Guide to Finding the Right Quickbooks Proadvisor for Your Business
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Accounting for a small business can seem like an afterthought. At first, it’s just a small chore that you need to care of, but then it starts taking up more and more of your time as the company grows. Eventually, it can become a huge time suck, and if you don’t have the money to hire someone, it can crush your spirits and drain your productivity.
Enter a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Here’s what you need to know about the service, and whether or not a QuickBooks ProAdvisor is right for your small business.
What is a QuickBooks ProAdvisor?
A QuickBooks ProAdvisor is a bookkeeper, accountant or QuickBooks expert who has a paid membership in the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program. The service creates a system of qualified and vetted professionals, allowing small business owners to find assistance with whatever financial or QuickBooks software needs they have.
ProAdvisors must pass a test that certifies their in-depth understanding of the QuickBooks software and basic accounting skills. In addition, they have to be working publicly as an accountant, bookkeeper or QuickBooks consultant to join the program, but they do not need a CPA license. ProAdvisors pay $349 or $549 a year to be part of the program, depending on which level of service they want to provide.
ProAdvisors can be certified in one or more of the following QuickBooks software systems:
- Desktop ProAdvisor
- QuickBooks Desktop/Online Advanced Certification
Small business owners who hire a ProAdvisor also receive a discount on their QuickBooks software and membership — small business users get 30 percent off and Schedule C users get a 50 percent discount.
ProAdvisors’ pricing varies based on the services they provide, and they charge on a hourly or monthly basis. QuickBooks allows ProAdvisors to set their own rates, which are not publicly disclosed, and customers pay a ProAdvisor outside of the QuickBooks system. You can hire ProAdvisors on a retainer basis or use them for one-off events.
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What services do QuickBooks ProAdvisors offer?
QuickBooks ProAdvisors offer a variety of services, ranging from financial planning to traditional tax prep. Here is a list of the tax services a ProAdvisor might offer:
- Expatriate/non-resident tax planning
- IRS representation
- Personal taxes
- Self-employed Schedule C tax
- Small business tax
- Tax advice
- Tax consulting services
- Tax planning
- Tax preparation
- Tax services
- Tax setup
Here is a list of the services a ProAdvisor might offer a small business or someone who is self-employed:
- 1099 filing
- Book cleanup
- Business budgeting and forecasting
- Business plans
- Cost accounting
- Financial planning
- Financial reporting
- Financial services
- In-house CFO
- Inventory services
- IT consulting
- QuickBooks consulting
- QuickBooks payroll
- QuickBooks setup
- QuickBooks training
- Startup consulting
- Sustainability audit
Small business owners can also search for ProAdvisors who specialize in divorce accounting, estates and trusts and personal financial planning.
QuickBooks ProAdvisors list the industries that they specialize in, which include:
- Agriculture and farming
- Automotive sales and repair
- Computer software
- Design, architecture and engineering
- Financial services
- Lawn Care and landscaping
- Medical, dental and health services
- Property management
- Real estate
- Restaurant and bar
- Salon and beauty
- Wholesale distribution
ProAdvisors can also choose which QuickBooks and Intuit products they use and support, which will make working together easy. Here is the list of products available:
- Third-party applications integrated with QuickBooks
- Intuit Payroll
- QuickBooks Desktop Basic/Pro/Premier
- QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise Solutions
- QuickBooks Desktop for Mac
- QuickBooks Desktop Premier: Contractor Edition
- QuickBooks Desktop Premier: Manufacturing and Wholesale Edition
- QuickBooks Desktop Premier: Nonprofit Edition
- QuickBooks Desktop Premier: Retail Edition
- QuickBooks Online Edition
- QuickBooks Payroll Edition
- QuickBooks Point of Sale
When should a small business hire a QuickBooks ProAdvisor?
Deciding when to switch from handling your own bookkeeping and accounting to hiring a ProAdvisor is a big step. Some small business owners are wary of trusting a third-party with their financial documents — and hesitant about paying the extra fee.
Hiring a ProAdvisor is often more of an investment than an expense. A small business owner is always wearing multiple hats, and at some point, having to juggle a number of responsibilities becomes a liability for your business. How do you keep track of the latest trends if you’re focused on invoicing and paying vendors?
When you’re struggling to keep up with the primary duties of your job as a small business owner, it’s time to outsource. Hiring a ProAdvisor to manage your bookkeeping, pay your taxes or suggest financial strategies can help increase profits, cut waste and grow your business.
Unless you have a strong background in accounting or bookkeeping, handing the reins to a ProAdvisor is probably a good idea. If using QuickBooks software is confusing you and costing you hours of precious time, you’re better off trusting a professional.
Best way to find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor
When you go to search for a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, you can choose from a list of categories, including location, services provided, industry served and products supported.
The benefits of choosing a local ProAdvisor are obvious: You get access to someone who knows the market, can meet you in person and is available in your time zone. If you like the idea of grabbing coffee with your bookkeeper while he or she answers your questions, search for a ProAdvisor who works nearby.
If you’re in a rural area, you might have trouble finding a local accountant who fits your needs. If you don’t need a local ProAdvisor or have extremely specific needs, you’re better off choosing the person with the best credentials, regardless of their physical address.
After picking your location, choose the kind of industry in which you want your ProAdvisor to have experience. If your work spans multiple fields, choose the options that best apply to your situation. Many QuickBooks partners provide free consultations, so it will cost you only a phone call to find out if they have the right qualifications. You can also send a potential ProAdvisor a note through the platform to ask if they’ve worked with small businesses similar to yours.
Each ProAdvisor lists which QuickBooks and Intuit products they support. If you’re already using QuickBooks for your business, you can search for a ProAdvisor who uses the same system. That can ease integration and simplify the process of working together.
ProAdvisors list how many years of experience they have, where you can view their social media sites and any additional credentials they might have. You can also read reviews from current and previous customers, who list the industry they’re in and which services they received.
The bottom line
Properly handling the accounting needs of your business can be as crucial as choosing the best location for your storefront or hiring an amazing assistant. A savvy business accountant can identify financial leaks and help ensure your business’ success.
Choosing a ProAdvisor is easy with the QuickBooks interface. There are more than 69,000 ProAdvisors in the system, so you can be as picky as you want. Do keep in mind, though, that it’s smart to interview multiple candidates before making a final decision. If you don’t like the first person you find, keep going until the perfect ProAdvisor comes along.