Have UPS Mailbox - Have ProAdvisor Office - What a Joke!



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Okay, so Chris Hamilton and others were at the Scaling New Heights Conference

What did they say about this manipulative behavior or did they stick their head in the sand as usual? If the rules say you can have up to two listings and pay for them, I can live with that but not ten. And if they have ten, then eight need to go.

Keith Gormezano more than 1 year ago

"Free" and "Paid, but not Certified"

I put giving "Free" ProAdvisor status just because they have X amount of clients on QBO and "purchased the ProAdvisor package and never Certified" as equally offensive and, yet, it's by design and promoted.

Michele Riffe more than 1 year ago

'Free' status DOES NOT EQUAL 'listing' on the site.

In either the case of the 'paid' (desktop) or 'free' (cloud-only) ProAdvisor memberships, the criteria for appearance on the Find-a-ProAdvisor site is current Certification. Intuit defines current Certification as must having passed one of the three most recent QuickBooks desktop certifications, or must having passed QuickBooks Online certification within the last 366 days.

insightfulaccountant.com more than 1 year ago

Having a PO Box is not the issue ...

The issue here is ProAdvisors who have manipulated the system and have multiple ProAdvisor profiles in various cities - whether they have nexus there or not. The ProAdvisor I found not only had listings in 10 different locations - but she had even numbered the ProAdvisor links. Some listings included an address (the one in my area is a home), others didn't.
Like many of you, I use a PO Box for my mailing address since my office is out of my home but I don't claim to be located anywhere other than where I am.

Joyce Herr more than 1 year ago

Something for nothing

I agree - many of us are also members of local clubs and charitable organizations in our LOCAL communities - so it is not just the investment in credentials and expense of maintaining a local office. We are truly invested personally in our local communities and we should be protected from these fraudulent practices. Also what about the FREE QBO Proadvisor - that concerns me. Why should anyone pay for QBO if they can sign up as a proadvisor for free????? Do I misunderstand something there?

Diane Sloan more than 1 year ago

Faking it

AMEN- I use UPS box to keep from listing my employees home addresses, as I recall at the first ever Adv Cert Training held in Atlanta - Joe asked the audience how many PAs worked out of their homes and more than half did.... maybe this could be a survey question during the next monthly call. then the second question could be how many people rent PO or UPS boxes in cities where they have no presence.

Leslie Hamm more than 1 year ago

Mailbox instead of office address

I completely agree that one ProAdvisor should NOT be listed in multiple cities just using a PO Box. However, that said, I use a PMB for all Intuit listings because I work from home. More than once has my home address been shown on the Intuit website, even though I checked the box to use the ZIP code only. I feel it is a safety issue. I also don't like my email address showing because than I get more spam. They used to have a contact system where Intuit would send an email with the contact request. I try to direct potential clients to my own website for the contact form. No email or phone number there.

Anita Robinson more than 1 year ago

Multiple ProAdvisor Profiles

I saw this recently when I was searching another area for a ProAdvisor and saw the same ProAdvisor show up in that area and my area. After further searching, the ProAdvisor in question has numerous profiles in at least 5 states. In some cases, the ProAdvisor showed up in the #1 and #2 spot for the same search. This is a ProAdvisor who is on the Top 100 nomination list (so I would hope they would operate more ethically).
Intuit should also sunset reviews after a certain period. The ProAdvisor mentioned above has over 50 reviews (pretty much guarantees #1 spot in any search) but most are 4 or more years old. They also mention the "team", not necessarily the ProAdvisor.
I work hard to maintain my certifications and to stay at the top of the ProAdvisor list but it is disheartening when someone can be listed in the area, automatically grab the top spot and never step foot in the state.

Joyce Her more than 1 year ago


I have also seen ProAdvisors listed with titles and accreditations stating that they are Accountants. I know for a fact that not all are as they say. I have asked the ProAdvisor "Team" to look into this previously, with not such good results. If you need to lie to get clients, you shouldn't be a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor.

Susan Humphreys more than 1 year ago


Susan, it depends on what you mean by "accountant". If you mean CPA, then the legality depends on the state. I am not a CPA, so could not legally call myself an accountant when I lived in MD, but I'm now in OH & the laws are different. I do sometimes refer to myself as a accountant because I do more than just bookkeeping & it's perfectly legal & ethical for me to do so in OH because "accountant" in OH means just that, not "CPA".

Sarah Fennell more than 1 year ago


Murph, I understand your concern. There are always people who abuse the system, but we have to be careful not to paint with too broad a paintbrush.
I am a solo practitioner and operate out of my UPS mailbox. I do not have other mailboxes in other cities or states. The problem is the multiple memberships, not the UPS box. I do not need the expense or overhead of an office because I work out of my client's. I see my clients multiple times a month. They are happy and most of my business comes from client referrals.
Nevertheless, if you think carefully about the issue you may see that it is just an issue of competition. I can imagine someone going to Intuit and arguing that allowing a ProAdvisor to have a blog with QuickBooks advice is "unfair competition". Competition makes everyone of us better.
Think about it, if Intuit prohibits UPS they will just move to Regus or some other "virtual office" in tha cloud.

Gustavo more than 1 year ago

I'm OK with people using a UPS or a USPS mailbox rather than home address

My problem is with someone signing up for 2 or 3 dozen UPS Mail Boxes in cities across the United States, and trying to represent themselves as having legitimate offices in all of those locations.

insightfulaccountant.com more than 1 year ago

I love you for this Murph!

I completely agree and have been verbal about it as well. Perhaps a solution would be a "global" only choice that wouldn't even appear in any zipcode for businesses who don't care where their helper is located. Certainly isn't a fair practice nor should it be tolerated let alone allowed.

Beth Damis more than 1 year ago


It's also an issue within the Intuit Premier Reseller community. Bottom line is the Intuit shareholders profit most from increased sales, promotion and publicity, regardless of who helps Intuit achieve this and some people are more focused on maximizing their monetary success than on personal integrity. The rest of us remind ourselves that we'd rather be true to our own sense of fair play than deliberately undermine the success of other ProAdvisors. Ambition can be blinding. Especially if it's reinforced by official annual recognition and rewards.

K.C. Courtnier more than 1 year ago

Have UPS Box

I COMPLETELY 100% agree with what is being said in this article. There is plenty of work in your own backyard, so if a Pro Advisor has to go into other areas to solicit work, then maybe the "expert" level is not really there. I spend a lot of time cleaning up "so so" Pro Advisors work that they have led the client astray.

Sharon Vetsch more than 1 year ago

According to the change, you can only have two profiles

If you are seeing the same person with more than two locations, you can send a complaint e-mail to Chris Hamilton, the ProAdvisor Program Manager to 'Hamilton, Christopher' <Christopher_Hamilton@intuit.com> with a cc to 'Trishuleshwar, Jyothiprakash' <Jyothiprakash_Trishuleshwar@intuit.com>. Make sure you tickle it for follow up.

You might also want to check those additional states licensing and revenue departments and the cities they are listed in and confirm that the company and/or ProAdvisor is properly licensed and reporting their revenue and/or sales tax.

Keith Gormezano more than 1 year ago

UPS boxes

While you make an interesting and probably valid point about some, I disagree. I have a UPS box but NOT for the purposes you are implying. I am a mobile bookkeeper and QB Pro Advisor. While some people can come to my home office I prefer to go to the client to help solve their QB issue. The UPS box is a safe way to receive mail and payments for bookkeeping services. I even tell my clients and potential clients that my address is a mailing address only. So you can't say ALL UPS holders are a sham. Maybe there should be a check box on the Advisor side to indicate to people looking for a Pro Advisor that the address listed is for mailing purposes only.

Jonna Truan, EA more than 1 year ago

I should have made myself more clear

I have no problems with people using Post Office boxes (UPS or USPS) so long as they are associated with their 'real practice', my article really focused on people using UPS boxes to make people think they had multiple offices in different cities across the United States, and clearly that is NOT YOU. Not someone who needs to use a Post Office box so their business mail is not addressed to their home.

insightfulaccountant.com more than 1 year ago

Sham offices

Hmmm...makes me wonder where their original office is? The South Pole? I'm inundated w/work (pass most of it along, actually) just in my local area (although, to be fair, I am in the SF Bay Area). Can't stop this thought....have they ruined their reputation locally, to necessitate are broader reach? If so, why am I listed w/THEM????!!!!!

Christy Bertani more than 1 year ago

UPS Mail Boxes

I am one of those who works out of my home and uses a UPS Mail Box and that is the address that I publish. However, I do not pretend that is my business location. I am upfront and honest with my clients and tell them that I work out of my home and do not feel comfortable advertising my personal home address. I have not received any backlash for presenting in this manner.

Bonnie Crabtree more than 1 year ago

I'm not talking about people who legitimately use a UPS box

I have no problems with people using Post Office boxes (UPS or USPS) so long as they are associated with their 'real practice'. The focus of my article was really on people using UPS boxes to make people think they had multiple offices in different cities across the United States, and getting a ProAdvisor membership they could tie to each one of those fictional addresses.....that clearly is NOT YOU. I think all of the readers know that some people legitimately who need to use a Post Office box so their business mail is not addressed to their home.

insightfulaccountant.com more than 1 year ago

Have UPS Office = Are a Pro Advisor

I totally agree with you. Because some ProAdvisors have used QuickBooks longer, been a Pro Advisor longer than I have, has more reviews will always be at the top of the list even if some types within 30 miles if my zip code. With those search parameters I will never get near the top.

Marie more than 1 year ago


First, Luv ya Murph. You rock.

A new world we live in. If a PA can list on the web or otherwise and can create a "presence" (po box or virtual office) in a location, then in the wonderful virtual world we espouse to.. go Pro go. The world is getting smaller. It's the reality of virtuality. IMHO. For the record, I dont do this, but probably should be. What if I have a virtual office in cities with a name on the board and a welcoming assistant, is it then ok. Capitalism, freedom, and opportunity.

Competition and anywhere, anytime, anydevice is here. We should embrace it.

George Williams more than 1 year ago

You pose an interesting Counterpoint

Hadn't even thought about the 'virtual office' issue, but still that isn't what is going on here, these people are just paying a few bucks for the UPS box solely so they have a zip code to put on another ProAdvisor listing. As I said, I have used Regis (virtual offices) from time to time to meet with a potential client (in another city when they have solicited my services) or as a place to do paper work when actually performing an extended on-site for a client in another state.

My primary concern is a ProAdvisor misrepresenting themselves as being located somewhere they really are not present, and/or sharing their listing credentials with a different person who hasn't earned those credentials.

Perhaps some of the other readers will share your 'virtual' way of thinking and if so, they will chime in accordingly.

insightfulaccountant.com more than 1 year ago


You go Murph! I'm so glad to hear that your point of view on this subject is right on the "money"! I'm glad you are saying what everybody that I know is thinking. Those that follow the rules (read the ProAdvisor EULA) appreciate it when our colleagues do as well!

Catherine Wolfe more than 1 year ago

Very well said

Totally agree and don't understand why this has been allowed to continue. The whole practice really hurts clients in the end as well, since they trust Intuit to put out a list that is what they came looking for and not some sham list with non-local listings. So why hasn't this been fixed?

Terri L Wilson more than 1 year ago

Have UPS Mailbox - Have ProAdvisor Office - What a Joke!

I disagree William Murphy. There are some of us that use the UPS Store as an address because I don't want my home address known. I have a home office and I never bring clients here. I go to them. I use the UPS Store address as business address for this reason. So by your standards, all with home offices would be required to let people know their home addresses - not safe in this world today.

Renee Todd more than 1 year ago

Not what I was saying at all....

I have no problems with YOU or anyone else using Post Office boxes (UPS or USPS) so long as they are associated with their 'real practice', because they need or simply choose to use a Post Office box so their business mail is not addressed to their home.

My article focused on people using UPS boxes to make people think they had multiple offices in different cities across the United States, and then got ProAdvisor Memberships so they could list each one of those 20 or 30 addresses as places of business.

Clearly that is NOT YOU, or your situation, your use of a Post Box is perfectly legit.

insightfulaccountant.com more than 1 year ago

ProAdvisors use of UPS mailboxes

I had no idea this was going on. I agree that this is unacceptable and that Intuit should take action on this. It is an unfair and deceptive practice. ProAdvisors should be above such misrepresentation.

Marcia Cardone more than 1 year ago

This happened to me too...

I check to see that my name lists at the top because of all of the efforts I put into my status as Advanced. One day (a couple of years ago), I found I was #2 position. The ProAdvisor above me had more certification years than me (2) and even though she had an address for a different local town than me, she was actually closer to where google maps says is the center of my town. Then I started getting calls from people who would ask me, "you live here in Florida, right?" Then they told me the first lady was actually in the midwest. They wanted someone local (even if we worked remotely). So it is now part of my answer to people who reach out to me for assistance. I, like Marcia above, had no idea this was happening. Somehow I missed this article (and I adore Murph too and don't like to miss any of his articles). I have been moved back to the #1 spot (but I think it is because they removed some of her reviews). Not sure why that happened but maybe that would make a great next ProAdvisor article.

Lynda Artesani more than 1 year ago

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