QuickBooks Practice Management Tips, Part 1
QuickBooks Power Hour featuring Hector Garcia, covering Practice Management Tips and Marketing tips for QuickBooks Consultants, Accountants, and ProAdvisors.
I'm glad to see you surviving tax season and joining us for this webinar. Today, we're going to talk about various tips to grow your QuickBooks practice, with me, Michelle Long, and and Hector Garcia. Thank you for joining us. I already know many of you, but my name is Michelle Long.
I'm a CPA with an MBA in entrepreneurship, the owner of Long for Success, author of five different books, all of those are available on Amazon, host of a LinkedIn group, I'd love to have you join me for that, and then, also, an international speaker for Intuit. I've had the privilege of going across cities across the U.S. and Canada and meeting lots of great people everywhere I go, as well as Australia and London, and so, I'm glad to have some of you all from other countries joining us on this webinar as well.
We've got Hector Garcia. Hector, you want to go ahead and introduce yourself? Hector, I don't hear you. Unmute yourself. Okay. Hector's down in Miami, and he probably muted himself, because Hector, we're not hearing you anymore. Okay. Well, I will let him introduce himself in just a minute, because evidently, we don't have him. Hector, call back in, and I'll go ahead and talk about the agenda, and then we can go back to your introduction.
We're going to be talking a little bit about what QB Power Hour is. We continue to get new people every week, or every session. The CPE process, announcements and updates, and then, for our topics today, I'm going to talk about three tips to grow your practice from existing clients, and Hector's going to talk about multi-user and remote access consulting, profiting from the sales of QuickBooks, and a marketing tip on targeting local new businesses.
If you are an accounting professional, today is for you in practice management. We're not going to be getting into QuickBooks today. We're going to share some tips to help you grow your practice, so if you're just a QuickBooks user and you're not an accounting professional, this webinar may not be right for you today. Hector, did you join back in?
Yes. Can you hear me?
I can hear you now, so I'll go back to your introduction slide. You want to go ahead and introduce yourself now?
Yeah, sure. Welcome, everybody. My name is Hector Garcia. I'm a QuickBooks Advanced ProAdvisor. I live in Miami, Florida. I have my own accounting practice and also a QuickBooks consulting practice. I do a lot of teaching in classroom based scenarios, and I dabble a little bit into Excel as well. I actually teach QuickBooks and Excel.
Very good. Thank you. I realized I wasn't sharing my screen. I had paused it. We're back now, so you should all be seeing the right screen. Okay, so, a little bit about QB Power Hour. It is a webinar series that Hector and I do every other week on Thursdays, tips and tricks and advanced insights into using QuickBooks, QuickBooks desktop and QuickBooks online.
A lot of times, we'll bring in a special guest to talk about some third party apps or practice management, or things like that, but today, we are talking about totally practice management, and helping you grow your practice with some great tips. Sometimes, we will have sponsors come on. The primary sponsors are Hector and I, and our businesses, Long for Success and Quick Bookkeeping and Accounting. We may have other sponsors from time to time that we have vetted, and we do not just accept any sponsor.
We always go through and make sure that they are vetted sponsors that Hector and I believe in and we feel could be beneficial to you all. For the CPE process, Hector, would you like to talk about this? Hector, you've muted. Okay. I'll talk about ...
Yes, I do. My system seems to automatically do it. Okay, so, for the CPE process, it usually takes about 3 weeks. The process is, you must be here in the webinar for at least 50 minutes, you must attend live, you can always record and watch webinar, but the CPEs are only of the live webinars.
In the middle of the webinar at some point, we're going to give a CPE key word question, a CPE key word, and then, towards the end, you will get the key word question is, basically, that's how you prove that you were here during the entire webinar. If you happen to be in the bathroom or on the other line or somebody walked in when the question comes up, well, unfortunately, this is how the process is, right? We pick one key word question, one key word, one question, but it has to be completely random.
It takes about 3 weeks, so we haven't done the very last, for the very last webinar, we haven't done this just yet. I'm actually working on that, and I was getting finished with all my corporate taxes and stuff like that. You will have the CPE for the last webinar within the next week or so, and then the one for today within 2-3 weeks.
Okay. Very good. Thank you, Hector. One other thing that we always like to do is keep you guys up to date with what are some upcoming events, or any new announcements, and we do have some events upcoming. I'd love to have you join me and Sandi Smith Leyva for the award winning Ultimate Accounting vCon, a virtual conference that you can attend from your own home, or your own office, and we're going to be talking a lot about practice management and pricing, and ways to grow your practice and things like that.
It is very affordable, and again, like I said, you can attend it from your own home. There's the website for that. Scaling New Heights is coming up in June. Hector and I both will be presenting there. We would love to have you join us in Scaling New Heights, and come up and make sure and introduce yourself, and tell us that you follow us on Power Hour. It would be great to meet some of you. Then, in the fall, QuickBooks Connect, another must attend event.
We'd love to have you join us in San Jose for that one, as well. Okay? That'd be great. Let's talk a little bit about practice management. Now, there's a lot of different topics that we could talk about when it comes to practice management. I've listed just a few of them here, and I wanted to know a little bit about some of you all, what you're doing as far as practice management and things like that, so I'm actually going to first, just, let's put a couple poll questions out here.
First of all, I would like to know, how are you working with your existing clients now? How many of you actually sit down and have a meeting with your clients throughout the year, not just right now at tax season? I know most of you will see all of your clients, well, communicate with all of your clients, you may not see them if you're working remotely, but you at least have contact with them once a year at tax time.
How many of your other clients do you sit down with and proactively talk to them about their business? Maybe monthly or quarterly? Are you engaging with your existing clients? It's hard to get a new client, but once you have a client, you want to make sure that you continue to cultivate that relationship as well as cross-sell additional services to them, get referrals and testimonials from them, and htat's what we're going to be talking about more in-depth in just a little bit.
If you could go ahead and answer this poll question, and I'm going to share it with you, because I know sometimes people like to see what everybody else is doing, and you've got hundreds of your peers on here, so you can see maybe you're not quite keeping up with everybody else. We've only got about 70% of you that have voted. Can you go ahead and vote? Hector, while they're voting, do you sit down with your clients on a regular basis? Do you want to share your experience and what your practice is on that?
Yeah, sure. Obviously, not every single client qualifies for paying for the professional fee of sitting down with a knowledgeable accountant, a QuickBooks person, once a quarter, once a month, but I at very least offer it, right? Sometimes, we tend to think, well, that client's really not going to pay for that, or maybe they can't afford that, and sometimes, that's a really bad assumption to make.
Some clients are actually aching for that, they're thirsting for somebody to offer that type of proactive approach to say, "Yeah, I would love to have you come in and discuss it." It's difficult to price.
Value pricing is at the core of offering these type of services, and it's difficult to price, but you can get started with something as simple as charging for a couple of hours, $300 for half a day, or something like that, and just sit down with your client, walk through, I do a lot of walk throughs.
Walk through the warehouse, walk through the office, observe the employees behave, you will be amazed on how much non-accounting information you can capture just from observing half a day's worth of work, and then sitting down with the person and discussing the accounting and financial effects of that.
Yeah, I would say, I can't, because I'm a percent, I can't answer that question, but I fall into 11% to 25%. I would say about a quarter of my clients, I have at least a quarterly or monthly business review meeting to understand their current needs.
Well, that's great, Hector. Yes, thank you for sharing that. You know, it is very important that we do that, and a lot of times, our clients, like you said, they really want that and they need that, but they're afraid. Let me go ahead and close that poll result and share it. Hector, did you share those results? I'm going to click 'Share.' There we go.
A lot of times, our clients need that, and more and more accounting professionals are starting to build that into their value packages, and part of the services that you're going to be providing includes maybe a quarterly discussion of how their business is going.
If you're not doing that already, that's something that you should think about, and Hector and I are going to do a webinar in the future to talk more about value pricing and creating packages and all that stuff, so that's something to think about. Now, before I move on, I want to go ahead and do another poll for you. You can see the results there. Over 30% of you are doing that 50% of the time, or with over 50% of your clients. I think that's great.
Some of you that were in the 0 percentage, or less than 10%, I think you can really benefit by stepping that up and increasing the percentage of your clients that you're doing that with. One more quick poll question. I want to know now what is your main source of new clients? Do you get new clients from the Find a ProAdvisor website, from client referrals, referrals from other professionals, social media, or online, or your main or your primary website? Where are you getting your clients from?
Where are the clients coming from? If you're not asking, how did you find me, or where did you hear about me, you need to really start doing that, because it's very important to ask your client, "How did you find out about me?" Don't just let them say, "Oh, I found you on the internet." That's not sufficient. You want to know, "Oh, really? Where?" Did they do a Google search? Did they find your website? Did they find you on the Find a ProAdvisor website? Where did they find you?
Did they find you on LinkedIn or on Facebook? You want to know so you know what's working, okay? Make sure if you're not asking your clients, or your new clients, that, you need to make sure and ask everyone who contacts you, "Where did you find out about me," or, "How did you hear about me? How did you come to call me?" That's very important. If you're not doing that already, write that down. You want to do that in the future, so you know where your new clients are coming from, because that's really important. Okay.
Somebody said that they always want to go on a walkabout to get the vibe of the business. Yes, Wendy, I agree with you and Hector both. That's a great idea if you can do that. Sometimes, though, a lot of us work remotely with clients where we don't physically, we're not near them. We can't walk in and go around their office or their plant or their restaurant or whatever it may be.
In situations like that, sit down and talk to them, remotely, on the phone, or do Facetime, where they can walk aroudn and show you virtually, show you their facility, and you can talk with them. Okay, I'm going to go ahead now and close that poll. We've got 81% of you that voted there. I'm going to share the results with you so you can see. 12% find new clients from the Find a ProAdvisor website, which you can help yourself there by getting advanced certified, getting reviews on there, and things like that.
We'll talk more about that in just a minute. 48% of you from client referrals, so about half of you get new clients from existing clients. We're going to talk about that more in just a minute. About 29% of you get referrals from other professionals. Now, that's another great source of new clients is referrals from other accounting professionals, as well as other professionals like lawyers or bankers or insurance agents. That's super. Only 1% on social media. I'm very surprised that that is so low.
10% online and main website. Okay. Well, great. Thank you guys for sharing that with me. That's, I think, helpful to see kind of where other people are standing as well. What I wanted to talk with you about today is 3 tips to help you grow your practice from your current clients, from existing clients that you have, because you've already got those clients, why not go ahead and then try to grow your practice from existing clients?
There's going to be three tips around selling additional services, referrals, and testimonials. First of all, let's talk about selling additional services to your existing clients. You know amazes me, is a lot of times, when a client will go to somebody else, let's say you do their QuickBooks for them.
You help them with their monthly bookkeeping, and then they need to put together a loan package or maybe they need some help improving their cash flow, and then they go find somebody else to help them with some of these other questions and problems they're having, because they didn't realize, "Oh, you can do that, too? I didn't know that." It's important that we talk to our clients and let them know what other services we offer and we can provide for them.
We've got to talk and communicate with our existing clients, especially, and this is the one reason why I picked this topic for right now, is because we are in tax season. I appreciate you guys taking time out of your busy schedule, because I know you're probably crazy right now, for joining us for this, and now's when you are in contact with your clients.
Now, if you've already done their taxes and they were a corporate client and they've gone on their merry way, follow up with an email, and say, "Hey, it was great working with you again, blah, blah, blah. Can we schedule a time to talk?"
Set up a time to talk with them, and then you want to ask them, "Hey, we've got your taxes done, and I just wanted to ask you and talk a little more about, how is your business going? Are you having any problems? What are your pain points? What keeps you awake at night? What do you worry about? What are you stressed about?" Then we need to listen a lot. You need to listen twice as much as you're talking.
I heard somebody say, "God gave us two ears and one mouth because you're supposed to listen twice as much as you talk." Listen a lot, and let them say, "Oh, I'm worried about this. Oh, I'm stressed about that. I'm having problems with this." Let them get out and let you listen as their kind of business therapist, if you will. First of all, they love to talk about their business. They love to share their problems with somebody they can trust like you, their trusted advisor.
Then, after you let them unload and get this out about what they're worrying about, or their issues they're facing, then you can mention, "Well, did you know we have other services, such as this or that, that I can help you with that? I can help you solve that problem. I can help you implement this new app. I can help you convert that. We can get this under control." Whatever situation it is, but don't charge them for this just talk about your business and how it's doing.
You're going to charge them when you start implementing these additional services that you can help them. This only has to be a 15 minute conversation, and it may be 30 minutes, but it's a great opportunity for you to get additional business and additional services and help that client more than just doing their monthly bookkeeping or payroll, or their annual tax return, but helping them more and being that trusted advisor to help them grow that business.
That's why those of you that aren't sitting down with your clients and talking to them monthly or quarterly or things like that, I think it's a good idea to try to start implementing this. You saw lots of your peers are doing that, and Hector talked about he's doing that and stuff, so if the client's not asking for it, you need to ask them, "Hey, could we schedule a meeting?" You be proactive.
Reach out to that client and try to get a meeting set up with them, because it's a great opportunity to sell additional services to your current clients. Then the other thing is getting referrals from your current clients. You know, one time I knew this lady who was a great accounting and bookkeeping professional, but she wanted her clients to think she was really busy.
She was really just getting started, and only had a couple of clients, but she wanted to give the appearance of success, fake it until you make it kind of thing. She acted like she was really busy, and, "Oh, my gosh, things are so crazy," and "Oh, I'm so sorry. I'll get back to you soon if I can." She was giving this appearance of how busy she was and overwhelmed with her workload, which wasn't the case at all, but her clients wouldn't provide her a referral.
I told her, I said, "Well, you need to ask for referrals," and when she did ask one of her clients for a referral, they said, "Well, gosh, you're so busy now you can't hardly take care of me. I don't want you to get more clients, because you won't have time for me." You don't want to give them the impression that you cannot handle the workload. The other thing is, you do need to ask for the referral. Ask the client, especially when they say, "Oh, thank you so much. I appreciate you, blah, blah, blah."
You say, "I love working with you, too? Do you happen to know any other small businesses or home owners, or any other neighbors or friends or whatever, do you know anyone else who could benefit from my services?" Here's five cards, ten cards, whatever, give them some of your business cards and ask them for those referrals.
Update your email signature so every time you're communicating with them, they'll see, 'Referrals are always appreciated,' or 'We appreciate your referrals,' or something along those lines, to let them know that you want referrals and that you appreciate that, you want to cultivate those referrals. Then you might also consider providing incentives.
If they provide you a referral that turns into a client, you want to give them an incentive such as a gift card, or you might want to give them a percentage off of their services. I had one person one time, during tax season, actually, it was leading up to and then the beginning of tax season, they were marketing and promoting, "Get your taxes done for free." The way that you do that is, for each referral that becomes a paying client that you send to us, you will get x percentage off.
Let's say it's 10%, 20%. Let's say it's 20% off of your tax return. If you're going to get 20% off, you provide us with 5 referrals, you get your taxes done for free, and you don't pay anything, and you, yes, you may just have done one tax return pro bono for free, but you just got 5 new tax returns that will hopefully being ongoing clients. It's a great way to encourage the referrals.
They can save some money, especially clients who, you know, cash flow is hard, and things like that, it's a great opportunity. It's a win-win for everybody, so consider that. One other thing that you should always, always, always do, when you get a referral from a client, whether you've given them incentives or anything like that, regardless, you always want to follow up with them. "Thank you for the referral." Let's say it's Hector.
"Hector contacted me today, and this is what happened. I am able to help him, he's a new client, here's your gift card," or whatever, or, "Unfortunately, I was not able to meet his needs because I don't provide that service," or whatever, "and I referred him to someone else," or "He's going to keep checking," or whatever the situation is, but follow up with them and let them know what happened.
There's nothing worse than giving a referral, and then they're like, well, did that ever work, or you know, you just never know. Follow up with the client, too, and let them know what happened. The other thing, then, is to get testimonials from your current clients. When your client comes to you and says, "Oh, thank you, thank you. Oh, I love you so much," you say, "Oh, that's great. Would you mind providing a testimonial or a review for me?"
Everybody does reviews now on Amazon and eBay and things like that, and people want to look at reviews and testimonials from other clients. You then can use those on the Find a ProAdvisor website. Getting reviews on that website helps your ranking and improves how you show up in the search results. It helps you to show up more versus somebody that has equal stuff but don't have those reviews for you. Ask them first. Oh, and you also know, you can use those on your personal website.
You could have a page on your website with testimonials from current clients. Of course, ask them, "Do you want me to link back to your website? Do you want me to just use your first name? What would you like me to put when I use this out there?" You can use them on other social media sites. You can have them write a review for you or a recommendation on LinkedIn. You can use one testimonial or review from them in multiple locations. You want to ask the client first.
Once they say, "Oh, thank you, thank you," "Would you be willing to provide a testimonial or a review for me?" Most of them will say, "Oh, my gosh, I wouldn't know what to say." Well, you just said it. They just said, "Oh, I love you. You did this. You saved me so much time," whatever, so they just said it, but when you ask them to write something, they'll be like, "Oh, I wouldn't know what to say."
You say, "Okay, well, how about if I write up a couple of sentences of what you just told me, and then I'll let you review it, make any changes or whatever you want to do, and then I'll even help you post it."
You can log in remotely using join.me, which is free, or some of the remote access things that Hector's going to talk about later, you can even log in and help them to see how to do these things, and help them post it, and you might even, again, want to give them a gift card as a thank you or something like that. That's another thing that's very effective and helps with getting new clients.
"I'm just getting started. How do I find my first client? How do I let people know I'm QB certified and can do their bookkeeping?" That's a great question that a lot of people have. Okay? The first client is the hardest, I will tell you that. The second client is a little bit easier, the third client gets a little bit easier after that, but it is challenging when you're first getting started. First of all, once you're QuickBooks certified, update your website. Update your business cards.
Put a little thing out there, a news alert, if you can send in a press release to your local newspapers if you want to. Put something out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, "I'm thrilled to say that I'm now certified," blah, blah, blah. Post about what you're learning. "Learned new tips and tricks for working in QBO today. I love being a certified ProAdvisor." You can put some of those things out there to let people know.
You need to ask everybody you know for referrals, your neighbors, your church members, the parents of your kids' friends in soccer or little league or PTA or whatever. Let everybody and anybody that you know and you come in communication with, "Hey, I'm a certified ProAdvisor, and I can help people with QuickBooks and their bookkeeping," and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, "and I would love your referrals. Here's ten of my business cards." Hand your business cards out like crazy. That helps tremendously.
Sometimes, for your first client, you might have to say, "You know what? I am just getting started and I really need some experience and some reviews and testimonials. Because of that, I would be willing to do your books the first three months or do your payroll," or whatever it is, "I would be willing to give you a discount in exchange for your testimonials and reviews and referrals for other clients. I will give you a discount for x period of time, and then you go back to my normal rate."
Maybe it's the first three months you give them 50% discount or something like that in exchange for them being a testimonial that you can use and post reviews out there and things like that, but you've got to make sure you set a period of time on it when the rates will go back to your normal rate. That's a few things. Also, I hate to promote my own stuff, but How to Start a Home-Based Bookkeeping Business is a book that I wrote for [inaudible 00:24:20] Publishing or whatever.
Anyway, it's out there on Amazon. I think it's like maybe $5.00 or $6.00 for the Kindle version. How to Start a Home-Based Bookkeeping Business. It will help you whether you're a bookkeeper, an accountant, a tax professional, an IT consultant, it's still about getting clients. There's a lot of section in there on that that will help you with some of that stuff. I hope that helps a little bit. Yay, somebody said, "I love that book." Thank you. I appreciate that.
"What hourly rate range?" Stephen, if you will go to my website, longforsuccess.com, and up in the upper right corner, you'll see a search box. Search for 'billing rate survey.' Billing rate survey, or just Google Intuit's billing rate survey, and you'll find blog posts that I've written, especially the one on a deep dive into average billing rates. That's just a ballpark just to give you a few ideas of what other people are charging. Okay? Hopefully, that will help you a little bit there.
"What are good questions to ask a potential client?" That's great, Sue. In one of the sessions that I'm covering in the Ultimate Account vCon is client communications and how do you talk to them? What do you say when a client calls you up and says, "How much do you charge?" That's the first thing they say. A lot of times, that's not a client I want, because if they're looking for the lowest price, that's not my type of client.
When I'm talking to a potential client, what I want to know is, first of all, "How did you find me? How did you hear about me? How are you doing your books right now? What problems are you having? What are you using? Do you do inventory? Do you do payroll? Are you current on filing all your taxes?" I want to ask them lots of questions to kind of get to know where they're at and decide, do I want them as a client or not?
Not everybody who comes to you, you, there's some clients you're better off without, and there's some clients you've got to fire. We can talk about that again. Again, I've got a whole session in the Ultimate Accounting vCon on client communications and things like that. Also, Joe Woodard's Scaling New Heights that's coming up, I'm going to have a session in there, too, on growing your practice, getting from here to there.
We'll talk more in-depth about some of this, but unfortunately, I just had a few minutes here today. Somebody says they're still seeing the key word slide. You're right. As I was answering questions, I just had that CPE keyword, and now I'm going to go ahead and turn it over to Hector.
I'm going to have to, I'll answer a few questions that you guys have put in there, I'll type in a few, but then I'm going to have to jump off the rest of this webinar, because I'm doing one for Intuit Academy, helping people learn and get prepared for the QBO certification. Hector, do you have it? I can see your screen now.
Yes. I'm the presenter now, so I'll take over.
All right. Thank you, and I'll answer a few questions, and then I'm going to log out, so thank you, everybody, and I'll talk to you next time.
Thank you, Michelle. Okay, so I'm putting another polling question up where, this is the first time that we do an all practice management topic, so we're trying to understand whether or not this is what the crowd wants. There was a couple of questions or comments about walkthroughs, questionnaires, and the value of reviews. First of all, one thing I want to say, from my own personal experience, walkthroughs are so valuable for new businesses, right?
It's more costly for us to commit the time to go out there and make the trip, but you would be amazed on how many businesses depend so much on paperwork and spend so much time filing paper and scrambling through documents and signatures and making copies of checks and making copies of invoices and scanning them, not knowing where it goes. There's a lot of value on observing what people are doing day to day.
It helps you become a better consultant, bookkeeper, or accountant, because if you understand what's going on inside of their business, it gives you, provides you a lot more context when you are helping them or giving them support. The other question was, "What kind of questions can I ask my client?" What I'd like to do is, I'm just going to stop the polling question here, I'm going to go to Google and I'm going to try an exercise here, live, to see how simple this could be.
I literally Googled 'new accounting client questionnaire,' right? I'm going to click on the first one that shows up, which is a pdf file of some sort, and it looks like this is a CPA practice that made this information public. Look at some of the interesting questions you have here.
One of the things that I recommend is, don't ask questions that ultimately give you a yes or no answer, because yes or no questions will drive you to an answer that you're looking for, rather than discovering, really, information that you want. Things like, what do you expect of your accountant? That's such a great, open question to have. You have that question right away, give the client the opportunity to elaborate on what's their perception of what you do. What is their perception of what they want?
Things like, for your previous accountant, why are you changing accounting firms, or, do you still owe your accounting firm a balance, is also an interesting question to ask. When I review a QuickBooks for the first time, the very first thing I do is I take a look at how much they spent in the past in professional fees, and whether or not they owe their consultants, accountants, and lawyers money, because that kind of lets you know how much they value that type of work.
There's another interesting couple questions here, like, for example, "What is your annual advisor budget?" Think about that. Think about what that questions means. What is your annual advisor budget? That invokes all sorts of feelings with your clients. Some of them are going to say, "Well, I don't have one. Should I have one? Am I supposed to have one? Hey, you're my accountant, you tell me how much I'm supposed to be spending on advisors."
Another question I think is interesting is, "How important is it for you to get rapid response on accounting and tax questions?" Then it has question like, "What do you consider a rapid response?" Look how great this free resource is from this other accounting firm that decided to make this public. My opinion here is, when you go engage a client, build your own questionnaire.
Copy whatever you see on the web, build your own questionnaire that evokes the type of conversation that you think will provide real, quality dialogue. The other thing is, Michelle was talking about the reviews. The value of the reviews is so huge. If your profile on the internet has 20, 30, 40 reviews, I think most of you have at least interacted with 50 or a hundred people in your career, and at least half of them will give you positive reviews.
If you have a lot of positive reviews, and you're about to pick up a new client, and the new client is complaining about the fee that you've quoted, or they think that you're too expensive, or they're looking for a less expensive person, or they're complaining that it's going to take you a week to see them, you can say, "Listen, Google me, read what my other clients are saying about me, read my reviews.
When you go compare me with whoever else you're going to compare me with, find out if they have the type of reputation that I do." You'll be surprised how small of a percentage of QuickBooks consultants actually make a proactive approach to be Google-able, to be searchable, and to have a real good web reputation. I tell it to my clients all the time.
When they complain about whatever fee I give them, I say, "Do me a favor. Google 'Hector Garcia QuickBooks' and watch everything that I've done, everything that I've read, my reviews, and then make a judgment call on the value of my service." I wanted to make those three points there, because I was reading what some of the questions and the comments were. I just wanted to make sure that that was covered in itself. Okay. Let's go to my next slide. What I'm going to cover is, I'm going to cover three topics.
I'm going to talk about multi-user networks and remote access options that, in my practice, it is very common thing that we do, is helping people work in a multi-user environment, helping remote people log in to their QuickBooks desktop remotely, or even for myself, as a consultant, or as an accountant, I need to be able to log into their computer and do work. I'm going to talk about the different options that are out there, and some ideas to kind of get you started into researching for yourself.
The other point that I'll talk about, I'll talk about selling QuickBooks, okay? About three years ago, or four ago, I forgot when, I joined the reseller channel at Intuit, and I have generated, and I'm not kidding, over a hundred thousand dollars in QuickBooks commissions in the last three years, so it's been a real nice addition to my practice, because not only do you get to offer an additional product or service, you also get leads from Intuit.
I'll talk about kind of what Intuit does and how they partner up with us in the field to do that. The last tip I'll talk about, which is really, if time permits, which is really how I got started in my practice. I got started with local businesses, local new businesses, and I did a lot of mass mailing, I did, but not mass mailing per se, it was highly hyper-targeted. We did letters and postcards.
I'll kind of show you a couple of tips about how I got started myself, and it's a great way to get more business. Okay. Let's talk about network and multi-user options. The first thing I'd like to talk about is, in this case, there's typically four major areas to look at for multi-user and networking options. One is your standard local area network.
This is when your client has multiple computers, a server, multi-user QuickBooks, and they're trying to work and collaborate a couple of employees at the same time. The other topic I'll talk about is Windows Remote Desktop, which used to be called Terminal Services, and I'll talk a little bit about how that works.
I'll discuss a couple of popular remote desktop tools like Logmein and TeamViewer and some of my views about them and the pros and cons, and then I'll discuss some of the newer technologies that are out there for remote access and file transfer. Okay. Let's talk about multi-user environment. If you are at a client's office, and you're trying to help them work in a multi-user environment, couple things, you need to have at least one computer that acts as a server.
Now, a server doesn't have to be a traditional Windows server machine. It could be just a regular Windows machine, but I strongly recommend, if you're working with more than three users, definitely work with a server, a dedicated server, and it does require IT costs, right? There are some IT costs involved. Now, there's a lot of talk about hosting. Hosting is, basically, when you have the server offsite and you work remotely, which is what I'll talk about on the next item.
When you have a QuickBooks user that wants to have multiple employees work in a multi-user environment, you have to make sure that you understand that QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Mac is limited to three simultaneous users, QuickBooks Premier is limited to five simultaneous users, and Enterprise can go all the way to 30, but you have to have a multiple user license, which means you have to buy multiple licenses, or buy one license for multiple users.
The server doesn't count as a license, unless somebody's actually working on the server, and very, very commonly, me, as the accountant or the consultant, I log in into my client's servers, and that's my computer to work with, quote unquote, so if I am working at the same time they are, then obviously, that will count as a user.
Now, many times I install my license of QuickBooks Accountant in my client's server, if my client only has two or three users and I need an additional one, because I know I'm not going to use it in more than one place at a time, it shouldn't interfere with the licensing agreement, but consider doing that as well. Install your own license into their server just for your exclusive use.
Now, in a mixed Mac PC environment, which is actually very, very common, many clients I have where, some are MAC users and some are PC users, my recommendation is to go with QuickBooks for Windows, QuickBooks Pro, Premier, or Enterprise, install that into one of the PCs at the server.
For the Macs to be able to work, it's best if the Mac remotes into one of the PCs or into a server, because on the parallels or VMware, those emulated PC environments on the Mac, they have some networking issues, so I recommend having a dedicated PC for the Mac user, for them to remote in it, even if they're locally, to be able to work in QuickBooks. I definitely recommend, if you're dealing with three or more simultaneous users, to have a dedicated server.
Don't have a computer that's also being used for some other activity, and also have QuickBooks, because it will slow it down big time. Work on a hardwired network. Wireless networks will always cause a problem, always, always, always cause a problem. I would definitely avoid using wireless in a multi-user environment. Okay? Somebody's telling me here that QuickBooks for Mac, it's five users, not three users. You're right.
QuickBooks for Mac can go all the way to five users, not three, so I'll stand corrected on that. The last point here is, if you fill more users, dedicated server, and even try to have a dedicated hard drive on the server just for QuickBooks, especially for much bigger files. It's a relatively low investment for the value that you get. Let me talk about remote desktop now.
Remote desktop is something that allows you, without any monthly fees or anything like that, it allows you to go from one computer to the other computer across the internet and work remotely. Windows Server includes, by default, two remote user accesses for administrators. If you want to have 3, 4, 5, 6, 10 users working remotely, you have to have Windows Server with additional, what they call the CALs, the Client Access Licenses. They're usually about $200 a pop, but this is not monthly.
This is a fixed time fee. Now, if you have Windows Pro, Windows Pro 7 or Windows Pro 8.1, you can remote access into it. You don't have to do any additional purchases. It just works, just as long as you can have a direct connection to it.
The most important thing, in order for you to be able to remote into a computer, whether it's a server or a Windows Pro, you may need to have an IT professional open up the port, because typically, when you have a router, whether it's a wired or wireless router.
Any time you have a network environment, you're typically going to have a firewall or a block, because you don't want the whole world to be able to connect to your computer or to your server, so you may have to have specific ports and a specific, the IP address may have to be public, and you will have to have that open up for somebody to work remotely. I strongly recommend, you know, work with some IT professionals on Remote Desktop. Now, this remote desktop concept is what hosting means.
They talk about Right Networks and Uni-Data, which are two big hosting companies that specialize in QuickBooks hosting. This is basically Windows Remote desktop as a service, rather than something that you have in house. Okay. Under multi-user, it's also important to take into consideration what doesn't work in multi-user.
Every time I have a client that wants to set up a multi-user environment and they ask me personally to set it up for them, or consult them with it, or sell them a multi-user license, I print out the restricted tasks. I go to the support website that you see right there on the bottom, I print them out and give them to the client and make sure that I have made extra effort to let the client know of what doesn't work in multi-user.
Many times, when I didn't used to do this, people used to complain about, "Hey, you told me about the multi-user, but you didn't tell me what wasn't going to work," and somehow it was my fault, I guess. I think it's important to have that print out. There's the article that's right there, then I'll post it on the chat in a second, so you can actually save it into your favorites. Let me go to the next one. Okay.
The last thing is, consider QuickBooks Enterprise for a multi-user environment, specifically because QuickBooks Pro and Premier is very limited on the restrictions you can place on a user, and I've found that a lot of small business owners are worried or are afraid of recommending or having their employees working in a multi-user environment, because they're afraid of them having access to cable or to their bank, or having too much access to information they don't want.
"They're going to steal my customer list. They're going to steal my vendor list." By considering QuickBooks Enterprise, you can actually restrict specifically what you want Frank, Carl, Henry to have access to or not. That's a huge benefit of working with QuickBooks Enterprise and obviously, since I'm a reseller of QuickBooks Enterprise, it behooves me to talk really well about QuickBooks Enterprise.
The other topic I want to cover here is, I want to stay on the QuickBooks Enterprise topic here, is I wrote an article called Why Upgrade to QuickBooks Enterprise? There's the big meeting, that article is into a website. I kind of walk you through all the features that Enterprise has over the other Pro or Premier features, and Enterprise is obviously for a whole different type of client. Consider hosting. You're not stuck having to use it in a local environment.
A lot of people go with QBO because they learn the stuff on the web, but the business itself is not fit for QBO because of whatever, job costing, payroll, heavy inventory, so consider hosting for QuickBooks Enterprise. Okay. The next topic I'll cover is remote access, but before I do that, I'm going to pull up a polling question, and my polling question is, actually, no. I'm going to wait for the polling question. Okay, so let's talk about remote access programs.
One of the most popular remote access programs out there, they're one of the ones that people really know or talk about the most, is TeamViewer, because you go to teamviewer.com, you download it, it's free. It's actually very easy, in my opinion, it's very easy to use, very simple to use, but it's only for personal use. Once you use so many hours, they'll flag your account and they will force you to go into a commercial environment, which you would have to pay for.
Now, it's not the least expensive of them, for a one-time investment it's $750 for a lifetime license, but you can work with unlimited customers, unlimited computers. It's not per computer, it's not per month, it's a one time fee, so it's something to consider. I paid for mine, and I had to expand it to have up to three users, and I pay for the upgrade every year. A remote access is a significant expenditure in my business, and it's a necessary evil. The other popular one is Logmein.
Logmein starts, normally, at about $99 a year for two computers, and then there's a Central edition, which is for multiple computers, that starts at $500 per year for 25 computers, so you can start doing the math about how much it costs per computer to work remotely. Join.me, it's from the same people as Logmein, I believe.
They have a free edition that's basic for screen sharing, and they have a Pro edition that's $15 a month, and that would be, that's not per computer, that's just per user, so you can log in into whatever amount of computers you need to, but you have to initiate each session, where Logmein and TeamViewer, it's a little bit different. Those are passive. You can always log into your client's computer without having to give you specific permission. That's the difference.
With Join.me, somebody has to say, "Okay, connect." With TeamViewer and Logmein, it could be a permanent connection, just like Gotomypc. Now, Gotomypc is very popular. It's from the same people as Gotowebinar and Gotomeeting, and it's $12 a month per computer. Now, something else you'd want to consider, a totally free screen share is Skyping or Skype, and Google Hangout. Those are both free, but they're only for screen sharing. They're not really for remote access.
It depends on what you're trying to do. If you want to view what your client is doing, and tell them, "No, no, no. Click here, click there," and do training where you don't have to touch their computer, join.me, Skype, and Google Hangouts are a great option and they're totally free, but if you have to actually work on your client's computer, you have to manipulate the mouse and the keyboard, then that's when you [missing audio 00:46:27] and go to [inaudible 00:46:32].
The next one I want to talk about is some new technologies, some of the new technologies that are out there. I'm testing both of these. I'm currently not making a direct recommendation, because I'm actually testing both of these technologies myself, and before I make a recommendation or even bring them to a QB Power Hour for demonstration, I want to understand them fully. A Qbox basically transfers the file between users or between user and accountant, and does like a file lock to prevent conflicted copy.
MyQuickCloud's a little bit different. It enables multiple sessions of Remote Desktop on regular, non-server machines. It's kind of interesting. It makes your regular, straight, cheap $300 computer, it makes it a server that can actually work in multi-user mode. It's actually pretty interesting. I'm testing it because, obviously, I'm a little bit skeptical about how great it could be, but it does sound like the best thing since sliced bread, this MyQuickCloud technology.
I'm testing it, and I'm actually thinking about bringing them in in QB Power Hour for a demo soon. With that, let me put up a polling question real quick, and then I can rest for about a minute. There's the polling question. While you guys answer that, I'm going through the questions here. Somebody said, "You forgot to mention WebEx." You're right. I didn't mention WebEx at all. Somebody else is saying, "Qbox is the most amazing QB collaboration tool ever."
There's a user saying that Qbox is great. TeamViewer, somebody's asking, "Is TeamViewer $749 one time fee, but then I have to pay?" There is a upgrade fee. If they go from TeamViewer 10, 11, 12, 13, and you want to have the next version, you would have to pay for the upgrade. The TeamViewer lifetime license is for that particular version. Somebody's talking about, "WebEx allows free for up to three." I didn't know that, so WebEx is an option.
I actually didn't even, I've never used WebEx, so I didn't put that in there. Let me see. Somebody else was saying, "Gotomypc is $12 a month? I thought it was much higher." I actually went to gotomypc.com and saw the price there. I think it used to be like $20 a month, $25 a month. Somebody's suggesting Zoho Assist, Z-O-H-O, free for one user. Somebody else is recommending gotoassist. It can work for up to a hundred on appended computers. Okay, that's pretty good.
A couple people are talking about TeamViewer. They like TeamViewer. Somebody's asking about security concerns with remote access. Okay, so, the most important thing about security with remote access is, you have to make sure that whatever password you use, it's a secure password, it's not like a random, easy to know password, because if anybody enables TeamViewer with a password, anybody with that username and password can log into that computer, so it's important to consider having a strong password.
That's really all I can say about that. Okay. Let me close the polling question, and I'll share with you the results. About 86 of you would like Qbox or MyQuickCloud to do a demonstration. Okay. Perfect. Thank you for sharing that. Let me check for the time. Michelle had to go, so I'm by myself, and I have no clue how much time I have left. Let me check here real quick. Yeah, I got 8 minutes. Okay, we're good. Okay. The last thing I want to talk about is becoming an Intuit reseller. Okay?
One of the things I'd mentioned earlier, becoming an Intuit reseller just transformed my practice. I do things very, very different, significantly different, because I sell QuickBooks. Since becoming an Intuit reseller means I get to offer my clients QuickBooks Online and get a commission for it, it means I can receive quarterly bonuses for my volume, it means I get deep discounts on QuickBooks Pro, Premier, Accountant, and [inaudible 00:50:54], so I can resell it to my clients.
It also means that I get residual income from QuickBooks payments. There's a lot of huge benefits to that, and it's really added a whole spectrum of how I work, because I don't only see clients in terms of bookkeeping services or consulting services, I also see the opportunity to upgrade them to, in this case, to upgrade them to 2014, 2015, 2016.
I actually see that the value for myself, for my practice, for profit, on having the client upgrade every year, or having the client go to QuickBooks Online, upgrade into QuickBooks Online and so forth. Let me share the polling results here. About 12% are already selling QuickBooks, which is great. About 71% of you are already selling or recommending, but are not really getting any profit from it. That's good insights to have. Therefore, this is very useful information for a lot of you.
If you sell somebody QuickBooks Online and you're an Intuit reseller, you can have your client pay a discount for life. You don't have to pay for it, the client pays for it, and you get a fixed bounty for activating a client, so that's actually really, really, really good. The deep discounts on QuickBooks Pro, Premier, and Accountant, so right now, as a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, you get a discount for reselling it to your client.
As a reseller, you get an extra 5% discount, so you get a little bit more profit for the core Pro Premier accounts and clients. Every time you recommend a Payments account, Merchant Sales, you get a percentage, a percentage of every single credit card fee that they get charged, so that's incredible residual income.
Commissions on sales and renewals of QuickBooks Enterprise, so right now, as a ProAdvisor, you cannot really sell Enterprise unless you're reselling it, but as an Intuit reseller, you recommend Enterprise, people pay into it directly, and you get a packet of information, so it's great. If you recommend anybody to RightNetworks for hosting, you get a real handsome commission, a bounty for that sale. We can also resell the new QuickBooks Online point of sale, which is a very, very exciting tool.
We get, as a reseller, you get a POS and an Enterprise 10-user license available to use for you to download and sell it to your clients. Recommending things with full service payroll and assisted payroll gives you monthly residual income. There's bounty commissions on QuickBooks [missing audio 00:53:38] regular and enhanced payroll. DemandForce and Intuit Field Service Management are also Intuit products that you get residual income for selling. I actually get leads from Intuit.
Every time somebody calls Intuit trying to buy a product, and Intuit doesn't close it, it automatically goes to a reseller for the reseller to try to close it, and they try to do it based on the local area. If you have clients within your area trying to buy Enterprise or inquiring about it, and the sale doesn't close, the lead goes to you, and gives you the opportunity to sell it, and obviously, sell more stuff to your client.
There's a lot of huge benefits to becoming a, other than the actual profit portion, there's a lot of benefits to doing that. To know more about the Intuit reseller channel, just go to intuitreseller.com. I have my own personal contact at Intuit, and he's an extremely awesome guy. He would gladly answer any questions about the reseller program. His name is Steve Hall. I've put his email up in the screen.
Also, if you don't want to be quite a reseller, but you have a couple of deals that you want to work with me personally with, we can also try to partner, see how maybe I can help you close some of these sales, and maybe I can help you get your path into the Intuit reseller program, because I'm an advocate of the Intuit reseller program, and I would very much like for anybody that has the opportunity to become one.
Right now, okay, the last question is, "I currently sell," it says here, "I currently sell QuickBooks Online through my wholesale channel. I take, so, I charge my client, I mean, I paid 50% of QuickBooks Online and I charged my client x amount. How is this different?" The answer is, when you sell it at 50, when you buy it for 50% and resell it to your client, you still have to charge your client, so you have to deal with that particular circumstance. You have to charge your client.
Through the reseller channel, you can just have your client set up the account, and they will pay, they will pay for everything directly, that way you don't have to be behind them, and you get a real handsome onetime bounty for recommending the sale. There's my email address again. Some people were asking for my email address. Email me. It will take me a couple days to answer. Email me any questions you have about the Intuit reseller channel. I'll put you with the right contact.
I'll help you become one if you can meet the minimums, and if you can't, we can, I'll gladly partner up with you with some Enterprise sales and things like that. It is officially top of the hour, so any of you that have to go, then, got your CPE. That's fine. Go ahead and leave. Whoever wants to stay, we're going to go long about, maybe about 10 minutes. I'm going to cover some marketing, a marketing tip that was very effective for my practice when I first got started.
The first concept I want to talk about marketing-wise is, you want to market to brand new businesses. Now, why brand new businesses? Well, they probably don't have an accountant yet. They probably don't even know how to function, how to do bookkeeping, they don't know about taxes. There's a lot of uncertainty about how this, the official taxation system works and how bookkeeping works and record keeping.
People don't have bad habits where they're used to QuickBooks Desktop, and you can move them to Online really easy, or they're bad habits with other accounting systems. I find that new businesses are a great source of new business. The concept is, you want to obtain a list of new businesses that were either created or newly licensed in your local area. Send them a postcard with some sort of promotion.
Most printing companies like Vistaprint or some of the big ones, they have packages that include the postcard design, the postcard printing, and the actual mailing, but you have to provide the list. That's key. The other option is, if you don't like postcards and you really don't want to have an extensive printing business, just print a letter yourself.
You can use a mail merge in Excel, can very easily do a mail merge where you take an existing database of businesses and do a mail merge for labels, and you can buy a thousand envelopes, print the labels, stamp them yourself, right? It will cost you maybe about 50 cents per letter, combining the cost of the paper, the envelope, and all that stuff, but it's a lot less work, and you can write a letter yourself. It shouldn't be too difficult to do that. How to obtain, how do you obtain a list of new businesses?
Well, first of all, there's tons of companies out there advertising you to pay thousands of dollars for a list of new businesses. The good news is that most states, the department of commerce, the department of finance, their department of state, different states call it differently, they make new corporations public. They make that public issuing daily or weekly, so the idea is to go to your particular state and focus on a zip code, two or three zip codes, within your local vicinity.
Make sure that in your letter or your postcard, you say, "Now serving this market. Now serving this city. Helping small businesses from," whatever, "Los Angeles run their books." You can actually, because you can go by zip code, you can really personalize these letters. Some counties and municipalities actually make public their new licenses, okay? Sometimes they'll say, "These are all the new restaurants. These are all the new plumbers. These are all the new lawyers," whatever it is.
The reason for that is because with that type of data, you can actually focus on a specific industry and a niche, and that's if the license information is available. What do you do with the list? Well, typically, you want to clean it up and look for the, make it small, make it hyper-targeted. You only need the name, address, city, and zip code to do your mailing. That's really all you need. Then, hopefully, you can do some segregation per industry, that way the letters can be personalized.
Another thing I'll tell you is, if you don't prepare taxes yourself, another kind of side tip here, send a letter to local CPAs, so get a list of the local CPAs, send them a letter, and offer them your bookkeeping and partnership. You don't do taxes, you don't touch their work, and they don't do bookkeeping, and you guys can have a pretty good harmony.
Now, for really small lists, for high quality lists, what I call targeted lists, which are a specific group of companies that you really want their business, spend a couple of extra bucks. Buy the QuickBooks Pro quick reference guides. Let me go to Amazon real quick to show you what I mean by that. I don't own stock in this company or anything, I'm just, simply just showing you this. This is something as simple as $5. It's $4.37, okay?
You can buy maybe 20 of these or 30 of these, and proactively put them in a FedEx envelope, send the letter to that person, saying, "Hey, I'm a QuickBooks expert. This has helped with a lot of my clients. Here's a gift to you. I would love the opportunity to sit down with you and discuss how I can help you with a QuickBooks consulting." Yes, it is $5 per client, but it is a really small risk, and it may be worth it, right? You're micro-targeting the high quality contacts.
Maybe a branded USB drive, that's always useful. A branded calculator, that's always useful, and it makes sense, right, because you're an accountant, calculator. Also, do other value adding things like you'd invite them to a free two hour sessions that's usually $200, $300 or whatever it costs. Offer them the software for free if they sign up with you with bookkeeping services. Is it worth it for you to pay 200 bucks for QuickBooks Pro to sign a client that will pay you $300 for monthly for life?
Absolutely. That's well worth it. That's worth every penny of it, or you pay for the QuickBooks online, and with their bookkeeping service, right? Eat the cost, but acquire the client. The other thing is, offer in your letters one-hour setup on QuickBooks Online and a 30-day trial. That way you're offering a hundred percent risk-free get started with QuickBooks option. Now, it will require you to spend that hour with the client. You can even do it remotely.
We have, we talked about the remote access tools, and you can use the wholesale billing so you can pay half of it just in case it ends up moving to bookkeeping service, and you're going to pay for that account for life. Okay. That was everything I wanted to cover, but before I log out, I want to show you something, because some people are skeptical about whether or not these new business lists are available. I want to show you my example. I live in a city called Weston, Florida.
I'm literally going to Google 'new businesses in Weston, Florida.' Okay, I'm literally doing this. Right? Obviously, every city's going to be different. Then I'm going to go into here, and then I, here's the link to my municipality's website. I'm going to click in here, business tax receipt, and then, down here somewhere, there's a link for business tax receipt holder.
Now, I'm telling you how to do this, and I'm going to ask you, all of you, all 250 of you that are in the webinar right now, please don't market to this particular target. This is my clients. Okay? My potential clients. Anyway, so this is what, a good example. Here is a list, and there's like 20 pages worth. Here's a list. You can typically copy and paste this in Excel, or use specialized tools like one called a pdf to Excel that can actually convert this into an Excel.
This is, I've just received a free list of all the businesses within my area that I can send letters, postcards to. This will cost me less than $2,000, and I will have the single highest quality set of leads coming from this group. Okay. Thank you. I haven't spoken for 40 minutes straight like that in a long time. Please provide feedback in the Survey Monkey. You're going to get an email with that link, as well. We're going to record this. We have the marketing tip.
There's the screen shot for all the pics I had for postcards and letters, then some of the bullet points I covered about some of the states and municipalities that make the list available. The new business list, what to do with it. There's the bullet points, and tips around that, and what to do with smaller lists, this is the screen shot for that. Anyway, we are long overdue. Thank you very much, and you guys have a wonderful day.