So who are you anyway, and what do you do?
I’m Chris Davey, I lead Intuit’s international QuickBooks Online and Accountant product team focused on global expansion. When I’m not working at Intuit I spend my timing on my motorcycle exploring the Santa Cruz mountains, mountain biking and flying airplanes upside down.
What was your last job before getting into this?
Hmmm…I’ve been working at Intuit so long that its hard to remember what I did before I started. The past seven years at Intuit have been a blur of three different business units and three different countries, including a brief stint in Australia. In my past roles I primarily worked in the marketing functions for the QuickBooks Small Business, TurboTax (Personal Tax) and Accountant business units.
And why did you decide to do what you do now?
I spent three years learning how painful the existing accountants’ compliance workflow was in Canada and decided that I wanted to help drive change in the way accountants work around the world. It’s crazy how much time accountants and bookkeepers waste having to deal with redundant data entry, data mapping and chasing client source documentation.
As we started building our online accountant product ecosystem in North America, I jumped at the opportunity to join a team that was going to transform the lives of accountants, bookkeepers, and their clients…so I joined our Product Management team.
What is it about the 60/70/80/90s that you miss most? (Choose one)
70s- I read about it in history books… I was a toddler back then. The only thing I wish I could have done would be to attend a Led Zeppelin Concert 80s – I miss my haircut…nothing says you’re a serious junior football player like thunderbolts shaved into the side of your head.
You mention your haircut. What cementing product do you use to keep it all in place?
I use one part Airfix modelling glue, one part coconut oil.
What is the biggest challenge facing SMEs today?
Based on a survey we completed with 1000 small businesses in Australia, we learned the majority of small business owners (88%) experience significant challenges in running their business. Half (49%) said balancing business and home-life is their primary concern.
The blending between personal and business finances or spending enough time with family tend to be the most common themes among entrepreneurs around the world. I’ve yet to find an entrepreneur that has found the silver bullet to solving these challenges but I’m hopeful technology will enable greater financial insights and improved efficiencies to reduce the time entrepreneurs spend on low value work…like data entry!
Can cloud software solve that challenge? And if so, how? And if not, what can?
For small businesses struggling to balance business and home-life, saving an hour a day by using cloud and mobile apps to manage their business on-the-go will help them get out of the office sooner rather than working all day and then having to complete the books after hours.
Three in four small businesses we surveyed said it was useful to be able to access their work files remotely so they can work on-the-go, to help free up time. On average, small business’ estimate they could save around an hour each day by completing these tasks on the road… that’s an entire month off a year (32.5 days).
Cloud software also allows small businesses to interact virtually with their professional advisors (bookkeepers & accountants) on a “same data, same time” basis, eliminating many of the bottlenecks associated with passing accounting files back and forth when the data is only easily accessible in one location.
If you could retire now, what would you do? Or not do?
I don’t plan to ever retire, at least not officially…my next career will likely be related to aviation. My ideal retirement would be to become a part-time floatplane pilot on the West Coast of Canada.
If you could give your younger self some advice, what would it be?
Slow down and enjoy the journey. Taking the most direct and expeditious route to achieve an objective isn’t always the most effective way to deliver an awesome outcome.
If you could buy anyone a drink in a bar and chat to them about anything, who would it be, what drink, and what would you talk about?
Chuck Yeager would be the person I would love to chat with and share Whiskey (Crown Royal) and Ginger. I would be fascinated to hear what lessons he learned during some of the successful and unsuccessful missions flown in a P-51 Mustang in WWII. I would also like to discuss his role as a test pilot for experimental aircraft and how he generated the courage and focus to break the sound barrier in 1947. I’m fascinated by people with the courage to extend past existing paradigms to achieve outcomes that result in ground-breaking change.
If you could walk up to anyone, kick them in the shins and shout something at them, who would it be, and what would you shout? Go on….get it off your chest!
I’m not the kind of person that gets easily rattled so its unlikely I’d kick someone in the shins, but I have to admit that I can become extremely frustrated with people who drive slowly in the passing lane…and I have been known to provide driving instructions through my car windscreen.
If you could walk up to anyone and hug them, who would it be, and why?
Wayne Gretzky because he led the Edmonton Oilers to four Stanley Cup wins.
What’s your favourite meat and gravy meal?
La Elvis, Poutine from La Banquise in Montreal, Canada. This is the most incredible meal ever…bound to keep you warm in the cold Canadian winter and possibly give you cardiac arrest http://www.labanquise.com
What is your greatest achievement?
Convincing my lovely bride to put up with me… it’s a daily achievement!
What do you want to achieve that you haven’t as yet?
Begin competing in aerobatic flight completions. I started my training at Red Baron Flight School in Bankstown, NSW, http://www.redbaron.com.au , and now I’m hooked!
What’s next for you?
I’m not sure…I used to plan my career and life by the minute, but have realized it’s not something I’m very successful at predicting. I started off studying Parasitology in university and ended up working in marketing 10+ years…not really a common career path!
Chris is Group Product Manager (Global QuickBooks Online and Accountant Ecosystem) at intuit.