Monday, June 30, 2008

QuickBooks User Conference

I just returned from the Intuit Accounting Professionals User Conference and wanted to say that I really enjoyed it. I went to the one in Orlando. The facilities and food were great. I particularly enjoyed the Learning Lounge. The courses were a bit thin since I wasn't interested in Lacerte, but interacting with other people who live and breathe QuickBooks more than made up for that. I learned something new in each course. I will definitely attend next year or whenever the next one is. Did anybody go to the San Diego conference?

Friday, May 30, 2008

False Advertising by ProAdvisors

I was reading the local newspaper yesterday and came upon a 1/4-page ad by a person touting that she was a "Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor". I can count the number of local Certified ProAdvisors on my fingers and all are either CPA firms or bookkeepers which do not compete with my focus of setup, training & troubleshooting. This was a new name so I went to Intuit's Referral Database and found that indeed she was not listed. Since I try to assume the best, I will not mention her name here. Maybe she just didn't understand the rules. I think the rules are that you cannot advertise as 'certified' unless you have passed the certification exam and appear on the referral database (i.e. you had to have passed the exam in the last two years), but some people may think you can advertise as 'certified' if you simply pay the annual fee. This is the way it was before certification existed. Most QB users don't know enough to visit the referral database to check credentials so this is truly false advertising. Maybe Intuit needs to clarify this in the member packet. Maybe they already have and I just missed it?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

PocketBooks for QuickBooks and Treo

Now that the busy season is over and I once again have some time on my hands, I've decided to follow up on an old but important topic: QuickBooks Add-Ons. There are lots of third party programs out there that 'integrate' with QB and I have tried quite a few. I need to learn what's best and worst out there instead of trying everything myself. So hopefully you can help me out by posting your experiences. Right now I have upgraded my consulting system to include a Treo 680 running PocketBooks. It is AWESOME! I've set up clients on other timer programs which must be manually synced with QB. PocketBooks really does sync automatically (as long as you have your QB file open when you sync). And I love to be able to walk into a client and look up their past due balance on my phone. They are so impressed that I actually get paid! ;) I've added another core Treo program called BugMe! It allows me to hand-write a note on my Treo (like a Post-It) and, before saving it, I can set an alarm time. I set the alarm for when I'm in my office and the note pops up saying "Email website link to client" or whatever I promised the client (or myself!). I digress since BugMe! is not a QB add-on, but let's talk anyway.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

2008 Advanced Certification Testing

So who's tried taking Intuit's new Advanced Certification test? Personally, they've got to be joking! First, you have to download 11 QuickBooks files to your computer and restore them each to answer the appropriate question. If this doesn't take enough time, then you are supposed to troubleshoot and or manipulate the files without giving any thought to the way the file should be set up in the first place. I would open a file and find myself cleaning and organizing even before reading the question. Oops - I wasn't supposed to do that. There are supposed to be discrepancies in some places and you must ignore any others. It's like giving financials to 10 accountants and telling them that there is only one correct tax return. So if you spend the time to open a file, try to ignore all the implied and ignored issues in a question and then spend the time typing in the answers (yes, type in the EOY GJE and type in the Reversing entry), then you really must not be seeing many clients. For those of you who have made the effort to do all of this to pass the exam, I am impressed and I have some clients for you.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Advanced Certification Webinars

It's the busiest time of year for my QuickBooks business and on top of that I'm trying to fulfill al requirements for the new Advanced Certification. I already blogged the onsite seminars. Now it's time for the webinars. Again I was dismayed that these webinars are open to anybody, not just those who wish to get advanced certification. I sat through what I consider a 2-hour basic course on payroll yesterday. Nothing advanced about it. Is anybody else doing these advanced certification requirements? What do you think?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Advanced QuickBooks Certification

Now Intuit is offering Advanced QuickBooks Certification to set more experienced ProAdvisors apart from the newer people. You need to be certified in QuickBooks 2005-2007, take some free webinars and attend an on-site 2-day workshop. I decided to do it despite the costs of the on-site. Intuit's fee of $236 (half price for both days) I considered very reasonable, but since I live in the middle of nowhere, I had to pay travel, hotel and food costs as well. It was a significant expenditure. I just returned from the on-site and here are my thoughts.
Most of the attendees were CPA's which was disappointing. The teacher was also a CPA so the seminars had a slant which did not suit my business. The seminars were not held solely for advanced ProAdvisors but were open to anyone who wanted to take the classes, so there were basic discussions which put me to sleep. Intuit really needs to have these classes open ONLY to ProAdvisors. Even though most people were certified, they were relatively new to ProAdvisorship while I'd been doing this for 10 years. So I didn't learn much, but many people did. In short, there was nothing in those seminars that couldn't have been done on webinars, thereby saving me time and money. On the other hand, the trip probably weeded out the ProAdvisors not serious enough to make the commitment. I kept in mind that I was fulfilling the requirement to get the Advanced Certification tag on the QuickBooks referral database, and I hope it's worth it in the end. I'll let you know.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Payroll in QuickBooks 2007

Have you tried the new payroll center in QuickBooks 2007? Not my idea of an improvement! 99% of my clients split payroll by jobs and/or classes. Now to look at the payroll detail you have to click on each employee's name one at a time. Not to mention double-checking 401K and health insurance deductions. And adding vacation or sick time. I don't think I have a single client whose payroll is as simple as QuickBooks 2007 assumes it will be.
Having said that, I do like the new liability section. Let me know your thoughts and maybe we can make some changes.