How to Find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor
This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software.
A QuickBooks ProAdvisor is a bookkeeper, accountant, or certified public accountant (CPA) who has been trained, tested, and certified by Intuit. By mastering a series of exams successfully, these professionals can assist QuickBooks clients and their employees with navigating and leveraging the software to the best of its ability. These exams demonstrate proficiency with one or more QuickBooks products. To maintain certification, the ProAdvisor must recertify every year by taking the latest exam.
The following are the five best places to find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor.
1. QuickBooks ProAdvisor Website
As of 2017, there were more than 200,000 QuickBooks ProAdvisors worldwide. To find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor near you, check out Intuit’s Find a ProAdvisor website. This site allows you to search for a ProAdvisor near you quickly and easily by entering your city, state, or ZIP code. To filter the search further, you can search by the specific types of services that you need.
If your search yields hundreds of results, you can narrow it down by selecting the type of industry. If you are in a sector that has specific accounting requirements, such as a nonprofit organization, it is recommended to filter the results to fit those requirements. In this case, it would be beneficial to hire a QuickBooks ProAdvisor who specializes in nonprofits.
Here is a complete list of the industries you can choose from to narrow your search:
- Automotive Sales/Repair
- Financial Services
- Government Agency
- Lawn Care/Landscaping
- Medical/Dental/Health Services
- Property Management
- Real Estate/Developer
- Wholesale Distribution
2. QuickBooks Live
QuickBooks Live is an online bookkeeping service that connects small businesses with QuickBooks ProAdvisors. Rather than dealing with an independent ProAdvisor, you will work with these professionals through QuickBooks. The team of QuickBooks Live Bookkeepers has expertise in almost all industries. Their service involves three phases: cleanup/setup, ongoing bookkeeping, and month-end close. You’re not limited to a set amount of time per month, and you have the option of scheduling a video call once or twice per month to discuss any questions and to review month-end results. Depending on your needs, prices range from $200 to $600 per month.
LinkedIn is a professional networking website that is also a terrific resource for referrals. It is easy to conduct a search for “QuickBooks ProAdvisor” and filter the results for your area. You can also post a request for referrals, as it is likely that someone in your network is connected to one already. This is also a great opportunity to ask for an introduction, and you can also filter the search for your industry.
4. Local Groups
There are a variety of QuickBooks ProAdvisor meetup groups that take place around the United States– both remote and in-person. You can visit the Meetup website and search the keyword QuickBooks to see if there is a group in your area. If you find a group, you can reach out to the organizer and explain that you are looking for a QuickBooks expert within the group.
5. Local SBDC Office
Local Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) are funded by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to assist small business owners at various stages of their business. These offer one-on-one counseling with SBDC Business Advisors, free of charge. Not all SBDC business advisors are QuickBooks ProAdvisors, but once you tell its representative that you need help with QuickBooks, they will assign someone with the experience and knowledge to assist you.
How to Choose a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that a QuickBooks ProAdvisor can assist you with your issue. However, there is usually a large pool of ProAdvisors available, which gives you a good chance of finding one that specializes in what you need.
Here are three steps you should take when hiring a QuickBooks ProAdvisor.
1. Check Profiles and Customer Reviews
Read the profiles located on the Find a ProAdvisor website. Be sure to choose a ProAdvisor certified in the QuickBooks product you prefer, QuickBooks Online or Desktop. Below is a snapshot of a colleague’s profile on the Find a ProAdvisor website, along with a brief description of some information you should consider. Make sure you check the following three things on a QuickBooks ProAdvisor’s profile:
1. Customer reviews: Right next to the profile picture, you can see average ratings and the total number of customer reviews. If you click on the reviews tab, you can see what customers are saying about the ProAdvisor. If there are too few reviews, you may wish to ask the ProAdvisor to provide references.
2. QuickBooks certifications: This particular ProAdvisor is a certified expert in QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop. Any additional certifications would be listed here as well.
3. About: In this section, you will see the ProAdvisor’s professional experience and information regarding the types of services they provide. Any specific industries that they have expertise with may be listed here as well.
4. Credentials: Here, you’ll learn more about the products and areas where the ProAdvisor is proficient. Included are the titles that further describe the ProAdvisor’s expertise.
5. Software expertise: The ProAdvisor’s specific product knowledge, such as QuickBooks Desktop Basic/Pro/Premier, is listed here.
Use this information to narrow down a list of the top two to five ProAdvisors with whom you’d like to work.
2. Chat With the ProAdvisor
The best way to evaluate your ability to work with someone is by having a conversation with them. Therefore, you should contact the first couple of ProAdvisors on your list and request an initial consultation.
This initial consult is very similar to a job interview but less formal. It is an opportunity for you to get to know this person and ask a few questions or address any concerns that you may have. It is also an opportunity for the ProAdvisor to get to know you and learn more about your business needs.
To facilitate the conversation, I suggest making a list of the traits that you are looking for in a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. When you speak with them, be sure to explain what services you’re looking for, what your business does, and what your pain points might be. Before hiring anyone, make sure to ask about how they prefer to work, how they bill their clients, what apps they use, how they rectify errors, and their desired communication style. Considering their responses carefully will help you to determine if they are a good fit for your business.
3. Check References
After you come to an agreement on price, but before you commit, you should request a couple of references from either current or past clients. You can contact these references to learn more about their experience with the ProAdvisor.
Most ProAdvisors won’t have a problem providing you with a client reference list. However, they might need to get approval from their client before you can contact them. If you encounter a QuickBooks ProAdvisor not willing to provide you with at least one client reference, I would consider moving to the next ProAdvisor on your list.
The best time to hire a QuickBooks ProAdvisor is before you start using QuickBooks, so they can help you get everything set up correctly. QuickBooks software is very user-friendly. However, with that benefit is also the potential for making a mistake with setup if you are not totally certain of what you’re doing. A QuickBooks ProAdvisor can help you to evaluate the best version of QuickBooks for your business as well as set up and customize your company file so that it works with your needs―whether that is managing the day-to-day bookkeeping tasks yourself or working in conjunction with an in-house bookkeeper.