What I discovered by connecting with Bookkeepers & Accountants at the #GetConnectedAU Roadshow

shutterstock_292066349

Roadshows are both a Marathon and a Sprint!

They are also engaging, repetitive, exhausting, invigorating and enlightening ……. providing an opportunity to deliver/receive direct unfiltered communication from the audience to the organiser.

I have an affinity to roadshow events having presented at more than 100 of them over the past 15 years, they are my favourite way of connecting with an audience. Whilst we have organised many of our own here at QA Business, its always great when someone else handles the logistics and fills the room and that is exactly what Intuit Australia did over the past 3 weeks.

It was my privilege to present the Keynote session at #GetConnectedU and share some thoughts, experiences and stories that hopefully helped (ABC’s) Accountants, Bookkeepers & Consultants re-discover some Confidence about the industry direction, gain Clarity on their relevance in it and create deeper Connection with others who will be a part of their extended team to enhance their client experience.

#GetConnectedAU (held in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane) saw hundreds of ABC’s invest a ½ a day in learning about industry trends from Trent McLaren, Website design tips from Wayne Schmidt, company and solution updates from Nicolette Maury, Meagan Wood and Luis Sanchez from Intuit, Shark Tank Style pitches from App Eco system partners and a Power Panel of Peers sharing insights on building their Accounting & Bookkeeping businesses.

It has been a great Roadshow that reinforced for me a continued shift in mindset in the market, as the frenetic pace of having to learn all apps in the accounting tech eco system (which created overwhelm and inertia) is beginning to settle down to a more considered approach to discerning what to learn that will be relevant to the clients you are looking to serve and the business (firm) you are building.

3 noticeable takeaways I observed were;

Renewed Focus on Strategy

ABC’s, no matter how long they have been involved in the profession, have a renewed focus (and are taking the time) to devise their future, based on discernment as to what the market needs are, combined with learning new skills to compliment current and emerging demand. Technology is a tool that is here to stay and whilst there is no doubt there will be a continual evolution (and perhaps consolidation) of solutions there seems to be a propensity for advisors to absorb a broader array of solutions and discern their relevance and application to their client’s business and their own.

A Viable Profession of Choice

I was both surprised and encouraged by the number of new entrants to the profession (within the last 5 years). People choosing Accounting | Bookkeeping | Technology as their vocation of choice. From diverse backgrounds, including Corporate positions, unrelated Small Business, Education and even the Trades. These new Tech Savvy, Enthusiastic (Baggage free) entrants are also coming with a plan, creating and building a business that will afford them lifestyle choices and fulfilling work as they serve clients with a model they have designed to service the customer and themselves.

Bookkeepers & Accountants are collaborating

Accountants and Bookkeepers alike are continuing to partner and collaborate to serve the small business community. Traditionally there has been some “Us and Them” mindset on both sides but Technology seems to be assisting by breaking down the barriers. With so much change occurring in the industry, professionals in both camps are recognising that more can be achieved by utilising the unique skills that each party has to offer each other. Coincidentally this dovetails perfectly in a session I’m presenting at #QBConnect in Silicon Valley next week on why “Accountants & Bookkeepers Go Together just Like Peas and Carrots” 😊

Thanks again to the Intuit QuickBooks Australia team for enabling me to be a part of the Roadshow and delivering a platform for ABC’s to Learn, Connect and Collaborate.

The next major event for Intuit is the Australian edition of #QBConnect which has been extended into a 2 day event to be held in Sydney May 24-25 2018. I would encourage all independent professionals who have an interest in the future of the profession and the impact of technology on it to attend – I know I will be.

– Clayton

 

A View from the Future (Aussies Abroad at #AccountexUSA 2017)

By Clayton Oates

In the words of one of the great Business Philosophers – Dr Seuss (plus some paraphrasing)

“Oh the places you will go (with Accounting Bookkeeping Technology)”

IMG_8411This week saw more than 30 intrepid Aussie ABC’s (Accountants | Bookkeepers | Consultants) attend AccountexUSA (one of the world’s largest and longest running Independent Accounting Technology conferences) in the history-laden metropolis of Boston Massachusetts USA.

Aussies have been attending this event since 2011 (formerly called SleeterCon) and this year was the biggest touring party ever – you can check out more of the backstory Why Aussie Accountants and Bookkeepers attend AccountexUSA). Comprising first time travellers, through to seasoned veterans, some just starting out in business and others re-discovering new found passions for their vocation. No matter where on the scale each attendee was at, there was common threads between us all; such as;

1 – A thirst for Knowledge. Whether that be solutions that can help run an Accounting or Bookkeeping business or that of the clients we serve or Business development insights and inspiration from those who have journeyed before us. These insights were discovered at a myriad of breakout sessions through to the communal dining room talking to other ABC’s, or by attending the high calibre Keynotes of Randi Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Daymond John (Sharktank and FUBU).

2 – Sharing of Knowledge. The Aussie market is widely viewed as a world leader (ok the real leaders are probably the Kiwi’s but don’t tell them that 😊) in the adoption of future focussed cloud technologies and business models both within Accounting and Bookkeeping firms and the SMB community. Whist we know we are really just getting started,  the US has tended to be a step or two back in adoption, however I’m starting to see a progressive uptake and the gap appears to be closing. It was fascinating seeing the USA attendees gravitate to the Aussies for insights on what the future holds and how to fast track their progression and avoid some of the pitfalls experienced by others with a genuine openness to learn.

3 – Shared Experiences. For some, being in Business can be a lonely experience, but not for the bunch that I got to hang out with this week. The energy and enthusiasm of a collective group permeated the conference. The Aussies, along with some (honorary Aussies) Americans and Canadians arrived early and stayed late (sometimes very late) at the local watering holes, this may have had something to do with the Jetlag/time zone difference thing or just the hot and humid conditions in Boston. In any case some memorable extra-curricular events transpired, included the friendly take-over of the original “Cheers Bar” for a #PreCon session on Monday afternoon and the post conference baseball game at the Iconic Fenway Park or the lobby bar catch up each night at conference hotel. All memorable and entertaining, and part of the full conference touring experience.

IMG_8344

One incredible side benefit of getting on a plane and making the trek half way around the world to attend an industry conference is the fabulous friendships you make. Life (like Business) is about relationships and there is no better example of this than the Accounting / Bookkeeping Tech industry, it truly is a global village and becoming more so every day. Whilst some markets may have moved at different rates to others so far, you can feel a convergence of shared experiences which is poised to create a baseline quickly attainable for those yet to enter the arena. I believe we all have a role and responsibility to take what we have learnt, authentically share with others and continue to challenge the status quo and play a role in enabling technology to deliver on a long standing (and possibly overdue) Promise to Keep for our industry and clients.

I look forward to sharing future (local and international) conference experiences with you, as well as welcoming our friends from across the oceans to the future here Down Under (Although I suppose we can only really claim that we’re 17 hours in the future).

Cheers

Clayton

PS: Thanks Di Lucas (Direct Managment and Cloud Storm) for organising the official Tour Shirts.

 

How to Dramatically Boost Your ROI When Attending #QBConnect in Sydney This Week!

QBConnect AU Speakers Include Clayton Oates

The #1 Key to getting a great return on your investment in attending #QBConnect is to make sure you have a conference game plan. Read on to find out how!

After investing more than 70 Days (attending and presenting) at Accounting | Bookkeeping |Technology events (in the USA, Australia & New Zealand) annually for the past 6 years, I have noticed that many conference attendees (sometimes me included) are failing to realise an appropriate return on their significant conference investment.

This is certainly a problem that needs fixing and I have come to the conclusion that the main reason for this it that we are failing to set a “Conference Game Plan” on the way into the event.

Whilst the motivating factors for registering for an event are certainly valid, and include reasons such as;

However there is often a disconnect between the initial motivating factors to commit time and money to attend and the implementation of actionable steps post conference.

The next major event in our industry is set down for May 18th 2017 in Sydney where hundreds of QuickBooks focused ABC’s (Accountants | Bookkeepers | Consultants) along with Small Business Owners and Operators will be attending the Intuit (QuickBooks) flagship event – QBConnect (The first time the event is being held in Australia).

So what are the 3 Simple steps we can take in order to “Set our Game Plan” and dramatically boost our investment return on attending QBConnect ?

Step 1 – Set your Agenda in advance – Now!

If you have registered to attend QBConnect then you would have already received an invitation to build you conference agenda. Take some time to review the details of each session on the agenda and commit to sessions that you believe is what you need to help you move to the next level in your professional and business journey. Be sure to lock in ALL Keynote, Opening and Closing address sessions and of course I would also highly recommend the “App’s Power Panel” session at 2:45pm with Di Lucas, Kane Munro, Wayne Schmidt and Myself as a must see. At each session work on identifying 1 key action point that you can take home and implement, also if the opportunity arises ask questions and of course arrive early and stay late if time permits (you often receive that “Zinger” by listening in on conversions with the presenter beside the stage after the session). Also be sure to download and use the QuickBooks Connect Sydney App, found on iTunes or Google Play this will help you stay organised and focused throughout the event.

Step 2- Identify Partners to build out your “Tech Toolkit”

Take time to carefully review the list of exhibitors attending the event and identify key vendors that you wish to connect with during the event. Familiarise yourself with the Exhibit Hall layout and identify the order in which you are going to approach those key vendors you wish to establish a partnership with. Often the Founders and CEO’s of the vendors attend these events and this is a golden opportunity to discover the real back story as to why the business was established and understanding the need it fills and how you can partner with them to introduce a solution to your firm or client base.

Businesses and their Advisors alike have been in a discovery phase of identifying business processes that can be “Appified” and integrated into the Accounting Engine in order to streamline efficiency and enhance business performance. Whilst this “discovery phase” will always be ongoing I believe it is now time to start to settle on solutions that comprise the core of your business solutions toolkit, not only for your firm but also for your clients – the perfect opportunity to do this is at events like QBConnect.

(Note: It’s important to take time to establish vendor relationships, identify and ask key questions that you need answering prior to committing to partnering with the vendor. Some of the typical questions I ask a vendor in order to determine if they are going to make in into our toolkit can be found at one of our earlier Blog posts

Step 3 – Network with Peers & Industry Thought Leaders

Large scale events such as QBConnect often bring together the Industry Thought Leaders and like-minded peers from around the country (and the world); you just never know who you may be sitting next to. So take this opportunity so say G’day. I have found that ABC’s the world over are very generous of their ideas, experiences and time when it comes to sharing with their peers, particularly in the inspiring and thought provoking environment of a conference. It’s just up to you to simply start the conversation ………….

Bonus Tip – Get Social & Share Your Experiences

Whilst there will be hundreds attending QBConnect, there will be many more thousands watching the event unfold from afar, eager to hear about the insights and inspiration that you have gleaned from the event, so be sure to share your experience. One of the best ways to do this is via Social Media during the event (Twitter / Facebook / Instagram and if you are under 25 no doubt Snapchat will all get a run) be sure to use #QBConnect in your posts and reference the source of your information wherever you can. Take pictures whilst at the event and if you get the chance don’t be afraid to ask your favourite presenters to pose for a “Selfie” with you, I know I will be taking any opportunity to get a pic with some of my heroes in the Accounting | Bookkeeping | Technology professions.

Remember you can continue the conference conversation well after the event. You could compile a LinkedIn or Google+ post or write a Blog article or distribute a newsletter post event sharing your conference experience with your team and clients (during the event be sure to compile a list of the top insights you learnt from each session you attend – this gives you ready made content that you can use for your article).

By following these simple steps I am certain you will amplify the return on your QBConnect  investment, which after all comprised of your hard earned money and more importantly your precious, irreplaceable time so it’s defiantly worth making the most of it.

I look forward to seeing you in Sydney at what promises to be a fantastic event 🙂

 

Clayton

A Tribute to Bonnie Nagayama – a True Difference Maker

An incredible lady who is going to be missed around the world.

Bonnie Nagayama and Clayton Oates

Thank you Bonnie for making a significant and positive impact on my life

I first met Bonnie  (and her beautiful family) in 2010 at Pier 39 in San Francisco, in what was (when I now reflect) a “sliding door” moment for myself and my family.

We were on our first overseas trip and Bonnie was the only person I knew of who lived in North America, a connection that started with the subscribing to her QuickBooks Tips & Tricks newsletter many years earlier. Then thanks to Alain Legrand (Legrand CRM) of which Bonnie and I were consultants in (albeit on opposite sides of the world), Alain kindly made an introduction before our trip for us to connect when we were visiting San Francisco. In true Bonnie style she went out of her way to meet us at a crowded Pier 39 one Sunday afternoon in October (10/10/10), also it just happened to be Fleet Week and the crowds were enormous. We arranged to meet out front of Bubba Gump’s.
So here we were, Aussie tourists in a crowd with 5 small children just trying to keep them together looking for a lady and her family that we had never met and trying to remember from online pictures as to what she looked like. Eventually someone heard our Australian accents and approached us and said you’re not Clayton are you? – It was Bonnie!
Our families spent the day together, enjoying the wonder of fleet week celebrations, the Blue Angels flying throughout the city and the bay, chatting about the industry and what got us to this point and where we see it going. There were so many similarities with our past, Accounting Backgrounds, switching out to focus on software solutions and training in the early 1990’s, conference presenting, adopting and recommending Add-Ons including CRM solutions to our clients, helping software vendors in their product development and partnering strategies, the list goes on.
One question I had for Bonnie was “What events do you attend to further your learning around the technology and its application in the Accounting / Bookkeeping world” – her response was an emphatic – “The Sleeter Conference (now called AccountexUSA) and it’s on next month in Las Vegas, you should come to it”. I had heard of Doug Sleeter although didn’t know that there was a conference named after him (I can recall googling “Worlds best QuickBooks consultant” years earlier and Doug’s name appeared in the list so this validation by Bonnie resonated with me). The only challenge was that it had taken me 41 years to make my first overseas trip so I wasn’t quite prepared or committed to take a second within a month. However I promised Bonnie that my wife (Jacinta) and I would be there next year (2011) which we did (and every year since). This is where my connection and affinity with North America began (with now over 20 trips in 6 years), attending, learning and presenting at conferences, a special friendship with Doug and Sherrill Sleeter and hundreds of fabulous friends all began, with Bonnie, taking the time to connect with some random ex-accountant/ software consultant from the other side of the world.
Thank you Bonnie, your calm, considered “Going placidly about what you do amidst the noise of our world” approach to life is a reminder to us all that whilst we often can’t choose what happens to us we can choose how we shall respond.
My prayers and thoughts go out to Ed, Nicole and Justin and all of Bonnie’s family and friends, may you have some comfort in knowing that Bonnie has made a significant positive difference in the lives of others and I’m certainly proof of that.
Clayton Oates
QA Business
Founder

Start With a Profit – Free eBook by Accounting Industry Leaders (Including our very own Clayton Oates)

Start With A Profit

Start with a Profit: Best-Practice Tips for New Entrepreneurs from Top Accounting Industry Leaders is the latest guide to helping new (and existing) business owners become successful.

Editor Sandi Leyva, CPA, asked fellow accounting industry thought leaders one question:

“For someone who wants to start a new business from scratch today, what is the most important strategy or tactic you’d tell them about to help them succeed?”

One dozen thought leaders (from around the globe) along with Sandi provided their answers.

Co-authors include:
• Alison Ball, Senior Manager of the Global Influencer Program of Intuit​.
• Sharada Bhansali, Co-Founder of Accountants World
• Randy Johnston, CEO of Network Management Group, Inc.
• Ed Kless, Senior Director of Partner Development and Strategy of Sage​
• Sandi Leyva, Founder of Accountants Accelerator
• Monika Miles, President of Miles Consulting Group, Inc.
• Clayton Oates, Chief Solutions Officer of QA Business​.
• Edi Osborne, CEO of Mentor Plus
• Leslie Shiner, Owner of The Shiner Group​
• Doug Sleeter, Founder of The Sleeter Group​
• Sandra Wiley, COO and Shareholder of Boomer Consulting, Inc.​
• Geni Whitehouse, Countess of Communication of Even a Nerd Can Be Heard
• Scott Zarret, President of CPA Academy

“To my knowledge, it’s the first collaborative work of thought leaders in the accounting industry,” says Sandi Leyva. This is Sandi’s 30th book and her first collaboration as editor.

Although each author’s contribution is quite unique, a few client-centric themes emerged, including how to market most effectively, how to build customer relationships, and how to interact with clients. Others focused on business models and pricing. Still others urged the entrepreneur to embrace their passion and their “why.”

The 75-page ebook is available in PDF format only at this time. A quick read, and it’s free with email registration at http://accountantsaccelerator.com/lp/startaprofit/

3 Simple Steps to Dramatically boost the Return On Your Investment attending SleeterCon this year!

Know you SleeterCon Game Plan

3 Simple strategies to dramatically boost your return on attending the 2015 SleeterCon event in Las Vegas.

Make sure you have a conference game plan !

After investing more than 70 Days (attending and presenting) at Accounting | Bookkeeping |Technology events (in the USA, Australia & New Zealand) in the past 12 months I have noticed that many conference attendees (sometimes me included) are failing to realise an appropriate return on their conference investment.

This is certainly a problem that needs fixing and I have come to the conclusion that the main reason for this it that we are failing to set a “Conference Game Plan” on the way into the event.

Whilst the motivating factors for registering for an event are certainly valid, and include reasons such as;

  • Learning about future direction of the industry
  • Product Training & Business Development
  • Opportunity to see major Keynote presenter “Rock Stars” of our industry and the business world (including Doug Sleeter, Geni Whitehouse, Mike Michalowicz, Gene Marks, Rick Richardson, Seth David, Randy Johnston, Gary Boomer etc….)
  • Catching up with friends and colleagues
  • Downtime from the office (in the form of a tax deductible holiday) often at unbelievable (sometimes international) locations – well Las Vegas is both international and “Unbelievable” for us Aussies!

However there is often a disconnect between the initial motivating factors to commit time and money to attend and the implementation of actionable steps post conference.

The next major event in our industry is set down for Mid November (16th – 19th) at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas where more than 1000 (ABC’s (Accountants | Bookkeepers | Consultants) will be attending one of the world’s leading Independent Accounting Tech Conferences – SleeterCon (Which I was fortunate to discover in 2011, since then we have introduced more than 50 Aussie to this unique event). A few pics of past tour parties can be found here.

So what are the 3 Simple steps we can take in order to “Set our Game Plan” and dramatically boost our ROI on attending SleeterCon?

Step 1 – Set your Agenda in advance – Now!

If you have registered to attend SleeterCon then you should have already received an invitation to build you conference agenda and one of the best ways to do this is to download and use the SleeterCon App this will help you stay organised and focused throughout the event.

Take some time to review the details of each session on the agenda and commit to sessions that you believe is what you need to help you move to the next level in your professional and business journey. Be sure to lock in ALL Keynote, Opening and Closing address sessions and I would also highly recommend the session by Ed Kless on Value Pricing. At each session you attend work on identifying 1 key action point that you can take home and implement, also if the opportunity arises ask questions and of course arrive early and stay late if time permits (you often receive that “Zinger” by listening in on conversions with the presenter beside the stage after the session).

Step 2- Identify Partners to build out your “Tech Toolkit”

Take time to carefully review the list of sponsors exhibiting at the event and identify key vendors that you wish to connect with during the event. Familiarise yourself with the Exhibit Hall layout and identify the order in which you are going to approach those key vendors you wish to establish a partnership with. Often the Founders and CEO’s of the vendors attend the SleeterCon event and this is a golden opportunity to discover the real back story as to why the business was established and understanding the need it fills and how you can partner with them to introduce the solution to your client base.

Businesses and their Advisors alike have been in a discovery phase of identifying business processes that can be “Appified” and integrated into the Accounting Engine in order to streamline efficiency and enhance business performance. Whilst this “discovery phase” will continue to be ongoing I believe it is now time to settle on solutions that comprise the core of your business solutions toolkit – the perfect opportunity to do this is at events like SleeterCon.

(Note: It’s important to take time to establish vendor relationships, identify and ask key questions that you need answering prior to committing to partnering with the vendor. Some of the typical questions I ask a vendor in order to determine if they are going to make in into our toolkit can be found at one of our earlier Blog posts

Step 3 – Network with Peers & Industry Thought Leaders

Large scale events such as SleeterCon often bring together the Industry Thought Leaders and like-minded peers from around the country (and the world); you just never know who you may be sitting next to. So take this opportunity so say hello or as us Aussies say – G’day. I have found that ABC’s the world over are very generous of their ideas, experiences and time when it comes to sharing with their peers, particularly in the inspiring and thought provoking environment of a conference. It’s just up to you to simply start the conversation ………….

Bonus Tip – Get Social & Share Your Experiences

Whilst there will be over 1000 ABC’s attending SleeterCon, there will be many more watching the event unfold from afar, eager to hear about the insights and inspiration that you have gleaned from the event, so be sure to share your experience. One of the best ways to do this is via Social Media during the event (Twitter / Facebook / Instagram and if you are under 20 no doubt Snapchat will all get a run) be sure to use #SleeterCon in your posts and reference the source of your information wherever you can. Take pictures whilst at the event and if you get the chance don’t be afraid to ask your favourite presenters to pose for a “Selfie” with you, I know I will be taking any opportunity to get a pic with some of my heroes in the Accounting | Bookkeeping | Technology professions.

Remember you can continue the conference conversation well after the event. You could compile a LinkedIn or Google+ post or write a Blog article or distribute a newsletter post event sharing your conference experience with your contacts and clients (during the event be sure to compile a list of the top insights you learnt from each session you attend – this gives you ready made content that you can use for your article).

By following these simple steps I am certain you will amplify the return on your SleeterCon investment, which after all comprised of your hard earned money and more importantly your precious, irreplaceable time so it’s defiantly worth making the most of it.

I look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas at what promises to be another fantastic event 🙂

Cheers

Clayton

PS: If you are up for listening to an Aussie (ex-Accountant, software consultant, part time golf tragic) yak at #SleeterCon for 45mins on how we can all participate (and benefit) in delivering the long overdue “Promise to Keep” in Accounting Technology then session details can be found here.

How to Dramatically Boost your ROI on Attending QBConnect

3 Steps to dramatically boost your ROI on your #QBConnect investment

Make sure you have a conference game plan !

After investing more than 70 Days (attending and presenting) at Accounting | Bookkeeping |Technology events (in the USA, Australia & New Zealand) in the past 12 months I have noticed that many conference attendees (sometimes me included) are failing to realise an appropriate return on their conference investment.

This is certainly a problem that needs fixing and I have come to the conclusion that the main reason for this it that we are failing to set a “Conference Game Plan” on the way into the event.

Whilst the motivating factors for registering for an event are certainly valid, and include reasons such as;

  • Learning about future direction of the industry
  • Product Training & Business Development
  • Opportunity to see major Keynote presenter “Rock Stars” (e.g. QBConnect this year has Oprah Winfrey and Jessica Alba as main drawcards)
  • Catching up with friends and colleagues
  • Downtime from the office (in the form of a tax deductible holiday) often at exotic (sometimes international) locations (well San Jose is both international and exotic for us Aussies :))

However there is often a disconnect between the initial motivating factors to commit time and money to attend and the implementation of actionable steps post conference.

The next major (global) event in our industry is set down for early November in San Jose (the capital of the worlds tech playground – Silicon Valley) where thousands of ABC’s (Accountants | Bookkeepers | Consultants) along with Small Business Owners and Operators will be attending the Intuit (QuickBooks) flagship event – QBConnect.

So what are the 3 Simple steps we can take in order to “Set our Game Plan” and dramatically boost our ROI on attending QBConnect ?

Step 1 – Set your Agenda in advance – Now!

If you have registered to attend QBConnect then you would have already received an invitation to build you conference agenda. Take some time to review the details of each session on the agenda and commit to sessions that you believe is what you need to help you move to the next level in your professional and business journey. Be sure to lock in ALL Keynote, Opening and Closing address sessions and I would also highly recommend the session (Tuesday 3 November at 3pm) with Intuit founder Scott Cook and Lean Startup Author Eric Ries as a must see. At each session work on identifying 1 key action point that you can take home and implement, also if the opportunity arises ask questions and of course arrive early and stay late if time permits (you often receive that “Zinger” by listening in on conversions with the presenter beside the stage after the session). Also be sure to download and use the QBConnect App, this will help you stay organised and focused throughout the event.

Step 2- Identify Partners to build out your “Tech Toolkit”

Take time to carefully review the list of sponsors exhibiting at the event and identify key vendors that you wish to connect with during the event. Familiarise yourself with the Exhibit Hall layout and identify the order in which you are going to approach those key vendors you wish to establish a partnership with. Often the Founders and CEO’s of the vendors attend these events and this is a golden opportunity to discover the real back story as to why the business was established and understanding the need it fills and how you can partner with them to introduce the solution to your client base.

Businesses and their Advisors alike have been in a discovery phase of identifying business processes that can be “Appified” and integrated into the Accounting Engine in order to streamline efficiency and enhance business performance. Whilst this “discovery phase” will continue to be ongoing I believe it is now time to settle on solutions that comprise the core of your business solutions toolkit – the perfect opportunity to do this is at events like QBConnect.

(Note: It’s important to take time to establish vendor relationships, identify and ask key questions that you need answering prior to committing to partnering with the vendor. Some of the typical questions I ask a vendor in order to determine if they are going to make in into our toolkit can be found at one of our earlier Blog posts

Step 3 – Network with Peers & Industry Thought Leaders

Large scale events such as QBConnect often bring together the Industry Thought Leaders and like-minded peers from around the country (and the world); you just never know who you may be sitting next to. So take this opportunity so say hello or as us Aussies say – G’day J. I have found that ABC’s the world over are very generous of their ideas, experiences and time when it comes to sharing with their peers, particularly in the inspiring and thought provoking environment of a conference. It’s just up to you to simply start the conversation ………….

Bonus Tip – Get Social & Share Your Experiences

Whilst there will be thousands attending QBConnect, there will be many more thousands watching the event unfold from afar, eager to hear about the insights and inspiration that you have gleaned from the event, so be sure to share your experience. One of the best ways to do this is via Social Media during the event (Twitter / Facebook / Instagram and if you are under 20 no doubt Snapchat will all get a run) be sure to use #QBConnect in your posts and reference the source of your information wherever you can. Take pictures whilst at the event and if you get the chance don’t be afraid to ask your favourite presenters to pose for a “Selfie” with you, I know I will be taking any opportunity to get a pic with some of my heroes in the Accounting | Bookkeeping | Technology professions.

Remember you can continue the conference conversation well after the event. You could compile a LinkedIn or Google+ post or write a Blog article or distribute a newsletter post event sharing your conference experience with your contacts and clients (during the event be sure to compile a list of the top insights you learnt from each session you attend – this gives you ready made content that you can use for your article).

By following these simple steps I am certain you will amplify the return on your QBConnect  investment, which after all comprised of your hard earned money and more importantly your precious, irreplaceable time so it’s defiantly worth making the most of it.

I look forward to seeing you in San Jose at what promises to be an amazing event 🙂