Hiring a QuickBooks® ProAdvisor

Hi, I’m Jayne Miller, the QuickBooks Gal. Welcome to another in our series of “Quicklets” –informational podcasts about QuickBooks and related bookkeeping topics.

Today’s topic is Hiring a QuickBooks® ProAdvisor
Today, I’m going to talk about the QuickBooks ProAdvisor program. Certified QuickBooks experts known as ProAdvisors are typically CPAs, accountants, small business advisors or consultants who have been tested and certified on QuickBooks. Are you a new customer setting up QuickBooks for the first time or an experienced user planning to start a new data file? If the answer is YES, then you may want to learn more about the QuickBooks ProAdvisor program. I have been a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor since 1999. Additionally, I am certified in QuickBooks Point of Sale.

About QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisors
Intuit defines Certified ProAdvisors as those who have completed rigorous and comprehensive QuickBooks curriculum developed by Intuit in order to obtain the Certified ProAdvisor status. Anyone who has not been tested and obtained Intuit’s Certification will not be listed in Intuit’s ProAdvisor database and is not entitled to use that professional designation or any Intuit logos.
They help businesses customize QuickBooks for their unique needs and help them get the most out of the software. Certified ProAdvisors are also a great resource if you run into trouble with QuickBooks.
Certified ProAdvisors charge for their services, and many businesses feel the investment is valuable.

Who are Certified ProAdvisors - Why ProAdvisors?
They're experts in helping small businesses learn, use, and customize QuickBooks
They're certified by Intuit. Each Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor has completed a rigorous and comprehensive QuickBooks curriculum developed by Intuit. They understand the challenges you face and can offer guidance on a variety of services from installation, set up and support, to bookkeeping and accounting questions. They support payroll and assist you in mastering the advanced features of QuickBooks.
Many are accounting and tax experts
Many businesses are even more satisfied with QuickBooks after working with a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and feel they are a valuable investment.
A Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor can help ensure that your new QuickBooks file is set up correctly right from the start
Each Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor has his/her own policy. Some may answer a question or two for you on the phone if they plan on building a long-term business relationship with you. Others may not choose to answer questions for you unless you plan to meet with them.
About the Referral Database
The Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor Referral Database is meant to be a resource for QuickBooks users like yourself to easily find a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, who specializes in QuickBooks, to serve you for the long term. It is not intended to be a resource for free advice.
Intuit does not allow paid placement with the Referral database.
Anyone who has not been tested and obtained Intuit’s Certification will not be listed in the database
You can find a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor on Intuit’s database. Click on the following link: Find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor in your area.

How the Database Search Works
To search by city, state or zip code to find a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor in your area, you will need to input an "access code" (provided to you on the page) before receiving your search results. The QuickBooks versions in which they are certified are indicated by the year or years next to the Certification icon.
Click on the name of a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor on the list, and read their profile to decide if they are appropriate for your business's needs.
You can narrow your search further with an Advanced Search by choosing criteria such as QuickBooks version in which they are certified, products they support, specialized services they perform, or their professional designation.
The database search engine sorts according to Certification Level and number of certifications:
First: Advanced Certified ProAdvisors within a 50 mile radius, sorted by distance from the zip code or address entered.
Second: Certified ProAdvisors certified in the most recent version of QuickBooks, sorted by distance from zip code or address entered.
Third: If more than one Certified ProAdvisor is tied on distance, and both certified in the most recent version of QuickBooks, they will then be sorted according to the greatest number of previous certifications.

Try my zip code – 89502 – to see how it works!

How to Select a Certified ProAdvisor
When selecting a Certified ProAdvisor, you should consider some of the following points when interviewing or researching the Intuit database:
1. What professional qualifications or level of support are you seeking? Do you need a CPA, an accountant, a bookkeeper, a consultant or a trainer?
2. Is the individual, practitioner, or business certified by Intuit and are they in the Intuit Database? This is especially important if you found them via Yellow Pages, Internet or any means other than the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Database Search. Remember, if they are not certified by Intuit, they have not completed the testing required and may not be the right choice for you.
3. Does the individual or firm have a business license? In Nevada, we are required to have a state business license, a city business license, in every city in which we do business, a fictitious name registration if not doing business in our own name (i.e. my fictitious name is Custom Business Solutions) in order to register our company with the Secretary of State.
4. Does the individual, practitioner, or business have General Liability Insurance? If your needs require long-term or ongoing services, can they provide a certificate of insurance with your company named from their insurance company? Many of my clients, especially government entities, require a copy of my certificate of insurance for long-term or ongoing projects.
5. If they use outside consultants or subcontractors, do those subcontractors have General Liability Insurance? I now require that all consultants who do subcontract work for my firm have their business license and certificate of insurance copies on file at my office in order to work with our clients.
6. What types of companies have they served or do they specialize in? If they don’t have experience in Construction or Manufacturing and that’s your business, you may want to find someone who does.
7. Can they give you references? Can you speak to someone for whom they have done some consulting work? This is especially important when you hire a consultant. Naturally, CPA’s and accountants must meet rigorous professional and educational standards. Many consultants are incredibly qualified…they have a variety of business and educational qualifications. It is important to be able to talk to current or previous clients if you are not sure that they will be able to meet your needs.
8. Where are they based? Does your consultant work from home or does he or she have an office where you can meet with them, drop off work, or reach them if you have questions or concerns? Is your information secure (if services are provided offsite)?
9. Who will do your work if services are performed away from your office? Do they have staff? Who will see your information? Have they educated their staff in matters of security, data backup, and confidentiality? Are they working from home….can the kids, spouse, friends access the computer or office where your work may be processed or data is stored. How secure is their computer? Do they practice good computer housekeeping and upkeep? Is their computer safeguarded from intrusion, do they do regular maintenance, and what steps do they take to assure that your work is safely backed up should their system “crash”?
10. What are their hours of operation? Can you reach them after hours or on the weekends if something comes up? Are they able to provide telephone support after hours or if they are out of town?
These are some good points to consider when interviewing or hiring QuickBooks Professionals. Intuit’s ProAdvisors bring a wide spectrum of experience and skill to the table; make sure to do your homework so you can find the best match for you and your needs.

I hope this has been informative and is useful to in finding and selecting the right QuickBooks support person or firm for your needs. Intuit has developed Corps of QuickBooks experts who specialize in affordable, quality, hands-on, local support that is unmatched and unsurpassed in my experience.
Got a QuickBooks Mess?
Find a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor in your area today!

Next time: Starting a New Business - Checklist & Discussion

· Payroll – Ugh! I have a business with employees– now who wants a piece of me? (Social Security, Medicare, State Unemployment, FUTA, who else?)
· Using Credit Cards to pay bills, make purchases
· Converting Peachtree to QuickBooks
· Creating a new file in QuickBooks from an old one (Import lists vs. deleting transactions)
· Recording cash purchases and owner purchases/contributions
· QuickBooks Point of Sale – What’s new in 2007

Are you backing up your data?

Don’t forget - once a month, I will be dedicating a podcast to your questions.
Got a QuickBooks Mess? Got a QuickBooks question? Send it to me, The QuickBooks Gal, and I’ll try to include it in our monthly Q&A Quicklet!

Well, that’s it for now. I appreciate your time and hope you will join us again next time for another in our Quicklet© series. If there are topics you would like me to cover, send me an email at jayne@quickbooksgal.com. I welcome your ideas, questions, and comments.

Don’t forget to visit our website, www.quickbooksgal.com to learn more about me, the services we offer and our workshops. Look for an expanded schedule in March.

I’m Jayne Miller, The QuickBooks Gal. Thanks for listening.

Jayne Miller is the owner of Custom Business Solutions, a consulting firm in Reno, Nevada that specializes in providing bookkeeping and software support.


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