Within the next few days, those individuals who were nominated, or who nominated themselves, for our 2016 ProAdvisor of the Year, Top 10 and Top 100 awards will be receiving email notifications, if you made it through the initial screening. We had A LOT of applicants this year, and Intuit graciously assisted us in confirming ‘Current ProAdvisor’ status as we also worked to confirm an active client based ProAdvisor practice for each nominee.
As we move into the ‘formal application’ process I want to remind all of you of the importance of taking the very ‘long, tedious, and inquisitive’ application form seriously. It contains a lot of detailed questions that are critical to our ‘classification’ of your own ProAdvisor practice (that’s practice with a little P), and issuing the appropriate rankings based upon the various criteria we use.
I also want to make certain that you realize that when we ask questions, we are talking about YOU as an individual. This award is not about your Firm or your Practice, it is about YOU. We want to know how many of a particular type of client YOU work with (not your firm), when we ask you about 3rd party products you support, we mean products your personally support (not your firm).
One question, I usually get a couple of dozen emails about is “what do you mean when you ask about the number of clients…well we mean ‘active clients. For example, if you ran an Income by Customer Accountant and sorted it by Customers you (not your firm) had billed within the last 2-years, then that would be your ‘Active Clients’ (as far as I am concerned.)
You will be asked to give us basic percentages of different ‘accounting/bookkeeping’ and QuickBooks-related functions YOU perform. Some of you may not perform any ‘accounting or bookkeeping’ tasks, while others may have a practice that is rich in these functions. Others may perform mostly QuickBooks related functions (installations, file-clean-up, 3rd party integrations, etc.). These help us refine who you are as a ProAdvisor, and when coupled with the questions we ask about how you describe your ProAdvisor practice (again little P, not Practice) like ‘Desktop Generalist’ or ‘Niche Practice’ you can start to see how these factors impact outcome.
There are 100’s of 3rd-party products that work with both QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online, we want to know what if any relationship you have with these products: do you use them in your own practice, or do you ‘sell’ them, or perhaps you are certified in a specific product, or you are recognized by the developer as an expert or installer for the product.
Then of course there is our section that ‘confirms’ your certification status, each year you have been certified and in each product you earned certification. You want to be very careful in this section, not only is it worth a substantial point total, but every entry must be confirmable via the ProAdvisor website.
And that brings up another question that people are always making inquiries about, how is all of this scored. Well obviously I am not going to give you the ‘scoring formula’ but let me just say that there are objective measures and standards that apply for each of the categories we tabulate. Obviously the Top 10 ‘categories’ should give you a hint about tabulation theory, especially when you couple it with the next little ‘reveal’.
I always tell people who ask me, that our process is a lot like a ‘dog show’, you know like the Westminster Dog Show. Hundreds of breeds (Schnauzers, Wirehaired Dachshund, Irish Water Spaniels, etc.) are judged upon various criteria for best in Breed. Then the best dog of the various Breeds are judged as part of their recognized ‘Group’ (like the ‘working group’ or ‘hounds’, ‘sporting, toy, etc.) and one dog will be selected as best of Group. Finally, the winning-dog from each ‘Group’ goes into the arena to be judged toward ‘Best in Show’. Any AKC (American Kennel Club) official at one of these shows will tell you that ‘the dogs are not being judged against each other, they are always being judged against the standard for their breed’; the best in show is the one dog that most closely is the ‘mirror image’ of the standard for that specific breed.
When our Top 10 is standing on the stage together each of them may be drastically different from any of the others in so many ways, yet each of them represents the best of their category for that year. And one of them, well they are our Best in Show – the ProAdvisor of the Year.
Finally - The email you receive will contain the details about how to access the formal on-line application, and the ‘due date’. Make absolutely certain to take your time, answer every question on every page (even if you answer is N/A – not applicable) and that you complete the application in one sitting, so be sure to give yourself time to do so. Most importantly, don’t let the ‘due date’ get by you, we are running late this year due to the number of nominees, and so we will not be extending the due date. This is important, after all, you can’t possibly win if you don’t complete the application.