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.