How to Become a QuickBooks Specialist: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Find out how to become a QuickBooks specialist. Research the training requirements and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in financial management. View article »

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Video Transcript

Could I Be a QuickBooks Specialist?

QuickBooks software from Intuit is most often used in accounting, financial and operations management departments. Professional managers, budget analysts and bookkeepers typically utilize this software. As it is computer-based, individuals who perform tasks in QuickBooks may spend many work hours seated at desks to complete their duties.

Career Requirements

Degree Level High school diploma, GED or postsecondary degree
Degree Fields Finance, business management or accounting
Certification QuickBooks certified user designation is available
Experience Preferably at least 2 years of experience using QuickBooks software for tasks related to payroll, cost reports, budgeting and invoices
Key Skills Attention to detail, knowledge of operations management spending procedures, strong understanding of mathematics, able to communicate clearly with others, comfortable analyzing massive data sets and capable of maintaining orderly files, familiar with QuickBooks software and functions
Salary (2014) $36,430 per year (Median wage for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks)
$65,940 (Median wage for accountants and auditors)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Intuit.

QuickBooks specialists pay close attention to detail; they have a strong understanding of operations management, spending procedures, and mathematics; and they communication clearly with others, comfortably analyzing massive data sets and maintaining orderly files. Above all, they are very familiar with the QuickBooks software and its functions.

QuickBooks specialists may have education ranging from high school diplomas to post-graduate college degrees, but they all have experience or training with QuickBooks software for tasks related to payroll, cost reports, budgeting, and invoices. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of 2015, the median annual salary was $37,250 for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks, and $67,190 for accountants and auditors. QuickBooks specialists are included in both these occupational categories.

Steps to Be a QuickBooks Specialist

How could I become a QuickBooks specialist?

Step 1: Build Your Career with QuickBooks Experience

Professionals who want to demonstrate their proficiency in QuickBooks can become QuickBooks Certified Users by passing an exam. Intuit, the company behind QuickBooks, recommends that professionals have at least two years of professional experience using the software before taking certification exams. Professionals who would typically benefit from these certifications include accountants and department managers. However, a QuickBooks certification is not typically the only form of training required of individuals seeking these positions.

Information from the BLS shows that administrative department managers usually need some postsecondary training, such as associate's or bachelor's degrees in fields related to management and business. Accountants are typically required to have bachelor's degrees specifically related to finance or accounting. Professionals who work as certified public accountants (CPAs) must become licensed and are often required to participate in continuing education and training throughout the course of their careers, which can sometimes include QuickBooks certification programs.

Other professionals who commonly use QuickBooks include bookkeepers, accounting clerks and auditing clerks, who generally enter the job field with a high school diploma.

Step 2: Complete a QuickBooks Training Program

Professionals who use QuickBooks extensively may not require formal training. In fact, individuals can take QuickBooks certification exams without completing structured training programs. Nevertheless, professionals who use the software on a regular basis may not be knowledgeable on all program functions, and this lack of knowledge could lead to individuals failing certification exams. Therefore, Intuit recommends that everyone complete some training prior to taking the certification exam.

Intuit offers several QuickBooks training programs, but colleges also offer QuickBooks courses and workshops. College courses may last an entire semester, whereas Intuit-sponsored training programs can be completed in a matter of days. Intuit training programs are designed for professionals with some basic knowledge of the program. In comparison, many college courses are structured for beginning, intermediate and advanced users. Training topics discussed may include daily bookkeeping, customer management, vendor invoices, expense reports, payroll, inventory maintenance, transactions and tax information.

Step 3: Pass the Certification Exam

According to Intuit, individuals must take exams at approved testing centers. People must register with local area testing centers and pay appropriate fees to take the exams. The test includes questions from nine key areas, including QuickBooks shortcuts, reports, purchases, basic accounting, payroll, sales, general product knowledge, list management, and QuickBooks program setup. Those who pass the exam will receive proof of certification via e-mail.

Be sure to take a practice test before taking the official exam. Intuit recommends that people take a practice exam, which is given to those who complete Intuit-sponsored training programs. Individuals who do not pass practice tests can use their test results to determine which QuickBooks topics they need to study more thoroughly.

Step 4: Keep Your Certification Up-to-Date

Professionals who become certified QuickBooks users are only certified on one version of QuickBooks. To maintain up-to-date QuickBooks certification, individuals may have to go through the certification process several times during their careers, since the software changes over time. Keeping current on these certifications helps professionals stay abreast of changes to accounting technology and can help those who use the software improve their work performance.

QuickBooks specialists are detail-oriented and organized, with highly developed mathematics skills; they have extensive experience and training in QuickBooks; and their salaries range between $37,250 and $67,190, depending on their occupational designation.

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