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Posted May 02, 2024

What to Look for in an Accounting Partner Program

Whew! You made it through the crazy-busy tax season, and I hope you and your fellow accounting professionals are enjoying some much-deserved time to relax. With the lion’s share of your firm’s revenue secured in the first four months of the year, you may now be considering ways to augment your services and keep cash flowing.

Enrolling in a partner program may be an ideal answer! A partner program provides an opportunity to create additional revenue streams for accounting and CPA professionals. So, after high tax season has passed, accountants can continue to earn income steadily all year long. Generally, companies that offer accounting partner programs allow their accounting firm partners to earn income for recommending and selling their products and services.

Affiliate vs. Referral Partner vs. Reseller

Resellers typically pay a discounted price for a partner program company’s products and services and then brand and resell them as their own—usually at a markup to generate profit. This differentiates them from referral partners and affiliates, who receive a commission for recommending a company’s products or services.

The difference between referral partners and affiliates is a bit more nuanced. Generally, referral partners have a closer relationship with the clients to whom they recommend the partner program company’s offerings.

Affiliates, on the other hand, typically advertise the partner program company more broadly and do not have a personal or professional relationship with prospective customers. An affiliate will earn morning when a website visitor clicks on an affiliate link and then purchases the product they were promoting.

Both resellers and referral partners take more of an advisory role than affiliates. They evaluate a client’s needs and offer solutions that will meet them.

In an affiliate or referral partnership, the accounting firm is involved in the sale but not ongoing support. In a reseller partnership, the accounting firm is the customer’s point of contact during the sales process and beyond.

How to Evaluate Partner Programs

What should your accounting firm look for in a partner program? First and foremost, it should enable you to bring additional value to your clients while reinforcing your reputation as a trusted advisor.

Other qualities to review and consider:

  • Transparency up-front about how the program works
  • No fee to participate
  • No minimum sales requirement to join or get paid
  • The flexibility of selecting a reseller and referral option, with the ability to participate in both if desired
  • A 100% customer satisfaction money-back guarantee
  • Ability to support and service clients in all 50 states
  • Dedicated account manager with specialized expertise in the program and the services sold through it
  • Multiple support options that include phone, email, live chat, and Zoom
  • Professionally designed marketing materials that make it easy for you to re-brand and white-label services as your own
  • Wholesale discounts of no less than 20% for resellers
  • Commissions of no less than 20% of service value for referral partners, with options to waive all or a portion of your commission and pass some or all of the savings to your clients instead
  • Intuitive online portal for ordering wholesale services
  • Volume-based discounts for enterprise resellers
  • Multiple referral commission payment methods to suit your preferences (e.g., check, PayPal, ACH)
  • API for integrating the program into your own website or app
  • Stands by expertise and accuracy with errors and omissions insurance
  • Generous cookie duration (2+ months) for affiliate link-based plans (how long a customer has to make a purchase after clicking an affiliate link for the affiliate to be entitled to a commission)

Keep in mind, that while this checklist won’t apply to all situations, it will help you research and evaluate available programs for your accounting firm.

Partner Programs to Explore

Various companies with services complementary to those of accounting firms offer partner programs. Commission structures, rates, and terms and conditions vary. Below are some highlights of various programs (according to the company websites).*

Business Formation & Compliance Filing Services

  • CorpNet Partner Program
    • Referral and reseller options available
    • Referral commission of no less than 20% and up to 30% of service value (with options to take a lower commission and extend savings to clients instead)
    • Reseller wholesale discount of no less than 20% and up to 30% off service fees
    • Commissions paid monthly by PayPal or ACH via with no minimum threshold (commissions of $100 or more are eligible for payment by physical check)
    • Service backed by 100% money back guarantee
  • LegalZoom Partner Program
    • Commissions based on volume
    • Choose from a simple affiliate program and a more advanced, product-integrated program (Details not disclosed on the website)
  • Rocket Lawyer® Affiliate Program
    • Commissions for referrals from the affiliate link on the partner’s website when customers order Rocket Lawyer services
    • Details not disclosed on the website
  • ZenBusiness Affiliate Program
    • Base payout of $100 for every new business formation order that comes to the ZenBusiness website from the affiliate link on the partner’s website

Payroll Solutions Providers

  • ADP® Accountant Revenue Share Program
    • From 25% to 75% of referrals’ monthly payroll invoice fees based on actual billings over their first 12 months
    • Residual commissions of 10% the following four years for active clients (must have over five eligible referrals)
  • Gusto Affiliate Program
    • $200+ commission per sale for every valid business customer
    • 120-day cookie duration
  • Gusto Partner Program
    • From 5% to 20% revenue share for the accounting firm or discounts for the firm’s clients (rate depends on the number of clients)
    • Fee payroll subscription for your firm
  • Justworks Partner Program
    • Referral bonuses from $100 – $300 per employee (depending on the number of Justworks PEO clients referred) or from one to three months of admin fees waived for clients
  • Paylocity Accountant Advantage Program
    • Reseller and revenue share options available
    • Discounts on products, services, and integration setup

Cloud Accounting, Financial Management, and ERP SaaS Providers

  • FreshBooks® Affiliate Program
    • Up to $10 commission per free trial signup and up to $200 per paid plan subscription
    • 120-day cookie duration
  • NetSuite Accounting Program
    • 10% commission on the first year’s license for referrals that become new NetSuite customers
  • QuickBooks® Business Affiliate Program
    • Allows participants to offer discounts to their clients or earn commissions on QuickBooks Online subscriptions
  • Sage Affiliate Program
    • $5 commission on free trial signups; $10 commission on subscription purchases
    • 7% commission on physical product sales
    • Affiliate income direct deposited into a bank account
  • Wave Affiliate Program
    • Payout for every time your affiliate link leads to a qualified referral; no commission limits
  • Xero™ Partner Program
    • Free subscription for your accounting practice; earn discounts for clients
    • Earn points to unlock additional perks
  • Zoho Books Affiliate Program
    • 15% – 20% commission rate (depends on volume) per qualified sale
    • $100 credit to referrals when they try Zoho

Banking and Payment Solutions Providers

  • PayPal® Partner Program
    • Co-selling opportunities; monetary incentives and rewards
  • Relay Partner Program for Accountants and Bookkeepers
    • One-time cash reward of $50 – $200 per client (depending on number of clients) onboarded to Relay
    • One-time cash reward for each client when a $10,000 balance is met within the first 12 months
    • If 20+ clients, receive a monthly revenue share of up to 10% of the interest Relay earns from its partner bank
  • Square Referral Partner Program
    • Revenue share rewarded when referred customers adopt Square

CorpNet’s Partner Program Is a Win for You and Your Clients

Numerous affiliate programs exist that put extra dollars in the bank when someone clicks an affiliate link. But a true win-win partnership provides an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your client as you generate additional revenue.

We created the CorpNet Partner Program to not only add dollars to your bottom line but also empower you to expand the ways you can serve your accounting clients, thus building loyalty and trust for the long term. Our program offers opportunities to resell our business formation and compliance filing services under your brand — or refer clients to us — providing you with optimal flexibility and unlimited potential. You can even participate as both a reseller and referral partner if you wish.

CorpNet’s program offers:

  • Join for free
  • Earn revenue with no minimum sales commitment
  • Enjoy unlimited income potential
  • Get peace of mind with personalized, USA-based support
  • Brand our services as your own with our Reseller Program and we act as your silent fulfillment partner behind the scenes
  • Enjoy generous discounted pricing on our services, and you charge what you want to your clients to achieve your desired profit margin
  • Earn a generous percentage-based commission on our services as a Referral Partner

No matter which program you choose, a dedicated CorpNet account manager will be there to answer questions and support your efforts. And we back our service quality with a 100% money-back guarantee.

*Accessed April 30, 2024

Boost Revenue, Build Trust, & Grow Revenue

With the CorpNet Partner Program, you can expand your services and add income to your bottom line with minimal effort. Our full suite of filing services is a perfect complement to your existing offerings.

<a href="" target="_self">Nellie Akalp</a>

Nellie Akalp

Nellie Akalp is an entrepreneur, small business expert, speaker, and mother of four amazing kids. As CEO of, she has helped more than half a million entrepreneurs launch their businesses. Akalp is nationally recognized as one of the most prominent experts on small business legal matters, contributing frequently to outlets like Entrepreneur, Forbes, Huffington Post, Mashable, and Fox Small Business. A passionate entrepreneur herself, Akalp is committed to helping others take the reigns and dive into small business ownership. Through her public speaking, media appearances, and frequent blogging, she has developed a strong following within the small business community and has been honored as a Small Business Influencer Champion three years in a row.

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