When it comes to the Top 100, I am often asked, "How do you choose the Top 100?" That is an excellent question that I will attempt to answer for our readers.
While we begin scoring based upon some general factors such as certifications, we are also factoring that scoring into the various award categories. We asked applicants a series of questions that help steer them into one or more award categories.
For example, QuickBooks Online, an individual's overall score is only the starting point for their QBO Award Score. Other factors including the newly offered QBO-Advanced certification and total number of QBO clients, act as multipliers for this particular category.
So even though the very first measures we use concern 'certification information' as reported by each applicant and confirmed via Intuit records (ProAdvisor certifications are all valued in terms of both the level of certification and number of certifications) those scores are just a starting point.
Another area of 'base score' involves the 'client reviews' issued to ProAdvisors that appear as part of their profile. This is really complex scoring because we factor the total number of reviews times the review score for each and then factored in the total number of clients reported to us in the formal application. So here is an example: if a ProAdvisor has 110 rankings of an average of 4.8 points, and reported that they had 450 clients, then their ranking represents (aprox) 25% of the computed ranking score. Similarly, a ProAdvisor who only has 5 rankings of 4.8 and has only 20 clients, essentially earns the same ranking score. But someone with 450 clients who only had 20 ratings of 4.8 would have a much lower raking then either of the other two. This approach is taken so as to give a more equal balance in rankings between smaller practices and practices in smaller geographic service areas so that large practices in large geographic areas don't dominate the scores.
A third area of 'general scoring' involves the vote results, although this is not weighted as heavily as other general criteria. But the vote tabulation acts as a multiplier in the 'social' Award as does participation and rankings in various QuickBooks forums and discussion groups.
So what about categories like QuickBooks Desktop? Well in addition to the base scores the questions within the application that are based around the 'services' you provide generate additional points in that specific category. The same applies to our Integration Specialist award. This year's long list of 3rd party products ranked heavily in that categorical score, as did several other areas.
I'm not going to give away 'all the scoring methodology' but I want you to understand that we have attempted to make the scoring as 'objective' as possible. It might seem that this strict observance means that the same people will always be at the top of the list from year to year, but that is not necessarily so. I will give you an example or two of how that can vary in just a minute, but let me also say that Gary and I are considering some other award limitations for next year. Currently we only have two limitations, regarding winners. Any ProAdvisor of the Year winner can not be considered in any subsequent year, nor can Categorical Award winners ever 'win' the same category in a future year.
But you should also understand that it's clearly possible for people's scores to change from year to year. An individual's score might decline on a proportional basis because they haven't earned the newest certification at the time of their application, or they chose to discontinue participation in the ratings, or to limit some aspect of their practice previously considered. Based on the same principles, someone can 'jump' ahead because they earned multiple certifications in one year. For example, if someone earned both their Desktop and Online Advanced Certs in one year, their overall standing would increase significantly over the prior year's score, and they could 'by-pass' many others. Believe it or not, we also had people who chose not to participate, their reasons are their own, but I will absolutely state the fact that you can not win if you don't participate.
Lastly let me say that individuals (with the exception of our International participants) do not fall within a single category, but their overall ranking is based upon the average of their scores within all of the categories in which they defined themselves as part of the application process. All of this points to the importance of carefully and accurately completing the 'formal application'. We recognize that it is complex, lengthy and requires considerable time, but the accuracy you provide does indeed directly translate to the final score which determines your ranking in the Top 100, Top 10 (Category Winners) and as ProAdvisor of the Year.
Thanks for participating and congratulations to all, because you are each # 1 in my book.