Sleeter Group Consultants love QuickBooks. Me included. We know QuickBooks inside and out. And, we know the workarounds when QuickBooks falls short.
However, in some cases our clients need more than QuickBooks offers. Even with fabulous add-ons like Fishbowl Inventory, sometimes, QuickBooks is the shoe that just does not fit.
Recently, Sage Software reached out to Sleeter Group Consultants to help us learn more about the Sage offerings and how they might be well suited for many of our clients. Not surprisingly, Sage wants to entice QuickBooks advisors/consultants to consider Sage products: Peachtree, Act!, Timeslips, MAS90, and others. From my perspective, Sage does bring some enticing offerings. By offering free membership in the Sage Accountants Network, Sage has offered Sleeter Consultants the opportunity to use, recommend, and resell Peachtree and other Sage products.
What's In It For You?
I suspect that some Sleeter Group Consultants will not want to learn all the Sage products in the depth required to provide consulting services, however some will want to, and some like me already have.
After investing time, money, learning curve (and maybe a few sleepless nights), many Sleeter Group Consultants have become experts in Fishbowl, QB POS, SmartVault, Bill.com, Results CRM, Legrand CRM, BillQuick, Act!, and other software. These additional skills allow consultants to include a broader portfolio of services for clients and in turn, represent new revenue streams for consultants.
Two things I encourage all consultants to ask themselves are: What do you do when QuickBooks just isn't the right solution for your clients? And what do you do if you aren't the expert in the solutions they need? The short answer to both questions, in my opinion is: Align.
Alignment: Good for Your Car, Good for Your Consulting Practice
If your client needs add-on software (or replacement software) that you don't offer, why not align with a friendly partner? It is a win-win-win relationship. Just as Sleeter Group Consultants have aligned with specialists for Fishbowl and QB POS, you can align with specialists for Peachtree, MAS90, Act, Timeslips, and other Sage products. Benefits include:
Help your Clients. When shoehorned into the wrong software, some clients never catch on. But others do. As their trusted business advisor, clients expect you to look out for them.
Keep your Clients. If you don't have the skills to help your client with the right software, your competitors do! Wouldn't you rather introduce an alignment partner that won't poach your clients for accounting/tax/bookkeeping services? Let me assure you, this is not academic. We have dozens of CPA/accounting firms aligned with us, specifically to keep out their competitors who also offer software services. This isn't about us, it's about you. Other alignment partners offer these same advantages to you.
Make Some Easy Money. VARs (Value Added Resellers) selling mid-market software are often willing to pay referral fees. If your client needs the advanced capabilities of software such as MAS90, Accpac and others, help your client and help yourself. Beyond referral fees, a good alignment partner will collaborate with you and help your business. With the new information that mid-market software provides, clients have new reasons to engage their accounting/tax/financial advisors for guidance.
In Summary, Sage Software has opened a door for Sleeter Group Consultants. Software goodies you may want are on the other side. Go check them out.
Bob Michlin, Business Management Software Consultant