How to Find a QuickBooks Consultant
Not All QuickBooks ProAdvisors Are the Same
Finding a QuickBooks expert can be difficult. Accountants, bookkeepers, advisors, consultants, management companies and many other individuals tout services to help you setup and use QuickBooks more effectively. But many don't have more than a basic understanding of the software. You won't even know how many useful features in QuickBooks you're missing out on because QuickBooks is a surprisingly powerful accounting program.
There are Different Certifications for ProAdvisors
The ProAdvisor program identifies QuickBooks experts, right? But did you know a ProAdvisor can receive four different types of certifications demonstrating different levels of proficiency with QuickBooks and deeper mastery of QuickBooks industry editions?
ProAdvisors may choose to take a certain number of hours of training, whether that's in person in a classroom or online, or they can bypass any instruction and sit directly in the exam to get certified.
Here are the four types of certification:
1. QuickBooks Certification
A QuickBooks ProAdvisor can receive a basic QuickBooks Certification. To get this certification, the ProAdvisor must successfully complete a certification exam. The exam covers topics such as QuickBooks installation, setup, recording transactions, and financial reporting. While candidates must score an 85% to pass the exam, they get six chances to pass. If a candidate does not pass, he will be given the questions that were incorrect.
- Pro: This basic certification will give you some assurance that your ProAdvisor will have at least a basic proficiency with QuickBooks.
- Con: A ProAdvisor who holds only this certification may have learned how to pass an exam on QuickBooks through trial and error, not from a thorough understanding of the program. Remember that candidates get six attempts to pass the exam.
2. QuickBooks Advanced Certification
A ProAdvisor who holds the QuickBooks Advanced Certification Course has a deeper understanding and more expertise with QuickBooks compared to those who hold only the basic certification. Candidates must have passed the basic exam for three consecutive years and an advanced certification exam. The advanced exam covers intermediate-level accounting principles, advanced QuickBooks features, and requires candidates to demonstrate the ability to troubleshoot client data files.
As of March 2019, anyone with advanced certification will have to take a short exam to become re-certified. They will be tested on any changes that occur in QuickBooks since the previous exam.
- Pro: You'll know your ProAdvisor has demonstrated consistency and dedication toward working with QuickBooks, having been using the program for at least three years.
- Con: Candidates get three attempts to pass the exam so it's possible that some candidates simply learn to pass the exam by trial and error. If they don't, they get locked out for 60 days before being able to try again.
3. QuickBooks Point of Sale (Certification)
The QuickBooks Point of Sale Certification is designed for ProAdvisors who serve small business in the retail industry who need QuickBooks Point of Sale setup and support. The Point of Sale Certification is offered on a two-year cycle, so ProAdvsiors will only need to recertify once every two years.
- Pro: If you run a small retailing business, you'll know you're working with someone who understands your industry if you choose a ProAdvisor with this certification.
- Con: ProAdvisors with the POS certification are not regularly tested like other programs so it's possible they're not as up-to-date as other QuickBooks certified professionals.
4. QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions Certification
QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions Certification requires that candidates pass the basic QuickBooks certification and then pass the Enterprise Solutions certification exam. The exam is designed to test individuals' knowledge of QuickBooks financial products and demonstrate their ability to provide on-site QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions setup and support to clients.
- Pro: QuickBooks ProAdvisors who receive this certification have demonstrated proficiency with the most advanced QuickBooks program on the market.
- Con: There are currently only 100,000 companies using QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions — so most aren't using this QuickBooks version.
How to Find a ProAdvisor in Your Area
You can search for QuickBooks Proadvisor's on Intuit's website using their ProAdvisor search feature.
Another Advantage of Using a ProAdvisor
In addition to the expertise, a ProAdvisor can provide your small business, finding a local ProAdvisor has another distinct advantage — you can get discounts on Intuit products ranging from 10% to 20%.