It's funny how path's cross. I am active in my son's Cub Scout Pack and found out that two of the other parents (husband and wife) are CPA's and one in particular, Edgar, is a QB ProAdvisor. I immediately made sure he was our next subscriber, of course! Since then we have had conversations about QuickBooks, QBO and his business. I finally realized I needed to sit down and have a real interview with him because he has a very good handle on his business, serving his clients and a plan to grow his business.
Edgar Martinez is a CPA, has certifications as a CISA and MIS, QBO, QB Enterprise, QB POS and is QB Advanced Certified as well. As I talked to him it became obvious that he is very strategic in where he spends his time and has earned the designations that he has as part of his strategy to build his business and differentiate himself from his competitors. He shared with me that when he moved from Puerto Rico friends and clients thought he was crazy moving with no business clients in the area. However, as most of our readers know, it's not where you are, it's who you are and the technology you leverage to serve your clients. So he packed up the family and moved to the greater Atlanta area and has been serving his existing clients remotely and adding new ones locally.
When I asked him to share a little about how he works with his client and the services he offers, he said "I offer 3 basic services, with QuickBooks being the core product I support. Those services are Accounting, QuickBooks Consulting and IT Services. When working with clients I visualize the whole business picture and plan appropriate strategies to achieve the business goals of the client. I serve small and mid-size privately owned companies and non-profit organizations in various industries. My focus is the financial information. I assess the accounting books to ensure they comply with the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and the information systems in place have the most essential information technology controls."
When asked how he got into the business of public accounting, he shared "I got into Public Accounting in 1993, one year after be certified as CPA. At the time I had about 6-7 years of experience in the accounting field including 2 years in Public Accounting. I was eager to be an entrepreneur. I had a clear idea to help small business implement accounting systems, provide IT solutions, and offer traditional accounting services. My best motivation to stay in this business has been when the client tells me that he trusts me and that I am a key part of their business."
When asked about his general business philosophy, he highlighted 2 key drivers that he relies on: "1. Learning Process: I am still in a continuous learning process to acquire enough knowledge to offer a quality consulting service to my client. 2. Loyalty and Trust: I offer all my customers valued services. I establish an atmosphere of trust to foster a pleasant long-term partnership. When a loyal customer can’t pay me for a valid reason, I continue offering you my services because loyalty must be reciprocal." Separately he shared that he spends a considerable amount of time looking for and reviewing new solutions for clients because that is a key part of serving the client.
One of the things I like the most about the ProAdvisor community is how willing most of the people I meet and talk with are willing to help others. Edgar is not different. He said that the things he uses to differentiate his business are the same things he would advise other ProAdvisors to do, especially those who may be new or strategically working to grow their business. His key advice is:
- Be a good listener and provide solutions for the client’s problems.
- Take advantage of technological opportunities and use them in favor of the client to aid in streamlining business operations and reduce costs.
- Go the extra mile.
When asked about the future of his business Edgar shared that he is working on a strategy to increase the number of clients he is serving. His strategy will involve QB seminars, offering valued services instead of traditional accounting services, and creating an alliance with a CPA for Tax services. So if you are a Tax professional, you may want to reach out to Edgar to see if the two of you can work together. He also shared that his favorite QB Add on is Karl Irvin's Beginning Balance Transfer Utility.
In concluding the interview, I had a couple of direct questions that I will share:
IA: What are your thoughts on QBO?
EM: QBO is a great idea and opportunity, but the application needs to be improve to support the QB Desktop clients.
IA: Would you like to share anything with the people at Intuit? (I assure you they read Intuitive Accountant).
EM: Take a look to the Spanish speaker market. Intuit offers nothing for that market, not even technical support. Proadvisors are playing a key role in Intuit's business. We convince our clients and recommend Intuit’s products. However, the Proadvisor membership fee is increasing every year with the same benefits to us. I love the Proadvisor program but I think they should consider a price reduction.
IA: What are you hobbies?
EM: Running. I have completed 2 marathons, 5 half marathons and numerous 5 & 10k's.
IA: What is your favorite food?
IA: Where is your favorite place on earth?
EM: Italy. I can’t forget my vacation trip to Italy. I enjoyed the history, Vatican city, site seeing, food and wine.
If you'd like to learn a little bit more about Edgar's business, you can visit his website at