QuickBooks Wholesale Billing Pros and Cons

Update: On June 1st 2021, Intuit announced changes to the current ProAdvisor pricing program. The existing wholesale discount program is being retired effective July 15, 2021 and is being replaced by ProAdvisor Preferred Pricing. You can read more from Intuit here

Is Wholesale Billing Right for Your Practice?

For years, QuickBooks has provided ProAdvisors with a lower subscription price for their clients. It is called “QuickBooks Wholesale Billing” and it works like this. You, as the ProAdvisor, take on the responsibility of paying for the QuickBooks subscription. Then, you get the option to pass the discounted price to your client or you can absorb the discounted price into your fee.

I recently asked a question in my Facebook group, twitter, and LinkedIn to get the bookkeeping community’s thoughts about wholesale billing.

Do you use wholesale billing?
What do you like or don’t like about it?

I was overwhelmed with the responses and I thought I’d share the pros and cons here for you. When you are building your best bookkeeping practice, you get to make the choice as to whether you want to deal with QuickBooks wholesale billing or not. {I personally don’t.} But, it is important to know the pros and cons before making the decision if it is right for you.

Pros to Wholesale Billing

  • If you are trying to set up a new client on QuickBooks, offering to pay their subscription can help with your sales pitch.
  • You can be the “connection” for QuickBooks discounts, which could lead to more potential clients.
  • You can have a more “sticky” relationship with a client if you bundle in the subscription with your services.
  • It can be used as a customer service bonus when you include the price of the subscription in your fees.

Cons to Wholesale Billing

So, as you can see above, the biggest pro is that it can help sales and potentially keep clients. This list of cons is much longer and it is up to you if these cons outweigh the potential pros.

  • If QuickBooks raises their price, then you have to figure out what to do for your business. Do you pass along the increase? Do you just take the hit to your profit?
  • The price increases don’t align with contract renewals, so this makes your decision on the last point much harder.
  • If you charge your clients for the subscription, you get to deal with all the administrative tasks with it – invoicing, collections, etc. What happens if your client stops paying you? Do you keep paying the subscription for them even if they were the ones paying it before?
  • In some states, you are going to run into sales tax issues by selling software. So, those administrative tasks just went up another notch.
  • If something goes wrong with QuickBooks, then this may reflect badly on you because you are the one managing the relationship between QuickBooks and the client. You could end up being the “bad” girl.

Tips For Using QuickBooks Wholesale Billing in Your Practice

  • Make it clear in your contracts how you are going to manage the subscription.
    • What happens if QuickBooks increases their prices?
    • What happens to the subscription if the client stops paying you?
    • What happens if the client decides to terminate your relationship?
  • Consider listing the subscription as a separate line item on your invoice. {Sales tax might be an issue with this.}

As I mentioned above, I don’t use QuickBooks Wholesale Billing in my practice. I just don’t want to deal with the administrative crap. Also, most of my clients came to me already on QuickBooks so there was no need to include it in any sales pitch. But, as I said before, that was the decision I made for my practice. You get to decide what is best for you.

To learn more about QuickBooks Wholesale Billing, you can review this post on their website.


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Cathy Iconis

Cathy Iconis, CPA is the creator and facilitator of the weekly tweetchat #QBOchat and the website QBOchat.com - a community for QuickBooks Online Users. She is also the founder of Iconis Group, an Intuit Top 20 Firm of the Future, that supports small businesses all over the United States with their bookkeeping needs. She is a five-time recipient of the prestigious CPA Practice Advisor 40 Under 40 Award, given annually to just 40 people nationwide.

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