There was a time when we referred to our first quarter as “seasonally slow.” That’s no longer the case! The whirlwind of activity this past quarter has helped deliver strong financial results and get us off to a strong start to the fiscal year.
- We hosted Investor Day, where we earned positive reviews from financial analysts on our shift to an online ecosystem.
- State of the Company meetings allowed me the opportunity to visit 15 offices in five countries and hear first-hand about where we’re strong and where we need to work.
- We capped the quarter with the smashing success of our first-of-its-kind QuickBooks Connect event in October.
Employee Engagement at 83
Many of you went above and beyond the call of duty, and once again, I’m humbled and inspired by your commitment. The Annual Employee Survey results are hot off the press – and our engagement level came in at 83, which is best in class. That’s the same as our score from a year ago. For the first time this year we also achieved one of our True North goals with every business unit and function coming in at 80 or above. The survey showed strengths such as our clear strategy, increased pride in our products and confidence in our future.
The survey also highlighted opportunities around speed of decision-making (particularly on projects that cross organizational boundaries), improving our tools and resources to eliminate workarounds to get work done, and personal growth and development. The senior leadership team is focused on these issues and they are much of the focus of my staff offsite in December.
In light of the changes we’ve undertaken over the last year, I’m proud of the progress we’re making and excited about the opportunities before us.
Strong Start to FY’15
For FY’15, we came out of the gates strong, growing overall revenue by 8 percent in the first quarter, well above the guidance we provided to the Street at the beginning of the fiscal year.
Small Business revenue grew 5 percent for the quarter – even with the accounting change to “ratable revenue” – led by QuickBooks Online, which is building momentum, finishing the quarter with 739,000 QBO subscribers, up 43 percent. Outside the U.S., QBO subscribers were up more than 170 percent in the first quarter, with more than 103,000 paying subscribers.
The tax season is also heating up. As we enter the second year of our multi-year journey to achieve our vision of “taxes are done,” we’re working to use customer data to help speed customers through their return with ease and confidence. We’re also prepared to distinguish ourselves from the competition by helping hard-working individuals and families understand and navigate the Affordable Care Act.
I’m proud of all the work we’ve done this quarter – and am confident that our strategy will lead to our continued success.