Highlights of Firms Transforming into Firms of the Future

Were you one of the 4,000+ accountants and small business owners who attended this year’s QuickBooks® Connect? If so, I hoped you walked away inspired and motivated by this incredible event, the great sessions, dynamic keynotes and nonstop networking.

Most of all, I hope you went back to your offices, ready to transform your practice into a firm of the future. If you were not able to attend, there are plenty of resources available at our all-new Firm of the Future website, including articles, white papers, videos and more. But, whether you were with us in San Jose or some place else, here’s a recap of QuickBooks Connect and highlights from some of my favorite moments.

Learn. Connect. Grow: Unveiling Our Firm of the Future Winners

If you think you’re too small to be a Firm of the Future, think again; it’s for everyone, from a sole proprietor to a large firm, via the adoption of three pillars: Get Online, Become a Trusted Advisor and Get Connected.

During our Accountant Day Kick-off, we spotlighted those firms that exemplify the three Firm of the Future pillars by announcing the Top 20 Firm of the Future winners, including our grand prize winner, Chad Ridner, president of Two Roads in Knoxville, Tennessee. Dozens of QuickBooks ProAdvisors® and accountants sent in short videos explaining what made their practice a connected, trusted and cloud-based firm. You can read more about this on our website and you can also watch the videos for our Firm of the Future finalists as well.

Trial Balance Now Available in QuickBooks Online Accountant

At QuickBooks Connect, we announced that Trial Balance is now available within QuickBooks Online Accountant – and this new feature was met with resounding approval. Trial Balance helps reduce or eliminate manual data import, export and entry work to help you save time. See this article for more information on Trial Balance.

Fathom Named a New ProAdvisor Partner

The apps in our QuickBooks App Center also speak to the Firm of the Future because they integrate with QuickBooks Online and help accountants and their clients increase their productivity and workflow.

One of these apps is Fathom. Intuit is continually looking for ways to help our QuickBooks ProAdvisors grow, while also adding value to the program. Already offering special discounts in our program are Bill.com, TSheets and Receipt Bank. Now, Fathom joins these three providers. At QuickBooks Connect, we announced that Intuit has partnered with Fathom to offer exclusive benefits just for ProAdvisors. This includes a free Fathom single company license for life, discounts of up to 50% off on licenses for their clients, and dedicated support for ProAdvisors and their clients.

From the Main Stage

While the accounting tracks at QuickBooks Connect focused on helping firms evolve into Firms of the Future, the intent of our main stage speakers were to inspire all small businesses to take their businesses to the next level. Here are a few of my favorite quotes and advice from our main stage speakers:

Brad Smith, CEO, Intuit: “Today is about fueling your success, your collective success, and taking that entrepreneurial dream to the next level and making it a reality. …We all carry the same entrepreneurial torch with us. And, it’s not easy. It brings long days, hard work and personal sacrifices, but the hard work you do each day enriches people’s lives, spurs innovation and leads to job creation.”

Sekou Andrews, poet and entrepreneur: “Community is where you feel small among your peers, and where your peers see you as a giant.“

Jessica Alba, actress, and founder and chief creative officer, The Honest Company: “Don’t let anyone discourage you, stay true to your vision and see it to the end as much as humanly possible. Be real with where you’re willing to compromise and where you’re willing to go.”

Brian Lee, CEO and co-founder, The Honest Company: “If you’re thinking about starting a company, do it today. You’re already a day behind. No one is going to hand you a boatload of cash. You have to take action.”

Robert Herjavec, founder of Herjavec Group, and a leading shark on Shark Tank: “The best way to overcome fear is to do it. The people who take over the world are not the strongest or mightiest; they’re the ones that can absorb failure the best and get up and succeed.”

Brian Grazer Academy Award-winning producer and co-founder of Imagine Entertainment: “The more prepared and resourceful you are, the more things come to fruition. Every time I thought I knew what someone did, I was wrong. The way to succeed at a small business is to understand the psyche of the customer; you can do that only after understanding different perspectives through seeing and touching people.”

Oprah Winfrey, global media leader, philanthropist, producer and actress: “The greatest calling, other than being a good mother or father, is service. How will you serve in your business? You’re going to make mistakes. Let every mistake move you forward.”

Other Highlights

Other mentionable highlights throughout the conference:

  • In our second annual Hackathon, teams created real-life, working apps on-site at the conference. Scott Cook presented the awards. Taking this year’s Grand Prize was callbox, built by Cameron Desautels and Ed Luczycki of Collective Strategies. This app is designed to simplify the small business owner’s painful task of chasing down customers who owe them money, all tied into QuickBooks Online. There were also New App honors awarded. Read more about the Hackathon here, and congratulations to all the winners!
  • Intuit is once again sponsoring its “Small Business Big Game” contest, in which a small business will receive a commercial for the BIG football game in February. This year, the business’ accountants were recognized and included in the celebration. The three finalists and their accountants, respectively, were Chubbies Shorts – Bill Bodeman; Death Wish Coffee Company – John Halstead; and Vidler’s 5 & 10 – Nicholas Buccieri. Here’s an article that includes all of the finalists.
  • The exhibit hall was not only full of Intuit booths featuring our online products, but also included exhibitors with apps that integrate with QuickBooks Online and those who serve the profession.

Watch a short video recap on the conference, and be sure to check back often on our Firm of the Future website for updated resources.