The History Behind Quicken, TurboTax And Quickbooks

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Intuit Inc – The History Of A Pioneering Company

Intuit Inc is the company behind making the personal based finance programs known as TurboTax and Quicken, along with one of the best accounting programs for small businesses known as QuickBooks. They also produce QuickBooks Point of Sale which is aimed at small retailers, the professional solutions for tax known as Lacerte and ProSeries and their Web-based corporate based workgroup-productivity solution known as QuickBase.

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The company Intuit is the responsibility of Scott Cook, whose former work for Procter and Gamble assisted him in discovering that a personal computer was able to become the replacement for the traditional paper-and-pencil based system for personal accounting. In his venture to find the right programmer, he met Tom Proulx at Standford.

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These two men went on to start Intuit, which first operated from a modest-room based on University Avenue in the area of Palo Alto. Their first version of the system Quicken was first coded into Microsoft’s BASIC programming language for IBM PC and the UCDS Pascal for Apple II by Tom Proulx. They were then in competition with a variety of serious competitors. The company struggled in a financial way until they discovered the formula that helped them to achieve success. This revolved around, favorable reviews within this industry, direct-marketing campaigns along with consumer magazines along with word-of-mouth derived from their satisfied customers.

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Related: How To Claim Medical Expenses On Your Taxes With TurboTax

Even though by the year 1988, Quicken reached the best-seller in this industry, the company was still not regarded as a significant success until such stage of the advent of Windows 3.0 which occurred in the early part of the 1990’s when the sales for Quicken started to grow. In the year 1991, Microsoft went on to produce a major competitor to Quicken that they named Microsoft Money. In order to win the loyalty or the retailers, Intuit implemented the $15 rebate coupon that could be redeemed for software that their customers purchased from their stores. This was the very first time that any software company in the world ever offered a “rebate.”

At the same time, Intuit approached John Doerr from Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers and diversified the product line-up. By the year 1993, Intuit went public and went on to use the proceeds in order to make their key acquisition, which was a tax-preparation Software company known as Chipsoft located in San Diego. This was followed by an IPO of rapid growth and resulted in Microsoft offering a buyout offer in the year 1994. It was at this stage that the market capitalization of Intuit had already reached $2 billion.

When this buy-out failed due to the disapproval from the United States Department of Justice, the company was faced with immense pressure in the later part of the 1990s, when Microsoft decided to vigorously compete with their core Quicken business. Intuit responded by launching new web-based solutions and products placing emphasis on TurboTax and QuickBooks. The company had also made a number of investments at the same time. One of these was the purchase of a significant stake in Excite, which resulted in them obtaining Lacerte Software, the Dallas-based developer for tax-preparation software that is used by the tax professionals. They also divested in online “bill payment” service units and strengthened and extended their partnership with CheckFree.


QuickBase is described as a collaborative web-based data application. It allows business individuals to develop personalized custom applications, which does not require having to write a code. QuickBase was born when Intuit purchased Turning Mill Software in the year 1999. Intuit hosts this application that is sold in the form of a subscription.

Quick Facts

  • In the year 1999, Intuit purchased computing Resources Inc for around $200 million. This particular acquisition allowed the company to provide the payroll processing-platform via its QuickBooks software program.
  • Turbotax has become one of the top tax preparation software’s in Canada and MyDealsClub offers all the top deals and coupons available
  • In the month of December 1999, Intuit bought Rock Financial for $532 million. They renamed the company Quicken Loans. In the year 2002, Dan Gilbert the founder of Rock Financial led a group of investors (private) in buying back Quicken Loans subsidiary.
  • Turbotax becomes the very best tax preparation software as it adds TurboTax Live to its ranks
  • TurboTax became one of the Intuit products from the 1993 acquisition of the creator, Chipsoft. Chipsoft which is now called Intuit Consumer Tax Group can still be found in San Diego. Its one of the only Tax filing companies to offer free federal efiletax filing for students and Turbotax Amazon Gift Cards


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