2020…..What a year. A year we might want to forget. The COVID-19 pandemic, the election, Murder Hornets, and so on and so on and so on. This is a year that everything changed, and one of those changes was how conferences and mass gatherings were happening. One of the major QuickBooks events is QuickBooks Connect. Intuit made the decision to hold the entire event virtually, which has its share of challenges as well as advantages. I participated in a recap webinar where all the proceeds went to charity, you can review the webinar for a $5 donation here, but here are my thoughts on this virtual event.
Making it a Virtual Conference
One of the biggest challenges is how you can make virtual event feel like an in-person event. There were planned events but also freeform ongoing things you can do and check out if the planned events don’t align with your schedule. Intuit continued the Braindates where you could schedule time to meet up with someone, and the lounge where you play a little. Of course any partner booths or the QuickBooks booth could be visited and watch demos of other solutions and request more information. The advantage of doing all this from the comfort of your computer made the event more “efficient,” but at the cost of not bumping into someone you knew on your way walking around the event.
Alex Chris’ message addressed the elephant in the room with how do small businesses adapt in these uncertain times. He shared some great stories about companies that adapted in the face of the current climate and set the stage for how QuickBooks is positioned to help in this ever-changing climate
- QuickBooks Money – QB Cash and Cash Flow tools to know where you money is and where is going to be coming from and going to. Streamlined ways to get paid. Estimate workflow and approvals.
- QuickBooks Payroll – Automating Payroll, and Same Day direct deposit to hold onto cash longer. Benefits and HR features to help you get the answer
- QuickBooks Commerce – 85% growth by 2023 – Omni Sales Channel
- QuickBooks Online Advanced – continued features to help speed up complexities in a growing business.
Areige Misherghi gave us an update of what changed from last year and gave us a road map for the future.
- QB Live – The way she spoke about it, it’s like it’s Uber for ProAdvisors. Is it competition or collaboration with Accounting professionals with QuickBooks Live?
- Adding more banks to Bank statements automatic downloads – Here is the current list of supported banks
- Month-end review showing material accounts and deviations from the norm
- “Advisory is the present, and through advice is how you make an impact”
- Coming Soon! Month end Report Automation: you can now add comments to reports as well as combining reports and graphs into one “report pack” called Performance Reports.
- Coming soon: Transaction questions in QBO, client get notified from the phone!
Breakout – Stories that bring us together: Making the pivot
I attended this breakout. Ellen Bennet from Hedley & Bennett – Her Restaurant company had to pivot – changed their manufacturing facility to face-masks. Went viral as the world was shutting down, but they were working harder than ever – made a million masks and donated 350, 000. People would call them to talk through life because people didn’t know how to cope with (sanitization). She did Instagram Lives to talk about shipping status. She was being brutally honest on shipping. The hardest thing for her was mentally let go of that one thing you can’t seem to let go of. Feeling like the rock within her organization was lonely and terrifying, but having someone to connect with was the driving force.
KATIE STURINO @ Megababe – 2020 was supposed be their year. January they were launching a hand sanitizer – no one cared, but COVID-19 hit they had to take on the big guys because of demand. They pivoted and gave back – Megababe Cares 1 on 1 stories to get hand sanitizers to the people who desperately need it. Just have to be flexible – Plans on paper will cause you to be stuck unless you can pivot. Pretending like the situation was normal when it wasn’t was one of the hardest things for her to do.
Focus on what you can control, not what is out of control
Amplifying your voice in a virtual world
Vinh Giang spoke to QB Connect a couple years ago. He is a magician who speaks about communication. He says, “Magic is a problem that you can’t solve” if you only have one perspective, you can only see a problem one way, but with additional perspectives, the solution may present itself. Changes represent opportunities – sometimes we only see the change, but not the opportunity. This is called “Change Blindness” which gets us stuck in a siloed mentality. To solve problems we’ve never solved before, we will have to collaborate with people you’ve never collaborated with before.
You’re only as good as you can communicate. He spole
- Rate of Speech – Vary your rate of speech
- Pitch and Melody
- Tonality – The emotion that lives in your voice
If you focus on the things you cannot control, you’ll lose control of the things you can control”
Be so good they can’t ignore you
Magic is just someone spending more time on something than anyone else would reasonably expect.
He has a communication course that he was making available to attendees. that is available here https://www.vinhgiang.com/quickbookstribe
My takeaway on her talk was how obstacles can be our greatest gifts. She, if you recall, famously fell on her routine in the 1996 olympics and initially looked at external factors to point the blame instead of looking inward to see what ownership she had in that incident. This really spoke to me because for years I felt like I was stuck in a job. I so badly wanted to do something else. I applied for new positions only to be faced with obstacle that I felt held me back. It was only once my job was eliminated that I realized that I was where I needed to be. I realized that all that time working with Accountant’s on the phone was building the relationships that would carry me through to starting my own business all the way to here, Schoolofbookkeeping.com!!!
Building powerful connections in a culturally diverse society – Breakout
This was another communication course. Dr. Tyrone Holmes talked about having effective communication with someone by recognizing and eliminating “noise” There are many kinds of noise that get int the way of communication:
When you can recognize these noise factors, you can take steps to address them and communicate more effectively.
Lastly I watched a presentation on how to make a charcuterie board. It was a nice way to end the day and actually see and chat with others.
The only thing missing today, was the connection of people. Intuit tried to speak to that, but still it was a virtual event. Here’s hoping the next event will be with people. I am helping with a recap webinar with some other accounting pros. You can watch the replay for a small registration fee that will be donated to feed hungry folks for Thanksgiving by going here
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