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 AICPA Engage Conference was phenomenal this year! Seeing all of my friends and meeting new professional colleagues is one of my favorite things to do. Whether I’m speaking, hanging out with my Starting Line Up peeps at their booths or attending a session to sharpen my own knowledgebase I always come back highly motivated to do more in my own accounting practice and help other professionals—and my clients—do the same!
I had a great time at Engage and picked up many nuggets of knowledge to put into play in my practice—but before I do, I wanted to share with you what has me so motivated from the experience in the spirit of inspiring those of you who also attended—and anyone else who didn’t—to really maximize the momentum and motivation to do more to fuel your own success.
First Stop: The AICPA Engage Exhibitor Hall
One of my first stops at any professional event I go to (after the ladies’ room, of course) is the exhibit hall. That’s exactly what I did at AICPA Engage, I headed there first! It was great to see my longtime friends and peers to share new ways to maximize my productivity and profitability and catch up in person after being virtual for so long!
I was equally excited to share my new book, The Designated Motivator and the players in the Team Brolin Starting Line Up. Having a valuable tech stack is one thing, however, the energy behind this collaboration of industry leaders who all share a passion to help accounting firms achieve higher levels of ROI and be able to serve clients with maximum profitability is amazing.
Next Up: The Festivities Begin with Fishbowl and Friends!
I never like to show up at a party without a gift for the hosts and hostesses and attending Fishbowl’s AICPA Engage event was no exception, so I brought along with me The Designated Motivator for Accounting Professionals Activity Book along with some crayons—to keep everyone in the motivation mindset and provide a little relaxation as they sat through all of the conference sessions!
The Fishbowl team not only provides the #1 Manufacturing & Inventory Management Software for QuickBooks® but they also throw one heck of a party! Kudos to Fishbowl for kicking off the first day of the AICA Engage Conference with the perfect level of networking and a good time. In my opinion, any time you can play cornhole and connect with all of the cool people in our profession it’s definitely a win-win.
My Assistant Kamdynn Moroney and I had chance to snap some selfies at AICPA’s Snapbar booth. What a riot! Here are a few of my favorite pics from the conference!
Day Two: Getting Down to Business! Learning and Laughing with My Peers
Day Two of my Engage! experience included attending a fantastic session by Kacee Johnson on Advanced Personal Financial Planning and plus reconnecting with familiar faces. I had such a great time hanging out with Eric and the Corpay gang.
Avalara has been such a great resource and I always appreciate time spent with their team. It was a wonderful surprise running in to Jim Leffel after all these years since sitting on the Intuit council together in 2008-2009.
I also enjoy being a member of the ADP Council [LINK] so it was amazing running into Sean Duncan and Sharrin Fuller who are also involved in it—ADP is another awesome Starting Line U player! I was also able to chat with another valuable starting line-up player, Rachel Montana and George Addlmessih from SmartVault.
Day Three: Sharing my Experience with QuickBooks® Enterprise
By this point in the conference, I was certainly feeling my Designated Motivator energy kicking into high gear so it was perfect that it coincided with the video production and photoshoot for a brand new QuickBooks Enterprise campaign—coming this fall! Wow, I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity to do more to help my fellow professionals by sharing the tools I have found vital in growing my firm and my ability to serve my clients as efficiently and expertly as possible.
Engaged and Empowered to Power Up My Practice and Help My Peers Do the Same!
The AICPA Engage! Conference was amazing—having the opportunity to gain new insights and network within our professional community is so incredibly valuable. I believe that connecting with each other on a personal level at events like this really does strengthen our profession as a whole. As we continue to navigate the future—still impacted by COVID, never-ending compliance changes, the unpredictable IRS actions, client expectations and demands, as well as the need to manage our firms effectively we need to support each other. I know the relationships I have with my peers and all of the entities who provide the tools and services we depend on to serve our clients are often the lifeline I need to keep motivated and to keep reaching for higher levels of success.