LivePlan Certifies First 100 Accountants through New Expert Advisor Course

Eugene, Ore

One hundred accountants have completed Palo Alto Software’s new LivePlan Expert Advisor Course, a program launched in December that teaches accountants how to better forecast and track financial health for small business clients.

The 100 accountants who have completed the course have earned a LivePlan Expert Advisor certification, two Continuing Professional Education (CPE) units, and are receiving marketing assistance from Palo Alto Software on how to sell proactive advisory services to their small business clients. To pass the course, accountants must complete a two-hour online training session led by Palo Alto Software’s CEO, Sabrina Parsons, and pass a final exam with 85 percent accuracy.

Accountants who completed the course will use LivePlan, in addition to the knowledge they gained from the course, to help provide more strategic advice for their small business clients and offer long-term financial planning assistance. Robin Thieme, CEO of Kensington Business Solutions, said LivePlan has made a significant difference in the way she’s able to serve her clients. Thieme is the winner of Palo Alto Software’s “First 50” Raffle, which awarded one accountant among the first 50 to complete the course with $2,500 in cash, plus additional support and training from Palo Alto Software.

"The clients I have on LivePlan have benefited from the Scoreboard as a really user friendly way to keep a pulse on the company's' financial performance and condition from a bird's eye view,” Thieme said.  “In addition, the ability to plan dynamically allowing for pivoting as learning is gained can be the key difference for many companies between failing and surviving as too many companies ‘stay the course’, when all indicators point to pivoting in a slightly different direction."

Accountants who complete the LivePlan Expert Advisors program and onboard at least three clients will be listed in the “Find a LivePlan Expert Advisor” directory, which will launch on LivePlan.com in March, and have their practice promoted to over 200,000 LivePlan small business users.

“This service is foundational to helping small business owners nationwide partner with their accountants to better understand, plan and track their financials,” said Parsons. “LivePlan certified accountants are gaining extensive knowledge that allows them to better guide their clients through the important budgeting and forecasting process while providing strategic advice for their business goals for the long term.”

Research from Cranfield School of Management found that when businesses plan, track, and adjust based on market response, they grow 30 percent faster. If small businesses are able to work with their accountant to accurately plan and track, they’ll increase their chances of long-term growth and success.

“Knowing that accountants are the first professionals most small businesses hire to help them grow their businesses, we’re excited to deliver tools and services to these accountants so they can be better equipped to meet the needs of small businesses in today’s changing economy,” Parsons said.

LivePlan syncs accounting data from QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Online, and Xero, and allows business owners to plan strategically, run meaningful reports, and track their results from any internet connection. Accountants interested in completing the certification course must sign up for an upcoming date and time: Jan. 15, Feb. 11, Mar. 18, and Apr. 29 (all times are 9:00 a.m. PST/12:00 p.m. EST). Please visit http://www.liveplan.com/blog/expert-advisor/ for more information and to sign up.