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08 October
2017
EMBRACE ONLINE TECHNOLOGY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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Xero, Myob or Intuit, Why should you attend?

Bookkeepers, Accountants and Cloud integraters have never before been given so many annual accounting conferences to attend through the year for their CPE points, professional development and opportunities to network. This year a new kid on the block joined the annual conference selection with Quickbooks (Intuit) entering in their dates and location along with Xerocon and MYOB.

Heather Smith invited me, along with Tracey Newman and Chris Metcalf to share our insights and reasons for attending one of the three accounting conferences on offer. This was staged at the River City Labs complex via Heathers Cloud Accountants & Advisors Meetup which is a monthly arrangement and one all bookkeepers and accountants should attend at least once!
 Heather Smith Cloud Accounting Meetup and Host

CONFERENCE COMPARISONS

 

Tracey began with her attendance at last month’s Xerocon conference.
She called it the Rock Star of conferences, where you are presented with high quality gifts such as a messenger bag and directed into a huge area where a DJ is pumping out tunes that just make you want to start dancing as you enter through the door. There was a huge adult playground complete with sand, seesaws, slings and a big plush cushion area where you could relax and chat. This conference is a Party Conference with little expense spared. (Not surprisingly this is also the most expansive to attend out the three).

 

Heather invited me to discuss the less over the top welcome that Myob partners and CC’s (Certified Consultants) were given as they entered the Alice Springs NT conference center. Myob Staff wore their logo Myob T-shirts with an area appropriate Australian Stockman’s hat. As they ushered you in to be registered, you were directed to the welcome night with aboriginal drums, local amber python to hold and photograph, frill neck lizards and a Camel Ride organised by Receipt Bank.  The audience were invited to be a little more interactive with guests invited to play instruments and dance the rain dance.

 

Chris stated that Quickbooks went for a similar wow type of welcome with music, dancing and gifts presented at the door.

 

WHY ATTEND?

Primarily, Tracey admitted her reason to attend was to network and gain new ideas for her practice.

 

My reason to attend MYOB was due to the location being set in Alice Springs and my family voting to have a family holiday with my work attendance, and to become a certified consultant.

Chris’s reason was that he is a Senior Business manager of Intuit and his presence at the conference was requested as a staff member, to gain insights into the Quickbooks / Intuit community and network.

Tracey Newman and Chris Metcalf

THE LESSONS LEARNT

Tracey ended up having a number of light bulb moments for her business through attending Xerocon. Namely, that she needed to rethink the direction of her accounting firm, employ more younger staff like millennials and re-examine her ideal client base.

 

I attended purely for the Certified Consultancy training, but did find inspiration with their keynote speaker Amanda Gore on the Magical mindset which I have shared in another blog article :

 

Chris noted that this was the first ever conference that Intuit had produced in Australia and that there were to be bigger and better plans for future years. The Biggest Loser Trainer and entrepreneur Michelle Bridges and Steve Baxter from Shark Tank gave the audience some extremely practical and inspirational ideas through their presentations.

XEROCENTRIC FIRMS INTO THE  FUTURE

Interestingly, Tracey noted that with all the new releases that Xero has offered their adoring fans ( many who are Xerocentric a term I created back in 2014 ) the realization that the golden tap of free resources might almost be over has hit home.

Xero is one of the best cloud accounting platforms available, it’s potential to automate is only limited by the user’s experience, the ability to make good profits with good productivity processes is second to none. This however does not exempt it from the law of supply and demand. As the demand increases, you can also be sure that it’s main goal is to make profit for their shareholders, investors and everyone else they need to feed.

I recall with interest when I attended my first ever Xerocon in Melbourne 2015 when I recall that Rod Drury shared that the model of growth Xero had adapted was very similar to that of Apple. I guess, for me while many of my colleges had decided otherwise, I personally could not validate not diversifying my accounting software. Modelling my practice as a Xerocentric firm as many of my fellow colleges had decided to do was not for me. While it did increase their business automation and decrease the time spent in training and implementation, I remained determined to diversify. My choice was to learn what software platforms provide and advise my customers on what one would serve the needs of their business best. I have no loyalty to the blue, purple or green, except that of the client.
It would appear that this important piece of information was overlooked by many partners who are now solely blue. Their practice and HQ platforms, software and business models have all been dedicated to Xero. What happens when Xero decides to complete their Apple modelling with closing the door to free services? Will partners still make the profits that they are accustomed to now? Will the need to increase prices to accommodate new overheads still make their modelling competitive and attractive?
Only time will tell…….

 

It was wonderful to meet up with some old and new friends.
Caught up briefly with Tori Van Der Donk and Hayley Brass from Xero, where we had a discussion about referrals and targeting your ideal client.

 

HAyley Brass and Tori Van Der Donk




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