penalty TurboTax does.

David Leary: [00:14:51] Yeah. Right.

Blake Oliver: [00:14:51] So basically TurboTax right now if you go to their website into it, they are experts at pricing. So there there's like teams of people that are paid to do this right at tech companies. So they probably have figured it out. And they discount by like 50% at the beginning of the season. And then it goes up to the list price by the time it's the deadline. Right. So you could basically say here's you could double your prices on your list. So double your list price. So if you normally do a tax return for like let's just use easy numbers. Right $1,000 make it $2,000. And then if you get me your docs in January, it's $1,000. It's 50% off if you get them to me in February. You know, now it's $1,200. If you get them to me in March, it's 1400, something like that, right? Just easy. Easy price increases. So and the penalty or the discount is like several hundred dollars, a few hundred bucks, which is enough to motivate most people to actually do the shit they need to do to get you what you need to do to do the return. Simple psychology. So I would love to know if any of our listeners actually do this, or try it next year, and let us know if it works. I. Think it should work. In theory, this should work great. I wonder if there's ways that we could implement this in our business as well. Right. We don't do any surge pricing, but we'd have to think about it.

David Leary: [00:16:25] Well, anyway, we kind of do in the earmark app, if you wait till the last minute to do all your CPE and earmark and you want unlimited CPE, you need to knock out all your CPE hours in a week. You have to pay for that, right?

Blake Oliver: [00:16:37] Because you have to subscribe $139. But if you do your CPE one a week for the whole year, you don't have to pay anything. Exactly. So we are extreme surge pricing. You don't even pay if you do it on time. Yeah. Let's move on to apps and tech news. We had huge news from both Sage and Xero, and perhaps some others that you have identified.

David Leary: [00:17:01] Had news too.

Blake Oliver: [00:17:02] Excellent. So, um, say let's start with Sage because we did an exclusive interview with Aaron Harris, the CTO at Sage, which will be dropping on this podcast feed in a couple of days. And you can hear from him directly about Sage copilot, which is the new AI built into Sage Intacct and other Sage products, including products like Sage 50. They're rolling it out to all their products, even the old.

David Leary: [00:17:29] That was interesting that that it's not just their cloud product offering.

Blake Oliver: [00:17:32] Yeah. So, uh, you brought a video. To the show. David, I'm going to play this one minute and 33 second video about Sage copilot.

Sage Copilot Clip: [00:17:49] Increase productivity and success with Sage copilot. Your own AI powered productivity assistant for small businesses. Let's see how it can help you unlock new possibilities. Sage copilot is always ready, working 24 over seven to help you get the most out of your business, and it's secure. Knowing who you are and only showing information you're allowed to see. Need to view outstanding invoices? Get the details you need quickly taking another job off your to do list with insights at your fingertips.

Blake Oliver: [00:18:35] Sending a reminder.

Sage Copilot Clip: [00:18:38] And saying, you've seen that a lot time.

Blake Oliver: [00:18:40] Chasing chasing.

Sage Copilot Clip: [00:18:41] Customers.

Blake Oliver: [00:18:42] Prospects.

Sage Copilot Clip: [00:18:43] Sage copilot quickly gives you the information and advice you need.

Blake Oliver: [00:18:47] Which quote should I prioritize?

Sage Copilot Clip: [00:18:52] Need instant access to your monthly insights? You can get querying financials answers as well as tips on your next steps for faster, smarter decisions. Welcome to a new era of business.

Blake Oliver: [00:19:07] So. As we've seen with other AI products, a lot of this is around communication sending reminders to clients, drafting emails, uh, creating quotes, stuff like that. So. Takeaways. David.

David Leary: [00:19:25] I mean, I think in general, at a high level, these are all starting to look the same. This high level like set an appointment. Everybody uses that same example. Um, so-and-so didn't submit their expense report or so, and so is missing their time sheet. Would you like to send them a reminder that dance type stuff. But what what struck me when, um, we spoke to Aaron and when I went to their press conference earlier in the week is how they're talking about like, they they're going to have the I do be do really good task instead of it just being like, here's all your accounting data. Start asking it questions like very specific tasks, whatever that might be. Right. There might be one that's just like a miniature bot that's good for collections, and maybe another little interface that's good at, uh, per, uh, cash flow projections or whatever. They're really trying to carve it down into little bots versus a big chat.

Blake Oliver: [00:20:17] Yes. And based on what I know about how these customized AI assistants work, it's a great way to approach it because. If you want accuracy, you got to really specialize and train that bot in a very specific area or task. And so sending reminders is a great example. Aaron gave us an example that I hadn't thought of yet. I can't remember what it was. Um. Oh yeah. Here it is. When you log in in the morning to say Sage Intacct, if you are the person who. Processes, bills and invoices. They've already got an OCR system that pulls in all the bills every day and enters them into the system. And you used to have to go review all of them and check every single field. Anyone who has run an accounting firm practice that uses Bill.com understands what I'm talking about. It is so tedious. You get all these bills coming in for clients, and whoever is processing those or reviewing them has to go and make sure the dates are correct, the amounts are correct, the all the stuff is correct. And. Inevitably they start to slack and stuff gets in there past the human review. That's wrong. The amounts might be wrong, right? And that's embarrassing because it goes to the client and it's wrong. Well, now with AI, the AI does the initial review and flags potential issues for the human to look at. That is an incredibly useful. Example of AI agents in an existing process we already have. I love that.

David Leary: [00:21:57] And this is where you know, it's not going to replace everybody's full job. It's going to replace five hours of crappy work over here for that person, five hours of crappy work over here for somebody else. Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:22:07] When I worked in the big firm, we had one person whose job was just to process bills all day long to review the OCR, and she used to do the data entry. And then we moved her on to just reviewing the data entry that had been done. But that's so tedious. It's almost more tedious than doing the data entry in some ways, because you have to be so focused. And she would make mistakes. You know, you just can't hire somebody who has like, nobody can be on all day long.

David Leary: [00:22:35] It's a volume.

Blake Oliver: [00:22:36] Thing. Yeah. So having the AI do it and surface the exceptions is good because um, there's actually studies that that show that when there are lots of errors in like a data set or a lot of exceptions in something we are shown, we're really good at spotting the differences. Like, I just heard about a study where if you if you show a bunch of faces to people and some of the faces are threatening and some of them are not threatening, people are very good at picking out the threatening faces, right? The the scary people that you should watch out for. But if you reduce the percentage of scary people and faces in the data that they're given and only show them infrequently, people get really bad at spotting them. Works the same way in financials, right? If there's only a small number of errors in like 98% of what people are looking at is good, they're going to miss the errors. But if you show them only the errors, they're going to be really good at fixing those. So great example. Let's move on to zero. Zero also announced an AI and you said it has the best name of any AI so far.

David Leary: [00:23:42] Best name. So it's just ask zero but it's Jax Jax I love it. And it's it's to me it makes a lot of sense. I know if I go back. The second Clippers connect and they they are trying to was it Jacob or they were I don't know what the name was but it wasn't great.

Blake Oliver: [00:24:00] The one where it was the guy in his Tesla.

David Leary: [00:24:02] Asking yeah, yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:24:03] Like using QuickBooks Live videos.

David Leary: [00:24:05] Yeah. Early concepts. Hey Cube-e or whatever. It was like, Jax is a really, really smart way to do the name. And there's a video of this as well, right?

Blake Oliver: [00:24:14] Yeah. So let's watch the video.

Xero Clip: [00:24:24] What if you could get back to what you love?

Xero Clip: [00:24:28] Jax. Edit the wedding quote to include five more centerpieces.

Xero Clip: [00:24:35] What if you had a smart business companion that was with you everywhere? What if your routine tasks could be automated, done faster, smarter, and with peace of mind?

Blake Oliver: [00:24:47] This is adding late fees to invoices so you can.

Xero Clip: [00:24:49] Keep your business moving and reclaim your time so you can focus on creating.

Xero Clip: [00:24:55] Great work. Guys, we're on schedule.

Xero Clip: [00:24:58] What if you could spend less time billing and more time building?

Xero Clip: [00:25:03] Did you get my email.

Xero Clip: [00:25:04] About adding the extra cabinetry? Yes, absolutely.

Blake Oliver: [00:25:06] Nobody ever gets your email. Generating invoice. Who is it for? Generating invoices.

Xero Clip: [00:25:15] Would you want to take care of it right now? Sure.

Xero Clip: [00:25:19] This is one of my favorite tap to pay. That's right here. Can I get the drone footage for this last sequence?

Xero Clip: [00:25:26] See your priority tasks each morning.

Blake Oliver: [00:25:29] So we're seeing a task list to review.

Xero Clip: [00:25:33] And have them automated and streamlined for you.

Blake Oliver: [00:25:37] Finding discrepancies in. What was that? I didn't catch it.

Xero Clip: [00:25:42] Get personalized insights. Wherever you are, Jack's, give.

David Leary: [00:25:45] Me the latest cash.

Xero Clip: [00:25:46] Flow projections.

Blake Oliver: [00:25:47] Jack's is in the Google Hangout.

Xero Clip: [00:25:49] You can hire those two new employees you want. Great. You can hire the also mentioned wanting. Okay. That's bullshit.

Blake Oliver: [00:25:55] That's bullshit right there. Awesome. There's no way.

Xero Clip: [00:25:57] And what if starting up was as easy as.

Blake Oliver: [00:26:02] Okay. Filling out your profile. Do more of what makes sense. Easy. You could do that. Collect it into where.

Xero Clip: [00:26:07] It all began, and unleash the potential of your business. It's all possible. Just ask Xero.

Blake Oliver: [00:26:18] Jack's your new AI business companion. Coming soon.

David Leary: [00:26:24] And we'll see the beta version later in 2024. So looking forward to seeing this probably at xerocon this summer. Maybe we'll be able to see it and play with it a little bit. Um, these videos like this are just over promising, right?

Blake Oliver: [00:26:38] Because it's not a real product yet. And the part that was just totally, totally off they shouldn't have done, in my opinion, was where the person asked, like, you know, give me my financial analysis and then the Xero does, Jack's does analysis says, oh yeah, you can hire two people. Are you kidding me? You don't have the information in zero to do that analysis. That's like a you need to do a financial statement, three way financial statement model to give that answer to somebody with confidence. It's not going to do that, you know. So here's where I would like to see zero focus deer zero product people. We know you're all listening to this show. So as a zero user myself this is what I would like to see you do. The I have the I do um when I go into that bank reconciliation screen and I see all those transactions, you know, there are some suggestions that are made. But they are not very good. They don't work all the time. I mean, I still have, um, zero recommending that I match practice ignition deposits. To specific invoices. When there's a whole rule set set up to put those payments into a clearing account, they should not be matched to invoices. They should go into a clearing account. But Xero still recommends that they match them to invoices, even though there's a bank rule that's just dumb. It's a day in QuickBooks.

David Leary: [00:28:03] The bank fee comes down, and if you have two transactions on the same day with the same amount.

Blake Oliver: [00:28:08] Yeah.

David Leary: [00:28:08] All hell breaks loose. They cannot figure it out even if the memo has a different memo. One memo says Blake, one says David, it just can't figure it out. I'm like, come on.

Blake Oliver: [00:28:16] So product people stop trying to build like something that is clearly impossible to do with this technology. And don't let the marketing people pull you in that direction. Okay? As a marketing person myself, I will tell you, they will try to make you do the impossible. Focus on the small, tedious tasks like Sage is doing. Focus on that bank rec. Make that bank rec where zero in the morning gives me all the transactions that came in and says, here's our recommendations for how to code everything. Do you want to change anything? Here's the confidence level we have in this hit, okay. And accept them all into the register. Why not do that? You could totally do that. Okay. Fix bank wrecks. Um, fix. So fix matching transactions, make them match better. Like, I still have issues where they don't match, right? They'll choose it. It'll choose a date that's like a month off. That makes no sense. And there's there's a transaction that's already closer to the date. Right. The logic is just clearly broken. And they're not using AI for that. Um.

David Leary: [00:29:15] I have some good news for you before you continue your soapbox, my rant, they had a companion blog post that they came out with that said how Gen II will shape the future for our customers. So this is on the zero blog, and they talk about how on their Investor Day, they outlined outlined their approach, how they'll integrate AI to our product to help better manage your accounting needs. There are three key areas, and I'm going to just skip to the one bullet. Blake. Automating and streamlining. Important but repetitive and time consuming accounting tasks, including bank reconciliation.

Blake Oliver: [00:29:45] Hallelujah. Thank you. We can move on now. Do you.

David Leary: [00:29:51] Want to? Quickbooks also had news this week.

Blake Oliver: [00:29:54] Uh, about I.

David Leary: [00:29:56] Know, not I.

Blake Oliver: [00:29:57] Okay, let's talk about it.

David Leary: [00:29:58] They announced a new product though. That kind of was a little confusing. You. Have you, um, heard the word this week? Solopreneur. Quickbooks. Solopreneur.

Blake Oliver: [00:30:09] Oh, somebody was confused about what is the difference between QuickBooks Self-employed and QuickBooks. Solopreneur.

David Leary: [00:30:17] So the good news is I have enough background to understand what QuickBooks Self-employed was. And I confirmed a couple thoughts with a friend of the show, Jess and Jessica McCracken, today over some text messaging. So I have a really good understanding of QuickBooks solopreneur as well now.

Blake Oliver: [00:30:34] And she works at Intuit, so she's got the she's inside. Yeah, she's on the accountants team.

David Leary: [00:30:38] Cool. So if we go back to it's probably a decade ago now. Um, Alex, Chris, who's now the CEO of PayPal, he really wanted to go after these gig workers. This is the start of TaskRabbit, the start of DoorDash, the start of Uber and Lyft. Right? Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:30:52] And those people who have, like, no money, they're great customers for your SaaS product because they will never pay for it, but continue.

David Leary: [00:31:00] So they created a product and it was really built originally off of mint. So mint was the personal finance product. And a lot of those people, if you're doing an Uber or Lyft situation, you're just making that money's going straight into your bank account, right? So really what this was was it was mint under the covers with a with a QuickBooks interface. And actually the work they did on that interface, I think eventually the UI principles moved towards QuickBooks. Really, in a way QuickBooks started to look more like that product.

Blake Oliver: [00:31:29] But it wasn't really QuickBooks under the it.

David Leary: [00:31:32] Was never QuickBooks, and it was. And it would track the mileage and you could swipe transactions left and right if it was personal or business right. It was designed to hook up to your personal bank account and report things out. But it was never designed for businesses, right? So there was never an upgrade path to other QuickBooks products. There was no APIs because it was never QuickBooks. Right now, you know, decade later, they're shutting down mint and making people move to. Credit Karma. And for the and this goes back when I was in Intuit like like why was this never QuickBooks to begin with? Finally in 2024 they've now introduced QuickBooks Premier which actually is QuickBooks. Blake look at this I'm going to share my screen.

Blake Oliver: [00:32:17] So it's a.

David Leary: [00:32:18] Scaled down for it today.

Blake Oliver: [00:32:19] It's a scaled down QuickBooks. And my number one question is going to be can I upgrade. Like, let's say, because I started as a solopreneur and then I became not a solopreneur. And so I needed to be able to migrate.

David Leary: [00:32:35] So I signed up today. And Earls, is this.

Blake Oliver: [00:32:39] Do you need to tell me something, David? Are you quitting earmark like. No.

David Leary: [00:32:42] I just created a new side gig this morning. Brand new.

Blake Oliver: [00:32:45] What's your new side gig? How are you going?

David Leary: [00:32:46] I have no idea, but I bought fuel for $100. I don't know what my side gig is just yet. And you're going to.

Blake Oliver: [00:32:51] Become an Uber driver?

David Leary: [00:32:52] Actually, I chose, uh, home remodeling as my category as I was going through the Wizard, but looking at the URL, it's truly qbo, right? Based on the URL structure I see if I get into, um, you know, there's not really a register per se, right? Um, this is a bug because I think I only put this transaction in once, but nonetheless.

Blake Oliver: [00:33:12] You've got a list of transactions that's like a register.

David Leary: [00:33:15] Yeah, like a register. If I go to reports and I run a profit and loss and I click look, you can change between cash and accrual. It's double entry I can, I can I can hit the little gear to customize the report and go to the filters. And if you look under distribution account I can choose like real chart of account accounts like this is QuickBooks. This is like this is QuickBooks. I'm willing to bet unless they've turned it off or hit it, a developer could actually read and write data, possibly through the API. Like this is a huge victory for all accountants, because self-employed never fit in the universe of accountants because it was never QuickBooks. And this is this is a huge victory, I think.

Blake Oliver: [00:33:58] So this is just stripped down transactional accounting. I import my transactions into the bank, I code them, can I reconcile?

Speaker8: [00:34:07] Uh, because if.

Blake Oliver: [00:34:08] I can't reconcile.

David Leary: [00:34:09] A bank account, so I don't know. Okay, I did not. I'm assuming that if I hooked up a bank account, I'm going to get a very similar view of the bank feeds that I get in QuickBooks. Um, yeah, that I did not hook up.

Blake Oliver: [00:34:21] This is critical, right? If you can't reconcile, it doesn't work for. Okay.

David Leary: [00:34:25] Let's see. This is the one. So I did do the onboarding interview. And the one thing that I think Intuit's missing the boat on is most people that are in this phase, they probably still have commingled bank account.

Blake Oliver: [00:34:40] And unless they have a good accountant.

David Leary: [00:34:42] But then, then they probably won't be jumping onto this. That's true. I already have the regular QuickBooks, right? Like this is a real opportunity to set up a business for success. Like just force them. Like you don't even get to use this unless you open a checking account or connect to a business account.

Blake Oliver: [00:34:57] So it has QuickBooks checking features.

David Leary: [00:34:59] It does, but it's not in the wizard. It's not like I think you push people to this right away because it just sets them up for success. Long terme. Yeah, right. You put them on the business checking right away. But the good news is there's a path. I even went to the subscriptions and I think the UI might be broken, but I go to subscriptions and billing. Right. And it shows my subscription. But if I scroll down on the page, it says Discover More. But if I click it, it's it's the UI is broken. It doesn't show me anything more. I'm assuming it's going to show me the other plans I can upgrade to.

Blake Oliver: [00:35:32] So it has double entry accounting. I don't know if you can reconcile it. You can categorize business versus personal transactions. So I guess you import all your transactions. But I wonder how it would work if you migrate. Anyway, we got a lot to cover so we can't get into that. Anything else to add about QuickBooks?

David Leary: [00:35:47] Um. Not specifically. No. All right.

Blake Oliver: [00:35:50] Well, I saw news from Zoho. Zoho is getting into practice management. This was reported in Accounting Today. Val Steed, the company's director of accountants, briefed Accounting Today on its comprehensive practice management system, which is aimed at small and mid-sized accounting practices. And the reason you might want to pay attention to this is because Zoho is very affordable compared to everything else out there, and I just spoke to one firm owner who runs an international practice helping expats with tax. Um, on my earmark podcast, who uses Zoho and it's like 30 bucks a month for everything for all of his people. Right? For each one very affordable for, you know, like.

David Leary: [00:36:38] I think Soho one is like 50 bucks a month and you get access to 110 apps. It's crazy how much stuff that Zoho does.

Blake Oliver: [00:36:44] So Zoho practice is only $5 per user for firms with more than five users, and if you have fewer than that, it's totally free. So most of our listeners and most accounting firms are fewer than five people. And so you could potentially try this. Use this for completely for free. It's brilliant way to price I think. Um, and of course, you know, if you get onto this practice management system, then you'll probably want to use Zoho Payroll, Zoho Expense, Zoho Email, Zoho Docs. Right? They have the whole suite. It's like an ERP system.

David Leary: [00:37:19] Instead of getting the Microsoft 365 stack or getting Google Docs, you're getting an equivalent stack, right? It has chat. It has, uh, its own version of zoom. Everything you need to run a firm Zoho builds now. Yep.

Blake Oliver: [00:37:32] So let's take a look at their website and just see what's included in the in the features. Um, so this is Zoho Practice. You can find it at Zoho. Com slash practice features that make your practice perfect. Um, they've got a CRM for your clients. You can assign staff to clients and tasks. You've got all the client communication in one place. Access all client emails, comments, desktop tasks, documents, and staff associated with the client in one place. Client collaboration. There is a. Request feature. You can make requests of clients. You can create questionnaires. You can have chats. Via. You can share documents via encrypted chat with clients. Digital signatures are in there. You can connect Zoho Books for your practice to all this stuff, so you can see all the financial details about your clients like, you know, build them and all that stuff. There's task management. I think I mentioned that you can have recurring tasks, task templates, bulk update tasks. There's time tracking in there for the time trackers. I'm not against time tracking. I really do think it's okay. I just don't like it as a performance management system or a billing system necessarily. Uh, secure document storage. Dynamic client customization. What does that mean? Custom fields. Ooh, I love that. Got to have lots of custom fields email templates, integrations you can integrate with outlook. It integrates with all their other stuff, the signature e-signature stuff. Automations, audit logs, activity trails. So anyway.

David Leary: [00:39:10] Yeah, but what I think is great about this is it's not locked into like, oh, if I use Zoho Practice Manager, I've put all my clients on Zoho Books. No, I can have clients be on QuickBooks or Xero. I can have them and bring them all into one dashboard. And and I actually think this is a flaw of QuickBooks Online's, um, Accountant Edition's mindset. Like, if I'm going to use QuickBooks online for my firm, the Accountants Edition, to manage all my clients, if I have a client on Xero, let me add them to that dashboard too. Yep. Because I'm chances are that if they might be on, they could be on Xero, but maybe their payroll is on QuickBooks Online Payroll, or maybe their, um, their taxes is done. It shifts data over to Proconnect, who knows. But this like closed ecosystem for a dashboard of clients doesn't make a lot of sense. If you really want to be the portal for all the firm's clients, you got to let other, uh, accounting software packages appear as well.

Blake Oliver: [00:40:09] Uh, boring accountant says Zoho Analytics are an extra add on. I don't see that in the integrations, and I don't see that in the features list. So I'm going to guess, yes, I don't know. They've got financial insights, so I don't know if what that means. Maybe you can find out and let us know. Any more app news for this week. The FTC has also gone after H&R block over their free online filing claims. It's not just Intuit and TurboTax getting hammered for that. The FTC lodged a complaint against H&R block, accusing them of misleading marketing practices. Just like Intuit, H&R block promoted free online tax filing services that often weren't free and deleted customers data when they attempted to switch to cheaper products. That was always the way they got you. You'd spend all this time putting in all your info, and then you get to the end and they say, oh, you need this credit, this education credit. You don't qualify for the free product. Click here to pay. And if you wanted to do the free one. Like, say you don't. You'd have to, like, start over, right? Or actually, no, it would be if you went into the paid product from the paid website, you couldn't get to the free product. Even if you qualified for it.

David Leary: [00:41:22] You can work backwards.

Blake Oliver: [00:41:23] You couldn't work backwards. Yeah. Um, they basically made it difficult to downgrade. But, you know, hopefully all this is going to go away once the IRS actually, you know, builds this product for, you know, the 80% of Americans or whatever, half of Americans who really just have very, very simple tax returns and should be able to file for free like everywhere else in the world.

David Leary: [00:41:46] I have one that's kind of an AI ish story, if you want to jump to that and share more.

Blake Oliver: [00:41:52] Well, the only other thing I want to get to is we did a listener survey and I have the results of it. So we just need to save like some time at the end for that.

David Leary: [00:41:58] There'd be still time for that. Perfect. All right. So this headline was kind of out there a bunch of different ways. But the summary of the headline and I thought going concern uh, summarized it best the way they said that, uh, there's a study and so I'll read the going concern headline study. Colon ChatGPT won't be replacing accounting professors in the near future. And there's other versions of this. And I'll open up the article here. The, uh, this this was another article. It says expert test if I can help teach students accounting. And it has, uh, this is a professor that's at Charles Darwin University in Australia, and it's a picture of him hiding behind all his accounting textbooks and tax textbooks. And, you know, I don't know if he wrote all these if these were just his. And he has this, like, grin, like he outsmarted the eye. He almost has like, that grin. Right? Yeah. But if you start reading, like what? The way they came to this conclusion, I don't think it was done properly. So what they did is they provided five numerical and five narrative based multiple choice questions. So it'd be ten questions based on introduction financial accounting and ten for advanced advanced financial accounting. And they gave it one question at a time and then got back an answer. And it only, you know, hit the typical numbers, which is 80%. Right. But I don't think that's the way to determine if it could be an accounting professor. Blake.

Blake Oliver: [00:43:19] Whether it can answer and explain questions like multiple choice questions. That's. Yes. Yeah. That's totally ridiculous. So that's not how you learn accounting.

David Leary: [00:43:29] So this morning I said, well let me open up ChatGPT. So and this is like not a lot of thought. This was just rattled off at 5 a.m. on half a cup of coffee and I said, you're I went to ChatGPT. You're an introduction to accounting. Professor, can you create a lesson plan for accounting students that have zero accounting experience? And ChatGPT created a four week course for introduction Accounting week one day by day. What we would cover. Introduction. What is accounting day two. Day three the accounting equation. Day four we get into T-accounts right? Yeah it has week two reconciling adjusting entries. Week three builds out a whole course which is pretty impressive. So then I said, hey, this is a great outline, but can we really create just the instructional content for week one, day four, which is the double entry system because that's where accounting classes go off the rails, right? Yeah. Like that. Here's a T account and it just goes it just goes off the rails.

Blake Oliver: [00:44:23] People don't get it. And then they fail through the rest of the class because they don't understand debits and credits.

David Leary: [00:44:28] So it created all the instructional content on the double entry system for me.

Blake Oliver: [00:44:33] It's amazing.

David Leary: [00:44:33] Yeah. The rule of thumb the T accounts gave me, I asked it for some examples of T account transactions. It gave me the t account transactions. Um, and then it talked about splitting the students up in groups and going on and on and having a Q and A and active discussion. But then I was like, you know, what I really need is t accounts. So I said, hey, can you give me some examples and tables of the key t accounts? And I have these great visuals. Now instead of me writing it on a whiteboard, it made the difference for me. It did.

Blake Oliver: [00:45:00] It in markdown format, markdown so you can import.

David Leary: [00:45:03] It lined up.

Blake Oliver: [00:45:04] Yeah.

David Leary: [00:45:05] I it's perfect. I was like, okay, that's great. And I was like, well, can you also show a table ledger of those, uh, examples that hit the cash account? And it gave me a ledger, but the debit and credit in the balance. Yep. And I was like, well that's great. What about a profit and loss statement a balance sheet. And it gave me those as well. Like I could teach an accounting intro to accounting class with ChatGPT.

Blake Oliver: [00:45:26] Or you could be a student and you could ask ChatGPT to be your personal accounting tutor and teach you all of this stuff. Now, the AI assistant might have to get trained, and it would be much better if it was trained on specific accounting textbooks and given specific instructions for how to respond. But yeah, it could totally do this.

David Leary: [00:45:48] But out of the box. This is pretty.

Blake Oliver: [00:45:49] It's insane. It's insane how good it is. Yeah, but I.

David Leary: [00:45:52] Don't understand like this, like egotistical professor mindset of like, we're so great, right? And it's like, no, what you do is not that impressive. Like, what I got here is probably what I got at the community college for accounting one on one. I think very.

Blake Oliver: [00:46:08] Similar higher education is is already done, like 80% of of lecturers and professors in higher education are obsolete already. It's just a matter of time until we apply AI to do a lot of personalized, individualized education because.

David Leary: [00:46:29] It starts to write all their papers for them. Think about how they don't need to publish anymore.

Blake Oliver: [00:46:33] Yeah, well, that's a whole different thing. But just just talk. Let's let's just look at accounting education, how inefficient it is. Accounting professor or lecturer gets up in front of a class of dozens or even hundreds of students and just talks. For an hour or two, and the students have to go home and read a textbook and then do problem sets to learn. That's a really efficient way to do it. When you have to disseminate the information from one person speaking to a bunch of other people, and then they can ask questions, right, and do office hours and whatnot. But like, imagine if instead of having one professor for 100 students, every student could have their own professor and that nice professor that I could customize the learning plan specifically for that student based on what they know and what they don't know, and how they answer questions and what they get wrong and what they get right. You can go so much faster because the one professor talking to a whole class is talking to the middle 80%, and the 10% at the bottom who don't understand what's happening, and the 10% at the top who are super bored, don't get value. And I was one of the 10% at the top. I'm not afraid to say.

David Leary: [00:47:48] That the day day for when you they start putting t accounts on the board is where people decide they love or hate a county. Yeah, like this one day determines who becomes an accountant. And if your.

Blake Oliver: [00:47:59] Professor isn't able to explain it in a way that works for you, you don't get it, and then you can't follow the rest of what's happening, and then you get left behind.

David Leary: [00:48:08] And we don't have an accountant shortage. Yeah, it all goes to that day. That one day. Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:48:13] So. This is, uh, you could you could actually train an AI to teach accounting, I think. And it will take time. Education companies will have to, like, figure out how to do it. Maybe we'll figure out how to do it, David, after we conquer continuing education. But like these professors are in for the ones who continue to teach the same way, just like everything else, right? The professors who use AI will replace those. The educators who use AI will replace those who don't. And given how traditional academia is and how slow moving it is, I think most of them won't. And they will be obsolete and people aren't going to pay for it, right? Why would I pay for this expensive higher education that's like slower and less customized than one I can get from a from an app? Yeah, that has access to all of the world's information, which is way more than this guy has access to. Yeah.

David Leary: [00:49:06] And if you think about it like it's speed. Yeah. Right. Like like in the state of Arizona, like because you have your degree, you could go be an adjunct professor, I think anywhere. And you could go teach accounting 101. Yeah, but it would take you a while to build your curriculum, but you could probably build it in three hours with ChatGPT. You'd have a whole lesson plan done. I mean, I kind of did it already. Most of it.

Blake Oliver: [00:49:26] We're already doing this in a in a very small way at earmark. You know, we can we can build entire courses, one hour CP courses using AI. And then, you know, obviously we tweak it, we customize it. But it takes out like 80% of the work we used to have to do.

David Leary: [00:49:43] I think a different perspective. It's it's what can these AI tools do for you. Versus I'm going to stump it and show how smart I am. Yeah. Right. Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:49:52] Yep. And also they're using just like the generic ChatGPT not one that's been specifically trained on accounting. So if you if you trained an AI model on accounting and that's all it was doing was like being an accounting professor, it would totally crush those questions, I guarantee you. Yeah. The sky doesn't know what he's talking about. So, David, we have a little time left. I want to go through our listener survey. Thank you. Thank you to everyone who completed our listener survey. We got enough responses that I will call this statistically significant. Um, hundreds of responses. So thank you very much. I will put this on the screen because I want to show you what I did with it. Um. It's an AI example, like a really cool example of AI. So we did our survey in a tool called survey Kit, which you know has an analysis tab. We had 146 responses and you're.

David Leary: [00:50:50] Not sharing just yet. I don't know if you knew.

Blake Oliver: [00:50:51] That or not. No I got a I got to get it up here. Let's see. Share screen window. There it is. Share. So like we get this. Analysis tab and its tables and, um. Charts. Bar charts, you know.

David Leary: [00:51:08] Based on the answers.

Blake Oliver: [00:51:09] Based on the answers.

David Leary: [00:51:10] Right. Dumping out the data. But we have to interpret it and go through it.

Blake Oliver: [00:51:14] Right. So I'm going through this. I'm trying to get an idea like generate a profile. I'm trying to like get an image in my mind of. Who is a typical listener.

David Leary: [00:51:23] Please tell me you took the survey data and it drew something with Dolly, our listener.

Blake Oliver: [00:51:28] We could do that. Actually, I want to try that next. Uh, but I didn't do that. I'm just working with text here. So what I did is I left the analysis page right with all the charts and the tables, and I dropped it into Claude and I said, I'm the co-host of the accounting podcast. Here are the results of our listener survey. Give me a detailed analysis of our listeners based on the survey. Now, this doesn't have any listener information like emails. We didn't even collect emails or names or anything like that. So it's just the results. And then some of the comments and here is what Claude did for me, Claude said based on the survey results, here's a detailed analysis of the accounting podcast. Listeners demographics. Listeners tend to listen frequently, with almost 50% listening to every or nearly every episode. About 20% listen a few times per month. So there is a loyal listener base.

David Leary: [00:52:16] Thank you.

Blake Oliver: [00:52:17] Now what certifications licenses do they hold? 44% are CPAs and 42% are QuickBooks. Xero Advisors and 18% hold some other certification. There could be overlap there. Listeners tend to be accounting professionals of some kind, rather than students or casual listeners. That's good to know. People aren't listening to go to sleep. That was one of my theories. Uh. How old are they? Most listeners. Over half are between the ages of 35 and 54. Its gender is evenly split. Where do they work? 30% work for themselves and 29% work at public accounting firms, so a majority of listeners likely work in public practice settings. Over a third work at companies with less than ten employees. Listeners tend to hold senior roles like partner, manager, CEO or controller, though there are also more junior roles represented like staff accountant and bookkeeper, and over 90% are based in the US. That was so helpful. I now know very clearly in my mind who our listeners are. And we could probably ask it to generate a, uh, what do they call it in marketing, a, um, persona? Persona. We could, like, have it create a persona for us to. Preferences.

Blake Oliver: [00:53:35] What do listeners want to hear about? We asked you that listeners ranked technology news and updates as the number one most interesting topic, followed by interviews with accountants and then how to grow an accounting business. So that tells me we need to focus on these interviews. And we've been doing a lot of these bonus interviews. I want to get more practitioners, more of our listeners on the show. So if you've got something to share, if you have something to that, you, you, you, uh, have an opinion on search price. If you do search price, if you have like a tip you want to share with other forward thinking practitioners, send us an email and we'll get you on the show. The accounting podcast at earmarked me that's the accounting podcast at earmarked me me the least popular topics. Um, career advice for industry accountants, I guess because we just don't have that many industry accountants listening. I mean, we do have like it's not small. It's like I think 16% according to the survey or, you know, less, but it's less than 20%. Um, and people also are not fans of cryptocurrency or blockchain.

David Leary: [00:54:34] Which is good. We need to talk about it once this episode. There we go. Said it. Now we're learning.

Blake Oliver: [00:54:38] Summary of the feedback. Uh, listeners like the authenticity of the hosts, the candid, honest takes on the profession and the variety of relevant, up to date topics covered. They like getting news and updates on accounting, text software that seems to be highly valued, and listeners appreciate the candor on issues like the talent pipeline crisis. So in summary, the core listener base are accounting professionals working in public practice roles, mainly CPAs and advisors running small businesses and interested in technology updates and practice management content. So I have.

David Leary: [00:55:10] Resolved like you have 60s left. Put that in and create an image of our listener. Put that in the I.

Blake Oliver: [00:55:15] Well, I can't do it in clod. Um, but I guess I could go to chat ChatGPT jump over, jump over there and say, uh, given this, I got to put this back on the screen.

David Leary: [00:55:27] To paste that back in.

Blake Oliver: [00:55:29] And I will, uh.

David Leary: [00:55:32] Given this profile, listeners can see us, but we can't see them.

Blake Oliver: [00:55:37] Podcast listeners generate an image to represent our typical listener. Let's see if it can do this. Creating image. What do you think it's going to do, David? Do you think it's going to do like the stereotypical old white guy sitting at his desk with a stack of papers?

David Leary: [00:56:00] I don't know, I think it's going to confuse, because there's the one sense that says it could be half the audience is male, half is female. It'll be interesting to see what we get. Um, well, this is chugging along here. You discovered, um, prices of I and the cost to do this exercise we're doing. Oh, yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:56:16] This is so fascinating. So I've been experimenting with the OpenAI API, connecting it to our various systems to do AI tasks. And. It's expensive to run these prompts. Uh, like if I upload a podcast transcript and ask it to, like, create a summary that can cost like 10 to $0.40. So every prompt that you put into ChatGPT is worth like that much. At least that's what they charge for it through the API. But you only pay 2030 bucks a month for it, right? So do the math. I wonder how many subscriptions you know. It's costing them more to do the processing than they're getting in subscriptions. But you had the argument or you made the argument, David, that maybe it's a gym membership. And like a lot of people subscribe and they don't use it very much. But if you use it a lot, like, you know, I was working through generating like CPE courses and it's like 15, $20 to make one. So it's certainly cheaper than a human, but it's not cheap.

David Leary: [00:57:18] So I have to freeze your spin carts here so you don't over overspend.

Blake Oliver: [00:57:21] I set myself a limit of 100 bucks on the experiment, so we got our image back. Uh, the image representing the typical listener of the accounting podcast has been generated showcasing a professional environment where a group of accounting professionals are engaged in various activities that reflect the interests and demographics of your podcast audience.

David Leary: [00:57:38] But nobody's listening to a podcast. Nobody has headphones in.

Blake Oliver: [00:57:41] It's like a bunch of people in business attire, like gray suits and, um, oh, look at this. This woman here is wearing one of her legs, has, like, man's shoes.

Speaker8: [00:57:54] And no one.

Blake Oliver: [00:57:55] Has. One has, like the female heels. That's pretty funny.

David Leary: [00:57:58] Short pant leg.

Blake Oliver: [00:58:00] Like this guy has. This guy is wearing heels.

Speaker8: [00:58:02] All right. Uh. Love it.

David Leary: [00:58:06] They all have a device in front of them.

Speaker8: [00:58:08] Yeah, they're all.

Blake Oliver: [00:58:09] Sitting in, like, this glass. Um, big open glass space. With tables like it looks like a WeWork kind of vibe, you know? And on the wall there's a mural of all these, like, diagrams that look something like accounting and computers.

Speaker8: [00:58:24] And there's. And they're all white people.

David Leary: [00:58:26] Do you notice that? Oh, God. None of our data was said anything about that.

Blake Oliver: [00:58:30] It didn't, but it just assumed that's racist.

David Leary: [00:58:33] Because they're.

Speaker8: [00:58:33] Accountants, you.

Blake Oliver: [00:58:34] Know, it's like Microsoft is or no, Google is getting in trouble.

David Leary: [00:58:37] Just got in trouble for this.

Blake Oliver: [00:58:38] If we put this into Gemini, I bet it would be like very diverse, but apparently ChatGPT.

Speaker8: [00:58:46] It is.

Blake Oliver: [00:58:46] Uh, is not very diverse with its outputs.

Speaker8: [00:58:49] We tried.

David Leary: [00:58:50] Like. Yeah, it's, uh, I was expecting one. I couldn't just make one boring.

Blake Oliver: [00:58:55] Accountant says there are no double, triple or four plus monitor setups. Yeah. All these people are working on like laptops or tablets or their phones, which is, like, not realistic at all. Come on.

David Leary: [00:59:06] A lot of coffee.

Speaker8: [00:59:07] There's a lot of coffee there.

Blake Oliver: [00:59:08] I mean, people these, these accountants have. Leather briefcases at their feet. Who carries around a traditional leather briefcase anymore? I haven't seen one of those since. Like my accounting professor in college.

David Leary: [00:59:26] Yeah, and nobody's talking to each other. They're all looking at their own screen now.

Speaker8: [00:59:30] They're staring.

Blake Oliver: [00:59:31] Well, that is that might be accurate.

Speaker8: [00:59:33] Maybe they're.

David Leary: [00:59:33] Watching the live stream of the.

Speaker8: [00:59:34] Podcast. Oh, maybe.

David Leary: [00:59:36] With no headphones on, just so they all can hear it at the same time.

Blake Oliver: [00:59:39] David, we are out of time. Thank you everyone for joining us today, especially our live stream viewers. Subscribe to us on YouTube. You can join like 1.8 million people who saw us on YouTube last week. Yes, I'm not kidding. We had one of our YouTube shorts go viral. It was the story about the General Motors lawsuit against the city of San Francisco, where San Francisco is trying to, uh, say that they can tax GM's global net income because of the cruise self-driving unit being in San Francisco.

David Leary: [01:00:14] And it's not 1.9 million views. It's going to break 2 million views.

Blake Oliver: [01:00:18] Algorithm video algorithms are insane. It's like 700,000 on TikTok two. So that means like, you know, over 2 million people or we've had over 2 million views of that 1/62 clip. And most people are watching it all the way through. And I looked up the, uh, like the, the, the other analytics information. And it's like when I looked it was like 17,000 hours of watch time. So you multiply the the duration people viewed on average times the number of views, and you get total watch time for that one video. It's amazing. Uh, and that's all because of algorithms, right? It's like somebody likes it and they happen to be an accountant. And the algorithm figures out who else is an accountant and might like it. And we're actually getting a lot of people who are obviously not accountants and who obviously, like, have no grasp of the English language. Based on the YouTube.

David Leary: [01:01:09] Comments, I've never put a comment on a real and Instagram TikTok. I've never commented on.

Speaker8: [01:01:15] Any of them.

David Leary: [01:01:15] Ever.

Speaker8: [01:01:16] Is that why we are old?

Blake Oliver: [01:01:18] I just got on TikTok like last year and started like using it like recently. Once our videos started blowing up on TikTok.

Speaker8: [01:01:26] I mean.

David Leary: [01:01:26] Thousands have put comments. Yeah, 5000 people have commented about this.

Blake Oliver: [01:01:32] It's insane. Um, so anyway, apparently our podcast now exists to create 62nd clips for TikTok and YouTube. We we we record for a whole hour talking about all these issues in detail, and it's distilled down into like a 62nd clip. Uh, the cool thing is that we ended up getting like over a thousand new subscribers to our YouTube channel just because of that short. So hopefully it keeps working. Um, and that some of you who discovered us on the short are now watching our full episodes and perhaps even getting CPE for it with earmark. Don't forget, you can earn free CPE for listening or watching this episode. Download the earmark app. It's free. You can get a free hour of Naspa CPE. Just take a five question quiz. We are releasing a new version of the app very soon. It is not janky. It is super smooth. It is incredible. It's like almost ready. We're beta testing it right now. I'm so excited. We've rewritten the whole thing. Uh, it was a huge task, but we wanted to clear all the technical debt off of our balance sheet.

David Leary: [01:02:38] I'm so pumped about like, maybe two weeks from now. This goes live, and the stuff we get to do for the rest of the year for the app, for the earmark app and the improvements we make in this whole list of stuff I've been building up for two years, we can finally do. I'm just super pumped about this.

Blake Oliver: [01:02:54] And Millennial Money mom in the live stream said, I actually found you organically through a YouTube short. I was looking for QuickBooks info. It works amazing, incredible. Like and subscribe. I need to get like a t shirt that says that or something you want to know. The funniest thing David, is I was taking a video of my son, who's nine, who watches like too much YouTube, I'm sorry to say. Like I try to limit it, but he watches a lot like all these kids do. And he I was taking a video of him and I was like, so Thomas, tell me about like something. And he's like showing me. And then at the end of the when he's done, he goes like and subscribe. And that's how I know he's done.

Speaker8: [01:03:34] Subscribe.

Blake Oliver: [01:03:34] He's like an eye that's been trained, right. He's he's consumed all these videos and he notices at the end they always say like and subscribe.

David Leary: [01:03:41] If anytime somebody films.

Speaker8: [01:03:42] You you see. Exactly. I'm like.

Blake Oliver: [01:03:44] Well, you know, I'm not putting this on YouTube, right. Like and subscribe.

David Leary: [01:03:49] Send it to his, you know, you send it to grandma or something and grandma will.

Speaker8: [01:03:53] Know she wants she.

Blake Oliver: [01:03:54] Can. Well, she knows how to tap the like icon on, um, on photos like in the shared album. So I guess it does. It does work. Bye everyone. See you next week.

Speaker8: [01:04:04] Like and.

David Leary: [01:04:05] Subscribe.

Creators and Guests

David Leary
David Leary
President and Founder, Sombrero Apps Company
Weighing The Risks and Rewards Of Surge Pricing Tax Returns
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