Get to know Top 100 ProAdvisor, Jonathan Bello

Original by Mollie Macklin at Insightful Accountant, October 18th, 2018

Insightful Accountant’s October 2018 interview with an industry leader.

Name the biggest technological advancements you saw this year.

My regular use of Hubdoc for document retrieval. Regular small & major updates to QBO & QBOA

What advice would you give to today’s accountants?

JB: Network, network, network. This work can be very isolating. We don’t go to clients as much, if at all. By joining a network group and networking with other ProAdvisors, you can build a great support system on many different fronts.

What goals have set for this YEAR?

  1. Continue year over year growth of 20%
  2. Hire someone to handle biz dev
  3. Move to Value Pricing
  4. Hire my first FTE
  5. Be on an advisory council
  6. Make it to the Top 10
  7. Firm of the Future

What does it mean to you to be recognized out of more than 300,000 ProAdvisors in the world?

I come from a fairly accomplished and successful family, and for many years I lagged behind, which was fine because at that time that is how I wanted to live my life. Because of mental health issues, I lived a life in reverse; I’ve sort of been retired for most of my life. In 2012, I hit rock bottom and was ready to give up my practice, but with some great advice I changed the focus. Then I set some goals to build my reputation within the Intuit world. Being named to the Top 100 for a 2nd year in a row, plus being published on Intuit’s Firm of the Future 3x and presenting at Scaling New Heights in 2018 has helped me to feel accomplished in my field. Now even my 91-year-old Mom speaks proudly of me.

How has your ProAdvisor practice changed or evolved over the last couple of years?

I think there are 2 parts to answer this. I’ve become very active in the Intuit ProAdvisor community. I co-chair the Boston/Providence Woodard group with Heather Satterley. I’m also active in several online groups with other PAs.

Initially, we concentrated on the setup, training, consulting aspect of QuickBooks which had discreet lengths of engagements. Now the focus has changed to recurring revenue.

Why is continuing to enhance your skills and acumen critical to staying one step ahead of the curve?

If you don’t educate yourself, you’re done. For example, I’ve been solidly entrenched in the QuickBooks camp, but with recent changes to Wholesale Model, price increases, and the search feature on the ProAdvisor website, I have determined it is time to look at other solutions. I have made getting familiar with Xero my biggest learning priority. Next is learning apps/systems to augment to the operations side of my business.

Without learning new software/skills you will not be able to survive and provide quality services.

What is your role in your practice?

My primary focus is to work on the business vs in the business. I have 3 to 4 part-timers that may add up to a FTE so I need to coordinate their work with my work. Then I get out and network to drum up new business and respond to inquiries.

What was the best piece of advice you ever received?

Focus on QuickBooks

What is the story that best describes how you help your clients?

Over the past 2 years we have done great cleanup/catch-up work. We have been able to present clients with information about their business (especially when the business is good!) that they wouldn’t have had otherwise. This is really empowering for the both of us. To help the client see a true picture of what’s happening in their business is a great way to be of service to them.

How do you create balance in your work and personal life?

  1. Punch out 7:30/8pm at the latest (I’m a morning person)
  2. Spend time with the people you love and are important to you – I enjoy couch time with my girlfriend/partner.
  3. I have a dog that gets me out 2x a day for walks and fresh air
  4. Exploring neighborhoods with my girlfriend – she has gotten me to discover many portions of my city I would have never known of
  5. Watching sunsets in one of the most beautiful parks I’ve ever been to.

 

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