How to Present QuickBooks Online to Your Clients
As QuickBooks ProAdvisors®, we have seen the power of QuickBooks Online (QBO) for our own firms in easily accessing client data and using accountant-specific tools. For our clients, we know about the bank and credit card feeds, anywhere/anytime access, ease of data entry, and integration of apps – but we need to make sure we discuss the areas of the application that are most beneficial for your clients’ particular needs.
For example, clients who are invoicing customers on a recurring basis need to know how recurring invoices or recurring sales receipts work in QBO. As one ProAdvisor, MB Raimondi, CPA, is famous for saying, “Know thy customer.” Know what your clients are struggling with and where their processes can improve, then highlight those areas as you show them QBO. Note: use the Test Drive of QuickBooks Online for a functioning version of QBO that will look more like what the client experiences, complete with sample data. In addition, weave into the conversation–or perhaps point it out on the third page of this customizable QuickBooks brochure–that QBO clients are more successful when working with a ProAdvisor or accounting professional.
While talking to our clients face to face is important, we also need to be more socially active in discussing QBO and its benefits. Let’s face facts: some of our clients may just not be ready to go to QBO now, but as they hear about features and benefits, you will find that many come back asking about something you said online or in person to get even more information. Sometimes, the pain has to get so strong that they are really ready to move! For some tips on what to say, check out this QuickBooks messaging document provided by Intuit to help you get started.
Finally, let’s get real about which types of clients are currently a great fit for QBO. If clients are working online, want to grow their business or value working with their accounting professional on a more regular basis than once a year (or you know they really need to!), then they definitely could be a great fit for QBO.
Regarding specific industries, most every industry is a good fit, especially with integrated apps (Did you know that there are nearly 500?!).
Here are a few examples of industries that are great fits for QuickBooks Online:
Service-based businesses such as graphic designers, architects and attorneys.
Medical professionals who handle medical billing out of another system, and then enjoy the categorization of their expenses in QBO.
Restaurants, e-commerce businesses, and other businesses that have sales systems. These businesses can integrate with QBO for expense tracking and financial statement creation.
So, who is not a good fit for using QBO? Extremely complex small businesses or those with a very high volume, although we are seeing many may use integrated apps to handle that part of their business, including serialized inventory or high-volume retail. Remember, most businesses can still use QBO for their main accounting functions, and make it easier for you to provide complete financial reports for them. On the payroll side, we recommend QuickBooks Online for under 50 employees.
The bottom line is to understand our clients.
Speaking of clients, here are a couple quick stories that may shed some light on how QBO changed their business world – and can provide a template of how you can share your own success stories when you meet with prospects.
A small business owner who does professional services manually created invoices for her clients each month, emailing them out to the client. With QBO, she now sends them automatically as repeating online invoices, with QuickBooks Payments turned on. Now, instead of waiting weeks to receive checks in the mail that she must take to the bank, her customers click a button, pay the invoice, and the business owner receives emails letting her know each time an invoice paid. Her cash flow is greatly improved, and she now can focus more on the service to her client and less on servicing her business.
Another small business owner runs a family-owned physical therapy office. It was running just fine on QuickBooks Desktop, but the owner thought having online access might be helpful in order for her to take half days on Friday and work from home. Her conversion took less than an hour, including her payroll, and she never missed a beat. A couple months later, she found out that her son had to have major surgery and she would be out of the office for a month caring for him. She was still able to run payroll, maintain her books easily and never missed a beat. Her focus was on her son (who is doing fantastic!) and she had less to worry about back at the office since she was able to do things when and where she needed.
Helping your clients realize that you understand their needs and struggles, and why you are recommending QBO, will not only give them confidence, but also move you to the role of trusted advisor; better yet, you’ll have your clients for life!