For those of you considering participating in the 2024 Top 100 ProAdvisor Awards process, there were some valuable clues regarding the standards by which applicants rank in the various categories.

For example, “Jonathan led the way in this year’s QuickBooks Online category in terms of professional stature, practice performance, training, certifications and app engagement.”

In every category for which there is an award, we are measuring applicants against:

  • Professional stature
  • Practice performance
  • Training
  • Certifications
  • App engagement

That’s not to say standards remain the same from one award to another in these five areas. Nor does it mean these five areas are the only measures used in the process by which applicants are ranked. But these are key areas that every ProAdvisor should focus on before entering the Awards process.

That is one reason I do my best to start early and remind you of the importance of preparing yourself for the Awards.

So, over the next few weeks, this series of articles will examine each of these five areas and how you can improve your odds when reaching for the Top 100 or higher, like a categorical award or the ProAdvisor of the Year.

Professional stature

Some immediately think years of experience are crucial in this category. And you might be correct. But did you know the fewer years of experience you have in accomplishing high measures in the other four areas is a significant factor in identifying the Up-n-coming Awards? 

But professional stature is more than years of experience (a lot or a little). This evaluation area includes everything from your formal education to professional credentials you may hold. Some people might think a person with an MBA in Accounting isn’t essential for ProAdvisor recognition.

I would say, “In and of itself, that’s right.” Still, our algorithms measure formal education against award-specific certifications and blend the two so that award-related points are relative to the work being performed. 

For example, Suppose you tell us that 80% of your work is actual accounting, including formal compilations or reviews of your client’s finances. In that case, the algorithms will emphasize your formal education more than your PA certifications when determining which award category you will rank highest.

But if you tell us 80% of your work is in implementing QuickBooks, training users on the product, resolving set-up issues and helping clients identify beneficial apps, our algorithm will place far less emphasis on your formal education as compared to the various QB certificates you hold. 

Let’s look at another measure of professional stature. The stars shine brightly in your ProAdvisor Profile. We ask you several questions relating directly to your Star Ratings. Did you know one of the critical questions related to the number of stars and the number of reviews you have is your QuickBooks ProAdvisor practice zip code? 

So now you are wondering how a zip code has anything to do with your stars. You provide your zip code very early in our process as part of the nomination questionnaire.

Two things happen with that zip code. First, it is used to cross-check your ProAdvisor status with the Find-a-ProAdvisor website. And if we get a hit there, your zip code becomes the guide for a population density factor used to compare “apples and oranges,” so to speak.

We want to know if you live in a zip code with 5,000 people (or less) or a zip code with 250,000 people (or more) and all the other population density breakpoints. Now, take a Star Rating of 4.5 in your QuickBooks ProAdvisor Profile generated from 50 people who took the time to review your services.

In which zip code population density do you think the 50 people will carry more weight for the 4.5 stars they have given you? As you can see, our Top 100 algorithms are number-crunching away in computing these points for every applicant.

While you cannot do much about your zip code unless you decide to move, you can do something about the number of reviews you get. And you can undoubtedly do more about the number of star ratings they assign. It’s called professional stature in the eyes of your clients.

Doing the right thing, the right way, for the clients you serve can improve your “stars shining brightly” and the Top 100 points those stars generate.

Next time, we will continue our quest for the best, reaching the Top 100 and beyond. 

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Insightful Accountant