Accounting, Bookkeeping, Business Advisory Services, Cloud Computing, Roadshows

1 Continent | 5 weeks | 12 cities | 3 Key Insights gained from the Receipt Bank – Grow Your Practice Roadshow

Receipt Bank Roadshow Sydney Tower

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

 

 

 

Accounting, Bookkeeping, Business Advisory Services, Cloud Computing, Consulting, Roadshows, Technology Identifier

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