From the Dec. 2008 Issue
We can help our clients the most if we have the right people with the right training, guided by the right partners with the right attitude and leveraged with the right alliances for our client base. It seems like vendors pursue firms so much that we ignore them all and fail to act even when the right program comes along. Each program covered in this article has enough value, that I have no issue recommending membership, including the payment and training requirements, because the value is far higher than your commitment to the program. I won’t try to list every possible program for tax and accounting firms, but it is clear that you should at least consider the following partner programs:
HP CPA DISCOUNT PROGRAM
Hewlett Packard has been friendly to accountants and finance professionals for years. The commitment is far higher than a discount or affinity program. HP provides content, webinars and discounts to accounting professionals, and often creates specific products targeted at the accounting profession. They have also produced accounting-specific articles and webinars such as one produced in the 4th quarter on improving productivity. HP provides newsletter updates written for the accounting profession, and is not intrusive with promotion if you participate in its programs.
PROADVISOR, PROCONNECTION & ONLINE RESOURCE
Intuit has three different resources for accounting professionals. The ProAdvisor Program provides software and tools to help you grow your practice and support clients more efficiently. When you join the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program, you get premium software, QuickBooks Certification opportunities, a listing on the Find-a-ProAdvisor website, unlimited technical support from the Tucson-based, accountant-specific support center, and product discounts. The Intuit ProConnection is a free newsletter that helps you in your accounting, bookkeeping, consultant or tax business. Valuable articles have been created by trusted authors including a long-time associate, Dr. Bob Spencer. The articles can help you provide better service to your clients, with information on Intuit products, tips on building and managing your client base, and practice aids like engagement letters or tax information letters to help you with day-to-day issues. The Online Resource provides information for tax, payroll, practice resources, training and certifications. Also available are links to Intuit products and services by category including TurboTax, payroll software, checks, business cards and other personal products, Quicken, QuickBase, Lacerte and ProSeries. Intuit is focused on working with tax and accounting professionals to improve their practices while supporting small business clients.