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How to Find the “Best-Fit” QuickBooks ProAdvisor for Your Business

Stacy Kildal

Stacy Kildal

Contributor at Fundera
Stacy Kildal is owner/operator of Kildal Services LLC—an accounting and technology consulting company that specializes in all things QuickBooks. From 2012-2017, Stacy has been named one of CPA Practice Advisor’s Most Powerful Women In Accounting. Stacy is one of the three hosts for the QB Show and has also been featured frequently on Intuit’s Accountant Blog, Community "Ask the Expert" forums, at various Intuit Academy To Go podcasts, as well as hosting a number of Intuit Small Business Online Town Hall sessions. She is a big fan of working mobile and has been recognized by Intuit as being an expert on QuickBooks Online, having written Intuit’s original courses for the US, Singapore and Canadian versions.
Stacy Kildal

Your QuickBooks Soulmate is Out There. 

Since launching your business, you’ve been keeping track of your accounting with a spreadsheet (yay you!) and business is booming. (Who doesn’t like laundry detergent with glitter in it?)

Got this one here

But things are starting to really take off – you’re not just selling this stuff to your 14-year-old sister and her friends now. People are, like, getting interested. You need to it start looking like a legit organization.

That means an online store, and taking credit cards, and you know, something other than a spreadsheet to keep track of all those dolla bills that are coming and going.

You’ve decided to use QuickBooks, you say? Yay, you!

Now What Do You Do?

You need to find a ProAdvisor. A Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, at the minimum. The QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program from Intuit gives accounting professionals great discounts, support and software, but if you’re a small business owner, you want to one that is certified in QuickBooks products.

We’re the accounting nerds that geek out over new features. We love to set up group items. We have dreams about that bank account reconciliation difference showing a difference of zero, the first time, every time.

find-a-quickbooks-proadvisor-2

The certification process isn’t easy, either. Having written and reviewed much of the training offered—for certification as well as other topics—I can tell you that it’s a benchmark. If you can find a ProAdvisor that has their Advanced certification, then even better. Those advanced certification exams are tough; in 2009, the advanced desktop certification made me cry. Passing it is a huge badge of honor. A QuickBooks Pro Advisor with an Advanced certification has a deeper understanding and more expertise with the program compared to those with the basic certification. 

Now that you know what we are, you don’t want just any ProAdvisor. You want one with whom you can build a lasting relationship for your business, so let’s walk you through some things to consider when choosing your soon-to-be QuickBooks soulmate.

Before you start looking:

  1. Make a list of what you want. What sort of experience are you looking for? Should they know specific programs? Industries? Or are you willing to sort of figure things out with them, if the personality fits?
  2. Do you want them to be local? Most of us work remotely, even with our clients that are in the same town. There are some advantages to having your ProAdvisor local, like being able to meet in person, or they could possibly have a better understanding of local tax compliance issues, or maybe they have some local contacts in their network that could help your business. On the other hand, someone NOT local could also have all of these same characteristics for a different market you’re operating in.
  3. Think about the services you want. Are you going to want your ProAdvisor to do your setup, train you, and then just be around when/if you need occasional help? Or are you going to want them to do the setup, train you, and also consult on other things – finding loans, establishing your workflow, recommending apps? Also, there are more QuickBooks Pro Certifications for different programs—like point of sale and enterprise. 
  4. What will the relationship look like. Are you going to need a lot of updates and check-ins? Would you rather let your ProAdvisor do what you’ve hired them to do, and just reach out when they see an issue or need information? Or maybe something in between?

Now that you have an idea of what you’re looking for, how do you find the ProAdvisor that will fulfill all of your QuickBooks dreams?

If you’re looking for someone local, this is easy. The best place to go to is findaproadvisor.com.

find-a-quickbooks-proadvisor-3

 

You enter your zip code and the distance from that zip code, and hit search. That will turn up a list of ProAdvisors, and is sorted by “default” at first. (Honestly, I’m not sure what the default is. I know Intuit uses distance, number of certifications, reviews and other factors to determine who shows up at the top of the list. But, I’m not sure what the secret sauce is. I do know that ProAdvisors that have their Advanced Certification show up before those that don’t.)

 

find-a-quickbooks-proadvisor-4

Look! It’s me!

However, you can re-sort the list if you want:

find-a-quickbooks-proadvisor-5

My advice is to check out their profiles, see what they say about themselves and their practice. Check out the reviews. You’ll also want to do some social media stalking.

Check out their website – do they have a specialty? A blog? Search for them via Google or Duckduckgo and see if they’ve written any other articles – like the one you’re reading now. Or these. Look at their Facebook page, Twitter feed, Google + profile. (Just kidding, don’t bother with G+, odds are they haven’t updated it since 2013, amiright?)

My point is not to just pick the one closest to you and go from there. Take a look at a few that are close to you and see if their personality seems like it will be a good fit for you and your business. This is the person that’s handling some of the most important aspects of your business – your accounting and back office processes.

If you don’t want to use the findaproadvisor.com site, there are other ways such as LinkedIn groups and Facebook groups. You could even try searching for an issue that your business struggles with and see if that search turns up any resources. Odds are if the person that wrote it is a ProAdvisor, they might be able to help you.

Once you narrow it down to a few, reach out. Send an email that explains as succinctly as possible what services you’re looking for, what your business does and what your pain points might be. Ask for a call, but don’t ask for free advice – ask how they work, how they bill, what apps they use, what happens if there’s a mistake, and how they’ll communicate with you.

We’re part of your Dream Team, and we have a vested interest in making sure that you’re successful.

Got this one here

 

Most of us are so protective and so passionate about our clients, and we see ourselves as trusted advisors in your journey to take over the world. We want it to be a great relationship just as much as you do. So, putting in the time to find the “best-fit” ProAdvisor is well worth it for both parties. 

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Stacy Kildal

Stacy Kildal

Contributor at Fundera
Stacy Kildal is owner/operator of Kildal Services LLC—an accounting and technology consulting company that specializes in all things QuickBooks. From 2012-2017, Stacy has been named one of CPA Practice Advisor’s Most Powerful Women In Accounting. Stacy is one of the three hosts for the QB Show and has also been featured frequently on Intuit’s Accountant Blog, Community "Ask the Expert" forums, at various Intuit Academy To Go podcasts, as well as hosting a number of Intuit Small Business Online Town Hall sessions. She is a big fan of working mobile and has been recognized by Intuit as being an expert on QuickBooks Online, having written Intuit’s original courses for the US, Singapore and Canadian versions.
Stacy Kildal

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