Preparing Your Office for the Online Workplace

In a previous blog I made the case that there is a confusion, delay and conversion crisis in the accounting profession as practices try to stage effective, worry-free conversions from any accounting software to QuickBooks Online. I noted that much of the crisis comes from not organizing the conversion and not realizing that add-on programs will need to migrate to online. The pain from that transition has kept many small accounting practices from converting to the obvious advantages of an online practice. I noted that using a service like QBO Hero to avoid the pain and quickly convert your clients to online can speed up the achievement of a more profitable online practice. In this blog, I will discuss the software infrastructure challenges of transitioning to online.

I can search online (hourly in some cases!) and get different pricing for QuickBooks Online suite of offerings.  To make things more interesting, Intuit came up with wholesale pricing for QuickBooks ProAdvisors, Intuit Affiliates and Intuit Resellers.  Now, you can be an Intuit Reseller and a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Believe it or not there are two different wholesale pricing models for both the ProAdvisors and the Intuit Reseller! Adding to the chaos is payroll, merchant services and other application pricing.  Have I mentioned that your loyal client can come to you after they’ve signed up for QuickBooks Online with their own pricing? How do I switch the clients pricing to wholesale pricing? What about licensing? My client bought an annual license from a big box store. How do I convert that license to my pricing model?

Big Q: how to migrate?

The solution is to pick an infrastructure and stick with it. Outline your software and service offering and distribute it uniformly across your client base. In order to work with you, your clients have to use your software structure. After all, they are not accounting experts. You are, and you have determined that this structure is best for you and them.

Build the investment proposal as a simple one page or less to your client. Take every initiative to have control of the software, the licenses and their costs, including QuickBooks Full Service Payroll, Payments and any other applications your firm offers.

Put a lot of thought into your service package menu. Remember, making something easy to use is can be a difficult task as you consider each option. Decide what to keep and what to throw away. Make it as easy as possible for your client to make the decision to go online.

Do not offer more than three service options. Be completely knowledgeable in what you are offering. Understand why you have chosen those packages and be prepared to explain and defend them. The goal is a modern online practice. Take this opportunity to clean up your practice. Are you the best fit for this client? Can they be served better somewhere else?

Finally, I encourage you to abandon traditional hourly billing. You are too efficient and effective for that these days. Make the path to the cash box as easy as possible for you and your client. Follow up, follow through and close the deal. All I can say is that at my firm we went through the pain and we now have simple, straight-forward menu pricing for standard services. We enjoy consistent cash flow monthly with healthy profits. QuickBooks Online makes my practice run as smooth as silk.  I have time to really help my clients and I can actually see my family from time-to-time.  I can say it has all been made possible by using QuickBooks Online as the base for our online practice infrastructure and the QBO Hero process to convert our clients over to the new system.

Until next time,
Jim Filicetti

Get Started With QuickBooks Online