Nothing is the Place of Infinite Possibility

Somewhere along the way when I got sober I heard the words, “nothing is the place of infinite possibility.”

I had been stripped of everything. My family couldn’t trust me. I had lied to every single person I knew. My bankruptcy was complete on every level, especially spiritual.

I was at ground zero.

These words offered hope.

Infinite possibility. Anything is possible.

At any given time, you can decide what your “bottom” is. You can stop right now and decide that today is ground zero. Today you will decide to take control over your destiny. This is the day you will place yourself unreservedly at the place of nothing. From nothing, you can go anywhere. You set the course.

Last week at QuickBooks Connect, Alex Banayan asked us to consider something.

If your life was an empty book and you had to write it from the blank page into anything you wanted it to look like, what would you write?

Life and our businesses are like that. We don’t often see it that way, but it is.

When Oprah was at QuickBooks Connect she talked about living with intention.

Same idea.

Either you decide what you want to write in that book, or that book will be written for you.

And you will just be a spectator.

The choice is yours. Anything is possible, but you must believe in that. You must believe in yourself.

I’m now 47 years old, 19 years sober, and this was my 5th year at QuickBooks Connect!

19 years ago if someone had told me where I would be today, I would not have believed them. I would have felt certain they were just trying to encourage me. Today my life is beyond my wildest dreams. But my dreams have changed!

If I can do it, so can you!

Last week I got to see a few milestones.

I made it to the TSheets walk of fame:

I danced with a Shark:

https://youtu.be/H5zXLOsYwgk

But most importantly I connected.

And this is what “connecting” looks like:

Including the photo bomb from Andrew Wall!

For your CRM:

Tiffany Stewart

TiffanyCPA

Mariette Martinez

@MMartinezEA

www.MarietteMartinez.com

Andrew Wall

WALLCPA

www.Wallcpa.ca

When you connect with people you feel warmth, & love. It feels really good.

Like this:

Of course you can also learn a ton, and get really inspired here. But for me the connections are what brings me back every year, more than anything else.

I love catching people as they are checking in! Look at the smiles on my friends’ faces. This isn’t a conference. It’s a family reunion with the extended family you can’t wait to see all year.

For your CRM:

You have Tiffany and Andrew above.

Enter Dawne Leaney Davidson:

@freelifeacctg

For your CRM (always left to right):

Jennifer Bauldic

@jenniferbauldic

www.JetStreamAdmin.com

Bill Kennedy

@Energized

www.EnergizedAccounting.ca

Jennifer Hetherington

@jhetherington

www.Tsheets.com

When I got sober 19 years ago, I had never been so alone in my life.

Luckily there were a few people left in the world who still cared about me. Then I set a course for my life. I didn’t know exactly where I was going then. I didn’t need to. Nothing was the place of infinite possibility, and anything was better than where I just came from.

In my recovery I found people who extended their hands. I learned the meaning of something very important. That what may have appeared to be a flimsy reed turned out to be the loving and all powerful hand of G-d.

In my QuickBooks Connect Tribe I’ve found the same thing.

It has been a long road and this year more than ever I found myself surrounded by the most amazing people.

Erica is not just a coworker. She is one of (if not the) best friends I have on this planet.

When I started my 97 & Up Accounting Business Academy program it was open to any accountant or bookkeeper.

It technically still is, but it hasn’t worked out that way. It’s worked out to be my amazing tribe of like minded people. This doesn’t mean they pay to be my friends. It means we all contribute (including me) to create something that is bigger, better, and much stronger than any of us is on our own. In order to keep it as amazing as it has become, I may develop a selective process. I would hate to see it get diluted. Every single person in the group has their own unique characteristics that make them incredible individuals.

Then we have a few important qualities in common. A generous nature based on extreme kindness along with a good sense of humor. When new members join, the group embraces them and welcomes them into our family.

Your situation may not be as dire as mine was 19 years ago.

It doesn’t need to be. If yours is a situation that is anything less than your wildest dreams, then set a new course today.

Alex Banayan talked about his conversation with Quincy Jones.

The message was that we need to stop fearing and avoiding our mistakes. We need to embrace them. I had a recent experience that underscores this. Last year I started teaching community ed classes at Santa Monica College. The students are able to give anonymous feedback. I am the only one who looks at it. Most of it was good, but a few people have offered some harsh criticism. At first I found myself getting defensive. I wanted to write back and tell them, “wait, you don’t understand.” But they do understand. They understand their own experience very well.

Since receiving the negative criticism I split my Excel class up into three levels. I reduced the amount of content in each. At first I thought this was diluting the value, but it was actually increasing it. I had too many people at too varied skill levels in the same class. I used the negative feedback to solve an important problem. Now I have three classes instead of one. Everybody wins.

Brad Smith commented that he makes mistakes every day. We all do. The secret is to embrace those mistakes, and turn those liabilities into assets. We make ourselves better for them.

My favorite thing that Brad said this year was, “…one to many we win over minds, but one to one we win hearts.”

Positive feedback is great, but the negative feedback (even if not well intentioned) is the most useful. It helps us grow. And the best way to annoy the crap out of a troll is to use their feedback to improve and thank them for it!

Another great dividend I took away from QuickBooks Connect this year is from paying attention!

Did you catch the stories of the businesses that intuit featured on the main stage? They were really inspiring.

The one all the way on the right was Leah Tumerman. She was narrating.

Later that day as Erica and I were walking around I recognized her walking among us. She appears to be very shy, but when an Intuit employee caught me recognizing her, he confirmed it was her and encouraged me to catch up with her. He told me she would love it.

So I caught up with her, got her card, and now look forward to having her on The Authentic Accountant Podcast.

Maybe in my next life I will be a paparazzi 🙂

QuickBooks Connect is about connecting most of all.

I loved seeing my old connections.

Chris Wise

Coral Tree – Qbox

Melanie Schroeder

@likeitwasmine

www.melanieschroeder.com

Mike Milan

@cashflowmike

www.cashflowtool.com

 

Roger Knecht

Universal Accounting

Trent McLaren

Practice Ignition

@trent_mclaren

And I also enjoyed making new ones!

This is Karen Reyburn. She’s a marketing expert with a lot of experience working with CPAs.

See below for how we were introduced at QuickBooks Connect by someone who wasn’t even there.

Karen was invited as an “influencer” in the social media space. Here we were practicing our influencer poses!

Now Karen and I were introduced by someone who wasn’t even at QuickBooks Connect!

You may have heard of Chris Brogan?

He saw something Karen posted on instagram about QuickBooks Connect. Chris commented on her post and tagged me saying I was probably there too!

Karen Reyburn

@karenlreyburn

Instagram:

@KarenLReyburn

www.KarenReyburn.com

Moments later I saw her walking with Peter Cullen

Sorry Peter! I had to get you in here!

Peter is one of my favorite people! He happened to be right behind me when his larger than life image showed up on the main screen.

Peter Cullen

@thinkimaginebig

How is that twitter handle for an “Anything is possible” theme?

I have an amazing tribe.

This is why if you had shown me a picture of my life 19 years ago and told me this was where I was headed I would not have believed you.

Now a word (or more) about my session at QuickBooks Connect

Accounting for eCommerce – Data Flow and Management with QBO and Apps

My session was essentially a reaction to my experience with some eCommerce tools out there that left me wanting. When there are errors it costs a lot of time, and time is our most valuable resource. Even with great customer service, it can take days to get to a solution. I don’t have days. Reliable data flow and management is critical so I can run very current reports and show my clients what is selling and what isn’t. Then I need to show what is profitable and what isn’t.

In short, I need information processed and error free, so I can act fast and serve my clients.

My conclusion for now has been that if you master your spreadsheet skills then you have total control over the data.
At the end of my session a gentleman from one of the eCommerce apps I have not yet tried came up to me and told me that my whole presentation was horrible. This was literally amidst a swarm of people telling me how great it was. In an effort to diffuse the situation before it escalated I simply told him that I was sorry he felt that way.

About connecting.

Shortly after my session I caught up with this guy in the exhibit hall. He wanted to show me his app of course, but I had to address the way he came at me, or I wasn’t going to hear anything he said.

Courtesy, kindness, justice, and love are the keynotes by which we may come into harmony with practically anyone. I learned a technique in a book I read a while back for how to address someone like him in a situation just like this. It’s going to sound hokey, but it works, and it worked here.

Instead of getting defensive about my presentation, I told him something very important.

Two words:

Be nice!

After that we had a very pleasant conversation, and he was apologetic. He explained his concerns about what I showed people, and they were valid ones that I was already aware of. As I pointed out to him, I only had an hour to cover a lot of ground.

When I gave the second session later that afternoon, I did address the concern. And since the conference I have also had a chance to sit down and remedy the issue.

Meanwhile I’ll be checking out some new apps, hoping they will restore my confidence so that I don’t have to feel that spreadsheets are my only reliable option.

The truth is, though, I still stand by my contention that IF you master your Excel or Google Sheet skills, you have total control, and my experience proves that you can get the data where you want to go with greater speed and accuracy, especially when you have a process that produces error free results.

Here are some photos Erica took while I was presenting.

If you want the files and videos from my session, sign up here:
https://nerdenterprises.com/qbc2018/

This next one is my Smartsheet master sku list.

Something about seeing my “stuff” on these larger than life screens is somehow still very exciting to me!

This gives you some perspective on the size of the room.

Most seats were full:

The account setup in QuickBooks Online is critical to the workflow:

I have the best T-accounts on the planet!

Note this was done in Google Sheets.

Looks like a pretty engaged audience.

I am sure that Brad Celamanis (front row all the way right) was tweeting something about my session there!

And there’s me!

My Amazon template cuts a bi-weekly settlement report from Gross sales to net deposit in seconds.

This is available in my online store.

https://nerdenterprises.com/product/amazon-settlement-report/

Sometimes I think that Pivot Tables can solve all of our problems 🙂

And the conference wrapped up with a real treat for me.

I got to meet Alex Banayan. A bunch of us did. He was the real deal. As authentic as they come. I told him I was taking MY third door, and asked if he would be a guest on my Authentic Accountant podcast. He told me he’d be honored.

I’ve already quoted Alex above. I think he had a really powerful message around infinite possibilities. He told a beautiful story of a young child who when asked to draw a picture of what he wanted to be when he grew up, waited with a blank stare on his face. Then after a time his eyes lit up and he got to work.

When the students turned in the drawings, his was of a pizza delivery man. This concerned the teacher, so he talked to his mother. His mother explained that this actually makes a lot of sense. The only role model in this child’s life who wasn’t dead or in jail was his uncle who was a pizza delivery guy.

Alex explains that children will reach for the lowest branch that is illuminated for them.

Our job is to illuminate branches.

And if I can throw my own $0.02 in here. I want to encourage all of us, myself included to reach well beyond the branches we can see.

As I write my own book, I plan to illuminate branches well above what I can see. I will paint the picture and write chapter and verse, and while the facts may change or evolve, I know there will be one constant, because it has saved my life many times over.

I will always have my hand out to help others.

My Accounting Business Academy 97 & Up program is built on that premise. In fact my whole life is built on that premise.

Anything is possible, especially when you make it about improving the lives of everyone around you.

It only takes the smallest amount of light to extinguish darkness. Be that light. However small.

And remember…

Nothing is the place of infinite possibility

How to Grow and Scale Your Accounting or Bookkeeping Practice

How to Start or Restart, Grow, and Scale Your Firm – How to Grow and Scale Your Accounting or Bookkeeping Practice!

Foreword

This is a detailed outline. I don’t expect you to read it all at once. My hope is that you will bookmark it, and use it as a resource. Refer back to it. Go through a section and take notes. Figure out how you will implement this in your practice. Otherwise it’s worthless.

The course itself is still in development, but it doesn’t matter. If you need anything in this outline explained, or gone over, we have two weekly calls for that. Just show up, and ask, and we can get real specific about your needs.

There are presently 23 Lesson published, and 75 Episodes (weekly calls) published on the site. The entire section on “How to Become A Content Creation Machine” is just days from being published.

What price would you place on learning how to grow and scale your accounting or bookkeeping practice in today’s world?

Meanwhile, join soon, because I am planning on increasing the price from $97/month to $197/month. There is WAY too much value here, to keep the price at only $97.

Those who are IN at $97, will stay at $97.

The Impetus

I created the 97 & Up program because I felt there was a need for an updated resource for accountants and bookkeepers. My goal was to develop something that would give you everything you needed to start or restart your business from the ground up.

I don’t think a book is the right format for this kind of resource. Things change too quickly these days. I felt it was important to do this in a platform that was agile. Videos are easy to update (or do new ones) without going through the very detailed process of publishing something. Then by the time I’ve published the next edition, things have already changed.

The accounting fundamentals haven’t changed, so a book from 20 years ago, that focuses on how to do accounting is still very much relevant. But the landscape has changed completely in 20 years. The way we GET clients, social media, social selling, QuickBooks Online, and all of the apps that we use to create the ecosystem in which we operate. This has all changed.

If you’re not agile, you’re dead in this game. Lately, more than ever I’ve seen what other accounting and bookkeeping firms are doing. I didn’t think I was that far ahead, but now I know that as a company, Nerd Enterprises, Inc. is way ahead of what most others are doing.

We’ve built our processes based on efficiency. The secret is that EVERYTHING, not just some things, has to be in the cloud. The connections we can make with the apps, the automated notifications that we know will come, let us relax and focus more. We’ve invested the time, to develop these systems, so that we can run lean, and fast.

We charge flat fees, so that our efforts at increasing efficiency pay off in spades, and of course, we have more time to look at what we’re doing to ensure that quality and effectiveness are not sacrificed.

I’ll teach you all of this, but first, we need to build the right foundation. We need a plan for how to grow and scale your accounting or bookkeeping practice. We need to know what kind of business we want to build. Do we want to churn 2,000 tax returns a year, and become our own little H&R Block? Or do we want to build a concierge service type of business, where the bookkeeping is almost secondary. It runs in the background, so we can focus on the real value. The real value is not in the bookkeeping. The real value is in the analysis.

Assuming we want to build a concierge, service based accounting or bookkeeping firm, then we need a plan around that.

How much money do you want to make this year?

How many monthly clients can you handle doing what you WANT to be doing as a core service. Of course this needs to be defined now.

Starting Your Accounting Practice, or Starting Over

From this information we can begin to build a very detailed plan. We take your core service, that you want to offer, and scale it up and down, so we can offer at least two other options. Never more than four options in total, and the most expensive option should be on the verge of outrageous. We really don’t want to offer this, because it uses up too many resources, but we put it out there, to give context, and value to the other plans that we offer. Should somebody want that more expensive option, we’ll take it, because we’re getting paid really well for it.

That’s the secret. Forget about value. Charge what gets you excited to do the work. You’ll thank me for this one, I promise. You’ll also thank me when you see how easy and effective it is, when you set your pricing based on your goals, as I outlined it above.

Building Your Money Site – A Course in WordPress

Once the plan is created, we need a home. We need a place to bring people to. A place where we can invite them in, and welcome them. It should be a place, where they want to spend some time. Of course I am talking about your website. But most websites are not places where most people want to spend much time. We go, we grab, and we run to the next thing.

So what makes someone want to stay?

Content, of course.

How to Become A Content Creation Machine

In order to grow and scale your accounting or bookkeeping practice, we need to create content, which means we need a really effective website. I hired Shane MacFarlane from X Digital to redo my site. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Even if you hire someone else to build your website, you’re going to want to know how to make changes to it. You’ll certainly want to know how to write a blog post, optimize that blog post, make the video, edit the video, upload the video to YouTube and Vimeo, and embed that video in your blog post. It sounds like a lot, but I can walk you through all of it, and I know you’ll find that the hoop you have to jump through is much wider than you think.

For starters, you must write. If you’re a terrible writer, then write more. The more you write, the better you get.

The tools I am going to teach you for optimizing your content, will teach you how to write better. They’ve helped me infinitely.

If you love your craft, then you’re going to love writing about it. It’s only natural.

Creating the content is a start, but now we’ll need to get that content out there.

Social Selling and Lead Generation

Social selling is the next step to grow and scale your firm. This is how you build the accounting or bookkeeping practice that you can’t wait to work at every day. In short, this means we’ll need to learn to use some tools, so we can interact with people on the various social channels. And we’ll need to know about the social channels.

  • Creating Content for Your Social Channels (now that you know how to do it)
  • How to Use Mailchimp and Forms for Lead Generation
  • Hootsuite
  • MeetEdgar.com
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest

There are tools, and apps, and at this point, I am becoming more and more of a fan of using the networks on their own platforms to communicate on them. For Twitter on my mobile I use the Twitter app. I am getting away from Hootsuite. Too distracting with the various columns. In most cases I am notified when there is anything that needs my attention, such as a mention, or a retweet, or a reshare. Turn off notifications for the small stuff. You don’t need to know every time someone likes something. What you do want to know, is when someone has engaged with you. A Like is nice, but it’s not engagement. Comments are engagement. Tetweets and reshares are the ultimate form of engagement.

Oh and by the way. Never just retweet or reshare something. You’re taking the opportunity to get into the conversation, and then not getting into the conversation? Always write something. Explain why you’re re-sharing, and / or put in your $0.02. Show that you’ve actually read it, if it links to an article someone wrote. You’ll have less time to devote to all of the messages, but the time you do spend, and the messages that you get to, will be 1000x more meaningful.

The goal here is not to have 1,000,0000 followers. It’s to have 1,000 connections, who will amplify your message 1,000 times. 1,000 x 1,000 = 1,000,000. Get it? Less work, same or more reach.

Networking – Building your Digital Rolodex

Networking groups are great in order to grow and scale your firm, but eventually you’ll find that content will bring about your network much larger, and much faster. Instead of being exposed to 20-30 people at some event, you’ll start to see the internet as one giant 24/7 networking group. And they come to you, so you don’t have to go and chase them.

The trick to this is having a good CRM. Something that helps you identify opportunities, and nurture relationships. Preferably, we also want one that doesn’t require all of the copying and pasting that most do. I want my e-mails and all of my other interactions, like my calendar, all integrated with my CRM.

I want a CRM that let’s me segment my contacts based on various criteria, and then send individual messages to all of them at once, so it doesn’t get flagged like a Mailchimp or Constant Contact email might.

The goal here is to get in front of your target audience.

This means that you want to start conversations with the influencers of that target audience. If you start talking to the influencers, then you will be considered one among them. You want to be the “accountant” or the “Bookkeeper” among them. Then guess where their audience will look, when they need accounting or bookkeeping help?

E-mail Marketing – Mailchimp

Email marketing is still the most effective way to grow and scale your accounting or bookkeeping practice, and everybody pretty well knows this plan by now. Create the content, that you trade for the e-mails. Put the ads, posts, and pop ups on your website, to draw in the traffic, and get the emails.

Then WRITE.

It has to be good, valuable content. Make people want to read next week’s post. Make sure they want to stay on our list, and even better, tell others to join it. I recommend you write weekly. The most successful people whom I follow, like Chris Brogan, put it out weekly.

I find the people who are where I want to be, and I watch and learn from them. That’s why I started making videos in the first place. It wasn’t based on following anyone in the accounting industry. I followed people with MUCH bigger followings, than anyone in our industry had, and I learned from them. Here are my top three:

And I am about to add Tim Ferriss to the list, because I should have had him on there a long time ago.

Client On Boarding

After making all of this buzz, we’ll need systems for on boarding and managing clients while you grow and scale your accounting or bookkeeping practice. In the beginning you will need a very structured process, and some tools for automating that process.

Before you go into any apps, you’ll need to outline the process at a very micro level. You want to see every single step. Every email that goes out, and every document that needs to go with every email. If you have this all laid out in advance, you will have a much easier time automating the process.

I guess there IS an app for the outlining. Use Google Docs. This way if you need to share and collaborate with team members on the outline itself, it’s drop dead easy to do that.

Practice Management

Running your practice will have it’s challenges. For one thing, you’ll need some internal documents. If we’re running a firm of today, then we’ll need apps to run things. Most of these will come up in the next section on Client Management, but for now, you’ll want to create some sort of document that.. Well… documents what apps you’re going to use, and for what purpose.

An app document will give clarity to you, and your staff about what you’re using, and for what purpose. Then you have your outline for the training you’ll want to develop, so that when you hire someone, you’ll be ready for them.

The compensation plan needs to be completely revisited. We’re talking about charging flat fees to our clients. The traditional pricing model no longer works, and that means the traditional compensation models don’t work either. I’ve thought this through, and I’ve cracked the code on this. The compensation plan is something we go over in our 97 & Up program, and in the very course that I am outlining here.

Client Management

When it comes to managing clients in a firm of today, we need apps. You cannot  grow and scale your accounting or bookkeeping practice, without a toolbox filled with tools. Some you will use daily. Others are there for when you need them. The more, the better. I recently held a webinar on an app I had not looked at before. It isn’t an app I will use in my own practice. This raises the question, “why review it then?” The answer is simple. While I don’t have the need, someone else might need an app just like this. The more apps I am familiar with, the better educated I am, and the better position I am in to make the right recommendation based on a client’s needs.

The most powerful and important skill in client management…

Listen

All too often our so called industry leaders and experts fail miserably at this. They think they already know what you need, before you’ve even told them. They’ve lost sight of this important skill, and their egos won’t let them do it anyway. Don’t ever lose this.

The minute you think you know everything, is the minute you stop growing, and the only way to go from there is in reverse.

As long as we’re managing clients, we’re back to our CRM. Once again, we’ll want a CRM that makes it easy to see all of our correspondence with that contact, and all of the other contacts we have at that same company.

How can you  grow and scale your firm in this day and age, without listening really intently, to your clients? Oh and employees too!

And stop trying to find one that integrates with QuickBooks Online!

You don’t need that. All you need, to  grow and scale your accounting or bookkeeping practice, is a CRM that operates in the cloud, so you can easily jump from QBO to your CRM. And I can do one better. My CRM has a chrome widget (which is where you should be running QBO anyway). That Chrome Widget makes it work right inside QBO, in case you really need to feel like it’s there in the product. I usually use it, just to bring up a contact, and then click over to the contact directly. If you’re like me, then you hate working in a limited window space. My preference is being able to spread out, when I am trying to focus.

After that we’ll need a series of apps, to manage everything:

  • Project Management
  • Files / Document / Receipt Management
  • Remote Access

Those are the basic, and very high level areas we’ll need to cover. If you are a TRUE firm of today, that should actually cover it, because remember – everything must be in the cloud.

As a true firm of today, you do not need to remotely access your clients’ computers. They should all be in QuickBooks Online (a firm requirement), and the files are all managed, and accessible by you directly.

You cannot rely on the client for access to anything. The client will slow you down. You need the access, and you have the tools to manage the access. Make the client give you the access you need, so you can get the job done efficiently, and without friction.

E-Commerce – Using WooCommerce with WordPress

Growing and scaling your firm is not about servicing ecommerce clients. This is about your accounting and bookkeeping firm becoming an ecommerce driven firm. Earlier in the course you learned how to use WordPress. Now it’s time to learn to use WooCommerce, to get paid.

You’re clients are paying you flat monthly fees, which means you are a subscription based business. This is how you need to take your payments. No card on file. That means you have to take the action to go charge their card, not to mention you are now subject to all kinds of PCI compliance, which, by the way most accounting and bookkeeping firms are not compliant here.

Assuming your intention is to do things “right,” if you keep cards on file, you’ve just created an incredible inefficiency. In short. You’ve created a lot more work for yourself than is necessary.

In my practice, we set them up on a subscription, and we never look back. Each month, their card is charged, and when their charge goes through on their card, it downloads in their bank feeds, and gets coded to Professional Fees. I haven’t sent an invoice to a client for monthly services in over two years.

If you are still wasting time preparing and sending invoices, then you’re doing it the wrong way!

We’re entering into the advisory age. Bookkeeping is getting more and more automated. This means we can spend more time, offering more value, and that means more products and services, that we can sell using WooCommerce..

Look what I’ve done on my site with templates:

Nerd’s Templates

Do you know how easy this is?

I’ve even figured out how to sell Smartsheet templates, which is a challenge, because there isn’t a file to deliver. So I outlined a workflow, and got it done.

I’ve spent a lot of time, encouraging you to spend a lot of time on content. This is where you get to monetize that content. You can set up all kinds of products, to share your knowledge with the world, and get paid for it. It has never been easier. There are no excuses. Just people who are doing it vs people who are complaining about how it doesn’t work.

Which team are you on?

#TeamMakeItWork or #TeamComplain?

Reporting – The Ultimate Output of Your Practice

As I mentioned in the previous section, we’re in the advisory age of our profession. How are you going to advise your clients?

I’ve talked to colleagues of ours, who tell me they would never review reports with their clients, and I can only shake my head. I’ve talked to so called “thought leaders” who have told me point blank, that they would NEVER do this. That means these “thought leaders” are going to lead you right into the dark, and your clients along with you.

If you want to grow and scale your accounting or bookkeeping practice as a firm of today, then you have to teach them to read the basic reports.

One of the reasons I insist on using QuickBooks Online with every client is that I can set up and automate the reports. My clients get a set of reports each week. Why not? It doesn’t cost me a thing!

Also. I’ve heard the ridiculous comment that some accountants don’t want this feature on, because it sends them in the middle of the night. They’re worried that a client will see the timestamp on the email, and assume that they are working at that hour.

This supposedly equates to an invitation to expect that the accountant will now respond to inquiries at this hour?

Don’t be ridiculous. It means one thing, and one thing only. That I automated the reports, and that’s the time they go out. I have no issue telling clients this. Stop trying to bullshit your clients. Just be straight with them. You don’t need the hide the fact that this is automated. My clients all tell me how “cool” that is.

Beyond that, if the client is on a high enough service tier with me, I will review these reports with them. Sometimes weekly, and sometimes monthly.

What I have found is that most clients will need / want more time up front reviewing reports, and less as time goes on. It’s not magic. The more they learn, the less they need me, and yet, I’ve brought them so much value.

I have taught clients to read their balance sheet and profit and loss. It isn’t hard, and this increases my own efficiency in the long run, because I have less to explain as time goes on.

But here’s what’s really important…

This adds SO much value to what I am offering my clients, that I am fairly certain I’ve met my mission with my clients, when I do this.

What is that mission?

To improve my clients lives so profoundly, they couldn’t imagine working with anyone else.

Oh, and one more thing…

Everything is Subject to Change at Any Time Without Notice

The most important thing to remember in all of this, is agility.

You must be nimble, and you must be quick!

Be ready at all times to jump on the next new thing, but don’t forget to test, test, and test. Be sure something solves a problem you don’t already have solved. Or be sure it solves it better!

See you in 97 & Up

 

QuickBooks Connect 2016 Interview with David Leary

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After speaking with David Leary about QuickBooks Connect 2016, my excitement is even greater than it was.

  • Not only is there a new self employed track this year…
  • Not only is there another hack-a-thon this year…
  • THIS YEAR, people get to vote for their favorite new app in 2016.
  • THIS YEAR Intuit is going to combine the tracks, to allow for better networking and collaboration between the accountants, the small business clients they serve, and the developers who serve both!

Watch the interview for the details!

SmallBusinessAppShowdown.com
#SmallBizAppShowdown

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QuickBooks Connect 2016 Interview with Jim McGinnis

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Last week I had the opportunity to interview Jim McGinnis about QuickBooks Connect 2016.

I think you’ll be excited to hear what he had to say about what is coming up this year. I know I am!

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Shaquille O’Neal to Speak at QuickBooks Connect

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Intuit announced today that they’ve added Shaquille O’Neal to the main stage lineup at QuickBooks Connect.

Shaquille O’Neal is a cultural icon, best known for his NBA career, spanning nearly two decades. He has also established himself as a powerful media personality, entrepreneur, and businessman over the years.

I learned not to question the main stage speakers after the first QuickBooks Connect. I’ll admit, that time, I was wondering why they had chosen some of the people. Then I saw them, and I learned very quickly that each and every one of them has succeeded in accomplishing what each and every one of us wants to accomplish. They’ve accomplished this on a very large scale.

In 2014, Bloomberg.com featured Mr. O’Neal in this article:
Shaq’s Still Scoring in Retirement

What you’ll learn in that article is that Shaquille O’Neal has gone beyond the hoop, and he’s built a personal brand. Companies hire him to represent their products, You’ve seen his Gold Bond commercials, right? He goes on tours, and appears on national TV all of the time.

If you pay attention to what is happening in our world, then you can see how the playing field has leveled. It is easy in this day and age to build a brand, using social media.

Do you think Shaquille O’Neal isn’t using social media to up his game?

Visit http://www.shaq.com/ to learn more about what Shaquille O’Neal is up to these days, and why I can’t wait to hear what he has to share with us at QuickBooks Connect 2016!
See you there!

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