Intuit QuickBooks has apparently had quite the busy month of May – and it isn’t over yet. We first heard about their poor treatment of Gunsite Academy, but it turns out they were simultaneously doling out similar treatment to Flint River Armory and Lone Wolf Distributors.
It’s a trend we’ve seen in the headlines since February: financial institutions playing politics by cutting off or restricting services to gun industry companies. However, unlike Bank of America which publicly stated they would no longer finance manufacturers who make “military-style weapons” for civilians, Intuit is trying to stay the shadows. (Of course, a few weeks after their announcement, BofA let it be known they would finance Remington Outdoor Company as it emerges from Bankruptcy, a move Reuters declared “test[ed] its firearm pledge,” but I digress.)
Yesterday, I spent time on the phone with Rob Hansel of Lone Wolf Distributors and John Heikkinen of Flint River Armory. The two companies sometimes do business together and recently had a rather large transaction go awry as a result of Intuit QuickBooks’ apparent anti-gun policy. The conversations were both interesting and enlightening, the latter because these issues highlight ongoing business practices with dishonest undertones on the part of Intuit.
On May 11th, Lone Wolf made two of what would be three transfers to Flint River. On May 14th they completed the third transfer. The transfers were made through Intuit’s QuickBooks merchant services; Flint River Armory had a merchant account for the purpose of credit card and ACH payment processing. At the time of the transaction, Flint River’s QuickBooks merchant account had been in place for around six weeks. According to Intuit’s own marketing blurb, merchants can use QuickBooks “to get paid 2x faster” – or not.
The transfer in question wasn’t for firearms, it was a separate business transaction. I’ll state that again: it had nothing to do with either components or complete firearms. The total amount of the three transfers: $150,000.
The money was withdrawn from Lone Wolf’s account by Intuit within thirty minutes. In accordance with standard business practices, it should have been deposited into Flint River’s account with relative speed. Instead, there was no sign of a pending deposit. Instead Intuit abruptly terminated Flint River’s merchant account.
Thus began several days of Flint River contacting Intuit three and four times a day. Finally, after approximately fifteen phone calls – each of which they documented – Flint River’s accountant got someone on the phone who would answer some of their questions. The accountant called John Heikkinen into his office, put the woman on speaker phone, and waited to see what she’d say.
Intuit had decided they would no longer do business with firearms companies, she told them. Flint River’s QuickBooks merchant account had been closed down because they’re a firearms company. Their other Intuit-owned services would also be terminated.
Intuit continued to deny John’s request for documentation of the transfer being reversed. In fact, they refused to provide documentation of any kind.
Meanwhile $150,000 of Lone Wolf’s money was being held by Intuit. That meant Intuit was earning interest on $150,000 they claimed they didn’t want (because, guns, even though, again, the transaction wasn’t for firearms or components). While their exact interest rate is unknown and bank savings rates vary widely – Capitol One’s is 0.75% APY and Synchrony’s is 1.05% APY – the current Federal Reserve Funds rate is 1.75%.
When Rob Hansel, Lone Wolf’s general manager got involved, Intuit told him they couldn’t talk to him because he wasn’t the merchant. The minor detail that it was his company’s large sum of money in Intuit’s coffers was ignored. Rob was polite, but persistent. He wanted a written statement that Intuit would return Lone Wolf’s money. He wanted to know why they were claiming the transfer had been reversed when it had not. His requests were repeatedly denied.
After spending days getting nowhere, Rob had enough. He called Lone Wolf’s corporate attorney. Rob then turned his sights elsewhere: to Intuit’s internet-listed contacts. He composed an email and sent it to every email address listed from Intuit’s CEO to their marketing department. The email outlined the issue and continued with the following:
“While I understand that Intuit is not necessarily discriminating against firearms company[ies] specifically (As your policy states that you do not accept transactions for any items that are regulated by state or federal laws) I do feel, as it is the general feeling of our industry, that Intuit is not firearms friendly.
I am not only the general manager of Lone Wolf Distributors I am also the owner and lead developer of an ERP system that targets the firearms market. Currently all of our customers use QuickBooks for their accounting and this is generally true of most small-to-medium sized firearms businesses. I personally would love to know how Intuit feels about the firearms industry in general and if it makes sense for our industry to support Intuit and Quickbooks.”
Ten minutes later, Rob got a phone call from the office of the President of Intuit. The debacle at hand should not be happening, they claimed, and they would assign a specialist from their “escalation team”. Forty-five minutes later he received another phone call. He reiterated the need for a written statement confirming that Lone Wolf’s money would be returned. At that point Intuit had repeatedly refused to provide such a letter. Finally, they agreed to it.
When I spoke to Rob this morning, Lone Wolf’s money had not yet been returned. Rob did, however, receive an email from Intuit in which they stated the full amount would be refunded to Lone Wolf today. Time will tell.
“I was surprised and shocked Intuit didn’t return the funds immediately,” John Heikkinen remarked.
Sadly, although I somehow manage to be amazed by this kind of unreliable and often unscrupulous behavior, it’s becoming routine. Yes, Intuit’s terms of service include a “Regulated MOTO Businesses” section listing “businesses that are not conducted face-to-face and are regulated by state and federal authorities” including “MOTO firearms and weapons sales”. However, the $150,000 transaction between Lone Wolf and Flint River wasn’t for firearms or weapons.
The woman John Heikkinen spoke to after over a dozen pointless phone calls was quite clear: Intuit hadn’t realized that Flint River Armory was a firearms company and now that they knew, they wanted nothing to do with them.
Rob Hansel stated that although Lone Wolf has been using QuickBooks for accounting purposes, they are now actively searching for a replacement. John Heikkinen said Flint River has already replaced QuickBooks’ merchant system.
Come on, Intuit. Just come out and say it. You don’t want to do any business with those of us involved in the multi-billion dollar gun industry. (But they’ve been only too happy to collect interest from Lone Wolf’s money for over a week, which their convoluted logic somehow justifies.)
How would Intuit feel if we, as an industry, dropped them? No more QuickBooks, no more Mint, no more TurboTax. A little something to consider. A project for our readers: back, frequent, and support businesses that support the Second Amendment. Money talks, guys. Make yours sing.
Author’s note: This is the part where I suggest you show your support by visiting the websites of the two companies. Lone Wolf Distributors can be found here (they make awesome striker-fired components) and Flint River Armory’s can be found here (Remember the Flint River CSA45? They discontinued production in advance of a big announcement and there are only a few left. Just saying.).
Boycott intuit and turbo tax!
Please list alternatives?
How about your local accounting firm, Tax Act and a myriad of other online search engines. Spreadsheets still work for book keeping too.
If your looking for a business software solution specifically created to support firearms retail, wholesale or manufacturing businesses – check out hydrabackoffice.
The left is waging a new war to deplatform and demonotize anything they do not agree with.
If you have it within your power as a business owner, manager, or contractor, be sure to terminate the employment or contracts of everyone you may suspect as being a Social Justice warrior or shitlib in general. They will inevitably ruin your business, your department or your product.
Goose/Gander and all that.
“The left is waging a new war to deplatform and demonotize anything they do not agree with.”
They are doing to guns what they did to cigarettes.
Same M.O., same ‘battle plan’…
“We don’t serve your kind here”
When I was very young, that sort of statement might not be clearly posted outside a business but it was still strongly implied to exclude certain people… and those certain people knew very well which establishments would give them service and which would not.
A few decades later and such discrimination became socially unacceptable and we even passed laws prohibiting it.
Today, we have it again – blatant, unapologetic bigotry being leveled at citizens who own or make guns. So where are our marches? Where are our protest rallies? Where is the public shaming of the bigots discriminating against their fellow citizens? Where are the calls for laws (or the re-application of existing anti-discrimination laws) to prohibit such institutionalized bigotry?
Yesterday, Google terminated their business partnership program with Legal Insurrection. Though not anywhere close to a firearms site, they do host Andrew Branca, the author of “The Law of Self Defense”, and who has provided probably the best coverage in the country on significant self-defense shootings, starting with Trayvon Martin killed by George Zimmerman, continuing through Michael Brown killed by Officer Wison in Ferguson, etc. I suggest that anyone carrying a concealed firearm, or holding a license to do so to read that book of his.
I’m not using their products any longer and won’t. I’m sure they don’t GAS about my small sales but at least I don’t support them.
Not doing business with the firearms industry is fine, and firearms aficionados can choose not to do business with them.
STEALING MONEY from the firearms industry is not fine, and everyone should choose not to place their money in the hands of proven thieves.
And if Intuit wants to sue me for definition of character, their attorney can post up his contact info as a reply to this comment and I’ll tell him where to serve me with the summons and complaint.
BTW, I live in an anti-SLAPP state and intend to be able to finally retire once Intuit’s suit against me is concluded.
“And if Intuit wants to sue me for definition of character …”
Although I know that you meant to type “defamation” rather than “definition”, I cannot help but wonder if your characterization is accurate and hence literally “definition of character”.
Not a typo. I meant it the way I said it.
Defamation of character is an actionable tort, the spreading of untrue derogatory information.
Definition of character is my own term for the spreading of true derogatory information.
I like it!
Pretty sure “holding” money is CRIMINAL behavior. I would quickly contact herr Trump and associates. Obviously spread the word and boycott…
Overall I agree this is stuff where you get your states attorney general involved and make a complaint to federal officials. Banks are heavily regulated, we’re not in Obama’s admin any more and there may be someone there who listens.
Call the cops and file a felony grand larceny criminal complaint.
Hey I’ll dump intuit in a new york minute. Give me an idea of a replacement.
You mean an Arizona minute. Boycott New York!
Xero, great online accounting system and you can use a number of merchant accounts.
How can Intuit’s actions not constitute felony financial fraud?
It is one thing for a company to state that they will not conduct business with another company and terminate all future interactions. It is entirely another (criminal) matter to cease business interactions after taking someone’s money and failing to IMMEDIATELY return the money or provide the stated product/service.
By the way this is the new norm that I predicted a couple months ago.
“How can Intuit’s actions not constitute felony financial fraud?”
At the very least, with two companies (and counting) now, is this not ‘class-action lawsuit’ territory?
Even if Intuit wronged two companies and two wronged parties are enough to qualify for a class-action lawsuit, I would like to see both wrong parties sue separately and DOUBLE Intuit’s legal expenses.
I agree. I don’t see how this is not a Felony.
Frankly i don’t think its a strech to claim a form of rackteering.
Intuit has a legal budget that is much greater than that of all potential claimants combined.
As long as they give the money back after not too long, the damages from any lawsuit will be pretty modest.
That sucks, but it’s the reality.
Such acts of breach of their contracts and withholding of funds are felony fraud. The lack of punishment for Intuit just shows, yet again, that we are no longer a nation of Laws, but only one of burrucratic(I spell it the way they act) whims.
I’m wondering since Lone Wolf and Flint River appear to be in different states, that whether interstate fraud or something is in play.
I almost hope they don’t return the funds. I’d love to see a sputtering Marxist blowhard explain justification for $150,000 in theft. Felony charges abound.
I dumped TurboTax the same year I was Gunsmith certified, after 10+ years of using their platform.
As to a QB alternative, I’ve heard good things about Sage…
It is entirely possible for a company to NOT do business with the firearm industry, and NOT be cunts about it.
They could say: Here’s your money back, and in the future, we choose to not do business with firearm makers and distributors. You have 60 days to find a new provider, and we will be happy to work with them to transfer everything over.
Instead, they act like a pile of steaming turds. I did my taxes on Turbo Tax for the first time this year…it’s also the last time, thanks to things like this.
There is no excuse to defraud people here.
Hearing this again about Intuit makes me genuinely angry. How does a business get this large with such shoddy ethics and practices?
My business doesn’t bake cakes for homosexual weddings. I don’t bake any cakes, we don’t do any baking.
I guess I’ll probably be labeled a racist homophobe for not serving my customers in any ridiculous manner they ask even if it’s not in the scope of my business.
And yet, it’s ok for Intuit to discriminate against a legitimate and constitutionally protected business conducting themselves in an ethical manner? This is (proactively deleted) nonsense.
A bunch of firearms and accessory manufactures should file DBAs with names like “Tools & Toys, inc.” and at the same time, a bunch of completely non-firearms related companies should start doing business under names with the words armory, arsenal, arms, ammo, etc. and see how long it takes Intuit to figure out who is who.
Damned Eskimos anyway. My nephew married an intuit when he moved to Alaska, Last I heard they got a divorce and he moved back to Oklahoma
well, either she was inuit or she wasn’t.
fermented muktuk on top of the fridge can push a man past his limits.
Why hasn’t the firearms industry come up with its own system and bank? It can’t be that hard to buy some little bank up and set up your own payment processing system considering the size of the industry. That would be a big win and insulate them from future problems, while allowing them to make a fortune currently being given to our enemies, and belt a huge pr move for the companies who work together to make this happen.
This should be proposed to the nra
I think that might be more in the realm of the NSSF than the NRA but it is a good idea.
Ya, it would be a lot easier for the NRA if they could just handle your accounting.
NRA: “Wanna donate”
ME: “F U NO, I don’t even want to run your accounting / business management software but that market’s gone to sh_t and I have few decent options”.
NRA: “Ok, we’ll just review your AP / AR files and contact those people, our lists are so good that even the (D)NC buys them”.
I think that it’s PAST time for a major lawsuit. Intuit has clearly broken several laws and is using the old excuse of “just give us a little time to sort it all out” while they continue to screw the gun companies. I’d have my attorney sue them for the 150k, plus the destroying of their business reputation. This isn’t one single company, this is a clear anti-gun pattern on Intuit’s part.
Really? I imagine that would be a short list.
Yeah. A really short list. You could fit a lot of those lists on the head of a pin- in 40 pt font
I. Honesty can’t think of anything that isn’t governed by some state or federal law/regulation. If anything passes over state lines that’s interstate commerce and even if it never leaves your neighborhood it still has to comply with state tax regulations if you are a business. Heck just about all business communication is covered by some form of federal regulation. If you could prove that they are making a false statement even sending out a notice via the US post office would be mail fraud.
IMHO if you don’t agree with or support the fundamental, inalienable, rights, privileges, and freedoms upon which this great country was founded, stop ruining America for the rest of us, and move to a country more in line with your views.
My wife is active duty military. She owns only weapons that match the weapons that she is issued when deployed. She practices with her personal weapons only because when she is deployed she wants to have practice beyond the training the military gives her. Intuit does not want to do business with the companies that supplied my wife with the personal equipment that through practice may save her life and the lives of others when she is overseas.
You can guess how I feel about Intuit.
I have used TurboTax for 15 years now. I guess I will find a new program when it comes time to do taxes next year.
I too have used turbo tax for 15 or so years. One thing making it easier is that older turbotax files can’t be opened with newer versions so they aren’t much good anyway. Next year, I will just pay an accountant to do my taxes. The additional cost is a small price to pay to NOT use anything Intuit ever again.
I quit using Turbo many years ago due to them using some dorked up copy protection that latched onto your CD drive and never went away. Even if you uninstalled the product. I think it was call “Macrovision”.
I also quit using Quicken because I got tired of being forced to upgrade. Now I use Linux Mint and GNUcash for personal accounting. GNUcash is more of a true accounting program than the normal consumer products, but the price is right and I had some accounting in college.
So yeah, Intuit can suck it.
How many people work for Intuit carry and own firearms are they going to lose their job too
FYI, banks most commonly use the LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate – I know it says London, but it’s what American banks use) overnight rate to calculate cost of funds. It is currently 1.705%.
Intuit is as publicly traded company on the NASDAQ, symbol INTU. Buy 1 share, have your broker send you the certificate. You will receive an invitation to the annual shareholders meeting. There will be an opportunity to ask questions………
It sounds like Intuit could use some more intuition.
Robert, Can you create a pinned list to the top of the site of business we should boycott with links their related stories?
I think that’s a good idea.
FYI, Robert Farrago no longer owns TTAG.
Dan Z at this point controls the day-to-day operation of TTAG…
This country enjoys freedoms and privilege found no where else on the globe. These constitutional freedoms have survived since 1786 (Constitution Adopted) in large part due to our capitalistic beliefs of individual accomplishment and growth. The political socialistic mentality fails to recognize that without the military and the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution, the very freedoms they enjoy in these type interactions would have, in all likelihood, long since vanished.
There is a tort called “conversion” that is recognized in most jurisdictions. “Conversion” is the improper denial of use or other attributes of ownership over property. The money here is undoubtedly property. When Intuit Quickbooks held the money longer than necessary for processing, they arguable committed a “conversion”. The remedy for conversion is generally the valuation of the property over which the tort was committed. All this will depend greatly on the jurisdiction. However, I recommend that these companies contact their attorney and explore whether they have legal recourse.
Top 10 Quickbooks Alternatives
Freshbooks. Freshbooks is an award-winning accounting software and one of the best cloud apps in this category. …
Zoho Books. …
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NetSuite ERP. …
per Mr. Google
OK, the left wants to play these games, then play by their rules.
Political affiliation is an entirely valid reason for discrimination. You cannot discriminate against people based on sex, age, religion and race… but you sure can discriminate based on profession and political affiliation/position.
President of Intuit is Brad Smith. Email [email protected] Let’s flood him and let him know his policies are going to cost him money.
If your looking for a business software solution specifically created to support firearms retail, wholesale or manufacturing businesses – check out hydrabackoffice.
SO they don’t deal with transactions for “any items that are regulated by state or federal laws”? Do no beer, liquor, wine, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, health insurance, auto insurance, etc… Is there anything that is not regulated by state or federal laws?
Sounds like Intuit is going to shut down.
Legally there are multiple civil legal claims that can be pursued against Intuit and Quick books depending upon the state where all of this happened. There is the tortious interference with a business transaction and or a business contract. There is also the conversion of the money that didn’t belong to them and the interest they made while holding the money plus the interest the company that was supposed to receive it but lost while the money was being held. There may be a fraud claim as well.
Each of the involved companies certainly have the right to advise everyone one of their clients and suppliers about the facts related incident; relayed without opinion, hyperbole or misrepresentation of the facts and suggesting that if they are also using these services that they may consider going else where.
One thing many politicized businesses soon learn is that there is competition in the business world and if you don’t want the work there will be someone else to fill the void. When you are so arrogant that you think the customers can’t do without you remember they did before you ever came along. I am in the process of opening my own mediation business and will look at other software programs to do my business bookkeeping especially since I am also a gun owner. Thanks for sharing the story. That is now at least 3 lost business accounts and hopefully it grows and capitalism will rule the day!!
P.S. I recommend seeking the advice of local counsel before undertaking any legal process since you would need the advice of an attorney licensed in your state(s) to provide you with the best and correct legal advice.
Intuit is a financial terrorist organization!
I just came across this and the same thing happened to me. They took thousands and refuse to return it. I was told by Quickbooks that I should contact the buyers have them return the goods, but they won’t tell me who the buyers were that they’re holding money for.
I’d like to consider class action options with others who’ve experienced the same with Quickbooks.