How to Find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor
To find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor for your small business, make a list of the traits you are looking for in an accountant. Then be prepared to do some internet sleuthing to find someone that matches your desired profile. You can also use the quickbooks.intuit.com/find-an-accountant/ website to find local QuickBooks ProAdvisors. When you find someone, explain what services you’re looking for, what your business does, and what your pain points might be. Before hiring anyone, be sure to 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.
Maybe when you first launched, you kept track of your business accounting with a spreadsheet. But now things are starting to really take off. People are interested, and demand for your product or service is increasing. Therefore, you need to start operating like a legit organization.
Among other things, that means getting rid of that spreadsheet and finding something more sophisticated to track all of those dollar bills that are coming and going. If you’re reading this article, you probably decided to use QuickBooks for your accounting software. Good choice!
But having accounting software is only half the battle. You also need someone who knows accounting as well as how to use Quickbooks Online. That’s where a QuickBooks ProAdvisor can come in.
What Is a QuickBooks ProAdvisor?
A QuickBooks ProAdvisor is a certification provided by Intuit to independent accounting professionals who demonstrate expertise using QuickBooks. The QuickBooks ProAdvisor program gives accounting professionals discounts, support, and software from Intuit, and also makes them more appealing to small business owners in need of accounting services.
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 in QuickBooks showing a difference of zero, the first time, every time.
The QuickBooks ProAdvisor certification process isn’t easy, either. Having written and reviewed much of the training offered—for certification as well as other topics—we can tell you that it’s a benchmark. If you can find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor that has their Advanced certification, that’s even better. Those advanced certification exams are tough; passing it is a huge badge of honor. A QuickBooks ProAdvisor 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 QuickBooks 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.
How to Find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor in 5 Steps
Step 1: Determine What Kind of Accountant You Need
Before you start looking for a QuickBooks ProAdvisor:
- 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?
- 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 QuickBooks 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.
- Think about the services you want. Are you going to want your QuickBooks 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, and recommending apps?
- What will the relationship look like. Are you going to need a lot of updates and check-ins? Would you rather let your QuickBooks 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 QuickBooks ProAdvisor that will fulfill all of your QuickBooks dreams?
Step 2: Conduct a Local Search on the QuickBooks Website
If you’re looking for someone local, finding a QuickBooks ProAdvisor is easy. The best place to go to is quickbooks.intuit.com/find-an-accountant.
You enter your zip code and the distance from that zip code, and hit search. That will turn up a list of QuickBooks ProAdvisors, and is sorted by “default” at first. (Intuit uses distance, number of certifications, reviews, and other factors to determine who shows up at the top of the list. QuickBooks ProAdvisors who have their Advanced certification show up before those that don’t.)
Look! It’s me!
However, you can re-sort the list if you want based on a variety of different factors:
Step 3: Broaden Your Search
If you don’t want to use findaproadvisor.com, there are other ways, such as reliable accounting blogs, LinkedIn groups, and Facebook groups. You could even try searching for an accounting issue that your business struggles with and see if that search turns up any articles. Odds are if the person that wrote it is a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, they might be able to help you.
Another approach you can take is asking for referrals. Ask a business advisor, a lawyer, your banker, or tap into your industry’s network to get a recommendation for a good accountant. You can also get referrals by attending small business events hosted by your local Chamber of Commerce or Small Business Development Center.
If you’d prefer your QuickBooks ProAdvisor is also a certified public accountant (CPA), you can check the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) website. The AICPA has a directory of CPAs, accounting companies, and local accounting organizations.
Whoever you find, just make sure they are QuickBooks ProAdvisor certified.
Step 4: Do Your Research
Once you find someone who you think might be a good fit, you’ll want to do some background research. My advice is to check out the profiles of each QuickBooks ProAdvisor, see what they say about themselves and their practice, and look at their reviews. You’ll also want to do some social media sleuthing—are they a member of the QuickBooks community online?.
Check out their website—do they have a specialty? A blog? Search for them via Google and see if they’ve written any articles. Look at their Facebook page, Twitter feed, and LinkedIn profile.
Our point is not to just pick the QuickBooks ProAdvisor 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—so you want them to be a good match.
Step 5: Ask Questions
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 and what your pain points might be. You’ll also want to explain what your business does, as accounting for a Saas company is very different than accounting for a brick-and-mortar retail store. Ask for a call, but don’t ask for free advice—ask how they work, what apps they use, and what happens if there’s a mistake.
In particular, be sure to ask these six questions:
- How many small businesses have you worked with?
- How much experience do you have in my industry?
- What are all your services?
- How can you help me grow my business?
- Who will I be working with and how will we communicate?
- How will you bill for your services?
Their responses to these six questions should give you a good idea of the level of service they can provide and whether or not they are a good personality fit for your organization. Keep in mind that very small businesses are better off working with independent accountants, or accountants that are part of smaller accounting firms—your business will get more attention.
In terms of price, the most expensive advisor isn’t always the best choice. However, the more your accountant charges, the more they tend to have to offer.
The Bottom Line on Finding a QuickBooks ProAdvisor
QuickBooks ProAdvisors part of your Dream Team, and we have a vested interest in making sure that you’re successful.
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” QuickBooks ProAdvisor is well worth it for both parties.
Stacy Kildal is a contributing writer for Fundera.
Stacy Kildal is owner/operator of Kildal Services LLC—an accounting and technology consulting company that specializes in all things QuickBooks. From 2012 to 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 U.S., Singapore and Canadian versions.