Experts And Those Who Would Like You To Think They Are

There are self proclaimed experts everywhere when it comes to QuickBooks.  As business owners you should use caution and interview your candidates carefully.

definition of an expertJust for giggles, I did a Google search using “quickbooks expert” it returned about 83,200 results; that’s a lot of experts!

The point to this blog post?  Well to be honest, part of it is a rant and the other part a warning.

The Rant:

At a recent nationally recognized QuickBooks conference there were two people who were asked/hired by the conference host to provide training sessions to other QuickBooks accounting professionals:

  • one person gave three, one hours sessions on payroll.  This person had stolen (word for word) blog posts not only from my blog but from another bloggers site as well – and claimed them as her own!  When confronted with this, she claimed that she had hired a ghost writer to write blog post for her.  Yes, she took them down from her site, as a matter of fact her entire blog disappeared!
  • another person did two, one hour sessions on using QuickBooks in the construction industry – but the person doing the session claims that he specializes in working with non-profits!  And to top it all off, he’s done this same session for the last couple of years and each year he’s called me a day or two before the conference – just to pick my brain for a few minutes.

My point to the rant – well anyone can say they are a QuickBooks expert and according to Google, at least 83,000+ people are making that claim!  How valid that claim is, however, is another question!  Most of these self proclaimed experts sure have a lot to say, but when it comes right down to it and you evaluate what they have actually said (or written) you find that they really haven’t provided you with anything concrete to take away.

The Warning

Whether you are a QuickBooks accounting professional seeking a higher level of QuickBooks training that Intuit doesn’t provide in the ProAdvisor or Advanced ProAdvisor certification – OR – if you are a business owner seeking assistance in getting the best use out of the QuickBooks program that you’ve purchased; interview and evaluate the candidates carefully!

Some things to remember, based on Wikipedia’s definition of an “expert”

  • An expert differs from the specialist in that a specialist has to be able to solve a problem and an expert has to know its solution.
  • The opposite of an expert is generally known as a layperson, while someone who occupies a middle grade of understanding is generally known as a technician and often employed to assist experts.
  • A person may well be an expert in one field and a layperson in many other fields.
  • The term “expert” is widely used informally, with people being described as ‘experts’ in order to bolster the relative value of their opinion, when no objective criteria for their expertise is available.
  • “Expert” is also being mistakenly interchanged with the term “authority” in new media. An expert can be an authority if through relationships to people and technology, that expert is allowed to control access to his expertise. However, a person who merely wields authority is not by right an expert.


2 thoughts on “Experts And Those Who Would Like You To Think They Are

  • Hi Doug
    Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to leave a comment.

    I agree, experts are hard to validate.

    Testing and certification certainly helps – but even then there are flaws. Perhaps there should be some additional qualifiers – like a certain number of years actually working in a specific industry or with clients in a specific industry, to help determine hands-on knowledge and practical application.

    Call me “old and jaded” if you will, but all too often I see comments written by people who are looking to become familiar with QuickBooks and want to know how to learn to use it – the canned response is to sign up for the ProAdvisor program and take the Certification exam; which they do. This eludes to the fact that they are then an “expert” in the use of QuickBooks and in my opinion that is a misrepresentation.

    I always advise my construction customers to ask potential bookkeepers – how many years they have used QuickBooks and what types of busineeses (industries) they have worked with. Just because you’ve used QuickBooks in let’s say a retail environment – doesn’t mean that a candidate knows how to use QuickBooks in the construction or manufacturing industry.

    OK, I’ll get off my soapbox for now. But I’m sure that you can understand where I’m coming from.

  • Hi Nancy,

    For sure, experts are hard to validate. This is why we test people who are certified Sleeter Group consultants. But even then, there are vertical businesses that need special knowledge about the business process for their business, so even with certifications, it’s hard to reliably find a consultant that matches what your specific needs are.


Comments are closed.