Why be a ProAdvisor? Why NOT be a ProAdvisor?
Since its inception in 1997, the QuickBooks ProAdvisor® Program has undergone numerous changes – most notably in recent years with Advanced Certification and revamping tier member levels. But, one thing has NOT changed: the program’s steadfast commitment to the success of its accounting and bookkeeping professionals through various means, including free comprehensive product training and local/nationwide exposure through the Find-a-ProAdvisor portal.
As someone relatively new to the program (since 2014!), I didn’t “get it.” In fact, I initially joined just to obtain the accountant software. At some point, I became certified, passing my tests after taking advantage of the trainings offered. Eventually, I became Advanced Certified in Desktop and Online.
With Advanced Certifications, I moved to the top of the Find-a-ProAdvisor listing in my geographic area, resulting in a steady stream of leads throughout the year. For every file check-up or basic four-hour training job I do, the fees more than pay for the program. I now consider this a worthwhile investment, as I shift my focus to providing customized training. In addition, I’m a recent member of the Intuit® Trainer/Writer network, and was recently recognized by Insightful Accountant as a Top 100 ProAdvisor. Without the ProAdvisor program, I wouldn’t be where I am today!
How do others feel about the evolution of the ProAdvisor Program? I asked several for feedback and here’s what they said:
Christine Galli, MEd, with TrainingInABox.net from Plymouth, Mich., a fellow ProAdvisor and a member of the Intuit Trainer/Writer Network, provides some program history: “Back in the ’90s when the program was introduced into the consultant market, it did not start with a certification. It originally presented itself as a ‘sign up and be visible to our users.’” In 1998, Christine was provided a “rare and unique opportunity” to help develop the first ProAdvisor certification. As time went on, Christine noted, “More advanced players still wanted higher credentials and rightly so. Standing out from a crowd in hundreds of thousands is important. Advanced ProAdvisors was born!”
Laura Madeira is owner of ACS, Inc. from Dallas, Texas, an Intuit Premier Reseller recognized for many years as a Top 10 and Top 100 QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and an original member of the Intuit Trainer/Writer network. She shares that joining the program was the “smartest association I ever made!” Though Laura also works with other software platforms, she eagerly insists, “Intuit does the best job of making me visible.” Some memorable highlights from her association with the ProAdvisor program include:
- Member of the founding Customer Advisory Council.
- Accompanying the Intuit media group on the press tour in New York.
- Writing for Intuit technical documentation on competing software solutions.
- Presenting the ‘What’s New in QuickBooks” fall tour for many years.
Carrie Kahn, CEO and founder of Complete Business Group, based in Florence, S.C., is an Elite QuickBooks Solution Provider. Complete Business Partners was nationally recognized as Intuit’s Top Partner Program in 2018. She fell in love with QuickBooks and has used it “since it was first launched.” When the ProAdvisor program was created, she immediately joined and became certified in all the offerings. “I had badges for every certification.” Carrie quickly realized upon obtaining her Advanced Certifications that “the high-level badge lifted my Find-a-ProAdvisor listing to a level where I was getting calls on a weekly basis.” Carrie sums up her experience: “The ProAdvisor listing was a game-changer for me, and ultimately the reason that I started my own business.”
Lynda Artesani, president of Artesani Bookkeeping from Estero, Fla., co-admin of the Facebook group QB Community Live!, Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor and fellow member of Intuit’s Advisory Council since 2019, sums up her experience: “When I first started out, I wore my certification like a badge of honor. It gave me credibility and status. When the Advanced Certification arrived, I used that as a tool to rise above other certified ProAdvisors. The test was hard. There was time involved in preparing for it, studying and taking it. I still remember the feeling when I passed it. I was on my very last try! It was like I won the lottery!”
To wrap up, I allow Lynda the last word, in which all of us agree: “I have always felt that the ProAdvisor program has helped let my customers know that I am serious in my knowledge of QuickBooks. To contrast how I feel about the program from when I started to now is not really different. I feel that it is very important to put the time in and take every advantage of the free content and what the test provides. It is important in life to never stop learning!”