Idea suggested by Stephen Youngs FCCA 5 years ago
I think it's about time Clearbooks reviewed their approach to partner certification. When I first became a certified partner, I took a day of my time, bought an expensive train ticket from Bristol, travelled over to London, took the test, got 100%, got my certificate.
Then some bright spark thought let's make more money out of our partners, because of course it is a huge benefit to them in being certified, so we'll make them pay for training they don't need before letting them take the test!
So, I'm no longer a certified partner. That's despite using Clearbooks myself and supporting my clients with it since January 2011.
Outside London pretty much no-one has ever heard of Clearbooks, so accounting partners would seem to me a great way to get the word out and promote the Clearbooks brand. From our own practice marketing point of view however partners do much better by promoting Quickbooks (on TV all the time) or Xero (well known). Clearbooks is a harder sell and if it wasn't for partners being able to get a discount I'm not sure why we would promote it at all. Only Clearbooks want to charge me £300 to be a certified partner. For this I would get:
The fee includes a training session at the Clear Books office, followed by an online test. If you pass, you’ll receive a certificate qualifying you as a Clear Books Certified Partner, and you will get all these benefits:
- 1 x blog coverage on your practice once you have qualified
- Guest blog opportunities
- Clear Books Certified Partner email signature badge
- Clear Books Certified Partner website badge
- Clear Books Certified Partner certificate
- Clear Books Certified Partner window sticker
- Clear Books Certified Partner badge attached to your profile on the Clear Books accounting partner directory
- Matches between small business and clients as and when a request is made
Blogs nobody reads have little value, and I can publish my own blog for nothing any time I want anyway and link to it from my Clearbooks profile. The rest is just badges and stuff that have zero cost to Clearbooks and would be given for free anywhere else.
Partner certification is primarily a marketing strategy for Clearbooks, surely? Why should I pay for that? Being a certified partner helps me sell Clearbooks to my clients, although price is probably the biggest selling point, but if they're happy to pay the extra for Xero and my Xero certification is free, then why would I be a Clearbooks reseller? It makes no sense.