Updated: Aug 19
Author: Tanya Hilts, CPB
February 13, 2019
This is a hot topic the past week or so with a lot of industry leaders posting their thoughts. I have read many of them, and thought that I would share my thoughts, as my thoughts seem to be very different than what everyone else is focusing on. I wanted to do my due diligence before going on record with my thoughts.
I am not going to focus on the one point that I do agree with most others on, which is the communication from Intuit on this test. I think that this point has been driven home enough. What I am going to focus on is the plans themselves. I don't believe that this offering is going to take business away from ProAdvisors. If you actually look at the plans. These are NOT bookkeeping plans. These are plans that include the software, and access to a live bookkeeper for questions and set up. We offer something similar and have for years. They are our DIY plans with follow up support plans. I noticed years ago that this is an under serviced market. Most bookkeeping and accounting firms want to do all of the bookkeeping. Not just part. We decided to take advantage of these plans, and to be honest, our fees are lower than Intuit's, however we limit the monthly access to 1 hour maximum. I was unable to find anything in the Intuit plans that limits the monthly access.
Second, the type of client that would choose a call centre plan over access to my small team and the knowledge that we have and the support that we provide, is not my ideal client. This is part of the value conversation that we have with all prospective clients. It is just as important to us that the client is the right fit for us, as it is that we are the right fit for them. The clients that I want to work with will value relationship building with the same importance that we view it with.
I view this as no different than any other company providing competitive services. I deal with accountants who I refer to who offer full services bookkeeping, and collaborate with many bookkeeping firms that offer competitive bookkeeping plans. As for the call centre aspect, many industries, such as my previous industry of insurance, was traditional small office and direct sales and service. When the call centres emerged, the industry though it would be a harder hit than it was. What they found, is like I mentioned earlier, the clients that the smaller companies wanted, did not want to deal with a call centre, and those clients that were attracted to the call centre products, were not the clients they wanted to deal with.
So basically, my bottom line thought is that if you take care of your ideal clients properly, they will take care of you. And those that don't, are the type of clients you are better of without, and if there is a company out there like Intuit that will support them, that's great. As those clients grow and decide they need hands on bookkeeping services and more support, they will be reaching out to us ProAdvisors for that enhanced assistance. So think of this as an opportunity to strengthen those current existing relationships and to weed out those clients that are not the right fit!!
Until next time,
About the author: Tanya has earned her Certified Professional Bookkeeper designation through CPB Canada, is an Advanced Certified QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor, and a Member of the Intuit Trainer Writer Network. To Tanya, being a forward-thinking entrepreneur means constantly increasing her own knowledge level and obtaining more certifications, education, and experience in order to not only increase the services and benefits she can offer her clients but to spread that awareness to other members of the accounting community. Tanya's passion for advancing the accounting profession has lead her to regular speaking engagements. Tanya's publically known enthusiasm for the industry has led her to become a current Director of CPB Canada. www.TanyaHilts.com