How Becoming a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor Changed My Business

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When I began my business I thought I was going to run a business that was completely different than what it became. In 2001, I had just left a large corporation where I was implementing applications such as SAP and JD Edwards in the US and in some outside countries. The only time I had even heard of QuickBooks was at a remote location during an Audit that was supposed to be using SAP and instead were using QuickBooks to track everything internally and then transferring entries to SAP. Well, obviously for the Auditors out there reading this, that was an Audit Point for the Report…but, all in all, that was my complete experience with QuickBooks before starting my business – I fell into this by accident. As most things go, we set out thinking we are going to do one thing, but end up going down an entirely different path. 

When I decided to open a business, I was planning to have a bookkeeping service. Even though my background was Audit, I had decided at the time that I did not want the liability of that type of Practice being a Sole Proprietor. I started researching how to market my business and came across the Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor logo on another’s accountant’s advertisement. I researched how to be able to use that logo on an advertisement and I found the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program. In order to be able to utilize the logo on advertisements, you have to join the program and become certified in QuickBooks. I quickly joined and became certified in QuickBooks, and my journey began…

My first call from a Prospect was asking me to come and train them on QuickBooks. That is when my business took a different turn. I thought I would be selling Bookkeeping services outright – but instead, more Business owners were interested in doing the Bookkeeping themselves, and instead wanting to be trained on the software. So, I went with what my clients wanted, and started making visits to their businesses and teaching them how to use the software. What they didn’t realize was they thought that just were going to learn about QuickBooks, but instead, I really was using QuickBooks as a tool teach them business processes, internal controls and proper cash flow management. Coming from a large application background, I couldn’t believe what you were able to accomplish using QuickBooks and how easy it was to create the reporting you need. 

By being a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, I was able to get the training I needed to deliver these services, advertise on Intuit’s Find-a-ProAdvisor listing, as well as receive the software I needed to be able to execute client work and train myself. This training led to additional services such as Bookkeeping services and Controllership services to offer my clients to continue the relationship we began with the QuickBooks Training (see my prior Blog post discussing this titled “Beyond QuickBooks Set-up to Recurring Revenue”). Clients and Prospects also came to me for tax services as well, which I referred out to other Tax Accountants in my area that I worked with since I only delivered operational accounting services. Since Intuit invests a good deal money and resources into driving small business customers to ProAdvisor listings, it is worth it to get certified and to take advantage of Intuit’s marketing dollars!

The QuickBooks ProAdvisor membership includes licenses of QuickBooks Premier Accountant Edition and Enterprise Accountant Edition, as well as a QuickBooks Online Account. Additionally US-Based Technical Support is available to ProAdvisors and you can get certified in QuickBooks so that you can get published on the Intuit Find-A-ProAdvisor site and use the ProAdvisor logos and marketing. The only way you get listed on the Fins-A-ProAdvisor site is if you get Certified in QuickBooks. Depending on the state you are in, the Certification training can be eligible for up to 16 CPE credits. 

More information on becoming a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor can be found at: http://proadvisor.intuit.com/content/program/index.jsp

Some new enhancements you should know about that were recently launched as part of the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program in the last few months are: 

  • Intuit ProLine WebListings -  All Certified and non-Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors can access Intuit ProLine WebListings. WebListings automatically publishes a ProAdvisor’s profile to more than 90 high traffic websites, including Google Maps, Yahoo! Local, Yellowpages.com and more. Certified ProAdvisors are further distinguished with their certified badge prominently displayed alongside their profile. By using WebListings, ProAdvisors broaden their reach online and therefore are more likely to be found by potential clients searching websites for local services. Certified and non-Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors can use WebListings free for 90 days. There is an additional fee for this service after the initial 90 days.

 

  • Certified ProAdvisor Profile SEO Optimized -  The Intuit QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program now includes optimization of Certified ProAdvisors’ Find-a-ProAdvisor profiles for top search engines so their profiles can appear at the top of search engine results when prospective clients search for QuickBooks help in their area.  Optimizing a Find-A-ProAdvisor profile is available only for Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors and is included in their ProAdvisor memberships.

  • Skip Straight to the Certification Exam - If you are a QuickBooks ProAdvisor but you aren’t yet certified, but you consider yourself to be a QuickBooks expert, the ProAdvisor Program now allows you to go straight to the QuickBooks certification exam. This option can save you up to 20 hours of training (not CPE-eligible). As soon as a ProAdvisor passes the exam, the QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor logo can be leveraged and your Find-a-ProAdvisor profile can be optimized for search as discussed above.

 

  • Coming Soon: Accountant Client Matching Service - The Accountant Client Matching Service will be an online service matching prospective clients with ProAdvisors. This service is scheduled to be available as a test this summer to a portion of ProAdvisors (availability and timing subject to change).

If you are a current QuickBooks ProAdvisor and being a ProAdvisor helped your business as it did mine or you are even starting out and considering it, I would love to hear your story. Please share it as a reply to this Blog!

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I know this article was published a few years ago, but it's very similar to my situation. Coming out of the corporate world, where I was used to using such Accounting programs as Oracle, Great Plains, SUN, Peoplesoft, etc. I did work for one smaller Wall St firm that used Quickbooks, so I am very familiar with it. Now, I am venturing on my own business, and will definitely joindthe pro-advisor program, my one question to you is, how do you know what level to price your services at? I want to be competitive, not over charging, but not undercharging either.

I am also interested in how you create a price structure!

Nice ad for Quickie Books - Intuit is only interested in forcing & charging bookkeepers to use & promote their products - the marketing for Pro advisors is merely an after thought & is really pathetic.

Hi, I recently passed the CPA Exam, but do not have the required experience to get the license. I worked at a local CPA firm as a Staff Auditor for less than a year, did an audit internship while I was in school and worked part-time for two and a half years at a small CPA firm performing bookkeeping, preparing corporate tax returns and helping with reviews and compilations. Now, I want to become a QuickBooks Proadvisor and start my bookkeeping practice (and may add tax preparation service later). I am a little skeptical though and wanted to get some opinions from those who have started their own business. Should I get some more experience before I start my own business or should I become a proadvisor and see how it goes?

Thanks so much!
Saira

Do Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors have to pass a background check or could a felon who's been convicted of manipulating books and stealing money from their employer be certified? Does Intuit allow their name to be used by unscrupulous people thus hurting their brand?

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All very good, but since when is it an "industry practice" to change an agreement – without notice yet – midway through its term? Unless a Pro Adviser's contract renews simultaneously with the software update, I'd think the normal practice would be to impose new terms on renewal.

Priority Tax Group

I already work for Quickbooks Enterprise solutions tech here in the USA, but I want to expand my knowledge and be able to teach others how to do more than just fix their company files data damage. Do I have to be a cpa to become a pro advisor?