Roadshows provide an occasion to connect with like-minded peers in your industry or profession (in this instance Bookkeepers and Accountants) and get to know a vendor team beyond the sales and support call environment.
Roadshows are also invigorating as well as an endurance test for organisers and presenters alike. However importantly for software vendors they provide an invaluable opportunity to gain direct insights from end user customers on how they perceive and apply your solutions and why they partner with you and what they would like to see prioritised in your future roadmap of innovation.
During May and June, I had the privilege of presenting at the “Receipt Bank Grow Your Practice” roadshow across Australia.
As a presenter, I love roadshows; this was the 15th time over the past 20 years I had traversed the country presenting in this format. The schedule is always frenetic and challenges you to “be on” each time you present. Even though you are repeating a talk you are always refining and enhancing it; it’s certainly not a canned presentation, it’s a living thing that evolves as you are on the road. Much like working with small business clients; just because you advised the same thing to another client earlier in the day doesn’t mean the next client you see should receive an abridged or less enthusiastic delivery of your advice / message. We all need to turn up and be on, and that’s simply a decision we can make each time we interact with a current or prospective client.
It’s often the presenter that gets the most out of the presentation! – The art of constructing, communicating and connecting with an audience is always at the forefront of a presenter’s mind. Total respect for the audience and the organiser (and the collective investment of time, energy and money by just being in the room) is paramount, it’s an honour, privilege and responsibility to share useful content in a way that impacts and initiates implementation of insights gained from attending a Roadshow.
So, what did I learn by being on the road with the Receipt Bank team for 5 weeks visiting 12 cities across Australia?
1 – Bookkeepers are Entrepreneurs
It was inspiring to meet and hear the back stories of countless (unsung hero) Bookkeepers getting on with business, adapting to change and re-creating their business models for future sustainability and quality of life. I saw the “Entrepreneurial Bookkeeper Mindset” in action; Proactively seeking and implementing technology solutions that enhance business results for themselves and their clients.
The effective adoption of technology coupled with discernment of their pricing, promotion and positioning may just be creating the ultimate lifestyle vocation with recurring profitable income, paradoxically leveraging from automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Contrary to popular belief, technological change is an opportunity for the progressive bookkeeping professional ….. not a threat!
2 – Accountants and Bookkeepers are collaborating
The Receipt Bank roadshow brought together Accountants, Bookkeepers and SMB’s and despite some industry commentators talking up a turf war between Accountants and Bookkeepers the reality in the field is very different.
I witnessed first-hand, active collaboration between bookkeepers and accountants in the room. Mutual respect for each other’s strengths and understanding of the needs of the common client.
I saw professional Bookkeepers and Accountants alike recognising and respecting the unique strengths and skillsets that each bring to the SMB community.
There is a genuine connection between each party. With Accountants seeking out complimentary referral partners to connect their clients with for their bookkeeping needs and bookkeepers seeking mentorship and guidance from accountants in the finer aspects of accounting and business operations. This collaboration enhances the services and relationship that each brings to (often mutual) clients.
We are also seeing the evolution of business partnering opportunities with the roll up of some bookkeeping businesses into accounting firms so as to enable Accounting firms to offer an all in one, end to end solution to the client, whilst providing the bookkeeper the necessary infrastructure to grow and service more clients.
3 – Receipt Bank have a great team
Having known members of Receipt Bank (both in the USA and here in AU) since 2012, I sensed they had an impressive team that is growing around the world. However, the roadshow enabled me to see a next generation of team members and leadership in action. What particularly impressed me was the calibre of the in-house presenters that I shared the roadshow stage with. There is a team of young (yes I know, almost everyone is young compared to me), enthusiastic and very capable professionals that not only knew their product (as you would expect) but also knew their purpose and demonstrated they also know how to relate and connect with their customer. Especially interesting was seeing notable aspects of the corporate culture of Receipt Bank on display. Enabling a platform for team member growth through presenting in public requires courage, confidence and trust. There were several team members for whom this was their first time presenting and they did a fabulous job of it. They were prepared in advance through deliberate practice, encouraged from the sidelines and ultimately respected and applauded by the audience.
I want to congratulate Receipt Bank on the commitment to making the roadshow a reality (and encourage you to continue), it’s a lot of work, often difficult to quantify results (in the short term), however from a presenters view the benefits to all are immense.
In a digital world where we are all “connected” there is often a sense of a lack of real connection. Attending (or arranging) a roadshow show is a wonderful way to learn something new and gain valuable insights whilst connecting with your peers.
Well done Receipt Bank and thank you for the opportunity to be a part of the inaugural #RBRoadshow
In case you missed the Roadshow!
You can still catch up on great information designed to help you Grow Your Practice. Check out more at the resources and events pages at the Receipt Bank website https://www.receipt-bank.com