When I was asked to share my QuickBooks ProAdvisor® journey for the Firm of the Future blog, I was ecstatic and overwhelmed – at the same time.
My journey goes back quite a long time – more than 20 year to be exact. Let me share with you my QuickBooks ProAdvisor journey through different stages, which I believe may connect best with where you are today and where you may aspire to be, as you build your strategic partnership alongside the Intuit® family.
My first encounter with QuickBooks and the ProAdvisor Program
In December of 1996, Scott Cook, co-founder of Intuit, introduced the first version of the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program, designed to help the accounting and bookkeeping professional get educated on QuickBooks® Desktop and Intuit’s product offerings. I knew this program well since I started using QuickBooks right out of high school in 1997, when I worked my way through college at a small accounting and tax firm.
My employer, a CPA and one of my very first mentors on my professional accounting journey, encouraged us all to become a QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor. He recognized the importance of having a deeper knowledge of the technology we used with our clients, and even supported his team in our career choices to go out on our own when we were ready. As I reflect back 20 years later on those experiences, I can clearly see what a significant impact it has made in my professional development.
The ProAdvisor Program is our strategic partner
To quote myself in an interview with the Intuit Marketing Team several years back, “I think for anyone considering the ProAdvisor Program, it’s not just about the Certification. There are over 200,000 of us, and the biggest value comes from being able to say that one of our partners is Intuit. That’s a big deal, and something I’ve really been able to use to my advantage.” This quote still rings true today, and probably even more so.
In 2009, after a decade in corporate accounting, I decided to take the leap into entrepreneurship. Coming from an entrepreneurial background, I knew that my accounting and corporate experience would not be enough to bring the clients in the door. I needed a sales and marketing plan, and those were two areas I had very limited knowledge in. I quickly realized that the ProAdvisor Program had evolved into a significant resource center for new and growing accounting and bookkeeping professionals.
This updated version of the ProAdvisor Program not only provided training and marketing resources I could use to obtain new clients, but also engagement letters I could implement to best protect myself and clients when engaging in new services. It was like my sales and marketing toolkit all-in-one.
Today – more than 12 years later – I still refer back to the ProAdvisor Program benefits and resources for new ideas, when I am making shifts in my professional journey and brainstorming new creative ways to connect with my ideal clients.
The next-level ProAdvisor Program – Built to champion small business success
Fast forward to early 2021. The QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program has taken on a whole new mission for our accounting and bookkeeping champions, who are working tirelessly to support small businesses worldwide. They have taken significant measures to provide an abundance of education, tools, detailed guidance, and full resource centers, dedicated to supporting their accounting and bookkeeping professionals at every stage of their business.
Let me share with you the top two Intuit platforms that have helped me tremendously:
The QuickBooks Accountant University is #1 educator for Intuit QuickBooks accounting & bookkeeping professionals. Over the past few years, the Intuit Education team has redesigned its learning offerings and developed a comprehensive five-star, completely free learning platform that provides tailored training for accounting and bookkeeping professionals at any stage on their journey. This deep-dive product training prepares the Intuit accounting and bookkeeping community to get certified in QuickBooks. In addition, there are numerous specialty trainings that dive deeper into certain topics, such as growing your firm with technology, adding additional services to increase revenue, and how to market and grow using the plethora of Intuit resources available.
With webinars, virtual conferences, and more, this free live training can be accessed from anywhere. What is most advantageous is that you are learning from a real practitioner like yourself, and can ask questions live with product experts.
The QuickBooks ProAdvisor self-paced training is my favorite of all learning styles, not only because it reinforces the live QuickBooks ProAdvisor trainings, but also because it goes in more depth to test your skills and knowledge. There are knowledge checks and real-life examples you can run through using the QuickBooks Online sample file, which provides you the hands-on experience that many in our industry require to build our confidence and skill set.
ProAdvisor benefits to grow, thrive, and assist your clients
In 2020, many small business community leaders needed to pivot their resources and efforts to keep the doors open and maintain enough cash in the bank to survive.
Intuit was a leader in these efforts for the accounting and bookkeeping community. They asked us specifically what our clients needed, and then created an abundance of tools, resources, and additional benefits to the ProAdvisor Program and related Intuit centers that we could share with our clients.
Two of the most impactful resources that were used by my small business community clients were the cash flow continuity playbook and the resource-packed landing pages for small business assistance. These powerful hands-on tools greatly helped my efforts to stay ahead of the game and continue to provide solutions for my small business clients during very difficult times.
After 20+ years serving the small business community and working alongside Intuit and my other strategic partners, my entrepreneurial spirit has evolved from practitioner to educator. In 2016, I was honored with the career opportunity to join the Intuit Trainer Writer Network and Intuit Education team. As a partner on the education team, I can provide an even greater impact on the learning and training for my accounting and bookkeeping community.
In this new educator role, and through my own entrepreneurial learning center, MasterYourBooks, I can share my vast knowledge and deep passion for focus-driven education and the confidence it builds in our accounting and bookkeeping professionals. I focus on building value around the importance of financial literacy, business fundamentals, and leveraging technology and strategic partners, like Intuit QuickBooks, for long-term, sustainable financial success. We are on this journey together to power prosperity for our businesses and the communities we serve.