Everyone wants to be a bank for small business

In this episode, there's a ton of accounting and bookkeeping news! QuickBooks might now be bigger than Xero in the UK, Expensify launches a commercial card, Veem and Xero get integrated, an accounting matchmaking platform raises $10M in financing, Intuit and VISA launch instant deposits, follow up on MyPayrollHR, and more. Also, don't forget to come visit us live and in person, or failing that, check out our new merch store for all the latest, greatest, exclusive Cloud Accounting Podcast stuff!


Show Notes
  • 00:56 – How much pain has the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act caused? | WSJ
  • 01:29 – Blake left his heart in San Francisco , with Jirav,  where he's now director of marketing
  • 03:17 – Blake's excited to get back to his old stomping ground, helping educate CPAs, and small-biz accountants and bookkeepers
  • 04:24 – Veem and Xero team up to offer a kinder, gentler, less-clunky invoicing system | CPA Practice Advisor
  • 07:37 – While it's not the perfect AR/AP payment solution, David talks about some of the benefits of using a service like Checkbook.io
  • 09:14 – Cruisin' on down the highway - QBO now offers mileage tracking | Insightful Accountant 
  • 09:57 – BQE Core is also offering mileage tracking | BQE 
  • 11:07 – David’s #1 prediction of 2019 comes true! 
  • 11:20 – Intuit and Visa are on the small-biz track, joining forces to offer instant deposits | Business Insider
  • 12:16 – We’re not quite sure what we’re selling, but it’s in the TOS! | Intuit QuickBooks 
  • 12:25 – Thanks to Nina Casey for sending in this story, and offering her insights!
  • 13:56 – Has Rich Preece left the Intuit building? 
  • 15:08 – Paro, a high-end accounting temp agency raises $10m in their latest round of funding | Accounting Today
  • 17:58 – EasierAccounting.com, yet another new kid on the same ol’ AI-Accounting block? | Yahoo! 
  • 20:02 – Short story long, Expensify has launched “the world’s smartest corporate card! | CPA Practice Advisor
  • 21:48 – Blake’s take on Expensify’s grassroots-y approach to marketing 
  • 25:50 – Brex teams up with Radius Bank to target those well-funded startups | PYMNTS.com
  • 28:49 – Bank of America targets small business but misses the mark | Bank Innovation
  • 31:02 – Mark your calendars!  September 18th is now Bill.com Day in Houston! | CPA Practice Advisor 
  • 31:42 – Robinhood tightens their tights for another shot at banking | Bank Innovation
  • 32:54 – Is Intuit overtaking Xero in the UK race? | Scoop Independent News
  • 34:41 – Revolut is on the fast track to becoming Europe’s MVP in the fintech space | City A.M.
  • 36:34 – The MyPayrollHR fallout continues | Albany Business Review
  • 38:38 – Pioneer Bank, Michael Mann’s bank of choice, seems to be at a loss for useful words | Times Union
  • 39:53 – New York State Department of Financial Services starts to gather intel in the search for missing payroll regulations | WSJ
  • 42:13 – Bigger isn’t always smarter – More on California’s fiscal project fiasco | Government Technology
  • 46:45 – The One-Percent crowd pays less taxes than the rest of us | Washington Post
  • 47:32 – The rich keep getting richer, and the poor keeping being cheaper to audit | ProPublica
  • 50:33 – The kiddos are raking in the allowance, with little to no savings to show for it | AICPA
  • 55:42 – It’s time for reviews! Thanks to all our excellent listeners! 
  • 57:12 – Should Blake compose and perform the new Cloud Accounting Podcast theme song on his cello? Let us know what you think! 
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Transcript 

Blake Oliver: Welcome to The Cloud Accounting Podcast. I'm Blake Oliver-
 
David Leary: And I'm David Leary.
 
Blake Oliver: I feel like it's been a really long time since we talked, David. I've been having podcast withdrawal.
 
David Leary: I know. I took a little extra weekend, because we couldn't record on Friday. We're recording on Monday, instead, because I went to a wedding in Chicago. But yeah, it feels like it's been 10 days. It has been 10 days or whatever since we've recorded.
 
Blake Oliver: But then it occurred to me that it's okay, because a lot of our listeners do tax, or are involved [00:00:30] in tax and prepping for it. We all know October 15th is the big deadline. So, people don't have time to listen anyway. They're busy working. I've noticed that social media has been very quiet the last couple weeks. I've heard that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act delayed a lot of filing until the extended deadline, so a lot of people are just slammed.
 
David Leary: So, this extended deadline's worse than it has been in previous years.
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah, there was even a story in The Wall Street Journal about how the TCJA [00:01:00] has made tax season end on October 15 this year and interviewed a bunch of CPAs. You know that it's bad when the normal pain that we all feel as accountants gets into The Wall Street Journal as a top story that surfaced in the regular Wall Street Journal feed.
 
David Leary: I've got some articles. We have lots of smart articles. Lots of things have been happening. App articles ...
 
Blake Oliver: And before we get to the articles, though, I've got an announcement-
 
David Leary: What is it? 
 
Blake Oliver: -which is that [00:01:30] I have a new job. As you know, folks who are regular listeners to the show may know, I left FloQast at the beginning of September. I truly intended to do consulting, stay independent, work on the podcast for a little while. But then, the magic of podcasting is I mentioned that I was available, and the folks at Jirav are listeners of the show, [00:02:00] and reached out, and said, "Hey, Blake, we are looking for somebody to help us with marketing, and we love the show, and we wanna talk to you."
 
I was thinking, okay, well, maybe I'll do some consulting for this company. Then, I went up to San Francisco, and I met the founders, and I fell in love, David. It was romance in San Francisco. I really got to know the team, and I'm really excited to be joining them. I'm gonna be their director- well, I am [00:02:30] their director of marketing. I just got through my first week.
 
David Leary: Congratulations! You've moved from one app to another app, now. 
 
Blake Oliver: I know! I feel like now that I've left public accounting and gone into software, I'm gonna get stuck here-
 
David Leary: In the app world? Yeah. 
 
Blake Oliver: In the app world, like you- 
 
David Leary: That'd be like me jumping into accounting firms. Like, yeah, I'm gonna start working for accounting firms.
 
Blake Oliver: Oh, my God, David, if you ... If there was an accounting firm that had the vision to hire you, I think you could do a lot for them. But, yeah, no, that's ... Here's [00:03:00] what I'm really happy about is that FloQast was an application primarily sold to corporate controllers, so it was kind of outside of my home turf, which is the CPA world, or accounting and bookkeeping, small business accounting - the world of QuickBooks and Xero-
 
David Leary: Client advisory services, that kind of ...
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah. FloQast was increasingly more in the NetSuite world, the Oracle world, SAP world. It's really great to be back in the world of an app that is part of [00:03:30] the QBO/Xero ecosystem that is helping CPA firms move to advisory services, which is what we talk about all the time on the show, right? How could I not take them up on the offer to help do that? Help, basically, as part of marketing, create educational content that's going to show CPAs, accountants, bookkeepers how we can move from being historical-looking [00:04:00] to being forward-looking. Oh, and by the way, this app, Jirav, lets you actually do that. That's exciting to me.
 
David Leary: Cool. It will be great to hear about this as you go along. 
 
Blake Oliver: But enough about my gig. What's new with you, David, or, I guess, what have you been reading about?
 
David Leary: Yeah, there's lots of news. Let me see here. Why don't we jump into what I think is my most favorite story of the week?
 
Blake Oliver: Okay. 
 
David Leary: It has a weird title. It says, "Veem introduces Xero for Invoicing" [cross talk] 
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah, [00:04:30] I saw this, because I'm a Xero customer.
 
David Leary: It's a horrible title of the article, but essentially, there's so much YES here, because I'm a firm believer in ... On both sides of the fence, AR, and AP, right? On the AR side, if I send an invoice to a customer, I want that customer to have 25 pay buttons - Pay with Apple Pay; pay with Google Pay - pay with any of those. PayPal, or whatever, right? 
 
Blake Oliver: As a marketing person, I'd say just have one button, but say, "Pay however you want."
 
David Leary: Okay, okay. Possibly like that, from a UI standpoint- 
 
Blake Oliver: One call [00:05:00] the action? Yes. 
 
David Leary: So people can pay me in their preferred method.
 
Blake Oliver: Yes. 
 
David Leary: Well, on the same side, as a business owner, I wanna pay my vendors, and sometimes, one vendor wants to use Veem; another vendor wants you to use Bill.com; another vendor wants you to use this other platform. What they've done, now, is inside of Xero, when you have a bill to pay, in the corner of Xero, there's a button that says, "Pay with Veem." You don't have to a leave Xero, go out to Veem, pay your bills in Veem. You just [00:05:30] do it from one spot.
 
Blake Oliver: Wait, so you're telling me this is not just for receivables? I can also pay my bills inside of Xero with Veem? 
 
David Leary: Let me go re-look at this. Could be me being confused on what I'm looking at in Xero? 
 
Blake Oliver: I saw the AR side, where now you can add Veem as a payment service, and receive payments- 
 
David Leary: Oh, this is on the AR side. Okay, got it.
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah. Now, what you are describing is the Holy Grail of bill pay, which I have yet to see anyone do. But, hey, Veem, if you are listening, that's what people [00:06:00] really want. Although, Veem will pull your bills into Veem, and then you can pay them from their app, but how cool would it be if a button popped up inside of Xero or some Chrome extension allowed you to pay your bills directly from the bill in Xero, and you didn't have to go into Veem to do it? 
 
David Leary: Initially, that's what I thought this did, and that what's, to me, is the most exciting, because ... Actually, I think it's in QuickBooks' and Xero's best interest, because the more payment options you put in product, [00:06:30] you're gonna get a little piece of that action, and then ... It's in QuickBooks' and Xero's best interest to get everybody to pay their bills with e-payments and not write checks, paper checks.
 
Blake Oliver: So, I feel like the reason this doesn't happen is because it's really hard to get a company like Xero, or QuickBooks to put your button in their app. First of all, they have to change their UI. They have to figure ... You're going deep in their turf, and that's not easy to do. 
 
So, here's my work around. I would love, if you're a developer, and you're listening, tell me if this is crazy, but what if [00:07:00] Veem, or Bill.com, or any of these AP apps had a Chrome extension - one of these plugins you get for the Chrome browser - that you would sign into. Then, when you're looking at a bill in Xero, it would superimpose, on the Xero user interface, the Veem pay button.
 
I know that this works, because there are lots of apps that integrate with Gmail this way, and they can add into the functionality without Google having to build something. Somebody should do that. That [00:07:30] way you can layer on top of Xero, without having to work with them to try and get permission to go into their app.
 
David Leary: Yeah, I think the closest thing I've experienced to it is Checkbook.io. I use that inside my QBO. I just do the Pay Bill. I pay bills, and I just cut a check, but I say, "To Print." What it does is it watches all the checks that I have marked, "To Print," and then it'll cut those either as a physical check, if it needs to mail one, or, in most cases, it'll just do an ACH to whoever I'm paying [cross talk] 
 
Blake Oliver: Wait, so you mark it as, "To Print," in QBO, [00:08:00] and then it-
 
David Leary: In QBO-
 
Blake Oliver: -that's how it syncs, and it knows what you wanna actually send? 
 
David Leary: Exactly, because, basically, it's watching that "To Print" status, and then it knows, "Okay, I'm gonna send all these off." 
 
Blake Oliver: But you still have to go into Checkbook.io to actually process it, right?
 
David Leary: No.
 
Blake Oliver: Oh, it just knows ... Wow. 
 
David Leary: It's just watches that. Yeah, which is-
 
Blake Oliver: That's so smart. 
 
David Leary: -that's the closest thing I've seen to that, but what if three apps create that as their trigger, right? [cross talk] Now, I'm gonna pay a bill three [00:08:30] times ... I think it's the right spirit. I don't know if it's a perfect execution, and I think that's the ... The perfect execution is I can set a preference inside of QBO, or Xero of my preferred payment method, or I set it up per vendor. If I'm paying a bill to Vendor X, and they use Bill.com, the button just says, "Pay to Bill.com," and I click it. 
 
When I'm on a bill from a different vendor, maybe it's you, and you like Veem, I'm gonna click you, and it's gonna have the Veem button, and I would pay it through there. Why do I have to go to another UI, another app in another browser tab, to accomplish [00:09:00] something this simple? I'm just paying a bill [cross talk] Kudos. It's the favorite thing I've seen this week. I got very, very excited about this, obviously.
 
Blake Oliver: Well, other big news was the mileage tracker that's now in QuickBooks Online.
 
David Leary: That is big news, as well.
 
Blake Oliver: This was the feature that was available in the Self Employed version, but not in the regular big-boy version of QuickBooks. So, now they've added that in. Have you tried using it, David?
 
David Leary: I have not tried using it. I've always heard a lot about the Self Employed one. Intuit [00:09:30] figured out ways to have it automatically run in the background and not use up your battery on your phone. There's lots of smart things they've done with it using the GPS and things, but I have not used it. I did get it activated in my QuickBooks Online app, but I have not taken a trip yet. So I should ... Do I just create a fake business trip and try to test it out?
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah. Charge me for it. On the same note, our sponsor, BQE, or former sponsor of The Cloud Accounting Podcast - thank you very much - they have also added mileage tracking inside of BQE [00:10:00] that uses GPS and all that stuff. It seems like a lot of solutions, practice-management GLs are now adding in the mileage tracking; just makes a lot of sense, right? Why use a separate app for something that small, I suppose, right? It's not- it's a feature, not an app. 
 
David Leary: I think it's the same for- like even the receipt capture in chapter and QBO. In the grand scheme of things, it might be good enough. Same thing with mileage. If I'm taking two or three trips a year, as a business owner, and I need to track that, going and getting [00:10:30] a separate mileage app just to track two or three trips doesn't make sense. But if I have a fleet, and I have lots of people driving, and lots of employees, maybe it's not the best fit. Everybody's very excited about this. I think I saw it's even starting to become available in Canada, so people are excited about seeing it up there, as well.
 
Blake Oliver: Well, they're always very excited, because they get features like three years after us in the United States- 
 
David Leary: I don't know if it's that long, now. I don't think it's that long now. 
 
Blake Oliver: Not as long.
 
David Leary: I think we've got some more [cross talk] Intuit news- oh, go ahead. 
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah, let's talk about the Intuit news. 
 
David Leary: So, other Intuit news ... Remember [00:11:00] how, last year, at QuickBooks Connect, we were talking about, you know, hey, instant payments. That was the theme. Instant payments are coming. Instant payments are coming. 
 
Blake Oliver: It was, yes. I recall that. 
 
David Leary: I think that was my prediction on our year-one episode, or January 1st episode - whatever we wanna call that [cross talk]
 
Blake Oliver: It was; it was your number-one prediction that this is happening.
 
David Leary: Yeah, this is happening. Now, Intuit and Visa are now launching an instant-deposit feature. They're joining all the other players that are starting to get out of the way. For small businesses, [00:11:30] they're gonna deposit that money in as fast as possible.
 
Blake Oliver: So, there's a fee for this again. Seems like ... That's why this is happening, right? Because Visa, Intuit, they wanna make a little bit of money on this financial-services fee. It's one percent, and then you can get the money ... What? It's like immediately, right? 
 
David Leary: What is the ... 
 
Blake Oliver: It says instant deposits, so I hope so [cross talk] You can receive next-day deposits. Oh, no ... Instant deposits available [00:12:00] within 30 minutes of a transaction being approved.
 
David Leary: Wow! This is even more than 'less than 24 hours.' This is very impressive.
 
Blake Oliver: For one percent, that might be worth it for a lot of businesses to have it immediately. Cool. 
 
David Leary: Then, some other Intuit news that I saw this week that came out ... The terms of service changed for QuickBooks Online. 
 
Blake Oliver: Yes! I don't know where you saw it, but Nina Casey gets a thank-you from me for sending this over. She [00:12:30] noticed the new terms of service having language about QuickBooks Live. Is that what you saw, too?
 
David Leary: Exactly. That's what my note ... Just to myself, I was like, this means QuickBooks Live bookkeeping is now officially real, right? It's in the terms of service. It's no longer a marketing test. It's no longer anything else. It's in the terms of service.
 
Blake Oliver: Nina called out a great line in these terms of service. She said that she liked, "The scope of the bookkeeping services may be limited, and some services may not be included as a part of the QuickBooks Live services; both [00:13:00] of which shall be determined by the Live bookkeeper." Nina says, "So, basically, they're saying, 'buy our product, even though we don't know exactly what we're doing?'" Actually, she said ... I added that myself. She said, "Even though we don't know exactly what we're selling you," to be completely correct. 
 
David Leary: Could you imagine that meeting that this is happening in? The lawyers are trying to write the terms of service, and you have a product management team that's just like, "We don't really know what it is yet, but you gotta ..." This [00:13:30] back-and-forth that's kind of entertaining ... The big takeaway is QuickBooks Live bookkeeping is real. That is the big takeaway in that. I think they rolled in some TSheets terms of service, and some other things, but the big one is- for sure, it is now QuickBooks Live bookkeeping.
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah. 
 
David Leary: Then, one more little piece of Intuit news. I don't know if you saw this or not on the social media, but I think this was Thursday? Maybe it was Friday morning. I think I saw Rich Preece is leaving Intuit! 
 
Blake Oliver: I know! Our [00:14:00] listeners who have been following QuickBooks Live know Rich Preece well, because he's been the voice of Intuit, when it comes to QuickBooks Live.
 
David Leary: We had him on, in an interview - about episode 80; mid-80s, there. We interviewed Rich regarding QuickBooks Live at Scaling New Heights. I think Rich was at Intuit, easily, 17 years; maybe pushing 18 years. He was there for a very long time. There's not a lot of news ... What's next or anything like that, but it was just ... Saw it on the socials, and [00:14:30] then it was confirmed by some Intuit employees, as well.
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah, so no word on where he's going yet.
 
David Leary: There's nothing been ... Nothing, yes; unless it's buried in like a comment thread somewhere on social media, but I have not seen anything.
 
Blake Oliver: Got it.
 
David Leary: He'll be missed. Always enjoy talking to Rich.
 
Blake Oliver: Yes, he was just so well-spoken. He had a great radio voice, too, which made him a great podcast guest.
 
David Leary: He made me sound horrible, I know ... It was great ... 
 
Blake Oliver: That's it for Intuit, right. We've got more app news, though.
 
David Leary: Yeah, there's lots [00:15:00] of app news; lots of different things happening, so jump in. 
 
Blake Oliver: So much ... So much. I don't know if we covered this on a previous episode, but did we talk about how Paro, P-A-R-O, raised $10 million?
 
David Leary: Not specifically this round, but I feel like we've spoken about them once before on the podcast, because they're playing middleman; kind of a matching service ... Temp agency is not the right word, but they're like a temp agency that's using AI to match really higher-end professional [00:15:30] accounting jobs, correct? 
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah. I really like how their representative explained it to Dan Hood in this Accounting Today article. Here's how Paro works, according to Alexa Lemmo; she's their business development manager for partnerships. She says, "Say Client A has a need for a fractional controller. They have a couple of staff accountants, a bookkeeper, and they're looking to get the CFO out of the weeds. We plug in a controller for 15 to 20 hours a week. The [00:16:00] company gets a free call with one of our financial consultants for a needs assessment. Then our experts run a search on our platform, and they come back with the best two or three matches. Then, it's at the client's discretion to speak to all of those freelancers, and interview them, and talk about the scope of work. And we have a dedicated talent management team who are in constant communication with the client, and the freelancer to ensure success." 
 
This sounds very familiar to me. You know who this sounds like to me? It's like the next generation of Robert Half, right? That's who they're disrupting [00:16:30] here. Because, really, they're placing financial professionals in part-time contract-work positions, it seems, primarily for corporate teams, but also can be CPA firms.
 
David Leary: But they're using tech to do it, to make it more efficient, and faster-
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah, exactly. It's not like when I hired somebody at Robert Half ... I did this; I had to go to the office, and I had to meet with their person. Then I had to go, in person, to the office and meet [00:17:00] with all of the bookkeepers I was looking to hire. Not particularly efficient. Paro does this all online. Yeah, they raised $10 million, and it looks like that was from Sierra Ventures, which led the round of financing. Existing investors include Revolution Ventures, KGC Capital, and Tom Williams. So, congratulations to Paro. I should note, they are a Chicago-based startup. Nice [00:17:30] to see another startup coming out of Chicago, where I went to college.
 
David Leary: True. I was just there this weekend. Very nice city; a little cold, a little windy for me, but it was a very nice city. I feel like I've only been to Chicago for social occasions, so it's always a good time, I think. My impression of Chicago is probably higher than it should be, maybe. I don't know.
 
Blake Oliver: Well, it's definitely better if you're at a social occasion, drinking, because that helps you stay warm.
 
David Leary: That's true. That's true. I have a quick, small news on an app I kind of saw, or discovered. The reason I just noted it, it's [00:18:00] an app called EasierAccounting.com. The press release - they're gonna offer a 60-day free trial of the company services. Obviously, I see something like that, I start poking around. It's another accounting firm with engineers - Bench, Botkeeper-
 
Blake Oliver: Another one. 
 
David Leary: ScaleFactor. Another play that's similar to that. Yep, it's another one. They're offering 60 free days trial ... It's just another one. I think we're pushing 10 of these companies now? 12? There's gonna be [00:18:30] more. So, it's just something to keep on the radar.
 
Blake Oliver: Is there anything that makes Easier Accounting different than any of the other bookkeeping/accounting startups, or is it really just like the same thing? It's hard to tell, right?
 
David Leary: It's hard to tell. I feel like it's being- this one's a another one that was started ... I don't think his background was accounting. He's a small business owner, and he could never find accounting firms that were easy to work with, or they were affordable, or provided good communication. [00:19:00] As soon as they found a CPA that was good, they were too expensive. So, he decided to try to attack this himself.
 
Blake Oliver: I should say that I don't mean to be ... I don't know if I come across this way, dismissive of this ... I think this is awesome. I think that this is the future for accounting services in a lot of cases, and congratulations to Easier Accounting. I'm just looking at the website to see where they're located. Looks like they are in St. George, Utah, kinda in between Las Vegas [00:19:30] and Provo; maybe a little bit closer to the Nevada side.
 
David Leary: They don't talk a lot about a lot AI, like, "We have more AI, and we have a lot of engineering stuff ..." not as much as some of the other players, but they definitely are trying to offer a low-cost solution for small businesses. It's another player that's in the space; just keep an eye on them, just like all the other ones. 
 
Blake Oliver: Keep an eye on it. What else is new? Oh, Expensify. We gotta talk [00:20:00] about Expensify.
 
David Leary: Yes.
 
Blake Oliver: I love these emails that I get from David Barrett, the founder, and CEO of Expensify. He has a very unique approach to marketing. I think Expensify has a very unique approach to marketing. The way that he announces new features is with a long, very long, all-text email, which, you know, normally you get these emails that are beautiful, and graphics ... He's just like, "This is what's happening." Even has a TLDR at the beginning - 'Too long, didn't read' [00:20:30] summary. Very nice for us.
 
Basically, the news is that Expensify has launched, "the world's smartest corporate card with market-first daily settlement, unapproved expense limits, and real-time compliance features that enable the highest spend within the safest limits, and the greatest e-receipt coverage of any corporate card." It's available now  to Expensify users. Basically like the Brex card, the Divvy card. Now, you can get that from Expensify, but it's different- 
 
David Leary: This [00:21:00] is that big ... The APIs - MasterCard, Visa ... They've opened up their APIs. A lot of people can spin up and build their own cards. I think I saw ReceiptBank has a card coming out. There's just a lot of these companies that are putting out their own credit card now, which makes me kind of think ... Oh, Intuit just got a big biz-dev deal with Visa for those instant payments. When is the QuickBooks card coming? It just feels like it's kind of a natural-
 
Blake Oliver: It's gonna happen. 
 
David Leary: -progression of things. What's interesting that I love about Dave's emails [00:21:30] is he really gets into the backgrounds on their decisions. 
 
Blake Oliver: Yes. He talks about the reasoning why they did it. Did you realize ... I didn't- I actually remember hearing this a long time ago, but I'd forgotten about it - Expensify started as a corporate card.
 
David Leary: Yes, it was the original play.
 
Blake Oliver: That was the original, but it was early. It was too early, so he pivoted to expense reports, because that is something that's a lot easier to build, and a lot easier to scale, which they obviously have done, to [00:22:00] incredible success. Honestly, they are the ... I mean, we all know about them in the software world as being successful, but maybe not ... Maybe everyone doesn't know. 
 
They get companies to sign up with like tens of thousands of users, and they don't do any traditional marketing; or they do very un-traditional marketing, I should say, because of the grassroots nature of how their app works. I actually wrote a whole blog post about why it's called- why Expensify is the Slack of [00:22:30] accounting, because of the way that they get new users. It's very unique. I don't know where I was going with that, but they are definitely a nontraditional- they take an untraditional approach to everything; same thing with this new card.
 
David Leary: How familiar are you with their e-receipts feature?
 
Blake Oliver: Oh, I love it. You know how it works? 
 
David Leary: Essentially, you don't have to take a photo, or scan, or keep track of your receipt, right? They're recreating it, based on the data from the transaction.
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah. If it's under the IRS threshold of [00:23:00] where you have to have a receipt, which is - for most transactions - $75, then they will generate a receipt for you, based on the credit card statement description, and amount, and date, and location. They guarantee that that will work in an audit; that the IRS will not deny your deduction.
 
David Leary: What's interesting now is they're controlling the end-to-end from swipe, to app, to report. They're gonna be able ... They predict nine out of 10 transactions now are gonna have an  e-receipt. Maybe [00:23:30] the whole concept of tracking receipts at all ... Finally, when they ... I think it was one of their marketing, right? "Burn your receipts!" Finally, maybe this can really, truly happen now.
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah. 
 
David Leary: The other part ... There's so much in this email. I got it like six times. If you're on any ... I've signed up. I've tested apps. Your email addresses get out there, so I've gotten it a bunch of times ... Maybe you can recognize the paragraph, but when I read it, he was talking about how they really got in the room to talk about reconciliation. Nobody [00:24:00] in the team could really justify the reasoning for doing it on a monthly basis. It made zero sense. Do you remember where that paragraph is?
 
Blake Oliver: He says that reconciliation is a nightmare, and regardless of who's footing the bill, if it's not the employee ... Basically, employees don't have incentive to save receipts and make it easy for accounting to reconcile, because they're gonna get reimbursed anyway. Then, the admin has to nag everybody, and it just doesn't happen. The idea with [00:24:30] the corporate card and the e-receipts is that 90 percent of transactions, you don't even need a receipt. It can be reconciled instantly.
 
That's another part of what they're doing here is daily settlement - essentially, reconciling that card every single day, instead of once a month. There's all the charges that happened that day. Expensify tallies them up and debits your company bank account for that amount, so you can reconcile on a daily basis, which actually makes your reconciliations [00:25:00] a lot easier. That's kind of the core philosophy now of QBO and Xero is don't reconcile weekly, reconcile constantly; daily; continuously is another word people like to use. 
 
David Leary: Yep. 
 
Blake Oliver: The benefit of that, which David talks about in this email, is that because you're settling daily, the limits can be insane. Basically, the limit is how much money do you have in your bank account? That's what you can spend, and they have access to your bank account to view your [00:25:30] balance through the API, because you've given them permission to do these ACHs and whatnot. They can instantly adjust your credit limit. If you've got a million bucks in your bank account, because you're a VC-funded startup, then, theoretically, I guess you could spend that much on your credit card.
 
David Leary: Yeah, which is similar to the other news that came out as Brex's announcements [cross talk]
 
Blake Oliver: Oh, I missed that.
 
David Leary: -Brex has a similar model. You have that money in your checking account, and [00:26:00] then they adjust your credit limit based on the money in your checking account. Essentially, if you're a well-funded startup, your credit limit's unlimited, which you would never get from a real credit card company, right?
 
Blake Oliver: Right.
 
David Leary: They're solving a unique problem. Well, now, they're taking it to that next level of why even put your startup funds in the bank? Just put them into the Brex. They're offering their own- basically, they're teaming up with Boston's Radius Bank-
 
Blake Oliver: Whoa ... 
 
David Leary: -and they're going to basically ... They call it Brex Cash. Again, it's another player getting [00:26:30] into the bank space. 
 
Blake Oliver: So, they're gonna try and be the bank for startups.
 
David Leary: They're taking that same logic that you just said out loud about Expensify, and they're just taking it ... Why even keep running to the bank? Just move this ... You're gonna spend it all anyways. Let's just run it through here, so it's easier to get to, and rotate the card. That's a pretty big announcement. Again, it goes to these companies becoming banks. Why? Because the small business banks suck. I'm really excited to get into an example of why small [00:27:00] business banks- the banks suck for small business, if you'd like me to get into that.
 
Blake Oliver: Why banks suck for small business?
 
David Leary: Yeah.
 
Blake Oliver: Is this gonna be a David Leary rant?
 
David Leary: No, no, it's not gonna be a rant. It's just gonna be ... We can get into this ... 
 
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Blake Oliver: Give me the short version, because we got a lot to cover this week.
 
David Leary: All right, this is gonna be a fast one. It's BankAmerica.
 
Blake Oliver: Fast rant! Fast rant starts now! 
 
David Leary: This is digital and human. It's the inside of Bank of America's small business strategy. This is an article that's in Bank Innovation.
 
Blake Oliver: All right. 
 
David Leary: If you remember, a couple weeks ago, we talked about how BBVA [00:29:00] Compass wants to attack small businesses, and they're creating four new APIs for developers to build awesome app integrations into. Well, Bank of America is kind of going a different route, and they've created their own app. Don't look at the article. Nothing else matters. Just look at the app.
 
Blake Oliver: The picture of the app? 
 
David Leary: The picture of the app.
 
Blake Oliver: Business Advantage 360; Total Balance ... It's got-
 
David Leary: Look who the app is designed for. It's in bank language - credits and debits - not from an accounting, [00:29:30] or a small business owner's view of the world. They built this app for themselves. They are completely out of touch! It's so bad! 
 
Blake Oliver: Oh, because the credits and debits are reversed? 
 
David Leary: Yeah, and then, they call it out in the app, like it's this great thing: "Total credits, 78,000; total debits, 30,000. 
 
Blake Oliver: That's how banks think. But because of that, that's how consumers think, too; non-accountants think in those terms, right? A credit increases your bank account-
 
David Leary: Yeah, but this is your Business Advantage app. They obviously do not get it-
 
Blake Oliver: Or, or ... OR this [00:30:00] just represents the consumerization of the enterprise.
 
David Leary: Possibly.
 
Blake Oliver: Making it super-easy-
 
David Leary: Possibly. 
 
Blake Oliver: Making it super-easy for people to understand. It is interesting, though, that it's showing ... This app that you showed me has a cash-flow projection. That's pretty cool. So, you can see, here's today, and then, here's what I'm gonna have three days from now. That is really interesting. I can't believe the banks don't do that already - project cash flow - because they know what we normally spend. They could totally do it.
 
David Leary: Yeah, I'd be interested in how they're doing that. Are they just doing that based [00:30:30] on the checks they have in queue, but they haven't actually cashed for you and deposited into your bank. It's not your ... It's really just a graph of your available balance. 
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah. Execution is everything, right? It depends how they actually do it, but the fact that they're thinking about it is really good.
 
David Leary: Yeah. Then they go on to say how they're gonna underwrite loans faster, and all of these promises that- because all the tech companies are beating them to this punch ... Instead of building an app, they should build APIs. That's my take on it.
 
Blake Oliver: That's cool. Well, hey, here's a connection. Bill.com, [00:31:00] right? They are opening up an office in Houston. This was announced ... Actually, they did it last month. They had a ceremony with the Mayor, Sylvester Turner, who cut a ribbon, and a proclamation from the Mayor naming September 18th as Bill.com Day. So, it was Bill.com Day on September 18th in Houston.
 
David Leary: That's exciting. I don't think we've had an app that got their own day. That's awesome.
 
Blake Oliver: I know, right? 25,000-square-foot office includes shared workspaces, panoramic views of the downtown Houston [00:31:30] skyline, and state-of-the-art technology.
 
David Leary: Sticking with banks, do you remember we covered Robinhood, a few years ... 
 
Blake Oliver: A few years?
 
David Leary: That was about a year ago.
 
Blake Oliver: It feels like a year ago, but ... 
 
David Leary: Maybe less. Robinhood is an investment app, right?
 
Blake Oliver: Yes. 
 
David Leary: Then, they were going to create themselves, and become a bank, and they totally messed it up. Well, they're gonna try it again, apparently [cross talk] 
 
Blake Oliver: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah ... They were unique because they offered free trades. You didn't pay anything [00:32:00] to make a trade. But then, I just saw that news that now- what is it? Is it Schwab? One of the big investment brokerages is now offering free trades, as well. So, clearly, Robinhood disrupted things.
 
David Leary: People want the ... People don't wanna pay to do the trades. I get it. That's kind of a small thing.
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah, Fidelity ... Fidelity is doing free trades, and I think everybody else has moved to match now. So, basically, [00:32:30] the world of trading - like commercial ... consumer brokerages online - is all free now, which is crazy. More app news - Xero, in the UK. Have you been following the numbers? I know you- we dug into them together, when we got the annual reports from- I don't remember if it was Intuit, or Xero, but we always dig into those numbers - who's winning, right?
 
David Leary: Yeah. 
 
Blake Oliver: Well, there was an article in Scoop Independent News out of New Zealand [00:33:00] suggesting that Intuit may have overtaken Xero in the UK, which would be big news, because Xero has just dominated in the UK, crushing Sage in the online world. Intuit is a relative newcomer in the UK; not very long. I mean, what? Maybe a few years, David? I don't remember exactly-
 
David Leary: Yeah, and I think that was my understanding was that the UK market was still pretty much wide open for [00:33:30] ... It wasn't like U.S. market, obviously. QuickBooks is much bigger than Xero, here, and we've talked about those numbers in Australia, right? How big Xero is, compared to QuickBooks ... But the UK, in my understanding, was always kind of a 50/50 race, and also it looks like Intuit's pulled ahead.
 
Blake Oliver: Maybe, maybe ... We're not totally sure, because the dates on these reports are different.
 
David Leary: That's the difficulty, I know, because Intuit reports out quarterly, and Xero only reports every six months. Yes.
 
Blake Oliver: Intuit reported on July 31 that they had 545,000 subscribers [00:34:00] in Britain - that's both Small Business and Self Employed; up 78 percent from a year earlier. Xero's latest data is from March 31, and they reported 463,000, which was up 48 percent from a year earlier. Depending on the relative growth rates, right now, they may either be even, or Intuit may have pulled ahead. It's possible. But, basically, the news here, the takeaway here is that Xero shouldn't [00:34:30] consider that they've got the UK locked, because Intuit is doing strongly there.
 
David Leary: Speaking of Europe news-
 
Blake Oliver: All right.
 
David Leary: This caught my eye, because I've never really heard of them before. There's a company called Revolt, and it may not be Revolt. It's R-E-V-O-L-U-T. How would you say that, Blake? 
 
Blake Oliver: R-E-V-L-O-U-T?
 
David Leary: O-L-U-T ...
 
Blake Oliver: [Several pronunciations later] ... I don't know. [00:35:00]
 
David Leary: They're in a bid to raise £1.2 billion and become Europe's most valuable fintech firm.
 
Blake Oliver: Really?
 
David Leary: The headline caught my eye. I was like, who are these people? I started looking at it a little bit, and it's similar to a Venmo, or a PayPal-type play. Really, what got interesting is deeper in their pay ... Well, they're gonna launch in the U.S. soon, and they did a partnership with Visa, and they're gonna create a virtual card of some type. What was interesting is the deeper on their website, I saw, they are doing payroll advances. [00:35:30]
 
If you're gonna get paid on Friday, they'll stick money in your account on Wednesday. No fees - they'll just do it. Then, you get access to your money two days early. This is beyond even ... You know, we talked about these companies, like you get paid every day you work type of thing. This is kind of taking it even beyond that a little bit, where you just get your whole paycheck two days early, which is very, very interesting that they're hitting on that one. 
 
The one weird thing in the article was they apparently have made a lot of changes in management, because [00:36:00] they've had some challenges to their reputation. I'll read the quote, "The changes come after serious challenges to its reputation, including alleged links to the Kremlin, which it denies, and claims that it had switched off an automated system preventing its money transfer system being used to violate international sanctions."
 
Blake Oliver: Oh ... 
 
David Leary: They're gonna launch in the U.S. soon. The payroll thing's interesting. They're a competitor to PayPal, Venmo ... But I think it's worth it to keep an eye on these guys. I think we're gonna hear more about them.
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah, sounds like they need to hire a PR [00:36:30] firm. We'll keep an eye on it. Cool- 
 
David Leary: It'd be ... Yes.
 
Blake Oliver: Hey, well, we haven't talked about MyPayrollHR, but that still is going on. We have a little bit of an update on that. So, Bizjournals.com, the Albany Business Review, had an update on MyPayrollHR. Apparently, the fallout from the MyPayrollHR payroll fraud continues to spread around the country. Multiple [00:37:00] payroll companies with ties to Mann are apparently in trouble. Let's see, a few of those include Pro-Data Workforce Solutions in Gurnee, Illinois, and Southwestern Payroll Services in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Mann owned stakes in those companies, part-ownership stakes, I should say. 
 
While those payroll companies didn't see clients' direct deposits get withdrawn, their tax money has been frozen. Their customers' tax money has been frozen as part of the investigation [00:37:30] into Mann, which has led to huge tax issues for the companies and business owners who had their payroll taxes run through Cloud Payroll, LLC, which is another company owned by Mann, under his parent company, ValueWise Corp.. Apparently Cloud Payroll, LLC was- were they a software company or a payroll ...?
 
David Leary: I think they may have been the tech stack that these other payroll companies were being ran on. Yeah.
 
Blake Oliver: For example, one of those businesses that's been affected is called Bridgeview Electric. They are out [00:38:00] $23,000 in unpaid federal and state taxes that have been frozen at Pioneer Bank, as part of the investigation. Pioneer Bank is the bank that was funding most of Michael Mann's businesses through loans, and they were the bank that he banked at. So, these customers, they still owe this money to the federal governments and state governments, so they've gotta pay it and then try to get their money back, hopefully. That's all that I know about MyPayrollHR, unless anything [00:38:30] else new has come up.
 
David Leary: Just Pioneer Bank ... That's the bank that the money got transferred into and where the money is kind of sitting, right? 
 
Blake Oliver: Yes.
 
David Leary: But they're the one that gave out all the loans, right? 
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah. 
 
David Leary: One thing that came out, they actually finally made a public statement 30 days later. It was pretty generic. "We at Pioneer Bank are aware of the distress that the matter has caused ... We offer our sympathy ..." It's very kind of ... They don't really say much in that, but then they actually ... Somebody actually asked them- was asked by a reporter why they did not respond [00:39:00] to questions, and why it took more than a month to release a statement, and why Pioneer even signed up for loans, and they just did not respond to those questions.
 
Blake Oliver: So, 30 days to get a very basic response, and then no response to any follow-up questions. Wow ...
 
David Leary: But, they released their 10-K.
 
Blake Oliver: Oh?
 
David Leary: They basically are saying that they are gonna be delayed in announcing the earnings. They just went public this year, apparently. They became a public company. They released their 10-K. I [00:39:30] have a feeling, because the way they're saying is they have to review all these transactions - they might have to keep going backwards. They might have to restate lots of things.
 
Blake Oliver: Oh, yeah [cross talk] 
 
David Leary: I think the investigation's gonna ... This is not gonna bode well for Pioneer, I think, as they realize the amount of fraud that's been committed against them, as well.
 
Blake Oliver: Interesting.
 
David Leary: The other ripple of that, that's related, the New York State Department of Financial Services [00:40:00] sent subpoenas this week to 40 payroll processors that do business in the state.
 
Blake Oliver: Oh, because they're thinking about regulating payroll processors more.
 
David Leary: Yep, so they're going to ... Who knows what the context of these are, but people are gonna have to start asking questions. The regulation's coming.
 
Blake Oliver: Well, and I think you had a very good point, on one of our previous episodes, David, that there's a big hole in regulation, when it comes to payroll processors in that, apparently, they don't have to segregate client funds and their own funds. I [00:40:30] can't believe that's possible. In any other industry- in the legal world, client funds have to be held in a trust account that is a special account that your bank manages ... You can only put client funds in there, in trust. I just can't believe that payroll processors don't have to have trust accounts either. So, I would very much expect that to happen. Hey, you wanna hear some news about California, David?
 
David Leary: California's in the news again?
 
Blake Oliver: Well, yeah ... Well-
 
David Leary: Is it gig workers? [00:41:00]
 
Blake Oliver: No, it's not about gig workers, although I have been talking to every single Uber driver that I get in the car with about their opinions on the new law that was signed into law by the governor making all the- 
 
David Leary: This is like street ... You're doing reporting in the field.
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah. Well, it's interesting, because I've gotten different opinions. One of my drivers was- he said basically like, "Yeah, Uber treats us like crap, and I'm happy for them to be forced [00:41:30] to make me an employee, because they don't respect us," and all that stuff. It's like, "They don't give us any control ... I don't feel like I have- I'm not I'm not independent." He drives all the time for Uber. Then, at the same time, there was this woman who gave me a ride in Atlanta, and I just knew that if she had to be an employee, there's no way that Uber would ever have hired her. 
 
There's just disadvantages, I think, to this whole thing. Anyway, that's beside the point, because it's just anecdotal. What [00:42:00] I want to talk about is California's fiscal accounting project. Do you remember this, David, from a few months ago? This is the financial information system that California has been building.
 
David Leary: Oh, yes, yes, yes.
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah. California decided, back in 2004, okay? Which is how ...? 
 
David Leary: 15 years ago.
 
Blake Oliver: 15 years ago, that we were gonna build- 
 
David Leary: Blake was still in high school.
 
Blake Oliver: Yes. I have just zits on my face, right?
 
David Leary: Pre-cloud [00:42:30] Accounting, maybe, possibly, right? 
 
Blake Oliver: Cloud accounting is only a glimmer in the eye of Rod Drury, and the folks at Intuit. This has never even happened ... California decided to build its own massive basically ERP accounting system that would unify all of the departments and programs into a single accounting system. Started this 15 years ago. 
 
The [00:43:00] article in Government Technology (govtech.com) - and I just love the fact that there's a publication for everything now ... There's a govtech.com website, and the headline is "California's Fiscal Accounting Project Tops $1 Billion Mark." You may remember that I reported on how we were getting close to that mark. Well, in September, we crossed that mark. It has now cost a billion dollars for us to build this financial information system [00:43:30] for the state of California, which still is not usable.
 
David Leary: Well, so Sage bought Intacct for $1.5 or $1.8 billion, so they [cross talk]
 
Blake Oliver: No, no, it was less than that. It was like $700 million, wasn't it?
 
David Leary: You know where I'm going with this, right? California could've just acquired an ERP startup - the whole entire thing - and be done with it. 
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah. Right. Sage acquired Intacct ERP for $850 million dollars. I just looked it up. They could have bought ... They [00:44:00] could have bought a system that probably would be good enough. They could've bought the whole company for less than we've spent now. The story is that the State of California just approved an additional $145 million dollars, which brings the total on the project to $1.06 billion. They have also pushed the deadline, punted forward to July 2020.
 
Basically, the problem is that a lot of the departments still aren't using it. There's [00:44:30] no slack in the schedule, either. This is the thing in the article; it's like, you know it's gonna fail because ... Here's the quote from the article, "The Department of Technology's independent review called the new timeline, 'aggressive,' adding, 'there is no slack to recover schedule, if delays occur,' while changing it status to green from red on the state's IT project tracker indicating improvement." They just pushed the deadline forward so they could change the status to green ...  [00:45:00]
 
David Leary: Lead the way, California. Continue, please. Isn't the train completely ... They stopped building it, right? Because it was going to be $10 trillion dollars over budget?
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah, so the high speed train from L.A. to San Francisco, apparently, we are no longer planning to ... There's no plans to actually connect it to L.A. or to San Francisco. The current plan is just to build it in the middle of the state. It's gonna connect Fresno, [00:45:30] and not even Sacramento. It's literally farmland. I don't know what the rationale is, but I think it's, "We're gonna build it, and then, once we've built it, people will wanna extend it ..."? Maybe it's like a sunk-cost thing, like, "Once we build it, people will say, 'Well, we gotta finish it now," right? Just stuff that makes me proud to be an accountant living in the great state of California. [00:46:00]
 
David Leary: Jeepers ... I don't know ... What else do I have? Any other little small things? My goodness, it's so depressing. We gotta get people excited about something [cross talk] talking about how there's more billionaires in the U.S. paying lower taxes than the working class. We could talk about that.
 
Blake Oliver: Well, you know, hey, let's just say that all of this government waste is balanced out, I hope, by all of the cool stuff that comes out of San Francisco; like the company I work for, and all these other startups; Expensify, San [00:46:30] Francisco-based, Xero, U.S.-based ... Well, they moved, but they used to be in San Francisco. But, you know, lots of good things coming out of California. Just we like to be extreme, I think, right? It's our nature.
 
David Leary: So, speaking of other extremes, I'm sure everybody saw the article- it's kind of been everywhere about how there's now, for the first time in history, the top one percent are paying a lower tax rate than the bottom 51 percent of Americans.
 
Blake Oliver: Right, but that's not [00:47:00] quite accurate, is it?
 
David Leary: Because I read it wrong?
 
Blake Oliver: Well, no. Kelly Erb said something on Twitter.
 
David Leary: Oh, I did not see that.
 
Blake Oliver: Oh, yeah, yeah. She said this is something the press gets wrong all the time, which is it's not that the tax rate is lower, it's that their effective tax rate is lower. Because the tax rate is progressive. So, you pay more if you make more, according to your tax rate, but the total amount you might pay due to deductions and different rates that you pay may be lower. It's like they just can't get this right. The [00:47:30] press just can't get this right.
 
David Leary: On a related article, which I thought was actually a little bit more disturbing, is the ProPublica had an article about IRS audits. Basically, the IRS- their headline is "IRS: Sorry, but it's just easier and cheaper to audit the poor." So, just as many ... The same rate of people that are poor get audited as the wealthiest one percent.
 
Blake Oliver: Really?
 
David Leary: The justification [00:48:00] is - to audit somebody that's in the one percent, you need an army of people; you need a team; they all have to be highly skilled; it's just too complicated. So, it's easier just to have agents audit poor people [cross talk]
 
Blake Oliver: Is that what the IRS actually says? That's the-
 
David Leary: A Congressman has actually- a Senator has actually acknowledged this. He's like, "We have to give more money to the IRS to actually accomplish this." 
 
Blake Oliver: That's been the big problem with underfunding the IRS is that, when there aren't enough auditors, we lose money due to tax [00:48:30] avoidance; improper tax avoidance. It's basically giving a hidden tax break to corporations and wealthy individuals who can take really aggressive positions that maybe they shouldn't.
 
David Leary: The people that they assigned to these- auditing the rich, it just takes a lot longer. It's harder to even complete the exam to do this. What happens is the attrition rate ... The more experienced examiners just quit. They don't wanna do it. This [00:49:00] is a seriously broken process that we're ... The IRS- we talked about this before, the computer systems ... The IRS is horribly, horribly, horribly underfunded.
 
Blake Oliver: This is something that comes as no surprise to any of our listeners who have to interact with the IRS ... Trying to get a hold of them during busy season; you wait on hold all day, even as a professional.
 
David Leary: Yeah, and on that note, let's ... Everybody, welcome back from doing everybody else's taxes. Hopefully, you're listening to this, and it's the next day and you're kicking back with a brunch, [00:49:30] and listening.
 
Blake Oliver: I got one last story before-
 
David Leary: Oh, one more ... 
 
Blake Oliver: -we read the reviews. I wanted to end on a fun note, right? 
 
David Leary: Okay.
 
Blake Oliver: Let's talk about our kids. Maybe, or may not be fun, depending on how well you get along with them. Let's talk about our kids and money. So, David, I'm curious to know, you have teenagers, or pre-teens?
 
David Leary: Getting there, getting there, yes. 
 
Blake Oliver: You have pre-teens, younger kids ... Anyway, kids who ask you for money, I imagine.
 
David Leary: Well, of course. They have to [00:50:00] buy things in Fortnite. 
 
Blake Oliver: I'm curious to know, do you give your kids an allowance?
 
David Leary: Not a straight up regular amount? No. I try to appease them to do something. Unfortunately, because of games like Fortnite, and micro-payments in video games, my kids wanna do micro-chores. We'll do something for a buck-50 here, two bucks here. It's a total nightmare.
 
Blake Oliver: Micro-chores. I love that. There should be an app for it. They wanna make a purchase, and then, they [00:50:30] send it to you, and you have to ... It tells them what chore they have to do.
 
David Leary: It should just tell them. Take me out of the loop. This would be genius.
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah, exactly. Well, if you did give them allowance, how much would you give them every week, each?
 
David Leary: I think five bucks a day; 25 bucks is good.
 
Blake Oliver: So, you're in line with the average. Kids in the U.S. get an average of $30 a week in allowance, according to a new AICPA study. They are averaging ... How much [00:51:00] would you pay them, I should say, David, to do chores an hour?
 
David Leary: How much do I want to pay them, or what do they try to negotiate me up to?
 
Blake Oliver: What do you think a fair rate is?
 
David Leary: I think five to seven bucks, and if they're good, I'll give them a little extra, but they push for minimum wage. My kids ... Unfortunately, I leave Ron Baker's book laying around. They start to understand this value game. Yeah, they wanna charge for the value. 
 
Blake Oliver: Well, you're tracking, though, with the average. Kids average $6.11 [00:51:30] an hour to do chores, which is surprisingly up 38 percent from 2016. Now, you're in the minority, though, by not giving your kids an allowance. Two-thirds of parents give their kids an allowance, and four out of five allowance-providing parents - those who give their kids an allowance - expect their children to earn it.
 
The funny thing about this press release from the AICPA is that, of course, [00:52:00] they have to make something of it beyond just the stats. So, the headline is "Children's Allowance Pay is Up - Amount Saved Alarmingly Low," which I think is really funny because ... There's this whole section in the article about how children don't save their allowances, that they spend it all, pretty much. I [00:52:30] can find the stat here somewhere. It's not coming to mind right now, but-
 
David Leary: It's 100-percent true in my case; absolutely. 
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah, and I'm thinking of myself, seriously though? I mean, if I'm a kid getting an allowance, the whole point of that thing is to just- is to spend it. Actually, this shows how out of touch we are, because all these kids now have access to micro-transactions. It's not like they save up for big things anymore, right? They're spending most of their money on little like $1 hats in Fortnite. 
 
David Leary: Exactly. [00:53:00]
 
Blake Oliver: Which, for our listeners who have never experienced this ... If you're not a gamer .... I like to game ... There's this whole economy now in video games where you can actually get the game for free. You get a game that, in the past, would have cost you like $60. The developer will give it to you for free. I can download it for free, and I can play it for free. 
 
The only way that they make money is I want a different outfit than the other players in the game; I [00:53:30] don't wanna play the basic default guy. I have to pay anywhere from $1 to $10 for each item that I wanna wear, or I have to somehow earn it in the game, which is super-tedious, by playing for hours and hours. But it's much easier just to buy it. It's a small amount, right? Or, at least to a kid, it's a small amount. "Oh, I'll pay $1 for that hat that I can now wear in the game, and I have, now, this cool custom character." That is our [00:54:00] economy now, and it works. They make just bazillions of dollars from this- 
 
David Leary: At the detriment of parents everywhere. Yeah. It's funny, because Zander ... You've met my son, Zander, at the Accounting Salon, before. He went to a summer camp for art for a week this summer. They all had to submit their pictures to some art show, and they were for sale or something. The teacher comes back. Every kid put theirs for sale for a buck, two bucks. $50 he put on his artwork ... 
 
Blake Oliver: Value pricing, man. [00:54:30]
 
David Leary: He's doing the math. He's like, "I need 50 bucks. I wanna buy this boot box in Fortnite that costs like $14.95 ..."  It's pretty funny how they ... The value is there, but the work ethic might not be. I don't know.
 
Blake Oliver: You know what this is making me think? Is that there's an opportunity here, which is somebody needs to come up with the bookkeeping or accounting firm of the future that gives stuff to their clients for free, and then the clients just pay micro-transactions to [00:55:00] get ... That's the whole business model. It's like, "I'll do your bookkeeping for free," and then somehow you get them to pay you five bucks at a time, or something like that.
 
David Leary: Well, yeah. How many days after the close do you want your profit & loss?
 
Blake Oliver: And you pay ... Yeah. If you pay zero, it's like 90 days after-
 
David Leary: When you get around to it, yeah, they might get it. 
 
Blake Oliver: But if you pay a little bit more, then you get it 60 days; if you paid a little bit more, you get 30; then, 15, then five ... Then, "I'll do it [00:55:30] instantaneously for you," right? I like that.
 
David Leary: We could have a whole episode on micro-payments. QuickBooks and Xero could get into this. It's all dangerous. We should probably jump into the reviews, though, and thank everybody for listening.
 
Blake Oliver: Yes! Yeah, we got a bunch of reviews. Thank you so much. So, yeah, let's jump in right now. You wanna take the first one, David?
 
David Leary: First review. This is on iTunes. "Hooked! Hey, guys, this is my second review. Still loving your podcast and can't stop listening. I live in Johannesburg, South Africa, and almost crashed my car when I heard you reading my review on your podcast earlier [00:56:00] this week. I have one suggestion - please update your music intro. It's really not cool enough for the cloud. My son can create a soundtrack for you, if you would look. He's 15 years old, and does music production in his spare time, and it is a great year for music. Send me a message on LinkedIn. I've connected with you both. Mike Powell."
 
Blake Oliver: Oh, Mike, yeah ... That is actually something that's been on my mind, and we just played around with a new intro. Although, David wasn't ... He wasn't too into it, because it was [00:56:30] kind of like ... How did you describe it, David?
 
David Leary: It was like Sedona, Arizona, hippy-dippy crystals, and stuff. 
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah, but we haven't really spent a lot of time into it. We gotta figure out something that's more appropriate. But, yeah, honestly ... 
 
David Leary: What if we let our listeners send us a track every episode?
 
Blake Oliver: Or we should have a contest, or they could vote or something. I don't know.
 
David Leary: A contest. That's true, that's true- 
 
Blake Oliver: But, to be honest, Mike, the music that you hear is totally free music that I downloaded from Wistia that they gave away for free as some marketing promo. That's [00:57:00] why sometimes people hear it on YouTube, as the backing for commercials and stuff. So, we have to change it, because it's getting embarrassing. Thank you for that.
 
David Leary: Blake's a musician, though, so there's no excuse for this.
 
Blake Oliver: I know. I should play something on my cello. All right, next review: Five stars, "Thank you, Blake and David, for the amazingly well thought-out podcast. I am a partner in a brick-and-mortar CPA firm and now have a renewed vision of what our firm can become. We have been in the cloud for three years now, and the information you guys provide is invaluable [00:57:30] to us." Rachel Cooner, CPA, Longview, Texas. That is so awesome to hear, Rachel. That's like my purpose for existing when it comes to this podcast.
 
David Leary: Yeah. Warms my heart a little bit, for sure.
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah. 
 
David Leary: Another five-star review. "In my top five. Time is limited and there are so many good podcasts these days. I like how Blake and David relate tech and innovation to the accounting industry. It's right up there with Bloomberg and The Daily."
 
Blake Oliver: Wow, high praise!
 
David Leary: That's from AlwaysLostAmy on Apple Podcasts. [00:58:00]
 
Blake Oliver: And we've got a review from David [DiNardo] ... [Blake struggles with the pronunciation] DiNardo ... I'm so sorry, David. 
 
David Leary: D. DiNardo.
 
Blake Oliver: It's very late. "Amazing podcast. Hey, guys, I just want to share that you guys are doing an amazing thing - education and bringing to light the latest news in cloud accounting across North America. I am from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and my firm is called Envolta Cloud Accounting. We are 35 employees working remotely [00:58:30] all across Canada. Navigating through the online tools and news becomes overwhelming. I love how you guys are building a community and sharing different perspectives. Keep growing and spreading the news. Moving online was the best thing we have ever done, and now we are top 61 growth company in Canada. Look forward to seeing you guys at events." David DiNardo, owner. Awesome. Thank you. Thank you, David, so much. I really apologize for butchering your name. We're recording late on a Monday, due to a scheduling conflict, so that's ... I [00:59:00] blame the timing.
 
David Leary: All right, one last review. This is five stars. This one was on Podchaser, and it's just an acronym for a name - Eglymph. It's E-G-L-Y-M-P-H. Eagle Eye Mimph? I don't know ... 
 
Blake Oliver: Eggly Mumph ... Eggly Mumph ... 
 
David Leary: Eggly Mumph ... Okay ... "David and Blake are awesome! I own a fractional CFO company that is taking a modern approach to financial understanding for business owners. Staying on top of the latest trends and technologies is what I need because it's what my clients expect from me and my team at EDGe Business Planning. [00:59:30] David, and Blake provide me with all the news and info I need to know to stay on top of what's going on in cloud accounting. Most importantly, they provide insights and analysis that really gets me thinking about where I want to take my company. I actually get excited when I see a new episode pop up. Thanks, guys!" 
 
Blake Oliver: Wow. This was ... These are amazing reviews, and that feedback is what keeps me going, honestly, and doing this every week- 
 
David Leary: That's awesome [cross talk] 
 
Blake Oliver: It is so great. Thank you, everyone who left to review. If you want to leave us a review, head over to [01:00:00] Apple Podcasts. Leave a review there, or you can check out Podchaser.com and leave us review on Podchaser. It's like the IMDB for podcasts, and we really love what they're doing. Those reviews go out to a bunch of different players. You're welcome to use either.
 
David Leary: A few other things ... We are going to ... Next week, we're going to be at Sage Intacct Advantage-
 
Blake Oliver: We'll be at Intacct Advantage in Las Vegas. 
 
David Leary: A week after that, we're [01:00:30] gonna be in Atlanta for Acuity. Acuity is a virtual accounting firm. They're bringing all 60 of their employees on site, and we're gonna go make an appearance there. A week after- 
 
Blake Oliver: It's called- they're calling it AcuityCon. It's like their own-
 
David Leary: AcuityCon. 
 
Blake Oliver: I mean, if you didn't get enough of XeroCon, or QB Connect, if you work for a firm like this, you could have your own conference.
 
David Leary: This is exciting. 
 
Blake Oliver: I think we're gonna do a live episode there, right. That's the plan, anyway-
 
David Leary: I think we're gonna try to, yep.
 
Blake Oliver: We're gonna try. 
 
David Leary: Then, after that, we will be going to QuickBooks Connect. We're trying to get all the details wrapped up for that. So, we'll see everybody at that event. It's [01:01:00] a busy three weeks coming up. Then, side announcement - we have a merch store coming very soon! 
 
Blake Oliver: Oh, yeah ... 
 
David Leary: Some limited-edition T-shirts ... I wanted to tease that out there, a little.
 
Blake Oliver: I'm looking forward to that. You've come up with some great designs, David. Yeah, people can go online and get shirts. One more event I'll be at is Digital CPA conference, in December, in Seattle. Not the greatest time of year to have a conference in Seattle, but I do love Seattle. So, I'm looking forward to being there- 
 
David Leary: Maybe I'll have to put that into my schedule, as well.
 
Blake Oliver: Yeah, [01:01:30] I'll be there with Jirav, and maybe David, you can come out, and we'll do some podcasting, too.
 
David Leary: We'll figure it out. All right, everybody, that's a wrap.
 
Blake Oliver: Thanks so much, everyone, for listening, and have a great week.
 
David Leary: Bye.
 
Blake Oliver: Bye.

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