When Intuit purchased Mint I was pretty worried that one of the most useful web apps was going to stop evolving and gradually get absorbed into the Quicken/TurboTax behemoth. So far, to my surprise, the opposite has happened. Mint has continued to evolve, has rolled out new and useful features, and has continued to make tracking my finances enjoyable instead of burdensome.
Last night I sat down to file my ’09 taxes, and used TurboTax’s online edition. It was impossible not to feel the Mint influence. First of all, the process was interspersed with Mint ads that didn’t exactly feel like ads. Instead they felt like favors. In typical Mint fashion everything was posed as money-saving offers, ranging from tax deductions to IRA contribution offers. Not once did this seem annoying, and instead, it opened my eyes to money saving opportunities. Well done.
The second way that I felt the Mint influence was with regard to the automatic importing of tax documents and tax information. I’m not sure whether the Mint team influenced this (functionally or design wise) within TurboTax, however the process was very Mint like. Instead of entering my W2 and 1099 information tediously by hand like I’ve had to do in the past with other online tax tools, I could simply enter my online bank credentials and TurboTax magically pulled in all the data within seconds. Major time saver.
Big ups to Intuit for taking the ball and running with it. Hopefully the Mint team stays in tact and Intuit looks to it for product guidance going forward on TurboTax, Quicken, and its other products.