After spending most of 2006 talking to users and revamping its QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program, Intuit is looking to add another 15,000 accountants and small business consultants to the program over the course of the next year.

"All of our ideas for the new ProAdvisor program resulted from listening to what our customers wanted and trying to deliver solutions and programs to meet their needs," ProAdvisor manager Nancy Lee told WebCPA. "We've invested a lot of time and resources and really feel that we've pretty much been able to incorporate everything accountants were asking for."

Lee said of the couple hundred ProAdvisor users Intuit spoke to (more than 34,000 people belong to the 8-year-old program), three distinct wants arose from customer chats. Specifically, users wanted:

  • To be able to grow their practice and have access to prospective clients and marketing tools;
  • To make themselves distinctive, either through training, or advanced certification opportunities; and,
  • To be able to pick and chose specific products and services.

In response, the ProAdvisor program now features a new "Grow Your Practice" online resource center to help accountants market and run their practice, more in-person training, two new QuickBooks certifications and 16 new online training courses -- increasing the total number of courses to more than 40. Intuit also plans to conduct in-person QuickBooks training seminars for ProAdvisors on advanced topics in 15 cities across the nation throughout the year."The biggest change in the last two years is that customers used to be all about just give me the software, the support and the training," Lee said. "In the last year, I've really been surprised at the energy and passion we were getting from customers who were looking to grow their business and expected that Intuit would help."
She also noted that the program will enable free Web site hosting for users within the next year, and that Intuit has seen an upswing in the number of visits (about 30,000 a month) to the section of its Web site where users can search for a local ProAdvisor consultation.

Addressing the last request, accountants can choose from two ProAdvisor program offerings. The first offering costs $399 and includes access to the training and program resources, as well as single licenses of QuickBooks financial software and QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions. The second offering, for $ 100 more, includes a one-year subscription to QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll for Accountants.

ProAdvisors can choose to add to their program offering by purchasing separately up to five additional copies of QuickBooks products, or services, for $99 each. The line of available add-ons will likely grow over time.

More information about the new ProAdvisor program is available at http://accountant.intuit.com/.

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