Writing for QuickBooks

Content at Intuit

QuickBooks brand character: the proactive champion

We are the champion of those who dare to dream. And fueling their success defines our own.

Our voice and tone guidelines help us know what it feels and sounds like to be the champion for all our customers, the self-employed, the small and medium-sized businesses, accountants, and others.

We believe in hard work. That’s why we show up each day. We see the vision, the passion, and the drive of each and every person out there doing it for themselves. It’s what inspires us. The dreamers, the doers, and the makers. Those who are in it for their families, their community, and their future.

QuickBooks voice attributes


Our customers inspire us. We’re fired up about the opportunities ahead, and our enthusiasm is contagious.

  • Stay committed to their mission, knowing that it doesn’t happen overnight.
  • Build confidence along the way.
  • Don’t be overbearing and pushy.


No matter the job, we’re up for the task. We’re positive and confident, but stay realistic. We never sugarcoat.

  • Know the best way forward and a backup, just in case.
  • Be realistic about setbacks.
  • Don’t be that annoying person who’s always bubbly.


We don’t wait to see what happens next, we anticipate it. We show our customers the best way forward and steer them clear of pitfalls.

  • Point out opportunities that they wouldn’t have seen on their own.
  • Respect that the customer wants some level of control.
  • Don’t be a know-it-all.


We keep our customers at the heart of everything we do. We always take the time to listen and understand their point of view.

  • Show compassion during the lows, but don’t forget to celebrate what matters too.
  • Remove burdens and barriers for all people.
  • Don’t be overdramatic.

QuickBooks voice principles

It’s about them, not us

  • Credit for your past. Capital for your future.

The QuickBooks Capital tagline helps define the product in terms the customer cares about. We don’t usually like to put legal marks (TM) in the copy. But this is special.

  • Apply for a QuickBooks Capital loan

The “apply” copy might be technically accurate, but it doesn’t define the product well, and it doesn’t help users understand why they should care.

  • Your business has really taken off

This content congratulates customers and encourages them to take the next step to build on their success.

  • Congratulations on your success. Isn’t tracking profit in QuickBooks amazing?

We don’t toot our own horn. It’s just not who we are.

Speak their language

When we talk with our customers, it’s a human-to-human conversation. We use everyday words and phrases to earn trust and build confidence.

Tips for using financial language with customers:

  • Accountant: Understands complex accounting terms and ideas, so it’s OK to use them.
  • Self-Employed: Stay away from complex accounting terms and ideas.
  • Developer: Comfortable with complex, technical language, and concepts when it comes to their work. May not be so familiar with accounting terms, so use appropriately.

  • Here’s the list of categories you’ll use to organize transactions. We call this your chart of accounts.

This introduces an accounting term by explaining it in an accessible way and then giving it an official name.

  • Your chart of accounts is a list of all the accounts you use to record transactions in your general ledger.

Starting with the accounting term intimidates people right away. Using jargon to define it makes them feel confused and adrift.

  • To the average person, it’s merely home to a favorite pair of sneakers, but to your Schedule C clients, this shoebox serves a different purpose.

Accountants understand terms like Schedule C, so it’s OK to use here. This presents the term in a familiar way that keeps it light and conversational.

  • Expense Finder utilizes the power of QuickBooks to find all expenses, lighting-fast.

Stay away from hyped-up buzzwords and salesy pitches.

Focus on the payoff

Any task is hard work when the goal isn’t clear. Explain why it matters, not just what needs to be done. A little perseverance upfront lightens the load later on.

  • A penny saved, a penny earned
    Grab a great exchange rate to make your money go further.

Do more than tell users what the feature does. Give them a reason to engage with it.

  • (ex)Change your life
    Use exchange rates to save time and money.

Be wary of overstating or preaching. Keep the benefit clear and don’t cloud it up with strange wordplay.

  • Keep more of what you earn
    Powerful invoicing with custom reminders, tracking, and direct deposit puts less time between you and your money. Plus with dozens of reports, you’ll always know where your business stands.

Present the benefit in the easiest way—framed as something our customers would say. It’s also action-oriented and attainable.

  • See how much money you have
    Send invoices, reminders, and more. Plus, with dozens of reports, it’s easy to know where your business stands.

Find ways to come up with a more engaging benefit. Keep headlines crisp and optimistic.

Keep it simple

Try to stick to one goal per screen to lighten the cognitive burden. Find ways to keep it visually simple. Omit needless words.

Don’t let the user get lost in an overabundance of content.

  • Get it done
  • Get paid

Zero in on the benefit and use visuals to help keep the content simple and clean.

  • Send invoices, track them, get paid

Don’t try to shove all the features in a banner ad at once. It ends up overwhelming users.

Delight when it’s right

We may not be the flashiest person at the party, but we know how to make our customers smile at the right moment. When it feels natural, we sprinkle in a bit of charm or use a metaphor to simplify a complex idea.

Moments when you shouldn’t be playful:

  • Stressful moments
  • Critical workflows (government involvement, hitting that last “file taxes” button, etc)
  • When their money and/or business reputation is involved (funds on hold, we messed up and their customers noticed)
  • Places where folks might be unsure if they’re doing it right
  • Talking about sensitive information (credit cards, personal info, late payments)
  • Errors

  • Take our invoicing for a spin

Use metaphors to make complex ideas engaging and encourage them to take action.

  • Send an invoice and see what happens

It’s like that mystery box you’ve always wanted. But instead of a box, it’s an invoice.

Simile can help break down complex ideas, but in this case, it does the opposite.

  • Here’s to 30 days of awesome!

This could have been a regular “Your trial starts today” message, but instead, we’re taking time to recognize the start of something fun. The time element puts a champion spin on what we say we’ll deliver.

  • Your trial starts….now!
  • And we’re off to the races! We’re in it to win it and we’ll show you how.

This is too much. Remember, we’re not super flashy or odd. We want just enough delight sprinkled in to make someone smile.

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