A QuickBooks ProAdvisor is someone familiar with the QuickBooks product line which has joined the QuickBooks ProAdvisor program and passed a certification exam. There are four primary certifications: QuickBooks Pro/Premier, QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks POS and QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions. Becoming a QuickBooks ProAdvisor is entirely free as are all the study materials and exams from QuickBooks.
QuickBooks is, without a doubt, the small business accounting software of choice—just like its more than 2 million users worldwide, and 80%-plus market share prove. With numbers like that, you might be among those looking at how to become QuickBooks certified for any number of reasons.
Maybe you’re looking for a bookkeeping job, starting a business, or launching your bookkeeping or accounting practice. Or, if you work with finances in your own business, you might realize that undergoing the process of becoming QuickBooks certified could give your business an advantage.
Whatever your reason to go the extra mile to learn your business accounting software inside and out, here’s what you need to know about how to become QuickBooks certified.
Why Do You Want to Become QuickBooks Certified?
Going for any certification means work—so, why would you want to figure out how to get QuickBooks certification, exactly? There are several reasons why you might want to become QuickBooks certified:
It could help you get a job.
If you’re looking for a bookkeeping or office management job, your prospective employer might require QuickBooks certification.
Even if certification isn’t required, looking into how to get QuickBooks certification could give you an edge over your competition for the job. The dominance of QuickBooks in the accounting software space is clear from their wealth of features and integrations with a wide-ranging selection of apps and software, including unique niches like trucking accounting software. Holding a certification in QuickBooks will give your prospective employer peace of mind that you are capable of operating the software, which in turn will increase their confidence in the work you perform for them. You might even be able to command a higher starting pay rate for the position!
You’re starting a new business.
Are you starting your own business and bootstrapping it for a while? You’ll probably take on the responsibility of keeping your bookkeeping up to date.
Although QuickBooks is user-friendly, you’ll want to make sure you’re using it correctly to keep your bookkeeping sparking and be able to produce reliable reports for running your business.
When you become QuickBooks certified as an end-user of the software, you can rest assured you are using it correctly, and getting everything out of it possible.
You’re starting your bookkeeping or accounting firm.
Solid fundamental accounting knowledge is essential for anyone starting their accounting or bookkeeping firm. But inside of accounting theory isn’t enough—you also need to know you to operate your clients’ software effectively.
Although you could theoretically do a business’s bookkeeping in QuickBooks using nothing but journal entries, journal entries can compromise the integrity of many of the subsidiary reports in QuickBooks. Journal entries are also much less efficient than using the automation and other features of QuickBooks.
When you become QuickBooks certified as an accountant user, you will learn all of these features, including how they can make your job easier and increase your value to your clients.
How to Become QuickBooks Certified?
QuickBooks is one of the many types of bookkeeping software commonly used by individuals and small businesses. Intuit, the maker of QuickBooks, offers a program (called ProAdvisor) through which the company will certify that you are competent with their software. Other Intuit-authorized QuickBooks certifications are also available. While you can use these certifications to concisely show clients that you are familiar with and competent using QuickBooks, you should note that the process does not equate to formal accounting education. It does not stand in as accredited certification as a bookkeeper or accountant. By knowing what the process indeed connotes and what to expect of it, you can become QuickBooks certified.
Sign Up for QuickBooks Online Accountant
The first step is to provide some necessary information to create a free QuickBooks Online Accountant (QBOA) account. You will be asked to provide your:
- Email address (user ID)
- First name
- Last name
- Phone number
You’ll also be asked to create a password. No credit card or other sensitive information is required.
Prepare For The Quickbooks Proadvisor Certification Exam
Once you create your QuickBooks Online Accountant account, you have access to all of the study guides, webinars (live and recorded) and exams for free. Like any exam, you need to study in order to pass the exam successfully. The extensive training is broken up into seven modules, which are about 6.5 hours of time that you will spend watching the webinars and go through the study guides.
I recommend downloading the study guides to your computer to follow along and take notes as you watch the webinar. If you can’t finish a webinar in one session, the program will save your progress so that you can pick up where you left off quickly.
To access the training materials and certification exams, log in to QuickBooks Online Accountant.
Attend A Training Class
Our two-day Mastering QuickBooks class is the best way to start on your path to QuickBooks certification. In this class, you’ll learn everything from setting up QuickBooks to handling money in, money out, banking, payroll, and much more.
We have classes available nationwide. If you can’t find a class near you, don’t worry, you can attend a webinar from the comfort of your home or office. Now let’s help you find a class that works for you.
The main topics covered in the ProAdvisor certification training are:
- Setting up clients: In this course, you learn how to select the right company settings, how to create new customers and vendors, how to create the chart of accounts and more
- Supporting your small business clients: In this course, you learn how to manage customer payments, deposits to the bank, journal entries and more
- Banking and tools: In this course, you learn how to connect bank accounts and credit card accounts to QuickBooks, how to reconcile a bank account and recurring transactions
- Reports: In this course, you learn how to edit, customize and run reports like profit and loss, balance sheet and sales and expense reports
- Managing your work: In this course, you learn all about the practise management features in QBOA; you can set up projects and track them for QuickBooks and non-QuickBooks clients
- Preparing client’s books: In this course, you will learn how to prepare a client’s books for the year-end close
- QuickBooks solutions for clients: In this course, you will learn how to determine which QuickBooks subscription is right for your client
We also recommend that you have QuickBooks open. If you prefer live instruction, you can check the schedule for a list of all upcoming QuickBooks workshops. Before you attend a live workshop, be sure to download the study guides to your computer so that you can follow along with the instructor. Both the live and recorded webinars allow you to earn continuing professional education credits (CPE) that can be used to renew your certified public accountant (CPA), enrolled agent (EA) or certified bookkeeper credentials.
Take the QuickBooks Certification Exam
You can access the QuickBooks certification exams in the same place where the training materials and webinars are located. There is no cost to take the exam, which has a total of 55 questions, which are broken down into seven sections. Of course, this will vary, but it should take approximately two hours to complete all seven sections. I recommend that you tackle the sections you feel the most confident at first. Don’t underestimate the sections that have fewer questions — those tend to be the most challenging.
You must answer at least 80 percent of the questions in each section correctly to obtain your certification. You have three attempts to pass the exam. If you fail the exam three times, you must wait 60 days before you can attempt to retake it.
Take the Exam
You’re almost there! The final step is to take the QuickBooks Certification exam. By this time, you’ll have attended our class, worked through the QuickBooks study guide, and even taken the practice exam. You’ll be ready to knock it out of the park!
Decide if a training course is right for you. If you aren’t yet confident in your level of QuickBooks expertise to pass your chosen certification exam, you can always take QuickBooks training classes. You can find a wide array of these classes both in-person and online, to fit your schedule. Some options include:
- Official online or in-person training through the Intuit Academy. Although you should note that taking the classes through Intuit does not necessarily make you more qualified for the certification exam.
- Through an authorized accounting organization.
- Through an accredited bookkeeping class. You can also take classes on QuickBooks basics through a variety of accredited colleges or other educational institutions. Especially if you’ve decided you want to learn QuickBooks without being concerned with the certification process, you can still learn the necessary skills with the software for your needs with this method.
Your ProAdvisor Profile
Many benefits come with being a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. In addition to discounts on products and services and a dedicated telephone and chat support, you are added to the Find-a-ProAdvisor online directory listing. More than 700,000 small businesses visit this website to find a local ProAdvisor. I average about two leads per week from this site every year between January and April.
You will also receive a certificate of completion and a certification badge that you can download and use on your website, have printed on business cards and include in your profile of other directories like our very own Fit Small Business Bookkeeper Directory.
Be sure to complete your profile as soon as possible. Your profile includes the certification badges you have earned, an about me section, number of years in business, services that you offer, any industries that you have experience in and your social media links.
If you’re an accounting professional, you probably already know about the QuickBooks ProAdvisor program.
If you work strictly in QuickBooks Online, becoming a ProAdvisor is free. If you want the full benefits of being a QuickBooks ProAdvisor— including access to Desktop software—there is a small annual fee involved. This fee covers access to the current year’s QuickBooks Desktop and Enterprise Solutions software and is an economical choice if you plan to work in either of these programs.
Regardless of whether you choose the free or the paid version of the program, Intuit provides their ProAdvisors with free certification training in all QuickBooks programs. This training is available on-demand online, but there are also free virtual conferences and free live training events held throughout the year.
QuickBooks ProAdvisors have the option of becoming certified or advanced certified in QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, and QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions. If you choose to seek advanced certification, give yourself adequate time to study and to take the exam. The advanced certification exam deals with complex technical and troubleshooting topics, meaning ProAdvisors who earn advanced certification have shown significant proficiency not only in the use of the software but also in accounting knowledge.
Training for you. Trust for your clients.
No matter where you are in your career, we make it easy to get comfortable with QuickBooks accounting products and develop skills at your pace. Choose from videos, webinars, virtual conferences, and in-person events to gain confidence and earn your clients’ trust.
Improve your work, from where you work
Dive into training resources and certification exams right from the ProAdvisor tab of QuickBooks Online Accountant.
- Get tips for moving your firm and clients to the cloud.
- Practice navigating your clients’ QuickBooks Online.
- Discover time-saving apps, reports, and more
Why Endeavoring to Become QuickBooks Certified Makes a Difference
Even if you’re in public accounting, there aren’t any legal requirements that you have to learn how to become QuickBooks certified to use the software—or any accounting software for that matter. And, if you own your own small business, going out of your way to becoming QuickBooks certified might seem to be a waste of your already limited time.
So, what benefits does QuickBooks certification offer?
The actual certification may hold no intrinsic benefit for you, but completing a QuickBooks certification course will still provide you with some very valuable benefits. When you complete a
QuickBooks certification course, you gain:
Advanced knowledge of how QuickBooks works. Sure, you could learn all the tricks and nuances as you go along, but taking a QuickBooks certification course can shorten the learning curve considerably. Trial and error is only a good learning method when you have adequate free time to correct errors. Most of us don’t have that kind of free time. What we do have time for is a certification course.
Troubleshooting skills. A thorough QuickBooks certification course will guide you through how to troubleshoot everything from technical issues with bank feeds to how to fix an out-of-balance balance sheet something a journal entry can’t even fix.
Confidence to train others to use QuickBooks. Whether you’re a business owner hiring someone to operate QuickBooks for you in-house, or an accountant or bookkeeper offering training services to your clients, when you complete a QuickBooks certification course, you’ll have a greater understanding of how to teach others to use QuickBooks. This will make you a better trainer—and an asset in the QuickBooks community, which, in turn, will lead to more success with your employees or clients.
How Often Do I Have to Take the Certification Exam?
During my conversation, I addressed this question to her. Her response to this question was:
“One of the improvements made to the certification exam released in March 2018 was a simplified recertification process. In the past, the recertification date was based on your anniversary date as a ProAdvisor. Now, we have made it simple by having everyone recertify by July 31 each year. Besides, the recertification exam only includes information about new features and functionality that has been added within the last year. The new recertification exam takes approximately one hour to complete.”
Am I a Certified Bookkeeper After Passing This Exam?
Unfortunately, becoming a certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor does not make you a certified bookkeeper. It simply says that you are knowledgeable in QuickBooks products. However, if you are interested in becoming a certified bookkeeper.
By now, you should have more than enough information to take that next step and become a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. If you’re on the fence, just complete step one to sign up for your free QuickBooks Online account. There is no requirement that you get certified. However, if you want to increase your knowledge and skills in QuickBooks, you should complete the remaining steps to become certified.