QuickBooks Connect 2023 wrapped last week in Las Vegas. More than 2,500 accountants attended this year’s conference with main stage sessions hosted by Carla Hall, and featuring Ryan Reynolds, Adam Grant, and Jade Simmons. Led by fellow accountants, 65 breakout sessions were offered across the three days on topics most relevant to the profession. New product innovations were revealed, including QuickBooks Ledger, chart of account templates, and many more.
Here are several themes that emerged from this year’s conference:
Strength in numbers
In the face of declining numbers in the profession, accountants can use a reminder of their importance and impact. To start the conference, attendees walked through a “human tunnel” of Intuit employees who work on accounting products and serve this community through their roles at Intuit. This physical representation of the attendees entering the first session en masse through a tunnel of their Intuit QuickBooks support system that reached throughout the convention center was a powerful reminder that this community matters.
Personal growth before organizational growth
Practice growth is often a knee-jerk reaction when it comes to future planning. But during QuickBooks Connect, accountants were encouraged to consider that their personal growth is just as important and a must before enabling business growth. A practice can only scale at the rate of its employee’s individual growth.
Classical artist, author, and main session speaker Jade Simmons implored attendees, “Bring innovation to yourself first before you bring innovation to your clients.”
Breakout sessions on work/life balance in the profession, tackling tough conversations, and entrepreneurial support reinforced this theme.
Best-selling author and podcast host Adam Grant told attendees that the most underrated leadership skill is humility, and it isn’t just a virtue people naturally have. It can be developed. Grant told the story of how former Intuit CEO Brad Smith would post a copy of his 360-feedback on his door.
“The goal of humility isn’t to deny your strengths," he said. "It is to see your strengths and shortcomings accurately. The first rule of improvement is to recognize room for improvement.”
Tools for practice growth were not forgotten! Participants were encouraged to consider what scaling effectively could look like for their clients. Redefining ideal client services and focusing on niche industries were topics discussed in small group sessions and breakout groups. Several sessions focused on foundational work to enable smart growth, including polished policies, processes, and procedures, and knowing which metrics to monitor in your client accounting services practice.
New product updates announced at QuickBooks Connect highlighted the need for a seamless client experience with easier-to-use tools. Chart of account templates is just one of the changes creating more capacity for accountants as they scale their practices.
This year’s QuickBooks Connect marks the first since the announcement of Inuit Assist, Intuit’s generative AI technology. Planning for innovation such as AI and other technology advancements is becoming increasingly important for modern firms. QuickBooks Connect attendees were challenged to rethink their purpose and direction for the future of not just their practice, but the profession as a whole, and keeping technology advancements at the forefront of their planning will the essential.
As mentioned in the opening main session, accountants fight for their clients who dare to dream big dreams. QuickBooks Connect is about equipping, reconnecting, and encouraging attendees to go back to their firms to continue to work on behalf of their clients. Until next year!