To become a QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor to demonstrate your specialty in QuickBooks products or connect to potential clients and grow your practice, you must first sign up for a free QuickBooks Online Accountant subscription. This will give you access to all training materials to help you prepare for and pass the certification exam.
We’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of how to become a QuickBooks ProAdvisor as well as the benefits of becoming one. We’ll also share some valuable tips for passing the exam.
Step 1: Sign Up for QuickBooks Online Accountant
On the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program website, there’s a button you can click to sign up for QuickBooks Online Accountant. It’s free to sign up and create your profile, and no credit card and other sensitive information are required.
Upon enrollment, you’ll receive a free QuickBooks Online Accountant subscription that can be used for your own firm’s bookkeeping and to access your client’s QuickBooks Online accounts.
Becoming a certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor doesn’t make you a certified bookkeeper—it indicates that you’re knowledgeable in QuickBooks products. Check out our guide on how to become a certified bookkeeper if you’re interested in becoming one.
Step 2: Prepare for the QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor Certification Exam
Once you’ve created your account with QuickBooks Online Accountant, you’ll gain access to all of the study guides, webinars (live and recorded), and exams for free. To begin the training, go to the ProAdvisor link found in the left menu bar of your QuickBooks Online Accountant screen and click on the Training tab to access the brand-new training portal.
Since Our Last Update:
Intuit has improved the way you can access QuickBooks ProAdvisor training resources and certification opportunities with its brand-new training portal. The newly revamped portal (shown below) includes three new areas: Personalized path, Certification hub, and Training library.
The Personalized path is where you can personalize your training journey based on your goals, product knowledge, and more. Answer a few questions, and QuickBooks will suggest a customized learning path for you.
The Certification hub helps you increase your chances of passing the exam by helping you understand what it means to be a QuickBooks ProAdvisor and whether it’s right for you. You’ll see which topics are likely to be covered in the exam and get to try some sample questions. This is also where you take the exam and track your certification history.
The Training library is where you can access all self-paced product training sources, which are grouped by topic. You’ll also see scheduled webinars and be able to download continuing professional education (CPE) certificates. This is also where you can access the ten QuickBooks Online certification training modules:
- QuickBooks Online solutions: Understand your clients’ needs to best advise them on the best QuickBooks Online subscription solution, learn how to set up a QuickBooks Online account, and learn how to discuss billing features with clients.
- Getting started: Learn how to navigate QuickBooks Online’s features, set up bank feeds, create and customize the chart of accounts, manage the products and services list, and more.
- Sales and customers: Add customers, create sales receipts, create online invoices, and enter payments received.
- Expenses and vendors: Learn about the Expense and Vendor workflows and the Expenses center, how to enter expenses, and how to enter and pay bills.
- Banking: Learn about how to use bank feeds and best practice bank feed workflows.
- Reports: Review the Chart of Accounts and Products and Services list, which are the building blocks for creating basic reports.
- Managing your work, team, and clients: Learn about the practice management features in Quickbooks Online Accountant and how to set up projects and track them for QuickBooks and non-QuickBooks clients.
- Period and year-end: Close the accounting cycle: Learn how to prepare a client’s books for the year-end close.
- Using the enhanced features of the Advanced subscription: Discover how you can use the QuickBooks Online Advanced features to support larger clients.
- Converting and migrating clients into QuickBooks Online: Learn how to import your clients to QuickBooks Online from QuickBooks Desktop or any third-party accounting software to QuickBooks.
While preparing, you can also earn CPE credits, which apply to maintaining your certified public accountant’s (CPA’s) license. You don’t have to complete all the modules in one session. The system saves where you end a session, which enables you to pick up where you left off later.
It’ll be helpful if you have a basic understanding of general accounting principles and knowledge of the QuickBooks Online Accountant system. However, if you already possess this knowledge, you can proceed directly to the test and receive your certification.
Step 3: Take the QuickBooks Certification Exam
If you’re ready to take the exam, go to the Certification hub and then click the Take exam button. If you’ve already started the exam and resume later, you should see a green Resume exam button, as shown below.
There’s no cost to take the exam, which has a total of 80 questions broken down into five sections. It should take approximately three and a half hours to complete all five sections. You can review your answers for a particular section before confirming the submission.
To pass, you need to complete the exam successfully with a score of 80% or higher. You can take the exam up to three times if you don’t pass on your initial attempt. If you fail the first three attempts, you’ll be locked out for 60 days. When the period is up, you can retake the exam.
Step 4: Receive Your Certification
When you pass the QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor exam, you’ll receive a digital copy of your certification and badge in your email inbox. You can download your certificate and badge directly from QuickBooks Online Accountant.
Step 5: Complete Your ProAdvisor Profile
Be sure to complete your profile as soon as possible. It includes the certification badges you have earned, an “About me” section, the number of years in business, the services you offer, any industries that you have experience in, and your social media links.
Below is a screenshot of a QuickBooks Advisor profile (view the actual profile of Tim Yoder, CPA).
Other ProAdvisor Certifications
After you have completed the QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor certification, you unlock other certifications, including a QuickBooks Online Advanced certification and a QuickBooks Online Payroll certification.
If you plan to support clients who use QuickBooks Desktop instead of QuickBooks Online products, you should consider the QuickBooks Desktop ProAdvisor certification.
Since Our Last Update:
QuickBooks Desktop certifications have been added to the brand-new training portal (discussed above) under the Training Library menu. It includes QuickBooks Desktop 2021, 2022, and 2023 certification exams as well as QuickBooks Enterprise and QuickBooks Desktop Point of Sale 19.0.
However, note that you’ll need the QuickBooks Accountant Desktop software to support your clients. To purchase the program, visit the QuickBooks Desktop ProAdvisor page, and get the ProAdvisor Premier Software Bundle for $799 per year.
Depending on your client’s needs, you can choose to be certified in QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop—or both. While QuickBooks Online is best for companies that have multiple users or need remote access, QuickBooks Desktop allows you to do accounting for multiple companies. To learn more, read our QuickBooks Online vs Desktop comparison.
QuickBooks ProAdvisor Recertification
Recertification frequency varies, depending on the type of certification you hold:
- QuickBooks Online Certification: Your QuickBooks Online certification is valid until June 30 of the following year. We recommend that you take the updated exam each year to stay current. As with QuickBooks Desktop Certification, members who are certified on the latest version of QuickBooks Online are listed in the top section of the QuickBooks Find a ProAdvisor website.
- QuickBooks Desktop Certification: To remain a Gold Level member, you must be certified in one of the three most recent versions of the QuickBooks Desktop Certification or certified within the past year for QuickBooks Online. However, we recommend that you update your QuickBooks certification status annually to provide the highest level of knowledge and support to your clients. Only members who are certified in the latest version of QuickBooks are listed in the top section of the QuickBooks Find a ProAdvisor website.
- QuickBooks Desktop Advanced Certification: Once you complete the QuickBooks Desktop Advanced Certification exam, you never need to take it again. You remain Advanced Certified as long as you maintain your annual QuickBooks Desktop Certification and complete the required nine CPE credits of ACE-approved training every three years.
- QuickBooks Point of Sale (POS) Certification and QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions Certification: These certifications are offered on a two-year cycle. To stay updated, you only need to certify in these once every two years.
Benefits of Becoming a QuickBooks ProAdvisor
There are many benefits that come with being a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, including valuable knowledge of the most popular small business accounting software. In addition to discounts on products and services and dedicated telephone and chat support, you’re added to the Find a ProAdvisor online directory listing. This allows you to connect with potential clients, build your client list, and earn their trust.
Additionally, you unlock the QuickBooks Online Advanced Certification exam, which helps improve your visibility on the directory, giving you more opportunities to connect to new clients. Your ProAdvisor Profile also climbs in the ranking as you earn more points—and as you advance in rankings, you can grow your business and take advantage of more features of this program, discounts, product support, and training opportunities.
Here’s a summary of additional benefits:
- Display your ProAdvisor certification badge on your website, emails, and business cards
- Boost your credibility and increase your profile ranking
- Distinguish yourself as a true expert with QuickBooks software
- Access unlimited United States-based phone support from QuickBooks experts
- Receive free or discounted products and supplies
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Paid tax preparers must use professional tax software that allows them to sign the return as a paid preparer and e-file the return as an Electronic Return Originator (ERO). Popular platforms include ProSeries, ProConnect, Drake Tax, Lacerte, TaxAct Professional, and CCH Axcess Tax.
The tax software for your certified public accountant (CPA) firm depends primarily on the number, type, and complexity of returns you expect to file. For instance, TaxAct Professional is great for filing an unlimited number of individual returns, while Lacerte Tax is commonly considered the best software for extremely complex returns.
Our recommended tax software for small accounting firms is ProSeries Professional by Intuit. It offers a great balance of affordability and power. Sole proprietors preparing 30 or fewer returns per year might consider Drake Tax, which provides a very affordable way to produce a mix of individual and business tax returns.
Yes, it will, and recertification frequency depends on the type of certification you hold. QuickBooks Online ProAdvisors need to recertify by June 30 each year to maintain their certifications.
You just learned how to become a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. To get started, we recommend that you sign up for a free account with QuickBooks Online Accountant. If you want to improve your knowledge of QuickBooks Online, be sure to check out our free QuickBooks tutorials.