Practice Management QuickBooks

Intuit Updates the Find A ProAdvisor Website

Written by Charlie Russell

Intuit is rolling out some big changes in the “Find a ProAdvisor” website (http://findaproadvisor.com) that will hopefully make it easier for ProAdvisors to refine how their information is presented to prospective customers, and make it easier for QuickBooks users to find the ProAdvisor that would best fit their needs.

Find a ProAdvisorOver the years there has been a sort of love/hate relationship between QuickBooks ProAdvisors and Intuit’s Find a ProAdvisor website. Some ProAdvisors rely on this website for a lot of their new customer leads, some say that it never does them any good. Some ProAdvisors fill out every possible field, some put in minimal effort to keep it up to date. Everyone likes to argue about the “ranking algorithm” that Intuit uses to list ProAdvisors.

Whichever group you are in, for the past few years I’ve not found too many ProAdvisors that were entirely happy with the way their information was presented.

In response to this, Intuit has released a major overhaul of the Find a ProAdvisor website. They are expanding the kind of information that a ProAdvisor can present, improving the search capabilities for prospective clients, and making it easier for those clients to get connected with a qualified ProAdvisor.

Intuit has been releasing this in a couple of phases:

  • Last December Intuit changed how you could edit your profile in QuickBooks Online Accountant, adding a variety of fields and features. However, the new information wasn’t displayed on the existing Find a ProAdvisor website at that time.
  • Also last December, Intuit added improved messaging in QuickBooks Online that would link users to the Find a ProAdvisor website. At that time this linked to the old version of the website.
  • This month, Intuit has released the updated Find a ProAdvisor website, which will include the new profile information.

If you are a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, you should take some time to explore the new options in your ProAdvisor profile, and take advantage of these updates.

Note that this should be launched in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and India. There is a separate website for each of these countries – note that it is “Find a ProAdvisor” in the US and Australia, while in the other countries it will be “Find an Accountant”.

The Old ProAdvisor Website

Before I talk about the new website, let’s look at what we saw in the old website.

Here’s the older version of the Find a ProAdvisor website:

Find a ProAdvisor website

Note that the search features are on the left side, and you have to scroll down to see all the search options. Also, the ProAdvisor certification icons use the latest icons, which to me are very cryptic and don’t tell the user anything about what specific certifications the ProAdvisor has. There is a minimal amount of information on this search page, which makes it hard to make a selection.

If a visitor to this website selected a ProAdvisor from this list, they would see the profile page as shown below. Lots of white space, so you have to scroll down a lot. At least this time you have some chance of seeing what the certification icons stand for (if you squint).

Find a ProAdvisor profile


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About the author

Charlie Russell

Charlie Russell has been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70's, and remembers releasing his first commercial accounting software product when you had an 8-bit microcomputer with one 8 inch floppy disk drive. He has a special interest in inventory and manufacturing software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor with additional certifications for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise, as well as being a Xero Certified Partner. Charlie started blogging about QuickBooks in 2008 (Practical QuickBooks) and has been the managing editor and primary writer for the Sleeter Report since 2011. Charlie can be reached at charlie@ccrsoftware.com

Visit his CCRSoftware web site for information about his QuickBooks add-on products. He is also the author of the California Wildflower Hikes blog.

23 Comments

  • Charlie, thank you for your pertinent and informative article – as all of your are!! The changes appear to be on the right track and I am pleased with them overall. However, I have one gripe. I wish they would list all of the years that you are certified in. I believe that information should be a factor in a prospective client evaluating your qualifications. Obviously someone with multiple years of certification has more experience under their belt than someone who only has one, and the current depiction of certifications does not reflect that. Hopefully they’ll find a way to work it into the profiles.

    • I brought up the “years of certification” with Intuit when they were providing me with an advanced look at this. At that time they said that it was something that they were evaluating. Best I can say is that the team that is in charge of this is very interested in getting feedback – and comments in this article is one of the ways that you can get that info to them.

      • I was told that they did some “surveys” and potential customers don’t care about how long you have been certified. I find this very hard to believe since people used to bring it up to me when it WAS listed. The Intuit solution is to add it to your profile in the description. “Certified since…” Seems like something they could do. Anyone can claim to be certified. It would be nice if people could rely on Intuit to back up those claims.

        • I agree; anyone can add ‘certified since’ – that doesn’t make it true. There a plenty of ways they could add the years of certification back to the profiles without making it look ‘busy’ – which is what we were told was one of the reasons they took it away. They also said customers didn’t really care – yet every single person that has contacted me over the years has said that was one of the main reasons they contacted me.

          The years certified needs to be verifiable; not just something written in by whoever.

        • I agree – I wasn’t pointing out the “years in business” as a good substitution for years of certification – just pointing out that this is a new field that is there and that you need to be sure it is up to date, in lieu of having the certification years. Don’t leave it empty, and remember to update it each year (I hate things like this that can get out of date if you forget them).

  • Still no years of service and, if we’re supposed to be so mobile and QBO extends our “market place” why is the primary search criteria our physical location and with a default radius of 10 miles? Where we are physically located should have become completely irrelevant, but I get that most of those searching will look for someone local. Hmmm, ponder that for a moment. Other than that, the new site is an improvement and I like it. It’s also nice to see our Enterprise badges back on the main page.

    • Good comment about distance – but I think that a lot of people still want to have an advisor/accountant who is reasonably local to them. However, that raises interesting questions. The DEFAULT criteria is distance, why not have that criteria be best match instead? The user can always select distance if that is an issue for them.

      Note that a “best match” criteria points out why you want to take a lot of care in setting up your profile.

    • Ditto on the radius being defaulted to 10 miles. A huge blow to those with the best certifications and totally unjustified in this new Online world. I am now excluded from 60% of the prospective clients who would have seen me, my credentials, my areas of expertise, my years of service, my reviews, EVERYTHING….because of distance being the primary controlling factor. Totally a move in the WRONG direction in our new “cloud” world. Hope Intuit is listening. And 10 miles???? This is ridiculous. Am I being “politically incorrect”…but accurate!!!

  • I applaud Intuit’s effort, but…

    A couple of versions ago, my profile would show all my certifications, 1999 forward. For all QuickBooks products. When new clients called, they cited that as the reason they had chosen me by such an overwhelming margin that all other reasons were insignificant.

    With the number one reason people used to call me now removed from the page, it’s hard to get too excited.

  • Thanks Charlie. I will say that the base distance set to 10 miles is my issue now. I am 11 miles out and 12 miles out of the main two cities here. I don’t show up in either search even though I am one of a few Advanced Certified both Online and Desktop in the area. Oh well, I do like the other changes and I will submit my feedback to Intuit. I miss the years certified but I sort of understand why they might not want them to show.

    • Exactly. The FIRST thing I noticed and am totally in disagreement with, is the new default to 10 miles and not the former 25 miles. I will not yet comment on the rest of the new features, as I have not totally evaluated them. But this one is HUGE. The default is 10 miles. No reasonable searching prospect will change that to 25 miles. Why should they? So they will leave the 10 miles and choose from the list of Pro Advisors that present based on the other criteria, which, incidentally, is not near as important as the DISTANCE. Distance being the foremost criteria in this day and age is ridiculous, and it excludes from many searches the most qualified ProAdvisors for the job. It is a way of totally excluding the Top ProAdvisors from the results due to being 1 mile over the 10 miles. I am personally very upset about this feature and plan to pursue this more with Intuit in whatever way possible. Leave well enough alone. 25 miles has worked for years. I understand trying to get less credentialed ProAdvisors to the top of the list, but this is totally unfair to those who have worked for years and years to support Intuit and the ProAdvisor Program. In a metropolitan area 10 miles is “nothing”. It is a trip to the dentist. Very bad decision on Inuit’s part to due this to long time ProAdvisors who have built the Intuit and QuickBooks name over many years. Look forward to many other comments from ProAdvisors.

      • I totally agree with you Maureen. Intuit needs to bring back the years certified and revert the default search distance to 25 miles. That loss of distance has direct consequences on the referrals I get through the ProAdvisor site – which is my main source of new clients. I have very few clients that are within 10 miles of me as I live in an area that is in close proximity to rural areas. This will have a serious impact on my business.

      • Thank you, Maureen. I’m really curious as to how many people change the default search criteria when using this site. Intuit will know, and will use that to guide future development here, but I would love to see those statistics. Also, how many people switch to “best fit” for the search, away from “distance”.

  • I agree with others; the years of experience NEEDS to be obvious/highlighted. More often than not this is one of the number one reasons people have contacted me over the years. We put a lot of time and effort in being certified and I couldn’t find anywhere on the site that even mentioned the years of certification! That’s really not acceptable to me.

    I also think the default radius should go back to 25 miles vs. 10 miles. I realize many of us work virtually; however 10 miles? It’s been 25 miles as long as I can remember; let’s face it – unless you live in one of the big cities (NY, DC, etc.) everything is more than 10 miles away!

    • Hey, a ten mile radius is larger than the town I live in!

      All kidding aside, I agree with you. Note, though, that they added a “years in business” field, so you want to make sure that you enter a value there and keep it up to date.

      • Yeah, well that’s a small town. LOL. But I know you “get it”. I also noticed that whatever the first line in your profile is, that is now your HEADLINE, so everyone better look at thier first line and make sure it is now a HEADLINE. I already changed mine. And I certainly will check years in business. With the new site, it behooves us all to take some time and go totally over our profiles. But DISTANCE is beyond our control. That is a very HUGE factor, one only Intuit and Feedback can change.

  • I hate that years of experience no longer means anything. I have been a ProAdvisor almost since the beginning. Paid my dues every year, kept up with new versions and exams, moved tons of clients on to QB and now none of that matters. Really stinks.

  • I am 26 miles from downtown San Diego, but still live in the City of San Diego. This city is 380 square miles!! Intuit needs to default back to using a zip code as the center of the searches, not the City. Michelle Long is hosting Chris Hamilton on March 2nd 2017 on QBPowerHour (dot com). Anyone can sign up to attend at that website. and make your concerns known.

    It is also sad that those of us who have been paying members of the program for several years don’t get that recognition. There were many years I thought of discontinuing membership or not getting certified, but I realized I couldn’t because there would be a gap in my years of certifications and my competitors would have an advantage, so I kept paying.

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