10 Apr Not All Pro Advisors Are The Same
In looking for a Pro Advisor, one should first look to see if they are on Intuit’s Local Expert Page. If they are NOT and claim to be a Pro Advisor, it means they have signed up, but have not received any certifications. Additionally, if they did, their certifications are on older products that have expired. Additionally, look to see what they are certified in and for how long. While there are many new advisors being added that do not have much history, there are many that have been advising for a number of years. This shows commitment to the software as well as someone who most likely has made a career out of advising and working with QuickBooks. Review the advisors Profile and see that it is completed in full and that they have added their own verbiage that explains what they or their firm does. It is important to note that People are Pro Advisors, not firms. So if you see a website for a company or firm that says they are QuickBooks Pro Advisors, it is not referring to the company, but to some individual or individuals in the firm. Ask to speak to them directly.
- A good Pro Advisor not only understands QuickBooks but has a firm grasp on accounting principals that go along with running a business on QuickBooks. There are many Pro Advisors who understand how QuickBooks works, but are not fully aware of the implications of various setup issues. For example, are items being setup correctly to map to the various accounts, is the chart of accounts set up correctly to clearly show the gross profit or overhead expenses? Is deferred revenue being tracked correctly due to the receipt of funds for things that are not completed? While the actual recording of these types of transactions are very easy via invoices, bills and check writing and the setup is easy through the chart of accounts and item setup, if they are not setup correctly, the reports will not be accurate. These issues are generally masked because they are not discovered until much later when management is looking for information in a certain format that they cannot get.
- A good Pro Advisor has worked with many companies in many different industries and has learned all the various tricks and work-arounds within QuickBooks. For example, the use of zero payroll checks to track labor job cost when a company uses an outside payroll service. Or the use of items to track deferred revenue and deposits while reducing them when they need to be via another invoice. They also understand how to import items into QuickBooks Budget, downloaded bank transactions and item list or new accounts.
- A good Pro Advisor has in their back pocket a source for help in working with QuickBooks such as the QuickBooks community, the various QuickBooks forums, user groups as well as seasoned advisors in the industry. There is always a need for support among Pro Advisors and knowing where to go for answers is paramount. There are specialists who can point you in the right direction for 3rdparty add-ons, report writing, e-commerce connections, etc.
- A good Pro Advisor has made pretty much a living with working in and around QuickBooks. They are dedicated to the product and are always up to date with the new versions and features.
A good Pro Advisor is not:
- Someone who signed up to get free software.
- A bookkeeper who signed up just to get clients with very little QuickBooks experience.
- Someone who signed up and got certified a few years back with no commitment to the program.
- A great bookkeeper who knows just enough about QuickBooks to do the basics only write checks, pay bills, enter invoices and reconcile cash.
- Someone who has not made the commitment to receive certifications.
- A CPA who does not work with the software on a daily basis.
For as little as $449 per year, anyone can signup to become a QuickBooks Pro Advisor! With that fee, you receive free QuickBooks software Pro, Premier, Enterprise and QuickBooks Online, as well as discounts to purchase software for resale. Additionally, you receive access to certifications that give training on the use of QuickBooks. The training starts with regular QuickBooks courses (approximately 16 hours), and continues with Advanced Training, Point of Sale Training and Enterprise Solutions Training.
While many Pro Advisors take this training, it is not a requirement. Upon passing this training, a Pro Advisor will be listed on Intuits Find a Pro Advisor site.
With this low barrier to entry, and the ability to receive about $1800 dollars in free software, there are thousands of accountants and bookkeepers who signup to become Pro Advisors. Many of them do go on to become certified and are listed on Intuits find a local expert page.
Remember, not all Pro Advisors are the same. Ask questions about their experience, ask how they would handle certain aspects of your business and accountant, ask how many clients they have helped, inquire about their experience with the various features of QuickBooks inventory, item receipts, item setup, how to set up items to track profitability, etc.
Don’t be fooled by the bookkeeper who says they are QuickBooks experts!!