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QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping: Here’s what you need to know

After attending several sessions on QuickBooks® Live Bookkeeping at QuickBooks Connect 2019, I walked away with a better understanding of how the program works, the genesis behind it, and the job opportunities for accounting professionals, bookkeepers and others who want to participate in the program.

Several informational breakout sessions were held during the conference to provide a more in-depth look at QuickBooks Live. These were led by Global Accountant Segment Leader Ariege Misherghi, QuickBooks Live Offering Leader Ted Callahan, Senior Manager Carrie Hammond, and a bookkeeper currently on the platform, Claire Burkard. Although there were multiple sessions, they were all full, so I’m sure there were attendees who were curious about the program but could not attend, as well as others who didn’t attend QuickBooks Connect but want to understand more about this offering. As a result, here’s a summary of what was shared about QuickBooks Live at QuickBooks Connect.

Overview of QuickBooks Live

QuickBooks Live is a platform of assisted professional services that connects small businesses and self-employed customers with on-demand accounting experts inside QuickBooks. Through a video conferencing capability, small business owners can connect to a virtual bookkeeper to get the help they need, and ensure their records are accurate and up-to-date, giving them the confidence and freedom that their books are done right so they can focus on other aspects of their businesses.

QuickBooks Live was designed specifically for businesses that are not currently connected with an accountant or bookkeeper, and feel they only require a light level of ongoing assistance.

Did you know:

  • Seven out of 10 small businesses worldwide are not connected to an accountant for ongoing accounting support.
  • One out of four new customers who abandon or cancel their QuickBooks subscription say they “Did not know how to get started” as the top reason they are not on QuickBooks.
  • Forty percent of small businesses using QuickBooks don’t work with a QuickBooks ProAdvisor or accounting professional.
  • Small businesses connected to an accountant say they are twice as likely to succeed.

Based on the perceived demand, QuickBooks Live offers the freedom for business owners to focus on their businesses and have the confidence that their books are accurate. As a result, QuickBooks Live helps small businesses make smart financial decisions.

2 key questions about QuickBooks Live

Audience members wanted to know two primary things: What will they do as a QuickBooks Live Bookkeeper and what’s in it for them.

Question #1: What’s my role? Although many more details about how the program works, qualifications and a complete set of FAQs can be found on the Firm of the Future blog, this is a part-time role for remote U.S.-based Certified ProAdvisors® to practice their bookkeeping skills, while enjoying the benefits and stability of working for Intuit, a large, public company. Benefits include 401(k) enrollment with a match by Intuit, an employee stock purchase plan and bonus incentives.

In other words, participants become employees of Intuit and will receive various associated benefits with being an employee. Several members of the audience who owned their own firms commented that this would be a good role for junior staff or new hires to take on in order to increase their bookkeeping acumen and get some real-world client experience, even if it’s only online. Conversely, for various reasons such as filling in the gaps during slow times or working for a larger company, there were quite a few experienced accounting professionals who also saw the positives to becoming part of this program.

Once a professional applies to be a QuickBooks Live bookkeeper, they will be assessed on their level of skills and assigned one of four roles: associate bookkeeper, senior associate bookkeeper, expert bookkeeper, or senior expert bookkeeper. The ability to move up the ladder is available through three levels: expert, lead, and manager.

Something else important to note came from several audience members. The bookkeeper assigned to each customer is not to provide financial advice or any kind of analysis of the business’ books; instead, the bookkeeper will:

  • Customize and set up QuickBooks
  • Categorize and reconcile transactions
  • Provide on-demand assistance
  • Help ensure the books are accurate at month end
  • Teach typical workflows
  • Provide personalized monthly reports
  • Get the customer ready for tax time

Once they are hired, all bookkeepers receive a computer, webcam and other accessories – all provided by Intuit. Note the webcam will provide one-way video conferencing in which clients can see the bookkeeper, but the bookkeeper can’t see the client. This was designed to create a virtual relationship without the client concerned about the way they look or the environment they are in.

Question #2: What’s in it for me? QuickBooks Live offers participants the ability to earn extra income, work from home during hours set on a fixed schedule (20-30 each week, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., PST, Monday-Friday), and the ability to learn from a network of professionals about new industries, bookkeeping best practices, and new technologies.

Next steps

If you are interested in becoming a QuickBooks Live bookkeeper, now is the time to apply, and stay tuned to the Firm of the Future blog for continuous updates.

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