A QuickBooks ProAdvisor is a bookkeeper, accountant, or CPA who has proven to be proficient in one or more QuickBooks products by passing an exam that is administered by Intuit (the creators of QuickBooks). To maintain certification, the ProAdvisor must recertify every two years by taking the latest exam.
I have been a certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor since 2007. QuickBooks ProAdvisors can set up your company file, manage your bookkeeping, and teach you how to use QuickBooks so that you can run your day to day operations. Some additional services they might offer are payroll and periodic review of your QuickBooks file to ensure accuracy.
If you’re getting started with Quickbooks, it might be worth a shot to try handling your own bookkeeping. QuickBooks Online is much easier to use than earlier versions of the software, and you can click here to try it out. We also offer a complete Quickbooks Tutorial for free, which can get you up and running with bookkeeping in QuickBooks.
To help you learn how to find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor for your business needs, we will cover the following topics in this article:
- How to Find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor
- What Type of Services Do ProAdvisors Offer & How Much Do They Cost?
- How Will I Know Whether or Not they Are Good?
- What are the Benefits of Hiring a QuickBooks ProAdvisor?
- When is the Best time to Hire a QuickBooks ProAdvisor?
How to Find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor
There are almost 100,000 QuickBooks ProAdvisors in the US. The primary way to find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor near you is to check out Intuit’s Find a ProAdvisor website.
This site allows you to quickly and easily search for a ProAdvisor near you by entering your city, state, or zip code. To filter the search further, you can also search by the types of services that you need. For example, here is a list of the services that you can choose from:
- Accounting, Bookkeeping – In general, this will include but is not limited to managing day to day bookkeeping tasks like invoicing customers, paying bills, and reconciling bank accounts.
- QuickBooks Setup and Consulting – In general, this will include a new company setup from scratch, including but not limited to the following:
- Tax & Financial Planning– In general, this will include income tax return preparation, payroll tax return preparation, and any tax payments that need to be made.
- Computer Consulting – In general, this may include setting up QuickBooks on a server or network for multiple users to access.
If your search yields hundreds of results, you can narrow it down further by selecting the type of industry. I recommend filtering by industry if you are in an industry that has certain requirements that must be met. For example, a nonprofit organization has certain tax reporting requirements to maintain nonprofit status. Therefore, it would be beneficial for them to hire a QuickBooks ProAdvisor who specializes in providing services to nonprofit organizations. Here is a list of just some of the industries that you can choose from to narrow your search:
- Property Management
- Real Estate/Developer
- Wholesale Distribution
Other Options How to Find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor
While the Find a ProAdvisor website is going to be your best bet for locating a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, there are three other resources where you may find a QuickBooks expert:
- Accountex – Accountex is a global membership community that provides training and development to accounting professionals. Similar to Intuit’s Find a ProAdvisor website, you can enter your city, state, or zip code to start your search. The Accountex website is not just limited to QuickBooks experts. In addition to QuickBooks, you can filter your search to locate consultants who specialize in other accounting software and tools
- Local Meetup Groups – I’m a member of a QuickBooks ProAdvisor meetup group here in Los Angeles, and we meet once a month. You can visit the Meetup website and do a search of the keyword “QuickBooks” to see if there is a group in your area. If you find a group, you can reach out to the group organizer and explain that you are looking for a QuickBooks expert to help you with QuickBooks. There are also meetups for QuickBooks users, where you can meet fellow business owners.
- Your Local SBDC Office – Local Small Business Development Centers are funded by the SBA (Small Business Administration) to assist small business owners at various stages of their business. They offer one-on-one counseling with SBDC Business Advisors free of charge. Not all SBDC business advisors are QuickBooks ProAdvisors, but each business advisor has one or more areas of expertise. Once you let them know that you need help with QuickBooks, they will assign someone with the experience and the knowledge who can assist you.
What Types of Services Do ProAdvisors Offer & How Much Do They Cost?
QuickBooks ProAdvisors are small business owners just like you. What that means is that they can offer whatever services that they like and charge whatever they want to charge (within reason of course) for those services.
Below is a summary of the most common types of services offered by QuickBooks ProAdvisors along with a price range for each. Most ProAdvisors will offer a free consultation and written estimate before starting work.
Note: Please be aware that the information in the table below will vary based on a number of factors such as geographical location and the experience and credentials of the ProAdvisor.
Common Services Offered by QuickBooks ProAdvisors & Price Range
|Type of Service||What's Included||Price Range|
|Company File Setup||Create Chart of Accounts|
Set up customers and vendors
Set up products & services
Connect bank accounts
Connect credit card
|Startup company w/ no historical transactions to set up: $150 & up
Established company w/ historical transactions to set up: $300 & up
|Training on how to use QuickBooks and manage your books||One on One Training or Group Training Sessions||1-2 Trainees: $75/hr.
3 or more Trainees:
½ Day (4 hours): $500
Whole Day ( 6 hours): $1000
|Bookkeeping Services||Create customer invoices|
Pay vendor bills
Reconcile bank accounts
Reconcile credit card accounts
Prepare financial statements
|Startup company: $150/month & up
Established company: $250/month & up
|Payroll||Run payroll to produce payroll checks/direct deposit payments|
Make payroll tax deposits
Prepare & file payroll tax forms/returns when due
Respond to all correspondence received from the IRS or State regarding Payroll
Issue W2 Forms
|$100/month & up|
|Periodic Review||Review the following on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis:|
Profit and Loss Statement
Statement of Cash Flows
Trial Balance Report
|Monthly: $150 & up
Quarterly: $300 & up
Annually: $500 & up
|Troubleshooting / Support||Ability to ask questions and get help as you need it via:|
|15 min. resolution: $60/month
30 min. resolution: $120/month
More than 30 min. resolution: $100/hour & up
How Will I Know Whether or Not They are Good?
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that a QuickBooks ProAdvisor will be able to help you with your problem. However, there are a few things that you can do prior to hiring them that will at least give you enough information so that you can make an informed decision.
1. Check profiles and customer reviews
Read the profiles located on both The Find a ProAdvisor Website & the Accountex website.
Below is a snapshot of my profile on the Find a ProAdvisor website along with a brief description of some helpful information you will find here:
- About – In this section, you will see the ProAdvisor’s name, credentials (i.e. CPA, MBA, etc.), the number of years of experience that the ProAdvisor has, and information regarding the types of services that they provide.
- Qualifications – In this section, you will see the certification badges that I have completed at the very top: QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Enterprise, QuickBooks Online. These are the QuickBooks products that I have the knowledge and the expertise in. Below that are any titles to further describe my expertise: CPA, Bookkeeper, and Educator/Trainer. QuickBooks Consulting & Accounting are my areas of expertise. Below that are the industries I am most familiar with and the list of QuickBooks products that I have experience with.
- Customer Reviews – Directly below my profile picture, you can see my average rating and the total number of customer reviews that I have (38). If you click on the reviews tab, you can see what my customers are saying about me.
Accountex also provides a profile for all of their Certified QuickBooks Consultants. There are no ratings/reviews, but you can see the Advisor’s specialties and certifications.
2. Chat with the ProAdvisor
While reviewing the profiles will provide you with the qualifications, industry speciality, and services that a ProAdvisor can offer, I believe the the best way to evaluate someone is by talking to them.
You should contact the first couple of ProAdvisors on your list and request an initial consultation. In general, this initial consult is very similar to a job interview but less formal. It is an opportunity for you to get to know this person and ask a few questions or address any concerns that you may have. It is also an opportunity for the ProAdvisor to get to know you and to learn more about what your business needs are.
When I was running my consulting business full-time, I typically would not charge for this initial consultation with the understanding that it would be a virtual meeting via Skype or another tool that allowed the use of a webcam. Before scheduling the call, I would ask the client to complete a questionnaire ahead of time. This would provide me with information about their business needs such as whether or not they had employees or needed the ability to print checks.
By having the questionnaire completed ahead of time, we could spend most of the time getting to know each other which is very important since you will most likely decide whether or not you will hire them based on that one conversation. After this initial consultation, if you feel like this person might be a good fit for your business, then you should ask them to provide you with a written estimate for the services that you require.
3. Check References
After you come to an agreement on price and before you commit, you should request a couple of references from either current or past clients. In general, most people will not have a problem providing you with a client reference list. However, they might need to check with their client first to get approval before you can contact them. If for some reason you encounter a QuickBooks ProAdvisor who is not willing to provide you with at least one client reference, then I would consider this a red flag and your cue to move onto the next ProAdvisor on your list.
What are the Benefits of Hiring a QuickBooks ProAdvisor?
In addition to being experts when it comes to QuickBooks, some additional benefits of hiring a QuickBooks ProAdvisor are:
- QuickBooks ProAdvisors get discounts on all QuickBooks products that they can extend to their clients like you.
- QuickBooks ProAdvisors are the first to be notified of all product alerts so they can keep you informed and up to date on QuickBooks.
- QuickBooks ProAdvisors have access to a dedicated customer service team at Intuit who are very knowledgeable about QuickBooks and are available via telephone or chat to help answer questions or troubleshoot an issue on your behalf.
When is the Best time to Hire a QuickBooks ProAdvisor?
During your search, be sure to jot down the information for at least the top 5 ProAdvisors you find. It is possible that you may not receive a call back from one or two of the ProAdvisors that you try and contact.
Unfortunately I heard this complaint all too often whenever I would get a call from a new client. You may encounter this during “busy season” which takes place between January through April.
Even if a ProAdvisor does not prepare tax returns, this is the busiest time of year for QuickBooks ProAdvisors because they are flooded with assisting both new & existing clients who need to get their books ready to hand over to their tax professional. In your search to find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, try to beat the tax prep crunch and hire a QuickBooks ProAdvisor between May and October.
The Bottom Line
As we have discussed, there are a number of reasons why you may want to hire a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, whether it’s setting up your books, training you and your staff, or managing the day to day bookkeeping.
As a small business owner, we realize that you may not have the budget to hire a QuickBooks expert. If you’re looking for a more economical way to get set up on QuickBooks, we’ve got a great solution for you. Check out our Free QuickBooks Online Course. It includes 39 written lessons and self-paced videos that cover step by step topics on how to set up your books and manage your day to day bookkeeping with QuickBooks. If you get stuck and have a question, you can leave a comment and we will respond promptly.