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Revitalizing the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program: Intuit's Commitment to Excellence

Nov 14, 2023

QuickBooks remains a premier choice for businesses who need to manage their finances. At the heart of this ecosystem is the QuickBooks ProAdvisor, a professional epitomizing the best of accounting and software mastery. Yet, as the demands of the business world evolve and the meaning of certification faces dilution, Intuit is recalibrating its compass. With the revised ProAdvisor program, Intuit is striving to restore the weight and significance of this esteemed title, ensuring that it remains synonymous with expertise and trust, for both individuals and firms specializing in the software.

What is a QuickBooks ProAdvisor and Why Does It Matter?

A QuickBooks ProAdvisor is a certified accounting or bookkeeping expert, trained to provide specialized guidance in using QuickBooks software for financial tasks like accounting and payroll. After passing a comprehensive certification exam, these professionals become adept in the nuances of QuickBooks, offering tailored solutions for businesses to streamline their financial processes. Their role is pivotal because their expertise ensures that businesses maximize efficiency and minimize errors, especially for organizations without a dedicated financial team. They can help companies understand their business health, make data-driven decisions, and navigate the complexities of financial management. Hiring a ProAdvisor can ultimately lead businesses to save time, cut down expenses, and concentrate on expansion or other areas that need attention.

ProAdvisor History

When I first got certified as a ProAdvisor, the program felt more like a sales training course designed to align the right QuickBooks product to a small business owner's situation, rather than an educational platform. I still remember and have books such as Successful QuickBooks Consulting by Michelle L. Long, QuickBooks Consultant's Reference Guide by Doug Sleeter, and many other industry thought leaders, in order to acquire some of the knowledge I needed and have today.

Since then I've witnessed a significant evolution in the program over the years. It has shifted its emphasis to offer a more well-rounded experience, complete with more education, software discounts, specialized marketing tools, and dedicated technical support. Because of this the program has become an invaluable resource for professionals like me.

Community Feedback

Many people are getting their ProAdvisor certification and immediately looking for clients even though they have no experience or knowledge of how to do accounting or bookkeeping. Just because you understand how to use QuickBooks doesn't mean you understand accounting. It has become so bad that it has diluted what it means to be a ProAdvisor. Listening to its community, Intuit recognized the need for more continuing education for new bookkeepers. Over the past few years the team behind the ProAdvisor program has expanded the training beyond software to include basic principles of bookkeeping, accounting, and payroll.

Since its inception, Intuit has worked closely with accounting professionals to promote their software and ultimately grow the community. Over the past few years, as the advantage of cloud based accounting has become much more apparent, there are many professionals within the industry that have felt left behind by the progress and vision of this company. It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to join Intuit’s Accountant Council that I was able to see what is going on behind the scenes, where I discovered the immense passion and dedication that all of their employees have when it comes to helping small businesses. Getting to work directly with the product managers, developers, and higher-ups within the organization has been an eye opening experience that has changed my view, my life, and professional career. Being on council has not only allowed me to voice my own opinion but to act as a representative for our industry. Not only did they listen to our feedback—which often requires having a thick skin—they immediately began to take steps to make changes in the product that all of us wanted.

“I know you’ve heard them say leave feedback, and I’m here to tell you that they are listening to your suggestions and taking action.”

Intuit actually reviews the feedback submitted to them and pays attention on social media. After hearing from both the accounting community and council members, they recognized it was time to revitalize what it means to be a ProAdvisor. Ultimately, Intuit understands if they want to help small business owners succeed, the best avenue to do that is to refocus their efforts on supporting accountants and bookkeepers and ensuring the quality of skills offered by those certified through the ProAdvisor program.

Training Improvements

While the core training is centered around understanding how to use QuickBooks, Intuit has continued to develop educational resources to enhance the accounting skills of those who are just getting started and already certified. For those who are new and looking to start an accounting or bookkeeping business, the ProAdvisor training now offers foundational skills training for bookkeeping principles and payroll fundamentals. Intuit realizes that it’s not enough to know how to use the software, you also need to understand how the accounting behind the scenes works.

When reflecting with fellow community members, I spoke with Matthew Fulton of QB Community Live who said, “As the trusted advisors for business, I have always found it ironic how often we struggle to manage our own companies. Experience has taught me to lean into your community and take advantage of all the resources at your disposal to be successful.”

If you’ve never worked for another accounting or bookkeeping firm—or even if you have—there is significantly more to running a business than just doing the work. So Intuit just didn’t stop at bookkeeping and payroll training, they created resources on how to manage your bookkeeping practice recognizing that in order to help small business owners who use QuickBooks, we need to know how to manage our own businesses.

We all know that advisory has been a buzz word for awhile. However, for those truly interested in mastering their craft, I would recommend taking a look at the advanced courses the ProAdvisor training has to offer on advisory services to help our clients. They can teach you how to evaluate apps and opportunities to save you and your clients money through other products and services or advice. From personal experience, this has helped increase the bottom line of my business and more importantly the relationships we have with our clients. Their appreciation and understanding of their companies financial picture has led them to truly appreciate the services we provide.

New ProAdvisor Standards

While Intuit is a large company, one of their main purposes is to help the small businesses around the world, which includes their accounting partners. To assist with this endeavor they created the ProAdvisor program to showcase professionals who understand the software and are available to provide the support they need. But for many, becoming a ProAdvisor has only been about obtaining business leads through the Find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor directory listing, rather than obtaining the skills needed to serve clients.

To this end, they have decided to make it harder to obtain this benefit to make sure small business owners get connected to someone who can really assist them. Moving forward you will need to earn more points in order to obtain the access to the directory listing. If you complete all of the certifications (core, advanced, payroll) you will earn and move to the Gold tier which unlocks this benefit along with premium support, email templates, and much more. While some people may see a downward tier movement, their aim was not to punish but to offer more benefits for your efforts and stop the dilution that has happened over the last several years thus enhancing what it means to be a ProAdvisor. No longer can you pass the certification and get listed, you now need to show dedication and understanding of what you’re doing, and I think this will be good for everyone.

Intuit's algorithm highlights professionals who have multiple and consecutive certifications. When you put the time in to show that you know the product, they put the effort in to boost you on the directory listing. One of the best tips I can provide for anyone reading this, is to get advanced certified. Not only does it help your search ranking when it comes to people searching for QuickBooks assistance, the training on handling complex issues is actually really good.

What’s even more exciting is that they are adding additional benefits as you continue to move through the tiers. Not just for individuals but for firms too! They want the Elite tier to really be an Elite status symbol to showcase the efforts you made to obtain it.

Firm Benefits

As more firms continue to adopt the QuickBooks online ecosystem shouldn’t they also get rewarded for their efforts? After all, it’s not just individuals who are helping small business owners, it’s also companies like yours and mine who are also dedicated to this effort as well.

As you move from sole practitioner to small business, your daily business grind begins to change and you will need help and support to overcome challenges as you continue to grow and develop your business. It’s not just about showing up and doing the work anymore, you will be faced with new challenges, but isn’t that why we became a new business owner anyways? One of those challenges, especially for accountants, is marketing their business.

In order to help firms, Intuit offers great discounts on products and services such as Mailchimp to help with your marketing efforts, QuickBooks Online migration services and toolkit, email templates, and digital badges to showcase your expertise.

When you advance into the Elite tier, new features and discounts will be unlocked such as discounts to special events. My personal favorite is one-on-one firm growth consulting which includes strategy coaching that is designed to specifically help your unique business. If you’ve ever paid for a business coach you’ll know how expensive this type of service can be. Who better to advise you than a growth specialist who has the experience, knowledge, and understanding and they can take a step back and look at your business objectively.

Additional Benefits

Intuit has revamped its program to offer a range of benefits tailored to support professionals as they ascend through the tiers. These rewards not only boost your business but also provide avenues for you to contribute towards enhancing the software.

App Integration and Vetting: A notable feature is the introduction of accountant-approved 3rd-party apps. These apps, vetted for compatibility and functionality with QuickBooks Online, ensure that you can recommend tools to your clients with confidence. Not every app that's developed aligns seamlessly with accounting functions; Intuit’s vetting process ensures that recommended apps integrate without issues.

Enhancing Collaboration Opportunities: Intuit is actively working on a new initiative to bring accountants closer to their product development process. As professionals achieve higher tiers, they will have the opportunity to engage directly with the QuickBooks product teams. This collaboration allows those with a deep understanding of the software to contribute significantly to the creation and testing of new features. By involving accountants in this direct interaction with developers, Intuit aims to harness their expertise to shape and refine the evolution of the products, ensuring they meet the real-world needs of professionals in the field.

Scaling Discounts: Professionals are rewarded with increasing discounts as they climb the tiers. These discounts begin at 20% for products and services and can rise to 40% or even higher. Notably, reaching the Silver tier unlocks a 75% discount on Mailchimp!

Intuit’s renewed approach emphasizes rewarding both individual professionals and entire firms. While there are many more perks not covered here, it’s clear that Intuit is dedicated to elevating the accounting industry, incentivizing commitment, and ensuring that the time invested is well worth the returns.


Our community has spoken out about the issues and concerns we have and Intuit is responding by raising the bar for becoming a ProAdvisor. By enhancing the program's prerequisites and adding greater value for doing so, they want those assisting small to medium sized businesses using QuickBooks to be equipped to represent the certification. This is aimed at bolstering our businesses, elevating the ProAdvisor status, and rewarding the efforts for those dedicated to assisting our mutual clients. It is clear to me that they are continuing to reinvest in their accountant and bookkeeper partners.

This blog post is a paid partnership with Intuit.

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