Looking to enhance your business’s financial management with QuickBooks? This guide is your starting point for finding the perfect QuickBooks ProAdvisor. We’ll delve into how to pinpoint your specific needs, scout and assess potential ProAdvisors, and kickstart a successful partnership.
From understanding the importance of certifications and experience to gathering client insights and verifying credentials, we’ve got you covered. Follow these steps to align with a ProAdvisor who can propel your business toward its financial goals.
What is a QuickBooks ProAdvisor?
ProAdvisors are professionals who specialize in accounting and financial management, with a particular focus on software like QuickBooks. Their qualifications typically include a background in accounting or finance, often supported by a college degree in these fields.
In addition to their formal education, ProAdvisors undergo specific training and certification, especially for QuickBooks. This certification is not a one-time event; it requires them to stay updated with the latest software versions and financial management practices, ensuring their expertise is always current.
There are hundreds of thousands of ProAdvisers worldwide. This shows its widespread impact and the significant growth of its professional community.
What QuickBooks Proadvisor certifications are there?
While a ProAdvisor is a commonly used term for QuickBooks certification, we need to stress that there are in fact a few different certifications, namely:
- Certified ProAdvisor QuickBooks Online;
- Certified ProAdvisor QuickBooks Advanced Online;
- Certified ProAdvisor QuickBooks Payroll;
- Certified ProAdvisor QuickBooks Desktop;
- Certified ProAdvisor QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise.
So when you are looking for a ProAdvisor, make sure you know what certification will be most beneficial to your business.
Want to learn about QuickBooks tips from an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor? Read a guide on how to handle online payments and avoid common QuickBooks mistakes.
What services do QuickBooks ProAdvisors offer?
The services offered by ProAdvisors can be quite diverse, covering various aspects of financial management and software consulting. Key services include:
- Accounting and bookkeeping: ProAdvisors help set up and keep your business’s accounting organized. This means they handle everyday money matters, make sure your bank records match your accounts, and prepare your business’s financial reports.
- Tax planning and compliance: ProAdvisors assist with tax-related matters, offering advice on tax planning to maximize savings and ensure compliance with tax laws and regulations.
- QuickBooks training and support: Given their expertise in QuickBooks, ProAdvisors provide training for you and your team on how to use it for your business. Plus, they’re there to help if you run into any problems with the software.
- Financial reporting and analysis: They can create detailed financial reports for you. These reports show you how your business is doing money-wise and where you might be able to improve or grow.
- Payroll management: Some ProAdvisors also offer payroll services, helping to streamline the process of paying employees and managing payroll taxes.
- Integration ecosystem: QuickBooks ProAdvisors are not only proficient in QuickBooks but they are often skilled at other software that can streamline your bookkeeping and give you more insights into your business.
If you’re dealing with a high volume of online payments consider connecting with ProAdvisors proficient in using Synder. Synder is a powerful financial management software that streamlines accounting processes by automating data entry, financial reconciliation, and many more.
By partnering with a ProAdvisor skilled in Synder, you can ensure more precise financial management, leverage advanced reporting features, and ultimately, make more informed business decisions. This synergy can significantly enhance your QuickBooks experience, making your financial workflow both efficient and accurate.
How to find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor that is right for your business?
Finding a QuickBooks ProAdvisor is a lot like finding a teammate for your company. You want someone who has the expertise, the credentials, and will fit your work environment. At the same time, when you look to hire staff, you leave an ad and you wait for interviews to happen, here the whole process is reversed. It’s you who needs to find the right person. So how to do it well?
Below, we will outline a few steps that can guide you in this process. In the later sections, we will look at each of those steps in detail, so that you can have a concrete plan of action for finding the right ProAdvisor for your business.
Step 1. Determine your needs
Before you start your search, think about what you need help with. Do you need assistance with setting up QuickBooks, managing your books, payroll, tax advice, or something more specific?
We can’t overestimate the importance of this step. The entire process of finding the right ProAdvisor hinges on knowing what your business needs.
Step 2. Finding and selecting ProAdvisors
There are many places where you can find ProAdvisors, both online and offline. But the first place that many people begin with is the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Find-a-ProAdvisor website where you can search for certified professionals.
Search by location if you prefer in-person meetings, but also consider remote ProAdvisors for online services. Review the profiles and specializations of potential ProAdvisors, focusing on their experience, certifications, and industry expertise.
Step 3. Evaluating expertise and compatibility
Once you select some Proadviors that seem to fit your business needs, check the reviews and ratings from other businesses to gauge ProAdvisor’s reputation and quality of service.
Contact potential ProAdvisors and prepare a list of questions about their experience and services. Arrange a conversation or meeting to assess how well they understand your business and to determine if their working style aligns with yours.
Step 4. Comparing terms and services
At this stage, have a clear discussion about the services they will provide and the cost. Understand the different charging models, like hourly rates or fixed fees.
Arguing about fees and charges mid-business only detracts the attention from your business matters. Hence, be clear about what’s included in their service package and any additional costs that may arise along the way.
Step 5. Initiating the collaboration
Once you have chosen the ProAdvisor that best fits your needs you can confidently begin your collaboration. Here, you will share detailed information about your business’s financials, goals, and as well as access to all necessary software and files.
Find out how to write off bad debt in QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop.
Finding a ProAdvisor: How to identify your business needs?
When assessing business needs before searching for a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, businesses should ask themselves several key questions to clearly understand what they require from the professional relationship. These questions will help in identifying the specific areas where a ProAdvisor can offer the most value.
- What are my main goals for hiring a ProAdvisor?
While a ProAdvisor will be able to help you with a lot of pain points in your business, think of what are your main goals. They will serve as a compass in your search.
- How complex are my business’s accounting needs?
Evaluate the complexity of your financial transactions, the number of accounts you manage, and whether you have specific industry requirements that need specialized knowledge.
- Do I need assistance with setting up or optimizing my QuickBooks setup?
Determine if your current QuickBooks setup is meeting your needs or if you need professional help to configure it better or train your staff on its use.
- Am I in need of tax planning and compliance advice?
Consider your confidence level in managing tax obligations and whether you’d benefit from expert advice to ensure compliance and optimize tax savings.
- Could my business benefit from financial analysis and reporting?
Assess whether you require help in interpreting financial reports, understanding key performance indicators, or making data-driven decisions.
- Is payroll management becoming too complex or time-consuming?
Decide if you need assistance with processing payroll, managing payroll taxes, and ensuring compliance with employment laws.
- What is my budget for ProAdvisor’s services?
Have a clear understanding of what you can afford to spend on a ProAdvisor’s services, keeping in mind the potential return on investment from improved financial management.
- Would I prefer to work with someone locally or am I open to remote services?
Think about your preference for face-to-face meetings versus the flexibility and potentially broader expertise available with remote professionals.
- What growth stage is my business right now?
Consider your business’s growth stage and future plans. For instance, a startup might need basic accounting setup and training, while a more established business may require sophisticated financial analysis and forecasting.
- What specific QuickBooks features or modules do I need help with?
Identify if there are specific aspects of QuickBooks that you find challenging or underutilized. This could range from inventory management, project tracking, advanced reporting, or integrating with other software. Knowing this can help you find a ProAdvisor with the precise expertise to address your needs.
By answering these questions, businesses can gain a clearer picture of their needs and priorities, making it easier to find a ProAdvisor who can offer the most relevant and effective assistance. This self-assessment phase is crucial for setting the foundation for a productive and satisfying working relationship.
Want to test-drive QuickBooks Online before purchasing? Read our guide on the QBO test drive.
Where to find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor?
When you’re ready to start looking for a ProAdvisor, there are several resources you can use. There are many online sites and actual physical places, where businesses can find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Let’s review them.
QuickBooks ProAdvisor website
The most direct way is to use the QuickBooks ProAdvisor website. QuickBooks provides an online platform where you can search for certified ProAdvisors. You can access this service by visiting the Intuit QuickBooks website and navigating to the ‘Find a ProAdvisor’ section. Once there, you can apply various filter criteria to help you with your search.
Online directories and business forums
Besides the official QuickBooks website, you can also check online directories that list bookkeepers and accountants. Accounting and bookkeeping websites or even local business forums can provide listings and reviews of ProAdvisors.
Professional accounting networks
Look into professional accounting networks or local accounting associations. Websites like the CPA Directory, or even the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) offer listings and profiles of financial professionals, including those with ProAdvisor certifications.
Word of mouth and referrals
Ask for recommendations from other business owners, colleagues, or your network. Many professionals, while they may have an online presence, gain clients through word-of-mouth and local business relationships. So asking around in your business community can lead you to highly qualified ProAdvisors who have been vetted by people you trust.
Social media platforms
Platforms like LinkedIn can be useful for finding professionals. You can post in relevant business groups asking for recommendations or search for ProAdvisors who actively share their expertise online.
You can find QuickBooks ProAdvisors offline as well. Networking at local business events or checking with local business organizations or accounting firms are all effective ways to find ProAdvisors who may not actively promote their services online.
How to evaluate the expertise and compatibility of potential ProAdvisors?
Once you have a list of potential ProAdvisors, it’s important to ensure they’re the right fit for your business. Here are some key criteria to consider:
- Certifications: Check their certifications, especially in the software or areas you need assistance with. For QuickBooks, for example, ensure they are certified by the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program. This indicates they have passed tests demonstrating their proficiency.
- Experience: Look at their work experience, particularly in handling businesses similar to yours in size or industry. An experienced ProAdvisor will likely have encountered and solved a wide range of issues.
- Client reviews: Read reviews or testimonials from their past clients. This can give you insights into their reliability, professionalism, and the quality of their work.
- Compatibility: Assess whether their working style and communication methods align with your preferences. It’s important to have a ProAdvisor who you can communicate with easily and who understands your business’s unique needs.
What questions should you ask?
After narrowing down your options, the next step is to conduct interviews. This is your opportunity to get a feel for what it would be like to work with the ProAdvisors, so prepare a list of questions based on the needs of your business.
We’ve prepared some topics that regardless of the type of services you are looking for, are good to dive into during the interview.
- Their experience with businesses similar to yours in size, structure, complexity, industry, etc.
- Specific services they offer and how they compare to your business needs.
- How they handle client communication and collaboration.
- Their availability and response times for queries or issues.
- Customization and integration of QuickBooks with other tools.
Covering these topics during the interview will help you gauge the expertise of the ProAdvisor and whether they are a good fit for your business.
Remember that your instinct or gut feeling shouldn’t be dismissed in this evaluation process. Oftentimes, when you feel something isn’t right, or quite the opposite, something feels too good to be true, you should trust your intuition.
How do you verify credentials and references?
Probably no one likes to do it, but verifying credentials it’s a good practice to have. Verifying the credentials and references of a potential ProAdvisor is an important step. We will now look at how you can go about it.
For QuickBooks ProAdvisors, you can verify their certification through Intuit’s QuickBooks ProAdvisor website. For other certifications, you can check with the issuing organization.
Ask the ProAdvisor for references from past or current clients. When you contact these references, ask about their overall experience, the ProAdvisor’s reliability, and the impact they had on their business.
Look for professional affiliations
Check if they are affiliated with professional accounting bodies or organizations. This can be an additional validation of their professionalism and commitment to their field.
Evaluating potential ProAdvisors carefully will ensure you choose someone who not only has the right skills and experience but also aligns well with your business’s needs and culture. Remember, this person will be handling a key aspect of your business – the books and accounts, so taking the time to make a well-informed decision is essential for your business’s financial health.
Comparing proposals and pricing structures
Once you shortlisted potential ProAdvisors, it’s time to compare their proposals and pricing structures. This step helps you understand what each ProAdvisor offers and at what cost. Look at the details of their services: What specific tasks will they handle? How often will they report to you or meet with you? Make sure you understand the scope of their services.
Pricing structures can vary among ProAdvisors. Some might charge an hourly rate, while others may offer a fixed monthly fee. Consider which structure works best for your business. A fixed fee can be beneficial for budgeting purposes, but an hourly rate might be more suitable if your needs are less consistent or if you’re looking at a short-term project.
Understanding the contract and agreement terms
Before making a final decision, carefully review the contract or agreement terms. Pay attention to details such as the length of the contract, confidentiality clauses, the process for making changes to services, and terms for cancellation. It’s important to know what happens if either party decides to end the relationship. Ensure that all the services discussed are clearly outlined in the contract and ask questions or request clarification on any part of the agreement that isn’t clear.
And lastly, don’t just go for the lowest price. Consider the value a ProAdvisor brings to your business. A more expensive ProAdvisor might offer a broader range of services or have specialized expertise that can save you money in the long run.
Building a productive working relationship
Your decision should be based on a balance of qualifications, experience, cost, and personal compatibility. The right ProAdvisor should not only have the skills to manage your finances but also the ability to communicate effectively with you, understand your business’s unique challenges, and contribute positively to your business’s growth and success.
If after the process of finding the right QuickBooks ProAdvisor, you have made your choice, now is the time to explore how to set the foundation for your business relationship.
Best practices for onboarding your ProAdvisor and integrating them into your business processes
Onboarding a ProAdvisor is an important step in establishing a productive working relationship. Start by introducing them to your business’s current financial processes and systems. Show them how you’ve been managing your finances, including the software and tools you use. This will give them a clear picture of your existing setup and how they can best fit in.
Next, provide them with necessary access to financial records and systems. Ensure they have everything they need to start working effectively. It’s also beneficial to introduce them to key members of your team, especially those they’ll be working closely with, such as your in-house bookkeeper or accountant.
During the onboarding process, encourage open discussions about potential improvements or changes in your financial processes. Your ProAdvisor’s experience and insights can be valuable in streamlining and enhancing your financial operations.
Establishing clear communication and reporting guidelines
Clear communication is the cornerstone of any successful business relationship. While during the interview you both discussed the communication aspects, now it’s the time to give it a concrete form.
Establish how and when you will communicate with your ProAdvisor. Will it be through emails, phone calls, or face-to-face meetings? Decide on a regular schedule for updates and meetings, whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
Also, agree on a reporting format that works for both of you. Discuss what kind of financial reports you need, how often you need them, and in what format. Clear reporting guidelines will ensure that you’re always informed and up-to-date about your business’s financial status.
Setting mutual goals and expectations for the working relationship
Discussing and agreeing on what you both expect to achieve, it’s usually the next step. This might include specific financial goals, like improving cash flow or reducing expenses, or process-oriented goals, like streamlining bookkeeping or enhancing financial reporting.
Ensure that these goals are realistic and measurable. This provides a clear direction for the ProAdvisor and helps you monitor progress. Regular check-ins on these goals are important to assess whether they are being met and to make adjustments if necessary.
Remember, a successful relationship with your ProAdvisor should be collaborative. It’s about working together towards common goals, with each party respecting the other’s expertise and contributions. A productive working relationship with your ProAdvisor can lead to significant improvements in your financial management, providing valuable support for your business’s growth and success.
Strategies for maintaining a successful, long-term relationship with your ProAdvisor
To foster a successful, long-term relationship with your ProAdvisor, it’s essential to maintain open and consistent communication. Regularly update them on any changes in your business, such as new products or services, changes in your business model, or shifts in your financial goals. This helps your ProAdvisor stay aligned with your business’s evolving needs.
Another key strategy is to respect and value their expertise. Trust their advice and recommendations, and be open to new ideas and approaches they might suggest for improving your financial management.
Additionally, acknowledge the role they play in your business. A relationship built on mutual respect and recognition can go a long way in fostering a strong and lasting partnership.
Periodic review of business needs and ProAdvisor’s performance
It’s important to periodically review both your business needs and your ProAdvisor’s performance. Set aside time to evaluate whether your current financial strategies align with your business goals. During these reviews, assess the effectiveness of the ProAdvisor’s contributions. Are they meeting the goals and expectations you set together? Is there room for improvement?
These reviews provide an opportunity to adjust your strategies and goals as needed. They also serve as a platform for feedback, allowing you to discuss any concerns or areas where you would like to see changes.
Leveraging your ProAdvisor’s expertise for business growth and development
Your ProAdvisor can be a valuable asset in driving your business growth and development. Utilize their expertise not just for day-to-day financial management, but also for strategic financial planning. They can offer insights into cost-saving opportunities, investment strategies, or financial trends that could impact your business.
Involve your ProAdvisor in your business planning sessions, especially when discussing financial projections or exploring new business opportunities. Their financial acumen can help you make informed decisions, minimize risks, and identify new avenues for growth.
Finding the right QuickBooks ProAdvisor is a strategic move toward streamlining your business’s finances. This guide aimed to equip you with the know-how to identify your needs, evaluate potential candidates effectively, and foster a collaborative relationship with your chosen ProAdvisor.
By prioritizing certifications, experience, and compatibility, you’re set to partner with a professional who can significantly contribute to your business’s financial health and growth. Remember, the right ProAdvisor is more than a consultant; they’re your partner in success.
Share your experience
We’d love to hear about your journey of finding a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Sharing your experiences can help others navigate their own search for the right financial expert. Whether it was a game-changer for your business or you faced challenges, your story can provide valuable insights to fellow readers. Feel free to leave a comment below and join the conversation.