Next index release: N/A
  • Represents the smallest businesses in the U.S., which
    employ more than half of non-farm private employees
  • Our data comes directly from Intuit software—not from surveys
  • The only small business indexes updated monthly from real data
  • Based on a statistically sound methodology

Intuit Small Business Indexes

Thank you for visiting This was previously the webpage for Intuit’s Small Business Employment and Revenue Indexes.

As of 11/23/2015, the Indexes are no longer in production

If you have questions or would like more information about the Intuit Indexes, please reach out to Sarah Voros at

Our indexes are designed to provide statistically sound data and insight into small business trends and behavior. We collect actual data from Intuit software users, analyze the numbers, and publish monthly so you can follow the pulse of small business today. What sets our indexes apart?

Data View: Revenue
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About the Intuit Small Business Revenue Index

Overview | Methodology | FAQS | Archive | About the Economist

The Intuit Small Business Revenue Index measures small business revenue for firms with fewer than 20 employees. Near real-time data is used to measure anonymized revenue per company from approximately 240,000 Intuit QuickBooks Online customers, a subset of the total QuickBooks Online user base. Intuit publishes the report at the beginning of each month just prior to the Employment Situation release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, reporting on revenue one month prior to the current month. The Index is the only source of monthly small business revenue data.

As the leading provider of small business financial and business management tools, Intuit has a wealth of information about small business activity. In conjunction with the Intuit Small Business Employment Index, the Intuit Small Business Indexes provide a deeper understanding on small businesses and the unique impact they have on the economy.

Complete Methodology White Paper

Small Business Revenue Index

The Intuit Small Business Revenue Index reflects trends in small business monthly revenue activity using data from approximately 240,000 companies that use QuickBooks Online. First, a suitable set of companies and their transactions are chosen and then the average revenue per company for each month is computed. The averages contain biases that are accounted for and predicted based on past observations.

To showcase the influence of economic conditions on company revenue we do a statistical analysis known as regression of revenue with respect to month, cohort, and age. The idea is that the coefficients of the cohort variables will trace out the changing size of the companies in different cohorts, the coefficients of the age variables will trace out how revenue changes as the company ages, and the month coefficients will reveal the influence of economic activity in different months generally on company revenue.

Since the influence of the recession and other economic factors might vary for different sectors, we perform these regressions separately for each sector; the month coefficients for the different sectors are then combined using a weighted average and the resulting series is adjusted for seasonality and reported as a trend.

What is the Intuit Small Business Revenue Index?

The Intuit Revenue index is the first index to provide current information on monthly small business revenue. The Index is based on a set of approximately 240,000 small businesses that use QuickBooks Online, of which approximately 15 percent are sole proprietorships with no employees. This is not survey data, but instead data generated from Intuit's QuickBooks Online records in near real-time.

What is the purpose of the Index and why is it unique?

The Intuit Small Business Revenue Index provides insights and trends on small business activity. Month-to-month revenue among small businesses is important to measure and gives a more complete picture of the health of the overall economy. Because the Index is created with online QuickBooks data, the Index is quickly calculated with a lag of only a few weeks. Uniquely, the Intuit Revenue index is the only index that publicly tracks small business revenue.

How is your Index different than the numbers put out by other organizations?

The Revenue Index is the first to provide near real-time information on monthly small business revenue. The only other similar information on small business revenue comes from the Statistics of Income (SOI) from the Internal Revenue Service. This data is provided on an annual basis only and available about two years after the close of a tax year. The National Income and Product Accounts also provides data monthly at an aggregate level past dates for available SOI data, but it is revised once the SOI data is complete.

When will your Index be available?

The 2015 calendar is shown below. Each release will represent a full month of data, through the 21st of the previous month.

Month Release Date

Intuit Release

Tue, January 6, 2015
Tue, February 3, 2015
Tue, March 3, 2015
Tue, March 31, 2015
Tue, May 5, 2015
Tue, June 2, 2015
Tue, June 30, 2015
Tue, August 4, 2015
Wed, September 1, 2015
Tue, September 29, 2015
Tue, November 3, 2015
Tue, December 1, 2015
Tue, January 5, 2016

Why do you release the Revenue Index for the prior month and not the current month?

The data for the Revenue Index is pulled on the 3rd Sunday of each month for the previous full calendar month. A few extra weeks are needed to make sure that the Index has the most up-to-date information as many businesses backfill their accounting files for the previous month.

How many firms are represented in your index?

The Intuit Small Business Revenue Index is based on approximately 240,000 small businesses that use QuickBooks Online, a subset of the total QuickBooks Online user base.

How many customers does Intuit QuickBooks have and are all of these used in the index?

Intuit QuickBooks serves more than 4 million small businesses with desktop, application and online financial management services. The Index is based on approximately 240,000 small businesses that use Intuit QuickBooks Online. This number is a subset and not the total number of Intuit QuickBooks users.

What's your methodology?

See the description of our methodology here .

What steps has Intuit taken to ensure the privacy and security of its customers' account details used in the Index?

To learn more about Intuit's Privacy Policy, visit:

Does the Index reflect Intuit's base of QuickBooks customers or Intuit's business results for any period?

No. The percentage changes in revenue reflect the conditions of the economy, and do not represent changes in Intuit's base of QuickBooks customers or Intuit's business results for any period.

How does the Revenue Index complement Intuit's Employment Index to tell a more complete story about small business growth and the economy?

Intuit's Revenue and Employment Indexes enrich our understanding of small business by providing current, monthly data on small business revenue, hiring, hours worked, and compensation trends in the U.S. Together, the Intuit Small Business Indexes provide a deeper understanding on small businesses and the unique impact they have on the economy.

Why do you revise the data each month? Is this standard practice with other indices?

As with the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, there may be revisions to the Intuit Index numbers. These calculations include re-computing seasonal factors and the moving average process used to obtain the curve, which can change the values for previously reported months. Changes to the data also arise from revisions to the government employment data that are used as inputs to the Intuit Index.

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Intuit Economist Dr. Susan Woodward

The Intuit Small Business Revenue Index has been constructed from QuickBooks Online data by nationally recognized financial economist Susan Woodward.

Susan Woodward founded Sand Hill Econometrics, which publishes the Sand Hill Index, an index of value for venture-capital-funded companies. She has licensed this index to Dow Jones, which now publishes it as the Dow Jones Index of Venture Capital. Sand Hill Econometrics also provides measurement of risk and performance for alternative assets to institutional investors.

Woodward has a Ph.D. in Financial Economics from UCLA. She taught finance for the first 10 years of her career. She then served 10 years (1985-1995) in the government in Washington D.C., including four years as chief economist at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and four years as chief economist at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. She now lives in Menlo Park, California, and works on issues in both mortgage lending and securities.

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