The inaugural #AppyHour Camp came to a close a few days ago and I have to tell you, the experience was epic! A huge shout out to Liz Scott and Heather Satterley for having the vision to bring so many top-tier accounting profession educators, upcoming rockstars, and dedicated solution providers together.
It was an honor to be the MC for Appy Hour Camp and as The Designated Motivator, it was truly inspiring to see a whole new level of peer-to-peer motivation be ignited. I brought along my Starting Lineup of technology solution providers, too, in the form of these cool new #DesignatedMotivator blackout t-shirts. You can bet that Appy Camp is just the beginning of where you’ll see these!
As I mentioned prior to my departure for Appy Camp, I knew there would be some amazing takeaways from the talks given and the time spent unplugged for the most part, really connecting in the most human and creative sense with my peers. It was an amazing experience and I came back primed to do even more to support all of you and to help others in this profession do the same.
I know that there are so many #DesignatedMotivators in our midst, each day we have the opportunity to take on this role and lift each other up whether that is on stage, in our firms, or in other organizations we belong to (family systems included!). As we head into busy season I see it as my role to keep being #TheDesignatedMotivator and this includes working with my Starting Lineup of apps and technology solutions to share how they support a better quality of client experience, workflow, and overall firm management capabilities.
I truly believe that my partners including ADP®, Bookkeep, Canopy, Fishbowl, Jirav, Liscio, Smartvault, Swizznet, Corpay, RCReports, and Truly Financial are not only technology providers but motivators for us all, too, to keep us accomplishing more with less effort and enabling more balance on all fronts.
Let’s tackle the next quarter of the year like it is the last of 2022, because it is! And because with all of us in the accounting profession participating in the #MotivationMovement we can keep nurturing the spirit of collaboration that we started at events such as Appy Camp so they continue through #QBConnect and all of the other places we go in the next few months.
For those of us running public accounting and bookkeeping practices, we are continually called on to be a trusted advisor to our business clients, a credible conduit between the government and the rest of society when it comes to communicating and interpreting the tax code, plus a dedicated “doer” of the work. Oh, and that’s all before breakfast! Some days it seems that way, doesn’t it?
Here is what I know: this feeling of being overwhelmed and out to sea has become our new normal, and to me, that’s not the way anyone should live because life is too short. I’ve been there and done that, it’s stressful and soul-sucking.I know I am not alone in this view, but for too many other peer professionals, burnout is inevitable. Or is it?
If you are feeling like your options are to 1)keep doing what you are doing and burnout or 2) abandon the ship of an old-school firm I want to introduce youtube a different mindset. Engaging in a community of peers.
Does this seem too simple to work as a strategy for beating burnout? The truth is, we all need to have other people and perspectives to help us cope. Whether it’s professional or personal, or a mixture of both, having others to bounce ideas off and collaborate with can be life-changing. It’s not just a theory, either. A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information shows that the more we connect with others who have similar experiences in a supportive way, the happier, less stressed, and prone to burnout we will be.
In fact, this week as I am surrounded by other accounting professionals with similar goals and mindsets as mine at Appy Camp, hosted by two of my favorite peers, Heather Satterley and Liz Scott, I am reminded of this fact. I hope you’ll make a mission of finding yourself a supportive peer group this week, too.
Here are a few accounting communities to consider:
Ecomm As You Are, The Designated Motivator Community, the Woodard Membership Community, and of course, attending events online, connecting on social media and, if you can, going to conferences in person is another great way to meet new supportive peer professionals.
It’s so important for accounting professionals to remember that you are not alone. It may feel that way when you get mired down with work, clients, deadlines, and then the life you have to manage outside of your firm. However, you can make a choice to think differently and see connecting and taking the time to nurture relationships as a critical part of keeping your productivity high and purpose for doing what you do front and center. Both of these benefits of engaging in community will ensure that you beat burnout and achieve the goals you have for yourself and your business.
There are so many people who shine bright in this profession who are ready and willing to help you. This is why I fundamentally believe that the more connected we are as people in this profession the greater the opportunities are for each of us. So don’t wait on the sidelines. Reach out to someone, be human, be humble, ask for help if you need it. And always remember, together we rise.
I am super excited for Appy Hour Camp coming up September 19 to 21! Who wouldn’t be? It’s going to be a fun adult camping experience hosted by Heather Satterley and Liz Scott, and me, The Designated Motivator, as the M.C. Let me assure you, however, this isn’t going to be all s’mores and camp fire songs! In fact, what I am most excited for (beyond the fact that we are going to be staying at the same place Dirty Dancing was filmed!) is that it’s going to be a truly educational experience.
Liz and Heather invited many thought leaders and educators in the accounting space to support us as intentional educators and to serve as an incubator for the next round of aspiring educators in the accounting space. I know with the lineup of speakers and contributors this is going to be an awesome camp!
According to Appy Camp headquarters, “the entire educational, inspirational and entertaining retreat will be a co-mingling of established accounting industry educators, up-and-coming educators, and app developers. All camp attendees will be immersed in the sessions and activities together in a shared space to facilitate community and collective innovation.”
In other words, we are going to get some of the most brilliant minds in the profession together and learn from each other about new ways to engage and expand the knowledge base for all of us. From talk to technology, I am planning to come home with some really inspiring action items that I can share with all of you.
I know whenever I get together with peers like entrepreneur wizard Melinda Emerson, Ted Callahan from Intuit, Misty Megia (can’t wait to hear her speak!), Virginia Lacayo, a business coach for thought leaders, Dan Gertudes from GrowthLabs, Ian Vacin from Karbon, and Mariette Martinez, Accounting Strategist the learning opportunities will be immense!
I am so looking forward to packing up my camping gear and heading to Appy Camp in just a couple of weeks. I don’t travel light to camp, either! I will be bringing along my entire Starting Lineup of apps and technology solutions to share with everyone including ADP®, Bookkeep, Canopy, Corpay One, Fishbowl, Jirav, Liscio, Smartvault, Swizznet, and Truly Financial. These are literally the solutions that have allowed me to create a cloud-based firm that is so efficient I can actually take four days to go to Appy Camp and not feel stressed about it, knowing that my team can use the system we have created to manage the workflow and my clients are still completely taken care of.
While I’m away, I’ll be posting on my social channels so please follow me so you can be part of the whole camp experience, too!
The secret to maximizing the takeaways from any professional education event is to have a plan of action when you return home, especially if you are planning to go on summer break.
Here’s my plan for taking all of the connections, education, and opportunities I gained at the conferences I attended in the spring, that you can use it as your guide to putting a post-conference plan for you and your practice:
I hope if you were at a conference you made some new professional friends and deepened your current connections with your peers. Make those connections count by connecting on social media, following through on actions you discussed and, checking in regularly- long after the conference is over. Keep the conversations going! You can read the full plan for doing your homework the right way over at Accounting Web: Doing Post-Conference Homework Before Summer Break | AccountingWEB
The right tech stack can really alleviate stress, save time, and maximize your firm’s throughput, but only if you have a clear vision for each solution you are using. There’s a buffet of options out there, that’s for sure, and they all cost either time to implement or money to buy (or both) so it can be stressful to even think about which solutions to use. I get it and I want to help, that’s why I am sharing my softball strategy to help you build a tech stack that works with your firm not against it!
Imagine if hitting a home run when it comes to the profitability of your practice was as easy as watching a ball game. To me, it really is—running a profitable and highly efficient accounting, bookkeeping or tax practice is no different than coaching a softball (or baseball) team. Here’s a brief overview of how you can use softball strategy to knock it out of the park when it comes to your practice productivity and profitability, too.
You see, in softball, you have positions on your team that you have to fill. In addition, you have players that you need to recruit to fill those positions. Let’s stick with the defensive side of the game. You have a pitcher, catcher, first baseman, second baseman, etc. Imagine if hitting a home run when it comes to the profitability of your practice was as easy as watching a ball game. To me, it really is—running a profitable and highly efficient accounting, bookkeeping or tax practice is no different than coaching a softball (or baseball) team. Here’s a brief overview of how you can use softball strategy to knock it out of the park when it comes to your practice productivity and profitability, too. nd baseman, third baseman, shortstop, left fielder, center fielder, and right fielder.
As a coach, you need to know what the positions are and you need to seek the most talented players to fill those positions. From an accounting, bookkeeping, or tax practice perspective the game really is no different. You have certain positions to fill in order to run your firm, to create an amazing client experience, and to complete client work.
Every accounting firm has some positions that are necessary no matter what you provide for services. Then there are the tools you need that are specific to the services you provide. In other words, in order to pick the right software, you need to also accept that no one piece of software is going to solve everything.
Here are the solutions that I have chosen (Click on the name of each one below to get the overview of benefits):
However, you really need to choose your own based on your needs and by looking at the solutions and how they align with the problems you are trying to solve. Start by downloading the Team Brolin Starting Lineup Playbook here.
Do you still have clients using cash or checks to make purchases? Or maybe you do? If so, you know there has to be a better way! Your clients (and your firm) should be using a corporate card.
In fact, I have saved you the legwork of looking for the perfect alternative with my Starting Lineup partner Truly Financial. With my Truly Financial corporate card, I am able to grow my business without accumulating debt and my clients can do the same!
What makes Truly Financial different is that they don’t limit the number of options offered to small businesses for corporate credit cards. Most small businesses don’t even qualify for a corporate card because they don’t reach the minimum average daily spending. This severely limits businesses to using debit cards or accumulating debt with credit cards. Or even worse, using their personal credit card for business expenses.
As you and I know, co-mingling personal and business expenses is bad news, even though racking up those rewards points seems like a great idea at first. Truly Financial offers corporate Visa cards to all small businesses. And when I say all, I mean it! And don’t worry about those minimum daily expenditures, Truly wants to make sure you and your clients are able to grow your business at your own pace. There’s no need to rack up those unwanted charges just to meet a minimum.
The Truly Financial corporate card also pays up to 2.5% cash back rewards for every purchase you make (plus they have an amazing partner program for businesses, too).
Do you or your clients have employees overseas? Truly has you covered with unlimited virtual Visa cards for all U.S. and international employees. Empowering my team has never been easier. Assign spending limits to each employee, get notified whenever the card is used and block or unblock cards at any time.
There’s no need to worry, either, if the cards are lost or stolen. Cards can be managed all from an app, making business easy on the go! Truly Financial works hard for me because I work hard for my firm and my clients, and they will work hard for you too. Don’t let traditional banks hold you or your clients back from growing into your potential!
Visit Truly Financial today to learn more!
Multiple banks, multiple accounts, and so many credit cards! For many of us (and our clients) it’s difficult to keep track of corporate and personal accounts. That’s why I am so thrilled to have Truly Financial on my team, because they are simplifying banking while totally transforming it at the same time!
I have included Truly Financial as a Team Brolin Starting Lineup member because it makes the banking process so much simpler for accountants and their clients. Seriously! Truly Financial allows you to have an all-in-one bank account that handles everything from your everyday banking to corporate cards and also enables you to send and receive payments in the United States and anywhere else in the world you choose!
Next up? The Digital Banking Revolution, Led by Truly Financial!
There are so many businesses nowadays that are growing, not just domestically, but internationally as well. There was a need for companies to send and receive payments from anywhere in the world, hassle free and Truly Financial found a solution! You can pay anywhere in the world in your vendor’s currency or in yours as well as get paid easily.
Truly Financial offers a bank account that pays you cash back for everyday purchases, gives you insight and control over your team’s spending, allows you to send payments without worrying about bank fees, makes international payments feel as easy as domestic ones, and allows you to hold and exchange foreign currencies in your account.
You can choose from several account types that will help you feel like a local business, even when you are operating your business globally. Through their U.S. checking account, companies can receive Automated Clearing House (ACH) and Fedwire payments. You can also send payments to anyone in the U.S. or abroad. The second type of account are Euro and GBP accounts. These can receive and hold funds via SEPA and local clearing. The final kind of account is the Multi-currency account. This account allows users to receive or send wires in 32 different currencies.
Truly Financial Makes the World of International Banking More Friendly While Moving Faster
International transactions can take a long time to process, up to two weeks. In the meantime, there is no transparency on what is happening, goods are being held up, and there is a lot of back and forth to feel comfortable. Truly Financial makes sure you know where you are, every step of the way during a transaction.
It’s no secret that international transactions can be complicated and expensive. You can sometimes lose as much as 5% of the transaction in currency exchange and processing fees. Currency exchange is forced at the time of transaction, not when it is convenient for you. With Truly Financial, you can send one-day payments to any of the 40+ countries in their Express network, send wire transfers to almost any country in USD or 32 supported currencies. If your supplier also uses Truly Financial, they can receive your payment instantly!
Purchasing Power is in Your Hands with Truly Financial, Too!
Purchasing has never been easier with Truly Financial’s corporate Visa cards with inbuilt spend controls. It is easy to assign spending limits for each employee and be notified whenever the card is used. Expense cards are safe and secure because they can be blocked or unblocked at any time, there is no need to worry if they get lost or stolen. Separate virtual Visa cards can be used for each vendor or subscription payments so you never have to deal with unexpected charges again.
The Truly Financial corporate Visa card give your business cash back on every single purchase, thus reducing your cost of purchases and helping you put money back into the business.
To sum it up? Truly Financial is perfect for any small business, and any accounting firm. Plus their partner program is second to none! Truly Financial was developed to give small businesses access to banking services that have traditionally been available only to larger enterprises. To learn more about Truly Financial, visit them on the web at trulyfinancial.com, or get started as a partner right away by signing up here.
Does your practice have a niche in accounting or tax preparation for e-commerce businesses? Maybe you’re a bookkeeper with clients who are moving toward an e-commerce model. No matter how your e-commerce clients find you, the best way to meet the opportunity to serve them is by providing an integrated, automated, comprehensive solution, including all of the technology and apps they need to succeed.
A key component of an e-commerce client tech stack is, of course, a robust and seamless payment platform. My recommendation for that is Veem, which I recently added to my Starting Lineup. In addition to the fact that Veem has seamless, real-time syncing and two-way integrations with QuickBooks Online, Xero and Netsuite, it also makes recurring billing and invoicing a breeze. And, did I mention, there’s no subscription fee? ? Even international transactions with Veem are much cheaper and fairly priced than the banks.
What’s the big deal about recurring billing, you might ask? Well, for e-commerce clients, it truly is a game-changer in terms of the way they offer services, manage cash flow and increase revenue. When you consider how the economy as a whole has shifted to predominantly online transactions for many businesses—and has spawned a whole new sector of e-commerce companies, it’s a trend that you are likely to see more of in the coming months and years. So it’s time to be prepared to help your clients with a solution such as Veem that can address key issues including:
If you have small business e-commerce clients offering subscriptions or who would like to do so, Veem can help implement the recurring billing and recurring payments effortlessly. One of the most amazing things about Veem is that no matter where your clients do business, they can utilize one centralized payment solution which saves time and stress.
Talking about reducing stress, Veem also provides peace of mind because it is an encrypted platform with the highest level of payment security possible.
My e-commerce clients (and myself!) are much more relaxed about the potential of cyber security breaches knowing that all of their customer’s data is safely stored and encrypted in the cloud.
When it comes to alleviating the challenges small e-commerce businesses face setting up a subscription model with recurring billing and invoicing , the best practice for productivity and profitability is to offer an end-to-end solution stack as well as your professional insights to position your firm as a true partner. For me, when it comes to payments and recurring billing for my e-commerce clients, Veem checks all of the boxes, including addressing all of the common issues I touched on above.
For me, having Veem playing on my tech team is invaluable. It also plays amazingly well with my bookkeeping, accounting, and tax software, which makes providing that trusted advice and insights to my clients that much easier.
Take a look at Veem for yourself and talk to their amazing team about supporting your ecommerce clients and becoming part of your firm’s seamless, streamlined and secure payment solution.