When you first started your business, you may have used spreadsheets to keep track of sales, and paper time cards to record employee hours for payroll. But now it’s time to upgrade to a more advanced accounting solution.
The question is: How do you find the right one?
One way to get your small business questions answered is by consulting a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. QuickBooks ProAdvisors include professional accountants and bookkeepers who are certified for their understanding of QuickBooks products.
ProAdvisors can help you figure out what solution is best for you and get you off the ground and running with your new software. They can also offer small business owners advice on financial planning, financial statements, and accounting processes.
Keep reading to find out when you should contact a QuickBooks ProAdvisor and how to go about finding one.
QuickBooks ProAdvisor Certification
Intuit QuickBooks isn’t just a tax filing software. It also offers a robust suite of accounting and financial software options for businesses. Its products include everything from accounting and bookkeeping to inventory management.
While the QuickBooks suite is an excellent choice for any small business, it can be tough to figure out which products are right for you. So, the company launched its QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program, which empowers accounting professionals (and some non-accounting professionals) to earn a certification after completing QuickBooks training and passing the exam.
QuickBooks offers four primary certification types:
- QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor
- QuickBooks Desktop/Premier ProAdvisor
- QuickBooks Point of Sale (POS)
- QuickBooks Enterprise
For each certification, applicants must earn an 80 percent or higher on the QuickBooks’ 81-question certification exam.
Depending on clientele, some professionals earn multiple certifications. For example, a ProAdvisor might become certified in both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop software.
Many QuickBooks ProAdvisors are also certified public accountants (CPAs). QuickBooks also offers a QuickBooks Pro Advanced certification that includes passing the basic certification three years in a row, completing ten additional modules, and passing the advanced exam.
Advanced advisors are an excellent option for any business owner who deals with issues like job costing, non-standard transactions (including customer deposits and bounced checks), progress invoicing, and vendor payments.
When to Use a QuickBooks ProAdvisor
The best time to look for a QuickBooks ProAdvisor is when you’re beginning your search for business accounting software. Since ProAdvisors have an in-depth understanding of various QuickBooks solutions, they’re extremely helpful in finding the right product for your business.
When purchasing through a ProAdvisor, you can also receive a 10 to 20 percent discount on your subscription. You can also contact an advisor after you’ve selected your QuickBooks product. ProAdvisors are adept at using QuickBooks programs and getting the most out of the software.
An advisor can take a look at your financial reporting and business model to create a workflow that’s right for you. In other words, they’ll help you customize your QuickBooks setup to your business so you can spend less time on your books. They can also answer any questions you have about topics ranging from payroll taxes to filing taxes for contractors.
Professionals with an advanced certification dive deeper into topics like analytics/reporting, inventory management, business taxes, and multicurrency.
How to Find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor
When looking for any type of advice for your business, it’s crucial that you find the right QuickBooks consultant for you.
Follow these steps to find your perfect certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor match.
1. Figure Out What Type of Advisor You Need
If you’ve already purchased a QuickBooks product, you’ll need to find a ProAdvisor with a corresponding certification.
Otherwise, if you’re in the research phase of your purchase, look for a ProAdvisor who’s certified in QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop. Someone with a dual certification can offer you the best advice on selecting a solution.
If you want help setting up advanced analytics or dealing with international business, we recommend looking for a QuickBooks Advanced ProAdvisor.
Finally, if you have any other ideal qualifications, such as industry knowledge or location, you should decide this upfront. Some advisors have industry specialties like construction, medical, or real estate.
2. Search the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Website
Once you have your list of qualifications ready, it’s time to look for a ProAdvisor. The best place to start your search is at quickbooks.intuit.com/find-an-accountant/.
The QuickBooks website lets you browse through ProAdvisor QuickBooks expert profiles in your area.
Select the specialty you’re seeking, enter your zip code, and QuickBooks will give you a list of ProAdvisors who fit your criteria. You can narrow your search further by selecting your industry and any products you’re considering.
3. Review Advisor Profile and References
The QuickBooks ProAdvisor Search feature makes it easy for you to learn more about certified professionals and compare your options.
Advisor profiles contain information like:
- QuickBooks certifications they have achieved
- Professional credentials
- Industries served
- Languages spoken
- Software expertise/services offered
Each profile also has a review section where previous clients rate advisors on responsiveness, expertise, helpfulness, and professionalism.
When reading through reviews, you can see which products each client used and what services they received from their ProAdvisor.
Reading through a ProAdvisor’s profile gives you a pretty good idea of who you’d be working with and examples of how they’ll address your business needs.
4. Schedule a Meeting with a Potential Advisor
So, you’ve reviewed several profiles and narrowed down your choices. Once you’re ready to make contact, QuickBooks has an easy solution for that too.
Simply use the Send Message feature on a QuickBooks ProAdvisor profile. You can include a brief message outlining your needs along with your name, email, and phone number (optional).
5. Ask the Right Questions
Although you can learn a lot about an advisor from their profile, it’s best to have some questions to ask them before deciding.
In particular, you’ll want to learn about how (and how often) they communicate with their clients. Will they answer questions in multiple emails as things come to you, or do they prefer a weekly call where you discuss all your questions at once? You should also inquire about their billing methods and their experience with other clients. Don't hesitate to ask for some examples of success.
Once you’re satisfied with your choice, then you both can get to work finding the right QuickBooks product for you or setting up your new account.
Alternate Places to Look for a QuickBooks ProAdvisor
The QuickBooks ProAdvisor Search feature is by far the easiest way to find a ProAdvisor near you. There are other options, too.
For example, if you’ve purchased a product that includes Live Bookkeeping, you can use that to speak with a QuickBooks online accountant.
All of the experts available on QuickBooks live are based in the United States and have earned their QuickBooks Pro certification.
If you want to search elsewhere, here are some alternatives:
- Facebook groups
- Your local chamber of commerce
- LinkedIn (search for “QuickBooks Live ProAdvisor”)
Looking at Facebook or LinkedIn Groups might be the right choice if you’re not sure you want to use QuickBooks software yet. You can get feedback from multiple professionals at once and potentially find an advisor to work with that way.
Say Goodbye to Spreadsheets
Graduating from manual spreadsheets to accounting software is an exciting step for your business.
With the right tools in your belt, you can spend less time reviewing your books and more time doing the work you love. QuickBooks has a team of professionals ready to help you do just that. So what now? Get out there and find that advisor!