QuickBooks is one of the most widely used pieces of software on the planet. Many businesses consider it essential to their operations. When you need advice about using it, though, where do you turn? The answer is you talk with a QuickBooks ProAdvisor.

What Exactly is a ProAdvisor?

Obviously, anyone can buy a copy of the software and tell others how to use it. If you want some assurance that you're getting quality guidance, however, it would be nice to speak with someone who has formal training.

Intuit, the company that makes QB, certifies independent accountants who are versed in the use of the program. Each accountant is required to take a 55-question test, and most folks spend about 12 to 16 hours preparing for the test even though they're constant users of the software. In order to be certified as a ProAdvisor, an account must get at least 80% of the questions on the test right.

The exam breaks down into 17 questions on setting up clients and 10 questions about supporting them. 5 questions are on banking, 6 are on reports and 5 are on managing workloads. Another 7 pertain to prepping clients' books, and 5 more cover QB-based solutions aimed at clients. It should take at least two hours to finish the test.

How Do ProAdvisors Help Clients?

You can ask virtually any accounting or QuickBooks questions of someone who has been certified. Are you trying to compare the package to other offerings? They can explain the pros and cons. Having trouble with the installation process? They can help you through the whole process.

Many related tasks can be challenging for first-time users of QB. For example, incorporating a payment card system with a retail inventory control unit and having all the data automatically logged into QuickBooks is super convenient. It's also not a simple job to do during the setup phase.

Keeping Up to Date

As with any major software package that has tons of legacy components and customer favorites, QB will go through changes. Some shifts are due to an evolving regulatory environment, such as when the government implements new reporting and compliance requirements. Other changes will arise as new features are added or low-demand ones are retired.

It's a ProAdvisor's job to stay current with these developments. More importantly, they also can help their clients get up to speed with what's new as each revision to QB rolls out.