Alicia’s Thoughts About “QB Expert Assisted Bookkeeping”

by | May 1, 2024

Taking the people out of Intuit?

Taking the people out of Intuit?

What is all the fuss about?

Intuit, the renowned financial software company, has recently launched a new service called QB Live Expert Assisted Bookkeeping. The service aims to provide an answer to businesses’ bookkeeping questions at a monthly subscription fee of $50. However, this move has understandably generated mixed reactions within the accounting community. 

Forward-thinking ProAdvisors are excited by new opportunities to pivot their service model and turn this into a win-win-win, but the initial gut reaction from many instead has been vitriolic, with bookkeepers posting on social media with threats to abandon the QuickBooks platform…or retire altogether.

Hector Garcia and I discuss the new service on The Unofficial QuickBooks Accountants Podcast. Listen in!

Why QB Live Expert Assistance?

As a business owner, understanding the ins and outs of accounting software can be challenging. Despite the popular opinion that QuickBooks Online is so easy that anyone can do it, most users require guidance on how to effectively utilize its features. Calling Support for bookkeeping questions has been an exercise in frustration, since Support is designed to address software issues – it’s not staffed by knowledgeable bookkeepers.

This is where QB Live Expert Assisted Bookkeeping comes in, bridging the gap between software functionality and user proficiency. QB Live Expert Assisted is particularly beneficial for micro-businesses and startups that don’t yet have the resources to hire a dedicated bookkeeper. 

The Benefits

For this reason, QB Live Expert Assisted Bookkeeping actually helps address our industry’s bookkeeper shortage. It serves as an excellent training ground for aspiring bookkeepers to learn the ropes. By dealing with a diverse range of questions, they gain a broad understanding of the software and its application in a variety of scenarios. This creates a win-win situation, as business owners receive assistance while new bookkeepers gain practical knowledge and build their careers. On the flip side, this also assures job security for seasoned full-service bookkeepers, until the “Experts” develop their expertise. 

For established firms, QB Live Expert Assisted Bookkeeping offers the opportunity to outsource high-maintenance, low-value clients. By referring these clients to the support service, firms can focus their resources on more strategic and lucrative tasks. 

One of the key advantages of QB Live Expert Assisted Bookkeeping will be Intuit’s ability to gather data and insights from user interactions. This helps them identify areas where users are facing difficulties, and informs the development of user interface (UI) enhancements. By continuously improving the software based on experience, Intuit will ensure that QuickBooks Online becomes more user-friendly and intuitive.

Intuit’s decision to introduce QB Live Expert Assisted Bookkeeping is also driven by financial considerations. Now Intuit can offer paid support to users, generating additional revenue streams. Moreover, they have done their math; actuarial tables are the unfortunate reality from insurance to city planning. Intuit estimates that the revenue from business owners who sign up independently will outweigh the potential loss from bookkeepers looking into other software solutions out of frustration.

The ProAdvisor Sub-Economy

But how do I REALLY Feel? While I don’t personally have any issue with the new QB Live Expert Assisted services, even though it’s related to my company’s role in QuickBooks Training, I think Intuit is asking the wrong questions as they guide their future strategy. The feedback they’re using to inform their strategic initiatives comes from asking the wrong questions to the wrong audience.

I don’t think their needs assessments took into consideration that there is an entire accounting sub-economy built around the ProAdvisor Community.

Intuit themselves built this economy through their initial strategy of onboarding as many ProAdvisors as possible, knowing that one Bookkeeeper had 2 to 200 clients. One educated and enthusiastic QBO-centric bookkeeper generated thousands of dollars a year.

15 years ago, QBO was a novelty. It was cloud-based, freeing us up from offices, office hours, and desktop computers. It leveraged new technology to invent automations that shifted the bookkeeping role from data entry to data management, from transactional to advisory.

With this transformation, enthusiastic Proadvisors built a community around support and education, fostering camaraderie now that bookkeeping was no longer an isolated occupation.

Hundreds of expert-level pros then built their careers and thriving businesses around QBO, not just bookkeepers, but educators like Seth David, Veronica Wasek, Hector Garcia, and me.

An ecosystem of apps, software solutions, and client services were developed because inspired users found problems they could solve.

Then conferences like QB Connect brought us all face-to-face, where we strategized together, collaborated together, grew our firms together, and laughed together as we forged new friendships.

Plus, we were deluged with swag and fun activities. We were treated like royalty, and we responded by onboarding as many new clients (meaning, new QBO users) as possible.

Blind Spots

I get that Intuit is evolving with the times, and has new growth strategies. But I believe they are de-prioritizing some of the elements that built the company. I think the shareholders and the C-suite have some blind spots: 

They’re not taking into consideration their cheerleaders. They’re announcing these changes at the same time they’re disbanding the Trainer/Writer Network. The TWN has been Intuit’s evangelical core of influencers, the educators that are active on social media dispelling misinformation. They are the ones providing good advice about how to use QBO and fall in love with it. They are the ones who even now are explaining why the QB Live program is a GOOD thing, in the face of social media ire. We’ll all still contribute, but without the formal resources we relied on.

They’re not taking into consideration the small businesses they inspired us to build, careers focused on filling a niche around the QBO ecosystem. By adding done-with-you and done-for-you services, they are dismantling the sub-economy that Intuit themselves encouraged. 

When they revamped the Intuit logo a few years ago, they literally took the “people” out of the word Intuit!

Intuit apparently thinks the reason why they are the market leader is because their software is so great. But the truth is that they’re top of market because they have fostered a collaborative community and a thriving sub-economy. It’s the people using the software who are responsible for the software’s greatness. If Intuit does not include us in their strategic planning and implementation, there will be no reason for bookkeepers to recommend QuickBooks over other alternatives. The house of cards will fall.

The Question of Reliability

They’re also not taking into consideration that the software is becoming buggy.

Different teams develop different tools with different interfaces. We spend hours on the phone with support trying to figure out why QBO isn’t working as expected. And we waste hundreds of unpaid hours of our own time as the subjects of live beta testing.

If the software’s not reliable, or if the numbers ever stop being accurate, people will stop using QuickBooks. There are four pillars in Intuit’s foundation: QuickBooks, TurboTax, MailChimp, and CreditKarma. If they break one of the supports, the whole thing will fall.

Moving Forward With Grace and Style:

Again, I truly do believe that this new service helps solve two issues we have in the industry: the shortage of bookkeepers and accountants, and the fact that QBO is NOT so easy that anyone can do it. 

QB Live is not the end of the ProAdvisors as we know it. There are a lot of limitations that we continue to fill:

  • Users of QB Live interact with different advisors each time they use the service. This lack of continuity can lead to inconsistencies in advice and support.
  • The advice offered by the service is general in nature. It doesn’t take into account the specifics of a company’s unique circumstances.
  • The staff at QB Live are relatively inexperienced, limiting the quality of the service they can provide.


Here is the missing piece I think would bridge the needs of the corporation with the needs of its sub-economy: Intuit should implement a referral program, so that we have an incentive to integrate the service into our own offerings. If managed properly, integrating QB Live into our firms frees up our time so that we can take on more clients or offer new services that we didn’t have the bandwidth to pursue. It can become a revenue stream for us as well.

As always, our industry will continue to modernize and evolve, creating new opportunities for all of us to thrive. This allows us as ProAdvisors to walk into the open spaces, and create new services for our clients that incorporate or pivot around the changes. 

It’s an opportunity for us all to live by Intuit’s oft-quoted saying, “A rising tide lifts all ships.”

If you need additional information or would like to schedule an appointment with Alicia, click here. To learn more about the extensive QBO training that Alicia provides, and why she’s not afraid of Intuit beginning to offer training, click here.  

Disclaimer: This article is based on public information available at the time of writing. Any pricing, features, or details mentioned may be subject to change. Please refer to Intuit’s official website or contact their customer support for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

About Alicia Katz Pollock

With a Masters in Teaching from Tufts University, a QuickBooks®️ Online Advanced Certification and more than 30 years’ experience in the tech industry, Alicia is passionate about finding creative, practical solutions to complex and everyday tech problems. She also loves a good laugh!



  1. Martha Yasso

    I emphatically agree. As there are several opportunities for ProAdvisors with QB Live Expert Assisted Bookkeeping, Intuit is loosing sight of the product reach ProAdvisors bring Intuit. I’m hearing many ProAdvisors exploring other accounting systems and dropping QBO altogether, not just adding an additional accounting software. Intuit’s strategic pivot makes me curious if Intuit wishes to change their primary product mix. If Intuit is truly committed to accounting software, backing off ProAdvisor influence is a mistake. Even with the tremendous advances AI brings none of my clients want to be bothered with accounting. Having learned running a business needs more than bookkeeping, and CPAs are too busy with taxes to spend time explaining what the financial reports mean, small businesses need us more than ever.

  2. Keith Sconiers

    I loved this article Alicia! Major SAAS companies, like QBO and others, are missing the fact that human touch is the key to business enablement and growth and that undermining their key relationships will only unravel what they’ve worked so hard to build. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

  3. Kim Noh

    Out of the mouth of an expert. If she is not scared, then why are we. I like her views on finding a way to see the sun from within the cloud.

  4. Pat Hartley

    Well said Alicia


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