Intuit announces improvements and changes to the ProAdvisor Program to be implemented starting today. We think Intuit did a great job of researching current ProAdvisors and listening to the feedback to create solutions and enhancements to the ProAdvisor Program.
The areas impacted include: New ProAdvisor Structure, Software and Services included, Discounts, Support, Growth and Management Tools and Pricing. We’ll discuss the changes for each area, but first we’ll review the goals of the ProAdvisor Program and what changes members requested to improve the program.
The ProAdvisor Program aims to help accounting professionals and QuickBooks consultants grow their practices and better serve clients. It does this by offering special services, product offerings and technical support. Here’s a blog post about why Michelle Long recommends accounting professionals, bookkeepers, tax professionals or others supporting clients using QuickBooks should join the ProAdvisor Program.
The changes discussed below were based on input or ProAdvisors – this has always been a major driver in the evolution of the program. This year, the goals are to:
- provide a tiered system to acknowledge different levels of certification and program engagement
- provide more focused training and include content incorporating both product and accounting knowledge
- offer more competitive product discounts and
- improve www.proadvisor.intuit.com website navigation.
New ProAdvisor Structure
Historically, after people joined the ProAdvisor Program, they could choose whether they wanted to get certified or not. Several years ago, Intuit introduced the Advanced Certification, which allows for a deeper dive into QuickBooks. Now, there will be three tiers for membership (Silver, Gold and Diamond) for ProAdvisors. Silver members are those who have not earned the certification, Gold level members are those who earn the annual certification and Diamond members are those with Advanced Certification. With each “bump” in level, members receive more benefits and practice resources (ie: tools, support, products, discounts). These levels will be for internal purposes and End users (i.e. people using QuickBooks and the Find a ProAdvisor website) will continue to see the certifications earned and will not see the new levels.
Software and Services for ProAdvisor Members
Currently ProAdvisor members receive the following software, services and discounts:
- QuickBooks Accountant Plus
- Connected Services (Attached Documents, QuickBooks Connect, Intuit Data Protect)
- QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions Accountant and Advanced Inventory
- QuickBooks Online Plus
- QuickBooks Online Essentials
- QuickBooks Point of Sale (for members currently certified in Point of Sale)
- ProAdvisors may add on Enhanced Payroll for Accountants for $175 and Intuit Online Payroll for Accountants for $19.99 per month per client (with the first 3 months free).
- Other discounted options: QuickBooks Accountant (1 or 3 user), Merchant Services for $69 per year and Intuit Statement Writer for $99.
The new program will eliminate QuickBooks Online Essentials but adds the following for ProAdvisor members:
- Intuit Statement Writer
- QuickBooks for Mac
- Merchant Services bundle (includes GoPayment, QuickBooks Check Solution and Intuit Payment Network with no annual fee or setup fee)
ProAdvisors are eligible for discounts on Intuit products and services (both for ourselves and clients), that ranged from 12.5% to 100% and these discounts were the same for all members. The discounts for clients were not always competitive with retail or online pricing. New changes will provide better discounts for Gold and Diamond members (i.e. for Certified and Advanced Certified members) where possible and will provide some promotional offers too.
Historically, all ProAdvisor members received the same level of support, regardless of certification (i.e. unlimited phone and chat support). With the new tiered program, Silver (non-certified members) will receive unlimited chat support and 90 days of phone support, with the option of either getting certified or purchasing support as an a al carte option if they choose not to take the certification exams. Gold and Diamond members (Certified and Advanced Certified) will continue to receive the same support (i.e. unlimited phone and chat).
Growth & Management Tools
The ProAdvisor website will be enhanced to be an easy to navigate portal to everything available to members. The old ProAdvisor website was somewhat confusing and it was difficult to locate many of the resources available to members. The new site will be a one stop shop and much easier to navigate – a portal to help members locate the training and content that is relevant to their “goals” via a customized Progress Chart and much improved knowledge areas.
There will be new pricing as well — increasing from $499 to $549 annually ($674 to $749 annually with Enhanced Payroll for Accountants. This increase is reasonable considering that we now get Intuit Statement Writer, QuickBooks for Mac, and the Merchant Services bundle included in with membership.
The changes implemented will provide relevant differentiation and motivate certification; for ProAdvisors, this will do nothing but benefit everyone involved. Those that have already completed certification and advanced certification will be migrated to Gold and Diamond respectively, and existing non-certified and new members will be at the Silver level.
I am in India i want to know how is this QB proadvisory helpful in developing my business online because i reside at District headquarters where business is less. Also tell me the whether an Indian with Masters Qualification in Finance and Accounting sufficient exposer in Accounting feild can get benifited by this program against the investment he makes
K. Varadha – I don’t think the ProAdvisor Program is open to residents of India. You should ask them http://proadvisor.intuit.com
I’m in the process of deciding if at all to get into the advisor program. I have several years of accounting and IT experience and currently not employed. I’m used to being self employed and wondering if I would be able to attract enough customer base to make the required steep subscription. My accounting and bookkeeping is of a professional grade, having certification fron the Association of International Accountans, England dating back to 1993 and stinks with for-profit and not-for-profit entities. As a pontential Silver Proadvisor, would there be enough exposure for people like me to attract clients initially, or what would be the other ‘routing protocols’ to achieve my objective? Please provide an honest and objective answer and don’t be swayed by your allegience to Intuit>
It takes some time to get clients and build your business. The ProAdvisor Program has many benefits especially if you get Certified. Intuit has made changes to the Find a ProAdvisor website to help newly Certified ProAdvisors get more leads (read this post — https://longforsuccess.com/2012/03/03/quickbooks-proadvisors-changes-to-intuits-find-a-proadvisor-website-launched-nationwide/ ). However, you need a comprehensive marketing effort to get clients and you shouldn’t rely solely on the Find a ProAdvisor website. Overall, I do believe the ProAdvisor Program is a good investment for your business based on everything it includes: the software and services, tech support, certifications and training, and the Find a ProAdvisor website. I was a member of the ProAdvisor Program for several years before I started working with Intuit.
First let me just say that anytime I take a training course from Intuit and I hear your voice, I know it’s going to be a good lesson.
As far as the changes for ProAdvisors:
1. I’m glad to see they are going to give us better discounts to pass along. I can’t tell you how many times our clients would ask for a discount and we would just send them to a large warehouse retailer. They would always beat the discounted price.
2. I think it’s funny that they are changing the names for the three levels of membership.
3. I’ve always thought Statement writer in its various incarnations should be included in the price of QuickBooks Pro so that even small companies could issue Financial Statements without the signature QuickBooks look.
Thank you for keeping us all informed.
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I’ve been serving on a committe with other ProAdvisors with the Intuit Development Team that has been working on the changes that were just announced. The Development Team has seriously solicited comments from the ProAdvisors and they’ve made changes based on our input. They have demonstrated a real committment to those of us who are working in the trenches every day.
When the ProAdvisor program was first introduced in 1999 I questioned why I should pay the annual fee to get software that I didn’t think I would use. I soon found that I needed it and I used it. I quickly became grateful that it was all in the package. For those who are serious ProAdvisors I think you will be grateful for the additional software that is being included in the package. You will soon find that if you have it, you will use it.
The new program gives the top benefits to those who acheive the Advanced Certification. In my opinion, anyone who is serious about supporting QuickBooks should obtain this level of certification. Once again, when it was first introduced I was skeptical and almost didn’t take the time to get it. That would have been a big mistake as I’ve obtained a lot of new clients from the better placement I received on the ProAdvisor referral website due to the Advanced Certification.
The new website that will be introduced next month will be a big improvement from the current site. It will be easier to use, and more useful. The new notification feature will encourage each of us to use it as a dashboard to be looked at daily, or at least weekly.
I’m excited to see the level of committment that Intuit is making to the ProAdvisors and I beleive that the recently announced changes reflect their belief that we are important partners with them in supporting QuickBooks users!
Thanks for your comments and insights Hal. I’m excited to see Intuit’s commitment to helping ProAdvisors too!
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@M – if you are Certified in Point of Sale, you do get Point of Sale with your membership.
@Irene – It seems they are encouraging people to take the training and get Certified — i.e. not to stay a Silver member.
Why would I pay $50 more as a Silver member? $500 alone is a big chunk for someone not yet certified. I obviously don’t need all that software when I’m just starting out. I do need training. Why not lower the price for the Silvers, give them the software package they want/need and exclude the extras they don’t or may never need and include training?
Now why would I be silly enough to think the “new” pricing would mean “better” pricing. Silly girl, you are dealing with Intuit – “new” pricing always means “more expensive” when you are dealing with Intuit.
I appreciate the effort by the Intuit team, but they still didn’t get the ala cart concept. Additionally, what is included with the ProAdvisor membership still doesn’t include what “some” have asked for (POS), but does include what “some” want nothing to do with (QB On line, MAC and Statement Writer) leaving the ProAdvisor annual pricing higher than it needs to be. Maybe this is a good thing, in some regard, as it is prohibitive enough that those who aren’t really serious about being a ProAdvisor will eliminate themselves.
Well, maybe next year…..