QuickBooks Connect 2019 - Interview Pack

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Creation Date December 28th, 2019
Updated Date Updated May 13th, 2020
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All the interview episodes of the Cloud Accounting Podcast recorded LIVE at QuickBooks Connect 2019 #QBConnect
  1. SponsorsIntuit QuickBooks https://cloudaccountingpodcast.promo/quickbooks Show Notes 00:57 – Meet the coaches - Michael Palmer, Michelle Weinstein and Heather Townsend!  01:41 – The number-one concern for accountants and bookkeepers - the art of pricing 02:44 – Heather provides a different perspective on the definition of value pricing 03:52 – Michelle encounters many accountants who want to double revenue without working on their mindset first 04:23 – Michael shares two key factors to getting value pricing right - self-worth and education 06:23 – Heather says it's about overcoming the mental blocks first, and then focusing on the growth 07:31 – A hard pill to swallow - learning to see your own, or your firm's own value 08:58 – Setting your prices too low will ensure that you never get the time to provide true value 09:30 – Michelle  says it's often the oldest 'legacy' clients that take up the majority of your time, with little to no profit  11:04 – If you don't choose to deliver value, your competitor will 12:14 – In addition to seeing your own value, Heather says it's about freeing up the capacity  and time 13:43 – With so many tasks moving to automation, Blake sees capacity in terms of relationships, and the time it takes to maintain those 15:29 – Heather runs down a short list of things to micromanage when you want to build your value capacity 17:20 – When you're an 'accountingpreneur,' as Michelle names it, there's nobody there holding your hand. It's up to you to learn these skills and tactics and get things done 18:45 – If you're perfectly fine with being comfortably numb, you'll never be able to challenge the status quo 20:04 – Short-term sacrifices lead to long-term payoffs 20:53 -- Find the one thing you can focus on right now, and just do it. Simple, right?  Connect with Michael, Michelle, and Heather Michael Palmer, Ceo of Pure Bookkeeping North America   Twitter: https://twitter.com/1michaelpalmer LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/coachpalmer/?originalSubdomain=ca  Website: https://purebookkeeping.com/us/ Michelle Weinstein, Consultant and Founder of The Pitch Queen  Twitter: https://twitter.com/thepitchqueen LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelleweinstein/ Website: https://www.thepitchqueen.com/ Heather Townsend, Founder of Accountants Millionaire Club  Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeatherTowns LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heathertownsend/ Website: http://www.accountantsmillionaire.club Get in TouchThanks for listening and for the great reviews! We appreciate you! Follow and tweet @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Find us on Facebook and, if you like what you hear, please do us a favor and write a review on iTunes, or Podchaser. Interested in sponsoring the Cloud Accounting Podcast? For details, read the prospectus, and NOW, you can see our smiling faces on Instagram!  Meet Blake and David in person! We're currently all out of dates for 2019 📆 Want to book us for your event? Check out our prospectus, or get in touch for more info! 🧾👀Limited edition shirts, stickers, and other necessitiesTeePublic Store: http://cloudacctpod.link/merch  Subscribe Apple Podcasts: http://cloudacctpod.link/ApplePodcasts Spotify: http://cloudacctpod.link/Spotify Google Play: http://cloudacctpod.link/GooglePlay Stitcher: http://cloudacctpod.link/Stitcher Overcast: http://cloudacctpod.link/Overcast   Episode Art Photo Credit: Will Farnell: https://twitter.com/willfarnell https://twitter.com/willfarnell/status/1191506218424176640/photo/1 TranscriptThis episode of The Cloud Accounting Podcast is sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks. Accounting professionals and bookkeepers have long been at the forefront of using cutting-edge technologies to take the profession to the next level and to ensure they're delivering the best possible service to their clients. Whether you want to grow your firm or sharpen your skills, Intuit QuickBooks provides you with the AI-driven products, services, and the resources that you need to help all sides of your career take shape. To learn more about how QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Online Accountant, QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping, and the ProAdvisor program can help you grow your practice and scale your impact, head over to CloudAccountingPodcast.promo/quickbooks. That is Cloud Accounting Podcast dot promo forward slash Q-U-I-C-K-B-O-O-K-S. QuickBooks - Backing you.Heather Townsend: Well, we've had a look at our own pricing, and we're not charging enough, and we're not giving the service, and we've gotta take our own medicine. Blake Oliver: Welcome to The Cloud Accounting Podcast. I'm Blake Oliver. David Leary: I'm David Leary. Michael Palmer: Michael Palmer, the CEO of Pure Bookkeeping [00:01:00] and the host of The Successful Bookkeeper. Michelle Weinstein: I'm Michelle Weinstein, the host of the Abundant Accountant Podcast. Heather Townsend: I'm Heather Townsend, the founder of the Accountants Millionaires' Club. David Leary: Whoooooo!  Blake Oliver: Yeah!  David Leary: We're all here. Welcome, welcome, welcome. We are here. It's our first podcast recording today at QuickBooks Connect 2019. I brought all of you on because I'd go through all the speakers and try to figure out what would make a good panel or what would make a good episode? All of you are coaches. Now, there's a lot of coaches here at QuickBooks Connect, but a lot of them are small business coaches. What's special about all of you, you specialize [00:01:30] in coaching accountants and bookkeepers. Michelle Weinstein: Oh, yes. David Leary: Some of you focus more on the marketing side, some of it's more on the process side ... What's the number-one thing, right now, accountants or bookkeepers are asking for help with? Michael Palmer: Well, it's number one in the talk tomorrow, and it is mastering the art of pricing. Blake Oliver: Pricing. Michael Palmer: It is an art. It's an art. It's a long journey, as well. Long journey. David Leary: Is it just creating the price, or is it having that pricing conversation? I think that's something you always talk about, right, Michelle? Michelle Weinstein: I talk about the conversation, but he's [00:02:00] right on, because I just had a conversation with someone else. I just told them to triple whatever they thought it was. Michael Palmer: That is ... I agree with you. I agree absolutely with you.  Michelle Weinstein: Yay! Okay, good. I'm glad I- Michael Palmer: That's part of the journey. That's part of mastering it - taking those steps. Michelle Weinstein: Right.  Blake Oliver: A show of hands - who is a value-pricer here? Are you guys all into value pricing or is it fixed pricing? Heather Townsend: I think I've gotta jump in here.  Blake Oliver: Yeah. Heather Townsend: A lot of what we talk about value pricing is not value pricing. Actually, we're talking about ... When we say value pricing, we're more talking about fixed-fee pricing [00:02:30] based around a cost-plus-margin model. When you're selling tax, actually, and you're doing that on a contingency fee, success fee, that is true value pricing. If you're doing access to funding, and you're taking a percentage of the funding, that is true value pricing. What we're mostly talking about, and a lot of the pricing gurus have gone and put this out, that you're value pricing. Actually, no, you're just putting up your margins. The problem is, and I agree with you, the real problem here is we've got a marketplace that is moving from pay by time, charting by [00:03:00] time, and now moving to fixed fees. Now, the UK is probably five years ahead of the U.S., so I can give you all the kind of where do people go wrong, where do they go wrong, but it's still an issue in the UK. Pricing is still an issue. You have a population of people that typically have underpriced because they needed the work. They didn't have the confidence. They've now got legacy clients - low fee, low recovery - and they're like, "I cannot grow. I cannot do what I need to do because my price is wrong," and it's such a mental game that they have [00:03:30] to overcome. Michelle Weinstein: Yeah. I just literally had this conversation with someone. He has 125 clients paying him $275 a month. I said "Great. They're all gonna pay you $899. That means you can get rid of 84 of them. If they don't come back, you've got only 40 clients where it is high margin, and now you have time to go and focus on the real work that you wanna do. Blake Oliver: Yeah. Michelle Weinstein: Because you just don't have ... I think a lot of accountants that I come across, they wanna double their revenue, but they don't wanna increase and [00:04:00] improve their mindset. Blake Oliver: I would say that's the number-one question I get when people ... I had a bookkeeping practice, and people asked, "Well, how do I charge for bookkeeping services?" When they're getting started or they're adding it to their firm. How do you answer that question? David Leary: It's on the Facebook groups every day, you see some posts, like, "How much should I charge for my bookkeeping practice?" Michael Palmer: Of all the people that I've interviewed and actually seen get it right, it is a journey that begins with, number one, valuing [00:04:30] who you are [crosstalk] because it's like you've mentioned, right? It's about their own self-worth. When you own a small business, it's you, so you're pricing yourself in the beginning. The next step is, then, education. It's like there's so much education out there, but you have to educate yourself. What is pricing? Like, Heather, you were talking about, people misunderstanding what value pricing is.  Educate yourself about all the different options that are out there for pricing. That gives you knowledge; knowledge is power. Then, [00:05:00] it moves into where you can start to take action. Where I've really seen people win is doing those steps - value yourself, educate yourself, value what you do, and then get help. Get mentoring because you've gotta go through some hurdles; you've gotta jump across the crevasse, and you need someone to go, "Hey, you better get jumpin'!" Michelle Weinstein: Well, you've gotta invest in yourself first before you can have someone else invest in you at a really high level.  David Leary: That's right, yeah.  Michelle Weinstein: I had a brain date, and she [00:05:30] wanted to double her revenue, but it's been going the same for the last 15 years. I said, "Do you typically go and look for a deal and a discount everywhere you go?" Because that's her complaint. She's like, "Yeah." I said, "Well, until you start buying first-class seats and finding the most expensive things, then we're not gonna be able to shift the way you think, and then you're not gonna attract the right people." It's the law- it's an actual universal law. Blake Oliver: What is a brain date? Heather Townsend: I've been doing loads of those. This is a QuickBooks thing where lots of experts have put themselves up, and you can book time. I've [00:06:00] just spent five hours, mostly talking about pricing, actually, around this. Interestingly, we were finding, from our members, their biggest issue was pricing. We've gone deep into neuroscience. We've gone deep into pricing; behavioral economics. We've looked at the most up-to-date IP. Our book, "Pricing with Confidence," we quietly put on Amazon last week, and we've literally taken ...  It starts with your mind. It's all about overcoming fear, everything. Your brain is trying to keep you [00:06:30] where you are to avoid having the most difficult conversations because, after all, if you put up your price, you're gonna lose the whole of your firm, aren't you? This is the sort of fear that we put in our minds. Actually, when it comes to pricing, you have to win the inner game in your mind first, and only then do you need to go to your growth plans, and your profit margins, and all of this sort of stuff, and your sales process, so that you can actually demonstrate the value as you go through the process. David Leary: I'm all set, right? I'm mentally there. I've trained myself. I've been working out. I'm [00:07:00] ready to raise my prices. How do I go have that conversation with the client I've been charging $250 to, a month? Like, "Hey, you're gonna pay me $899 now." How does that conversation even start? Blake Oliver: Just to tag on to what you said, David, that was always my biggest challenge when I was in practice. It wasn't necessarily the new clients coming in the door because I could change my pricing, and I'm having a new conversation, but it was the ones that I'd had forever. I felt this, like, just fear of having that conversation with them. Sometimes, it would go on for so long that to really bring them up to market rate, I'd have to like double the price, [00:07:30] triple the price. Heather Townsend: I think that there's a couple of things here. The first thing is to understand what you should be charging them. Then, you need to put yourself in their shoes. If someone turned around to you and said, "Blake, look, what I've been doing for you, I'm gonna charge you three times as much," You'd go, "Uh ...?" This is about demonstrating your value, justification for it, and a classic line ... Anybody that's listening, write this one down. It's basically along the lines of, "You know how we always tell you to value what you're worth? Well, we've had a look at our own pricing. We're not [00:08:00] charging enough, and we're not giving the service, and we've got to take our own medicine." Most clients don't actually complain with something of those lines, but it's if you're delivering a great client service, you shouldn't be afraid of this conversation.  It's all about the scale of it. One of the things is there's a lot of brain-based stuff about biases that goes on, and it's all about the contrast. It's about how can you contrast the increase? Is it just the equivalent of a cup of Starbucks each day? That doesn't sound a lot, [00:08:30] does it? When you actually look at that, a cup of Starbucks, potentially the coffee, and if you're in the U.S. because it's almost double what we are in the UK, that's five times 30. That's $150 a month, but it's just an extra cup of Starbucks each day. This is about contrasting it with the value that you're giving them. "How much is that peace of mind worth? How much did you reduce your tax bill? How much have you actually been calling us because you've got these queries around your books? This is why we have to raise it so we can carry on giving you that service." David Leary: If I'm hearing, Michelle, earlier about this, you [00:09:00] can't give your clients peace of mind, because if you're taking on too many clients at a cheap price, if you don't charge enough, you'll never have the free time to actually give your clients true value. Michelle Weinstein: Well, and that's what was happening with the women who I met with at our brain date. It was that exact problem. She's at capacity. In addition to that, I've had a couple clients where I said, "Why don't you take an inventory as to really how much time you've invested in this client?" Especially the long-term ones, Blake, because those are the ones that are actually making you lose money.  [00:09:30] Do an inventory on that, and I bet you, if you go look at your few clients that have been the legacy clients, you're actually losing money on them because you answer the most emails; you talk to them the most; they pay you the least. Then you can go back to them and say, "You know what? I'm not a nonprofit," and do what you just said and say, "Look, I help you make a lot of money and, unfortunately, this is now at a loss on my books. I can no longer go at a loss." That's what I've seen. A lot of the [00:10:00] people I've worked with are running a lot of their older clients at a loss. Find someone to buy that piece of business so you can focus.  Triple your rates - that's my other go-to. I think, like you were saying, it's all about the mindset work and really understanding your value. A lot of accounting professionals I've worked with, they went and got extra education; they've gotten a masters in tax, and they're not applying that knowledge to their pricing. Why [00:10:30] does a brain surgeon charge a lot of money when ... I love my accountants I work with. They have CPAs, MBAs, masters in tax; they're doctorates, PhDs ... I'm like, "But you're charging what a personal trainer charges," you know? Nothing against a personal trainer - I used to be one - but the brain surgeon, you're not gonna leave there without paying at least a million. Michael Palmer: Full stop, your business needs to do this, otherwise [00:11:00] your business will cease to exist. Michelle Weinstein: Correct.  Michael Palmer: Think about it, if you're not doing it, your competitor will because they're the ones that are gonna deliver the value that your client needs and have the capacity ... Because what we're talking about here is- when we're talking about giving value, it's about capacity. One of the ways to get capacity is to remove clients and, sometimes, losing clients is a really great thing because if you're removing those clients that don't see you as valuable, but you're getting new clients that [00:11:30] do see you as valuable and willing to pay you, well, that's good for business. Coming back, David, to your question - how do you do it? - you just have to do it- Michelle Weinstein: You just do it.  Michael Palmer: -and have a conversation. I think it's a conversation where you show value first, like Heather ... Really great, right? Show value; help them see how valuable you are; then have that conversation. Michelle Weinstein: Put yourself in their shoes, like Heather was saying, too, is really important because you have to ... I talk about how Heather and I are sitting next to each other ... I always put in my mind - [00:12:00] how am I sitting next to them, and how would I want to be treated in this situation? Because the girl that does my social media, she increased the prices, but there was justification. I don't have to tell her what's in my head. She knows me very well now. Heather Townsend: I think a lot of this comes down to time. The first thing we do in our model to help our clients grow their firm is not a growth plan; it's how are you gonna find the time for head space? We have to remember that most people talking about pricing are at capacity and, actually, it's not about going, "What my [00:12:30] prices should be?" It's about, "How do I find three hours extra each week for the next months in order to have the time to really think about this stuff?" Because everybody listening to us here is a busy professional who are awesome at what they do and, actually, how do you get that time? Well, if you're in the UK, you could sell that block of unprofitable fees for one times multiplier. If you wanted to get paid in two blocks, to pay two, you get one times multiplier. You've got, say £50,000, so about $60,000 ... You [00:13:00] could literally go to a broker and say, "I want to sell these." Within six months, you'd have £30,000 in your pocket. A year later, you'd hopefully have the rest of £30,000, and you would free up the capacity. Actually, that £30,000 will pay for somebody - maybe a part-time employee - to come in to take stuff off you, so you can then put the pricing in and sort this out. Because we forget, if you've got a hundred clients, you potentially got a hundred conversations. Blake Oliver: That's the problem. No, I just want to call out something you said. I apologize for interrupting, but when we think of our [00:13:30] capacity in terms of 2,000 hours a year, we tend to fill it all the way up, and we don't leave any room for improvement. Michelle Weinstein: Or health. Blake Oliver: Or health, or sales and marketing [crosstalk]  Heather Townsend: -that's a big thing for us, yeah. Blake Oliver: Tell me what you think about this. I like to think of capacity in terms, not of hours, but in terms of relationships. How many clients at different service levels could I actually talk to enough to make them feel cared for? The work that we do these days is [00:14:00] becoming so automated that that's not what takes up my time. It's the emails, the phone calls, the meetings, and just being able to stay on top of relationships. I think of it like a classroom, right? A teacher, at a certain point, the classroom gets too big, cannot possibly know all the students, and maybe we should think about capacity that way ... Heather Townsend: Yeah. I think the problem is, is that - in particular, when you're growing - you've got too busy personally and you've got to make sure that you're less chargeable, but [00:14:30] by coming less chargeable, that's a revenue hit, and you go, "Can't do that." One of the hardest things of growth is about the identity change. You are no longer the doer; you're no longer the most important person there; and your value is no longer about how many chargeable hours you do. That's one of the really, really hard things because for everybody that's been in practice, what do they get- what's it they give themselves a dopamine hit. What is it about the things they're doing well? "It's about how much I've put on my time sheet that I've personally built." We're trying [00:15:00] to tell people that, no, it's not about what you personally bill anymore. It's about actually what we do in the round. It's about you being able to take back eight hours a day- sorry, eight hours a week, in order to grow your firm. This is part of the problem. It's the identity change ... Actually, it's the physical, tactical stuff of, "If I've got so much stuff, how do I move stuff on?" We micromanage. Accountants are brilliant micromanagers. What are we gonna delegate? What are we potentially gonna outsource? When it [00:15:30] comes to freeing up time in the UK, we have the hot buttons of what are you gonna outsource - whether that's outsourcing marketing, whether that's outsourcing what we would call year-end accounts, tax returns; are you gonna outsource that? Are you gonna sell a block of fees so that you get the capacity back and the thinking time? Because you sure as hell are probably not gonna- you're not gonna sell the profitable ones, so, yeah, you're gonna have a slight cash flow, but that will be whatever, or what are you gonna delegate? Those are the quick things that you have to do. Michael Palmer: Yeah, I think [00:16:00] capacity is an exciting thing to work on because not only what are you gonna fill the capacity with? It's not just having time to work on getting paid more for the work that you do, the valuable work that you do, but your own personal life, the things that you do. One of our guests on The Successful Bookkeeper podcast was Joe Woodard. He talked about getting a 20-percent capacity -increase your own capacity - every 90 days.  [00:16:30] I you played that game- if you actually played the game of getting 20-percent capacity- more capacity every 90 days, what would you do with that? Well, it's work on mastering the art of pricing like we're talking about. It's working on figuring out how to become more efficient, outsource, delegate. One of the things we do at Pure Bookkeeping is how do you provide standard operating procedures and processes that actually has your business run more efficiently? This stuff is not easy to do. It takes [00:17:00] work. It takes time- Michelle Weinstein: Commitment. Michael Palmer: -right. It takes commitment, but the payoff, long run, long game ... The payoff is that you have a firm that actually runs itself, and you have a firm that gives you what you want. That's the question - why are you in business? What are you trying to achieve? What's that end game look like? Michelle Weinstein: I think that's the most important part because that-  Michael Palmer: It's an incredibly important part. Michelle Weinstein: I call everyone that owns their own business an accountingpreneur. If you're gonna be an accountingpreneur, guess what? There's no one telling you what to do. I know that from [00:17:30] a lot of the people I've worked with, it wasn't ever, taught - this sales stuff, and capacity, and the mindset, and all that. You just have to do it. Most of the people I work with don't go on vacations, so that's the thing that I really focus on, is if you're gonna have capacity, also make capacity for leaving. One of my accountants, I think he did $350,000 in revenue extra in the last year and a half, and now he goes on a trip with his family like every three to six months. David Leary: How does somebody [00:18:00] actually get any capacity to take that next step to start building capacity out- Michelle Weinstein: You have to- David Leary: Because if you know you need to make processes ... Everybody's, every day, like, "I gotta create a process. I just need to standardize the process," and you never do it, and weeks, and weeks, and weeks go by. "Oh, I need to have a conversation with my clients about billing." Weeks, and weeks, and weeks go by. What's that very ... Somebody listening to this podcast, tomorrow, can build them self an extra hour into their day, what do they have to do? Michael Palmer: Time blocking. Michelle Weinstein: Yeah. Heather Townsend: Definitely time blocking, where you have a default diary that says, "All right. These are the things I have to do, and they will happen on this day. [00:18:30] I will put out this amount of time." Interestingly, we had someone that just joined the club, and they spoke to us about joining in February. It's now November. They were gonna do this, and this, and this and then join.  Michelle Weinstein: They didn't do any of it. Heather Townsend: You're absolutely right [crosstalk] Michael Palmer: They did that incorrectly. They should have joined first and then [crosstalk]  Heather Townsend: I know we're coaches, and I know this is our mantra, but most accountants have got comfortable being uncomfortable and, actually, we need to challenge the status quo. That means you've gotta tap into your why. Why are you doing this? Why [00:19:00] now? For most people ... I've had about three or four brain dates today talking about increasing pricing.  I asked one lady, "Why now? You've been thinking about this for two years [crosstalk] why now?" She said, "My husband has got sick, and he can't drive anymore, which means I'm fridge-filler, taxi driver, and an American, so that means you can't walk anywhere, for my two kids, and they're telling me I'm working too hard, so that's why." You've gotta connect into what is my big driver that's gonna take me through the fact [00:19:30] that I'm comfortably uncomfortable? We have a phrase in the UK, called BMW, which is a car, and I'm gonna do the polite version of it where we, as accountants, we 'bellyache, we moan, and we whinge,' and that's our norm. Michelle Weinstein: That's good. Michael Palmer: I've never BMW-ed.  Michelle Weinstein: I think that's a huge point of it, too, but here's the other point. If you're an accountingpreneur, you signed up for this journey, so you get to stay up two extra hours later and sacrifice a short [00:20:00] amount of time to have the upside that you want in the future. David Leary: Maybe a little less Netflix. Michelle Weinstein: It's less Netflix ... You have to cut somewhere in order to gain, right? It's a short-term sacrifice for a long-term payoff. Michael Palmer: Here's a liberating concept. I love this concept. It's from a book called, "The One Thing," a fantastic [crosstalk] right? Where am I going with it - "The One Thing?" What is the one thing that you're gonna focus on that's [00:20:30] actually gonna make, when we connect back to the why, as you're both saying, you connect back to the why, what's the one thing you're gonna focus on? In the book, one of the concepts is, "Well, do you drop everything?" No, you just start focusing on that that's most important. If pricing is one of the things that you've been talking about wanting to do, make that the focus and let that happen. The other piece is that people say, "Oh, look at that person. They've got all the pricing figured out; they've figured their business out; they're so disciplined; they're [00:21:00] absolutely amazingly ..." No, they're only a tiny, tiny bit more disciplined. It's that they just had enough energy, enough disciplined energy to actually get the habit together to do the things that are just a little bit better than the average. That actually has them compete on such a high, high level. If you're gonna take anything from that is stop beating up on yourself for not doing something. Focus on, well, what's the one thing you're gonna do next week and [00:21:30] just focus on that. Let everything else fall to the wayside and see what happens. It'll change your life. David Leary: On that note, we should let our listeners stop, and they can go do their next step building some capacity. Michelle Weinstein: Yes.  David Leary: What's the best way to get a hold of you, Michael, if people wanna learn more? Michael Palmer: Go to thesuccessfulbookkeeper.com and start listening to the podcast. Blake Oliver: All right.  David Leary: Michelle? Michelle Weinstein: Theabundantaccountant.com. Heather Townsend: Heather Townsend. Come to my website www.accountantsmillionaire.club. Blake Oliver: All right, wonderful.  David Leary: That'll all be in the show notes. You guys can drill down and [00:22:00] click on it. Blake Oliver: Thank you all so much for your time-  Michelle Weinstein: Awesome. Thank you for having us! Blake Oliver: Thanks for joining us [crosstalk]  Michelle Weinstein: That was so fun!  Blake Oliver: Bye.  David Leary: Bye. 
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SponsorsIntuit QuickBooks https://cloudaccountingpodcast.promo/quickbooks Show Notes 01:25 – Meet the legends!   02:54 – Our guests share their biggest takeaways from QuickBooks Connect 2019 03:04 – For Michelle, it's AAA - apps, automation, and AI 03:28 – For Laura, it's the evolution of advisory 03:47 – Clayton's takeaways included latest iterations of cloud evolution and getting ready for new opportunities 04:54 – Clayton sheds some light on what he's doing now 06:04 – Laura's got her head and her firm in the cloud! 06:59 – Michelle's recent focus revolves around app selection and integration along with consulting and training 09:05 – What's changed since the very first QuickBooks Connect?  09:49 – Michelle's seen a huge improvement in networking over the years 10:18 – Just because you hit legend status doesn't mean you stop learning new things! 10:30 – Laura see a shift to development now that the majority have found their way to the cloud 11:16 – Clayton thinks people are moving away from "appstraction" and moving towards action 12:41 – After all the hype of cloud fades, you can now focus on the actual productivity  14:44 – More talk of what's to come for these three  Connect with Michelle, Clayton, and Laura Laura Redmond, CEO and Founder of Redmond Accounting Inc Twitter: https://twitter.com/Redmond_Laura LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lauraredmond/ Website: https://redmondaccounting.com/ Clayton Oates, Founder of QA Business Pty Ltd Twitter: https://twitter.com/Clayton_Oates LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/claytonoates/?originalSubdomain=au Website: http://claytonoates.com/ Michelle Long, Owner of Long for Sucess, LLC  Twitter: https://twitter.com/MichelleLongCPA LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michellelongcpa/  Website: https://longforsuccess.com/ Get in TouchThanks for listening and for the great reviews! We appreciate you! Follow and tweet @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Find us on Facebook and, if you like what you hear, please do us a favor and write a review on iTunes, or Podchaser. Interested in sponsoring the Cloud Accounting Podcast? For details, read the prospectus, and NOW, you can see our smiling faces on Instagram!  Meet Blake and David in person! Stay tuned!  Want to book us for your event? Check out the prospectus or get in touch for more details!    Limited edition shirts, stickers, and other necessitiesTeePublic Store: http://cloudacctpod.link/merch  Subscribe Apple Podcasts: http://cloudacctpod.link/ApplePodcasts Spotify: http://cloudacctpod.link/Spotify Google Play: http://cloudacctpod.link/GooglePlay Stitcher: http://cloudacctpod.link/Stitcher Overcast: http://cloudacctpod.link/Overcast   Episode Art Photo Credit: Will Farnell https://twitter.com/willfarnell https://twitter.com/willfarnell/status/1191506218424176640/photo/1 TranscriptThis episode of The Cloud Accounting Podcast is sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks. Accounting professionals and bookkeepers have long been at the forefront of using cutting-edge technologies to take the profession to the next level and to ensure they're delivering the best possible service to their clients. Whether you want to grow your firm or sharpen your skills, Intuit QuickBooks provides you with the AI-driven products, services, and the resources that you need to help all sides of your career take shape. To learn more about how QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Online Accountant, QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping, and the ProAdvisor program can help you grow your practice and scale your impact, head over to CloudAccountingPodcast.promo/quickbooks. That is Cloud Accounting Podcast dot promo forward slash Q-U-I-C-K-B-O-O-K-S. QuickBooks - Backing you.Michelle Long: ... Because I don't do taxes. I'm a CPA who hates taxes, right? I'm unusual.  Blake Oliver: Welcome to The Cloud Accounting Podcast. I'm Blake Oliver. David Leary: I'm David Leary. Michelle Long: And I'm Michelle Long. Laura Redmond: Laura Redmond. [00:01:00] Clayton Oates: G'day, I'm Clayton Oates.  David Leary: Wow, we have Laura, Michelle, and Clayton here. We're at day two of QuickBooks Connect. Yes, they had some famous people on stage, but we have the accounting famous legends with us for this podcast. Blake Oliver: So great to have all three of you sitting at the table across from us. Thank you for joining us. Michelle Long: Thank you for asking us. Clayton Oates: I'm wondering about that word legend. That just sounds old. Michelle Long: I know! I know, right? Clayton Oates: I'm talking about myself here. Laura Redmond: Me, too.  David Leary: I truly think all of you guys are legendary in your own way, right? Michelle, you're legendary [00:01:30] because back in the day for QuickBooks, there was this QuickBooks community. It was like when companies used to host their own forums - pre-Facebook, pre-Facebook groups, pre-LinkedIn groups - and you answered 35,000 or 40,000 questions. Michelle Long: A lot. David Leary: Every night for four years. Then, that led you to become a legend there. Then, they shut that down. You moved to LinkedIn, and then 100,000 people joined your LinkedIn group. Then, Laura, you were the first person, the first QuickBooks ProAdvisor to move to cloud in 2011; nobody was in cloud then. Laura Redmond: We had our firm and our first client on in 2005. 2011 [00:02:00] is when we pushed all clients. David Leary: All clients to it- Michelle Long: Oh, wow!  David Leary: Then, Clayton, you kind of discovered QuickBooks in Australia. I think it was the Reckon product then. You saw there was a conference in the states, and you were like, "I'm gonna fly out to the States. I don't know anybody there. It'll be fun!" Clayton Oates: It was in Vegas, baby! I could do that. Blake Oliver: I will never forget meeting Clayton Oates in Las Vegas. He used to wear costumes to all of these parties. Clayton Oates: Oh, that's right. Blake Oliver: I think one year you were Austin Powers. Michelle Long: Yep [crosstalk]  Clayton Oates: It was smashing, baby! It was amazing! Laura Redmond: I remember that, and Jacinta looked amazing. [00:02:30] Clayton Oates: Oh, behave!  Blake Oliver: One year, you were Crocodile Dundee. One year, you had a crocodile with you. Clayton Oates: Yeah, mate, that was [inaudible] crikey, I'll tell ya. Blake Oliver: I wanna thank you, Clayton, for teaching me, as a first-time attendee to one of these conferences, as a newbie in the accounting tech industry, that it could be fun [crosstalk] It could be really, really fun, so, yeah-  Clayton Oates: -totally, and you guys are carrying that candle bright into the future for sure! So, this is gonna be good. David Leary: For all of you, this is, I think, your sixth QuickBooks Connect, like myself. I've been to a bunch of these. [00:03:00] What's the big takeaway this year that you guys have seen?  Blake Oliver: Who wants to go first? Michelle. Michelle Long: I think the big thing is apps, and automation, and AI. Like Sasan said on the main stage today, our technology's been changing rapidly in the past, but over the next five years, because of AI, it's gonna change faster than ever before. I love the idea that Intuit is here to help us, to bring us along on that journey and to help us keep up with the technology. That's kinda what I've been thinking, anyway. Laura Redmond: I see the industry trying [00:03:30] to keep the conversation about advisory going and try to ... It's evolving. I think they're trying to define what exactly it is. How do we do it? They've been talking a lot about doing things like value pricing, and advisory, and we're getting more into the how to do it for everyone as a collective industry. Clayton Oates: I suppose I'm seeing a couple things. One is from Intuit' side, the step up in innovation and delivering. I think Ariege's session yesterday was, "Wow! Okay ..." We're really starting to see, perhaps, that next iteration [00:04:00] of evolution of cloud. The other piece is preparedness by the advisor of certain mindset, probably more than anything. It's been interesting watching Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. sort of being in both markets really, over the last six, seven, eight years here. Definitely the mindset and opportunity preparedness of the audience to adapt, and adopt, and run with the new solutions. No longer are we the, "You're way out there five years," and all that, and so forth. It's just this convergence [00:04:30] now where people are really starting to run on the same road globally. I'm excited to see where this country can take this future because this is a big tap, and I think it feels that it's getting turned on right now. David Leary: Where are your guys' practices at? I know you guys have all had practices grown. I know some of you do training, you do other things. Clayton, I don't even know what you do anymore. Clayton Oates: That's a great question [crosstalk] David Leary: You just do conference travels. Clayton Oates: I might use this podcast as the catalyst for our dinnertime conversation, "This is actually what dad does." For me, I [00:05:00] still have kept the firms. I had a firm grow out of an accounting practice - software advisory, consulting, recommending solutions, training, and support. This is 1994. I thought this thing was gonna be over in about two years. I thought everyone's gonna have all this sorted [crosstalk]  David Leary: 1994; Blake, were you alive then? Blake Oliver: I was [crosstalk] up and kickin', yeah [crosstalk] Clayton Oates: -I was 12. No, I was later than that. The thing was, now being independently owned and operated for the last 18 years, we came out of the accounting group. For [00:05:30] me, it's ... We've still got the consulting business, so we're actually out there as a team. I do a little bit of this, of walking through clients' businesses, and doing the site reviews, and walking through their business systems, and now, just trying to plug in what we know and learning at QB Connect, for example, and what can suit and fit that market need for clients. We're not the accountant. We're not the bookkeeper. We're the software advisory guys, and we hopefully play a role in connecting the accountant with stronger connections with their clients; also [00:06:00] the bookkeeper's and, importantly, the technology vendors, as well. Laura Redmond: This is gonna sound cheesy, but in the cloud, that's where we're located. Let me explain. I live in Silicon Valley. That's where I am, but my COO is on the East Coast. We have staff on the East Coast. I have people in different states. We really do have Zoom meetings and Google Chat. We are on all day. David Leary: All remote? Laura Redmond: All remote. Then, I've got Aero. We're all remote. We're headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia. Three of us are out here, though, on the West Coast, so our meetings are all ... There, [00:06:30] we're in Slack and on Zoom-  David Leary: Aero ... You have an app. Laura Redmond: Have an app, sorry, called Aero Workflow. David Leary: You run your app company and your accounting firm- Laura Redmond: And accounting firm.  David Leary: -all 100-percent remote. Laura Redmond: Correct. David Leary: Got it.  Blake Oliver: Wow! Laura Redmond: We have a new Advisory Institute, all remote. Michelle Long: Very cool. Blake Oliver: I'm excited. I see more and more firms ... I'm meeting new ones I'd never even heard of that are completely remote, and we're not talking six people, we're talking 60. It's getting- Michelle Long: Well, and it's not just accounting firms, it's the small businesses now. Blake Oliver: Yeah.  Michelle Long: They may not have a physical [00:07:00] location. They have salespeople that are doing their thing, and they may have us or somebody doing the bookkeeping, and the owner. They may not have a real physical office anymore. They're all working virtually, too. I think that's pretty cool. I've been focused lately on doing app selection and integration and working with other ProAdvisors and things. As always, I love the consulting and training, so I love it when I'm on the road. I had a hard time this spring because of my foot surgery. I didn't get to go on the tour, and I sat home, and I watched everybody posting all this stuff, and I'm like, "Oh, I'm missing out!" So, it's thrilling to be back- Laura Redmond: But she's [00:07:30] back on, and we're teaching together next week here [crosstalk] So, we also are on the road traveling for things; conferences like this or when we teach QuickBooks. Michelle Long: Right. Clayton Oates: That's one of the great things, too, actually getting out to the community.  Michelle Long: Yes.  Clayton Oates: I love roadshows. I've done over 100 roadshow events in the last 10 years, often with vendors. Our own business was built off the back of roadshows; going to where the community and the audience is. David Leary: Tell everybody your secret. You go to all these conferences, but you don't look aged. It's not wearing on you. How do you do this, Clayton? Clayton Oates: I love the fact that this is a podcast. Laura Redmond: Yeah [crosstalk]  [00:08:00] Clayton Oates: Look at my hair.   David Leary: Should I describe how he looks? Michelle Long: No, he looks fabulous, and you don't age-  Laura Redmond: Kinda gorgeous. Clayton Oates: It gives you an energy, doesn't it? Fulfilling work, and fulfilling contribution - this is what it's about, ultimately. We happen to do tech. We happen to do accounting ... We're all in the client relationship/client service business. Blake Oliver: I'm starting to think the secret is the Vegemite. David Leary: That's his secret. You've got Vegemite [crosstalk]  Michelle Long: That stuff is awful! [crosstalk] Oh, my gosh.  Blake Oliver: It must have health benefits. Clayton Oates: Well, the thing is with Vegemite, if [00:08:30] you have a really late night and that's conference scene, and a really big night, the next day, if you take some smashed avocado, because that's the thing these days, and a slither of Vegemite, and you eat that, you may feel marginally better for 30 seconds!  Blake Oliver: This episode is brought to you by Vegemite. Vegemite, it keeps you younger longer. Michelle Long: That's just awful. I tried it when I was down in Australia. The only way I could describe it is it's [00:09:00] like car oil or something. It's just awful. Clayton Oates: When you're brought up on it, you don't know any different. Michelle Long: I know. Blake Oliver: We're at QuickBooks Connect number six. You all were at number one? What is the biggest change that each of you has noticed from one to six? Michelle, I'll start with you. Michelle Long: I think I notice way more networking and interactions, and the accountants are really coming out of their mold. They're not as quiet, and they're welcoming to new people. The thing I love is seeing all these people who know one another online from [00:09:30] social, and everybody here is like a hugger ... "Oh, my God! It's great to finally meet you!" People aren't sitting in their own little corners, and I think it's just really a great conference with a lot of networking going on. I encourage people to do that. I'll tell them, "Don't sit by somebody you know, or somebody you came with; go sit by new people, so you get to know more people." I think the networking has really improved a lot over the years. David Leary: Well, then there are those brain dates or whatever. Michelle Long: Yes. David Leary: You sign up appointments. If you wanted to learn from Blake, I could have signed up for an appointment. Blake was not [00:10:00] in the brain dates, but this is the concept of it. I could sign up, and Blake could teach me how to do a podcast [crosstalk] voice. Blake Oliver: I'm gonna make David officially sign up for brain dates with me from now on. David Leary: Everybody could have a brain date with us every week if they subscribed to the podcast [crosstalk]  Blake Oliver: That's right. Laura Redmond: I signed up for a brain date with a marketing person yesterday. Michelle Long: Awesome! David Leary: Even if you're a legend, you still can learn more. Laura Redmond: Oh, my! Michelle Long: Oh, yeah.  Laura Redmond: Oh, my!  Michelle Long: We're always learning. Laura Redmond: We are constantly working on our businesses. Blake Oliver: Laura Redmond, what is the change for you? Laura Redmond: Difference between one and six? Blake Oliver: Yes, yes. Laura Redmond: I [00:10:30] would say - I have no data on this - but I sort of feel a shift from maybe Intuit dollars on marketing and ... Just go on; go to the cloud ... Everyone kind of gets that. We're all in the cloud, yeah, yeah, yeah ... I see, it seems maybe, a shift to dev, right? I feel like big, big features are coming out and being built faster, it seems, so I love that. That's fantastic because that's what we really need. We do love each other as a family, and that is a great part of this, but when we [00:11:00] go back to our clients, we need features. We need tools. Michelle Long: Wasn't that exciting some of the stuff Ariege brought out yesterday- Laura Redmond: Yeah, yeah. That was amazing. Michelle Long: -with the Bookkeeping Review, and the KPIs, and stuff? I'm like, "Yes!" I love that stuff. Laura Redmond: Yes. Michelle Long: That's amazing. Laura Redmond: Now we have a visual to sit down and talk to our clients about. Michelle Long: Yes!  Blake Oliver: How about you, Clayton? Biggest change from one to six? Clayton Oates: Yeah, well, it's hard to remember back six years. I can hardly remember yesterday. Look, I think it's the preparedness of the audience to ... It's gone in waves where people have, perhaps ... When they first come into this arena ... This [00:11:30] whole space is new; 10 years, think of it, in other vendors and independent events around the world ... There was this overwhelm, you know? People would come into the audience and just ... Appstraction, I suppose, is what I call it. We're distracted by all the apps. It's like, "Wow! I need to know it all." There's this stress and anxiety, basically, built up.  I sense we're getting over that hump. Different people will go through at different stages, but there's a base-camp level, perhaps, that we've helped establish, in a way, to put that sort of concerns [00:12:00] and fears to one side or alleviate them very quickly so that we can get on with actually partnering, and taking action, and creating a future for ourselves and people you're serving. David Leary: That's an interesting observation because somebody last night was saying it just felt like there was a downer in the room. But I think you're right, the energy level is just ... That anxiety, that stress isn't here now. I think you're right [crosstalk] They're like, "Oh, my God! I'm gonna fall ... I'm gonna lose my whole practice if I don't go to the cloud, right now, today; if I don't do advisory ..." [crosstalk] The stress is gone. Clayton Oates: - if you look at the garden of hope cycle ... I [00:12:30] don't know if you're familiar with that, or people out there, but take a look at it. There's this- effectively, this technological change that happens at cloud- platform-type shift, and we tend to over-hype the whole thing. You think of the driving cars-  David Leary: Like podcasting-  Clayton Oates: The podcast is a thing. That's a thing. Then we get out into this over-inflated expectations, and we sense that, "Oh, we're missing out, or we're the only ones that don't get it ..." if everyone's gonna move to it straightaway, but then you move to this trough of disillusionment. It's like, "Oh, no, it's not that," but we have over-inflated [00:13:00] expectations. Then it moves out to this plateau of productivity ... Slope of enlightenment; plateau of productivity. That's boring, in one sense. It's not as hyped up, and over-hyped as exciting, but that's where the stuff actually meets the road. David Leary: Is that where we are? Clayton Oates: Yeah! Laura Redmond: Party's over, back to work? Clayton Oates: Which is great ... Yes! In Australia, we have definitely, on that slope, almost passed the slope of enlightenment, into the plateau of productivity, and that's not a place to be afraid of. That's where we actually get out there and start implementing, making real change to [00:13:30] the clients and people that we're serving. Michelle Long: I couldn't agree more because I remember, five to seven years ago, we were doing Freedom in the Cloud tours, where we were introducing people to the cloud and all that. Now, we're talking about the apps - app stacking, app integration, app selection. I call it 'appifying' the processes. Like you say, helping these clients and ourselves to automate these processes to get significant efficiency and time savings ... People have accepted it now. I agree with you. Blake Oliver: Now that we're out of that trough of disillusionment, [00:14:00] you see the larger firms deciding now is the time to make the shift. I met a woman this morning. Firm is 70-plus people. No cloud accounting whatsoever. All desktop-based Thomson Reuters GL product. She is here. She's been hired by the firm to move all of their thousands of clients from that product to QuickBooks Online. She's here scoping out the apps, and gonna build a stack, and gonna do it. Michelle Long: Oh, wow ...  Laura Redmond: Does she have someone to hold her hand through that-  Michelle Long: I know! Does she need some help? Laura Redmond: -because we just took a firm ... Our firm helped another firm do that about nine months ago. David Leary: The important part - did you tell her to start with The Cloud Accounting Podcast? [crosstalk] that first? [00:14:30] Blake Oliver: Exactly, yes. Clayton Oates: Binge listen. Blake Oliver: Binge listen [crosstalk]  Laura Redmond: She needs a partner in that. David Leary: What's next for you guys? Can you be more legendary? What are you doing next? What are you doing next week? What do you think you're gonna do a year from now? What's coming up? Michelle Long: I don't know if I wanna say.  Blake Oliver: Oh, breaking news? Clayton Oates: Exclusive. Laura Redmond: Oh, that's exciting! [crosstalk]  Michelle Long: I'm hopefully working on another book. [00:15:00] Laura Redmond: Oh! Blake Oliver: All right. Michelle Long: I'm not gonna give the name or the details or anything, but hopefully I will have another book coming late spring. I'm hoping over tax season because I don't do taxes. I'm a CPA who hates taxes, right? I'm unusual. I'm hoping to get it done, so we'll see. Fingers crossed. Clayton Oates: Maybe you can get an Audible deal and Clayton could read it on Audible. Michelle Long: Oh, there you go! Clayton Oates: I was hoping I'd get you to write my book. I know I've got one in me. Blake Oliver: Laura, how about you? Laura Redmond: Well, next week, Michelle and I are on the road teaching [00:15:30] Grow your Practice in QuickBooks. With Aero Workflow, we have two big launches coming right now starting beta. We've got a whole new interface, and then we've got Aero Advisory, which allows you ... With all of your knowledge capital, your documented processes, all your checklists of how you do things as a firm, you can now open an Aero account connected to yours that your client could log in to. You can pass your checklists right onto them- Michelle Long: Oh, great!  Laura Redmond: -and you can have them run their own accounting department, sort of like extending without having [00:16:00] to staff it. You're the advisor; you're the knowledge capital; they depend on you. You're not just giving away a PDF of how you do things, which lowers the value a bit. You can have a subscription service, sort of, and help be the advisor in that capacity. For Redmond Accounting, we're growing our advisory side, and we've got a new Entrepreneurial Advisory Institute, which ... Is anyone familiar with EOS program - Entrepreneurial Operating System? This is used by hundreds of companies. We're getting into that. That's [00:16:30] all about leadership, and executive teams, and things like that. Blake Oliver: What's coming for you, Clayton? Clayton Oates: That sounds exciting. Well, the very near future is, in about two hours, I fly to Melbourne to my wife's family reunion, so that's [crosstalk] That's good. Laura Redmond: My first question is how many days does that go on? Clayton Oates: Well, it takes two days to get there. It goes for three days; from one party to the next. Laura Redmond: I just knew it. I knew it wasn't a two-hour something Clayton Oates: No, no, it's three days. Beyond that, I suppose what I'm curious about, and I'm trying to explore what contribution I can make is, having [00:17:00] been around this for nearly 30 years, actually, is I'm always curious, having grown up in the accounting profession, as to the challenge of a client-focused, ethical-based profession co-existing with essentially what's been a sales-based, product-focused industry, and the coexistence of the two parties, because we tend to have quite different agendas. I think, together, we've gotta really come together stronger. The [00:17:30] profession needs to have conversations that are, perhaps ... Maybe they're not having at the moment with vendors around the world as to how can we work better together to actually help the small-business client and customer? I suppose the other thing that I'm starting to do more of is actually working with app vendors in terms of working out their strategies around actually partnering with professionals. You know, in some instances, we may have that conversation, and it's not a strategy they should adopt. You've got to know that [00:18:00] before you actually start doing it. Therefore, yeah, just helping them at more of an advisory board type level, helping them with their go-to market strategy. Actually, even for accountants and professionals, there is nothing wrong with being a channel to market- totally nothing wrong. In fact, we should partner deeply with software vendors. The challenge is where you don't know that you are a channel to market. That's where expectations are misaligned. We need to bring a few things ... Technology companies bring innovation. Control [00:18:30] what you can control. They need to bring innovation, which is fantastic. Bring great partnership. If you're going to partner, partner really, really well, forever ... Forever mindset, because that's what we have in the profession with our clients. Then, bring manners and respect. When I talk about that, also, I talk about, hang on, professionals! We need to do exactly the same thing. We need to participate in the feedback loop, spot challenges, but never take a problem to a vendor without two solutions. Work on that before you go and talk about what you've found that's wrong and [00:19:00] bring empathy and understanding -understanding commercial reality, understanding the world that the vendor lives in ... A whole lot of competing forces there. Understand, have empathy, but also bring your manners and respect, as well. I think that piece ... There's so much latent potential here, so I wanna see more of that and play a role in that. David Leary: Okay, so if anybody wants to get a hold of you who's not already following you on LinkedIn, and Twitter, and the socials, how do they get a hold of you, Michelle? Michelle Long: longforsuccess.com. David Leary: On? That's it. Michelle Long: Yeah. David Leary: What about Twitter? Michelle Long: I have my links out [00:19:30] there on my website, but it's @MichelleLongCPA on Twitter. David Leary: Okay, and Laura? Laura Redmond: I'm laura@aeroworkflow.com. David Leary: And Clayton?  Clayton Oates: claytonoates.com or @Clayton_Oates on Twitter. I'm in Australia, so come visit. Blake Oliver: Yes, I'm gonna take you up on that. David Leary: We're taking the podcast there to Clayton's backyard.  Clayton Oates: Bring it!  David Leary: We'll broadcast from there Blake Oliver: As always, you can find me on Twitter. I'm @BlakeTOliver, and how about you, David? David Leary: I'm @DavidLeary. Blake Oliver: Thank you all so much.  David Leary: Bye, everybody.  Clayton Oates: Wow, thanks for having us on the show with these legends. Laura Redmond: Thank you.  
  3. SponsorsIntuit QuickBooks https://cloudaccountingpodcast.promo/quickbooks Show Notes 02:05 – Meet Lee and Mary from Breakwater Accounting and Advisory! 02:48 – Meet Rhondalynn, author of "Pricing Value"  03:50 – Rhondalynn speaks to some of the challenges when it comes to adopting a value-pricing model 05:19 – How can you do value pricing if you never talk about value?  06:21 – Breakwater's challenge in moving to value pricing - really understanding the true value of the services they provide 08:31 – Another challenge for Breakwater has been the pricing itself, and how to determine their value on a per-client basis 09:29 – People only pay for what they value  10:22 – What does it cost a client - personally, financially, or strategically - to not have a solution to their problem?  11:54 – It doesn't take a lot of time to figure out when clients are solely focused on cost, and not value 12:52 – Peace of mind is one of the most difficult values to put a price on 14:18 – A large majority of small businesses suffer cash-flow and working-capital pain. Focus on finding ways to solve for that pain, and showing them what they could be saving  15:32 – Rhondalynn gives a practical example of adding value and solving a client's pain point 17:20 – The value-pricing conversation is very different than the conversations clients typically have with accountants 18:14 – Adopting value pricing means moving clients  towards accountability and action - creating a valuable partnership   Connect with Lee, Mary, and Rhondalynn Lee Leonard Podolsky, President & Founder of Breakwater Accounting + Advisory LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lee-leonard-podolsky-b7958a90/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/lee_podolsky  Website: https://www.breakwatercorp.com/ Rhondalynn Korolak, Managing Director, Imagineering Now LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/imagineering/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/rhondalynn Website: https://imagineeringnow.com/ Mary Hambleton, Director of Operations, Breakwater Accounting + Advisory LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mary-hambleton-09a68918/ Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MEHamb  Website: https://www.breakwatercorp.com/ Get in TouchThanks for listening and for the great reviews! We appreciate you! Follow and tweet @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Find us on Facebook and, if you like what you hear, please do us a favor and write a review on iTunes, or Podchaser. Interested in sponsoring the Cloud Accounting Podcast? For details, read the prospectus, and NOW, you can see our smiling faces on Instagram!  Meet Blake and David in person! Sadly, we do not have any 2020 travel plans as of yet.       Limited edition shirts, stickers, and other necessitiesTeePublic Store: http://cloudacctpod.link/merch  Subscribe Apple Podcasts: http://cloudacctpod.link/ApplePodcasts Spotify: http://cloudacctpod.link/Spotify Google Play: http://cloudacctpod.link/GooglePlay Stitcher: http://cloudacctpod.link/Stitcher Overcast: http://cloudacctpod.link/Overcast   Episode Art Photo Credit: Will Farnell https://twitter.com/willfarnell https://twitter.com/willfarnell/status/1191506218424176640/photo/1 TranscriptThis episode of The Cloud Accounting Podcast is sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks. Accounting professionals and bookkeepers have long been at the forefront of using cutting-edge technologies to take the profession to the next level and to ensure they're delivering the best possible service to their clients. Whether you want to grow your firm or sharpen your skills, Intuit QuickBooks provides you with the AI-driven products, services, and the resources that you need to help all sides of your career take shape. To learn more about how QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Online Accountant, QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping, and the ProAdvisor program can help you grow your practice and scale your impact, head over to CloudAccountingPodcast.promo/quickbooks. That is Cloud Accounting Podcast dot promo forward slash Q-U-I-C-K-B-O-O-K-S. QuickBooks - Backing you.Rhondalynn Korolak: People wanna do all kinds of crazy, silly stinkin' thinkin' to do it, and they just can't make the transition. Blake Oliver: Welcome to The Cloud Accounting Podcast. I'm Blake Oliver. David Leary: I'm David Leary. Lee Podolsky: Lee Podolsky. Mary Hambleton: I'm Mary Hambleton. Rhondalynn Korolak: Ronald Baker. [00:01:00] No, just kidding. Rhondalynn Korolak.  Blake Oliver: Hey, Rhondalynn. Thanks for joining us so much! This is the end of day one, the Accountant Day, at QuickBooks Connect.  David Leary: We've made it. Blake Oliver: We made it. Rhondalynn Korolak: Woo hoo!  David Leary: A full day of recording. It's very exciting. You have to roll with the flow at big conferences like this because everybody's schedules change. People don't show up to interviews; people have personal things. But it's great because, Blake, we have to just go with the flow. Blake Oliver: We're gonna go with the flow. Two of our interview subjects could not [00:01:30] be subjected to the podcast today, so we have some substitutes. David Leary: But it was meant to be because we were gonna have a podcast to talk about value pricing. Blake Oliver: Yeah. David Leary: Rhondalynn wrote a book recently on value pricing. I was like, "This is gonna be awesome. We're gonna have the three thought leaders on value pricing," and two couldn't show up ... Blake Oliver: Yeah.  David Leary: But a fan of the podcast showed up, and her firm is currently moving from the billable hour to value pricing. Blake Oliver: So, Lee and Mary, are you at the same firm? Lee Podolsky: We are.  Blake Oliver: Give us your full [00:02:00] names again and tell us about your firm so that we've got a little context here. David Leary: Yeah.  Lee Podolsky: I'm Lee Podolsky, President of Breakwater Accounting and Advisory in Wilmington, Delaware. We do outsourced bookkeeping and accounting for small to mid-sized businesses, non-profits, and, most recently, family offices. Mary Hambleton: I'm Mary Hambleton, and I'm the Director of Operations at Breakwater. We're trying to move towards value pricing; we're looking to be more profitable and offer more value to our clients. Blake Oliver: Fantastic, and how [00:02:30] many staff/partners/people at your firm?  Lee Podolsky: Currently, we have 31 on staff and two interns. Blake Oliver: And Rhondalynn, for our listeners who may not be as familiar with you and what you're up to, what brings you to the value-pricing discussion today? Rhondalynn Korolak: Oh, look, I think, earlier this year, I published a couple of books and a workbook called "Pricing Value,"  and "Implementing Pricing Value." It's being distributed out of ... It's my first New York publishing contract. Blake Oliver: Ah, congratulations!  Rhondalynn Korolak: Everything [00:03:00] I've done has been very Australia-focused. But Ron Baker has taken me under his wing, and the guys at VeraSage introduced me to my first publisher. That book is actually going into all the universities and business schools in about 26 different countries because of that deal. So, it's pretty cool that we're gonna teach accountants, right from the get-go, how to price properly. Blake Oliver: Wow. That's gonna pay dividends down the road. That's great. David Leary: To those accountants and bookkeepers-  Blake Oliver: To those accountants and bookkeepers, yeah. For those of us who are learning it now, what can we distill, in [00:03:30] 20 minutes of a podcast episode, when it comes to moving from the billable hour to a value-pricing model? What are the challenges that you are seeing in the American market? I guess maybe that's a good place to start. Then we can hear what Mary and Lee- what their experience has been, as well. Rhondalynn Korolak: Look, I think there are many challenges; the biggest of which is people's mindset. Everyone comes into this thing with a lot of baggage. [00:04:00] When we're doing "Pricing Value," you're not actually learning something from the beginning. It's not as if you didn't know how to speak Spanish yesterday, and you are now learning how to speak Spanish. We actually have to unlearn all of the bad habits that we had that were around the concepts of hourly or cost-based pricing before we can do value pricing, or pricing value properly.  That's a big thing because it takes a lot to shake bad habits. So, that would be the big one for me. People [00:04:30] wanna hang onto time sheets. People wanna do all kinds of crazy, silly, stinkin' thinkin' to do it, and they just can't make the transition. The second is you need to control your own bloody fear. The biggest thing I hear is people saying, "I don't think I'm worth it. I don't think I can do it. My clients are price-conscious." Hang on a second here ... It ain't about you. The value isn't about your value; it's about what is it worth to the customer? So, we need to reframe that conversation. We get to the value of what it's worth ... How [00:05:00] thirsty is the customer? Is the customer at their home, where they can get a glass of water, or are they basically crawling across the desert after not having drank anything for 48 hours in 40 degrees Celsius heat, dying of dehydration? The level of value is different for those two different people. We need to get to the heart of that. We need to have better value conversations. Everybody just wants a price. We were in the panel discussion and someone said, "I'm value pricing ..." I knew things were gonna go bad as soon as I heard them this ... “.. value pricing, and we [00:05:30] sent out a letter to 700 clients telling them that our prices are going up." Well, I got news for you. You're not value pricing, if you're not pricing every single client individually. You can't just send out a mass email and then try to sell the value in the back door. The value has to be set, and established, and agreed upon before you ever quote. Premature quotation is just as bad as premature ejaculation, and there ain't no blue pill for it, right?  Blake Oliver: That's gonna be the clip at the beginning of this episode. [00:06:00] David Leary: Episode title ... Blake Oliver: On that- that's a great transition point now. So ... Rhondalynn Korolak: No one wants to talk after that ...  Blake Oliver: So, Mary, Lee, where is your firm now in that whole journey? What's the status? Mary Hambleton: So, we have been working towards value pricing. We definitely don't wanna be ... We're not doing billable hourly anymore, but a lot of times [00:06:30] when we're figuring out our pricing, or how we have figured it out in the past is we're figuring out how many hours do we think this will take? Then we're coming up with our price, and then we're giving them that quote. Blake Oliver: Right. So, that's not really value pricing [crosstalk] Mary Hambleton: Right. We're saying- we know that's not the way to do it, so we're working towards getting away from that and understanding the knowledge that we have is something that they don't have and letting them do what they do well, so we can do what we do well, but we should get paid to do what we do well. Blake Oliver: What are the biggest obstacles for [00:07:00] you when it comes to actually making that vision happen of doing the value pricing? Lee Podolsky: I think just getting comfortable with the conversation to have with each client. As we get more confident each time, I think we'll get better and better at that. We already are very focused on each client relationship - getting to know them, what their pain points are, and everything - so it's just sort of moving that along towards our pricing in how we do [00:07:30] proposals and have that conversation upfront. So, it's a learning process for sure. David Leary: Did you have to let go of any clients? Mary Hambleton: Yes- David Leary: You have?  Mary Hambleton: We have.  Blake Oliver: So, there were clients that just said, "I don't wanna switch"?  Lee Podolsky: They didn't value- Right, and they didn't have the value; they just weren't a good fit for us because they didn't have the value for what we were providing to them, and it just wasn't a good fit. David Leary: Did they give you the axe, or did you kinda fire them? Mary Hambleton: We fired them [crosstalk] yeah. Lee Podolsky: In a nice way. David Leary: Yeah, yeah ...  Blake Oliver: What [00:08:00] kind of services are we talking about here? Bookkeeping? Accounting? Lee Podolsky: Yep. We do bookkeeping, payroll processing, controller services; anything up to the tax returns. We don't do tax returns. Blake Oliver: So, no tax in the firm at all? Mary Hambleton: No tax.  Lee Podolsky: No. By choice.  Blake Oliver: Oh, interesting. I see ...  David Leary: What has been the hardest, hardest thing so far? Has it been selling it internally to your team? Has it been killing your time sheets? As you move on this journey, what's been the hardest thing [00:08:30] for you? Mary Hambleton: I think figuring out what's the right price, what's the right package to put together for a client, and then, do you offer multiple ones? Do you look at each client individually and figure out what they need? A lot of times when people come to us, we've been fortunate that they're coming to us. We're not having to go out looking for clients, but it's always an emergency, and sometimes, we don't have the luxury of time to figure out what they need. We need to solve an emergency right away.  Blake Oliver: Right. Yeah, Rhondalynn, hat is something [00:09:00] that I always had a challenge with when I was trying to value price - and I'm not sure I ever really, really did it - was somebody comes to me, and I need to get working right away. Under the hourly model, it was easy, right? I just tell them my rate; I get going; I start billing them. With value pricing, I have to have this big conversation, understand all of their needs, and try to ... It just seems like it takes a lot more time. Do you have any tips?  David Leary: Do you have to give some value away for free? Rhondalynn Korolak: I [00:09:30] think that helping someone clarify and quantify what it's worth to them, right? I think that, first of all, one price is always gonna be the wrong price, so that's job number one. You should never, ever, ever be giving somebody one price. It should always be a set of three prices, and there's reasons for that. Question number two is around this value thing. People pay only for what they value, and it doesn't require you'd have an hour-long conversation to get to the heart of value with a client. At the end of the day, what [00:10:00] you need to establish, in a nutshell, is one very simple thing, and it's often missed by a lot of people - what is the cost to that client of continuing to ignore the problem or not have the solution? If you can just ask questions that get to that one thing, you can value price. Blake Oliver: Because they'll be willing to pay anything less than the price of not fixing the problem is the ... That's the baseline. Rhondalynn Korolak: Correct. The biggest drama that I see- people say, "Oh, somebody didn't like my price, or somebody didn't see the value." It's because you have not assisted [00:10:30] them to quantify and acknowledge what it actually costs them - personally, financially, or strategically - to not have the answer to that problem. If you can do that, you can value price. Then you want to think about things like deal-breakers. I would wanna throw in ... What you wanna do is you wanna create so much economic value, it's a bloody no-brainer for them to do it, right?  What you're trying to do is you're trying to create a situation where your economic value is so huge, you immediately disqualify your competitors. That could include [00:11:00] a lot of things. Like if somebody came to you, and if it was for a tax return, you could be saying ... They could say, "Well, I'm really afraid - because I'm running a tech company, and I've got this R&D thing - that I'm gonna get audited." Well, then you just take audit insurance, and you make that part of the value of your package. You're looking for their deal-breakers. What causes David to walk away from this? That is part of the value. But you've gotta think ... You've gotta practice this, and think on your feet, and ask the right questions, but it shouldn't take you hours to get to value for something [00:11:30] specific. Somebody comes to you, and they're like, "If I don't have my financial statements turned around, I can't buy my dream home." "Oh, okay. So, what would it be worth to you?" You start to have that conversation. You can get to the heart of value pretty quick.  David Leary: Have you guys had a conversation like that? Do you ask your clients? Mary Hambleton: We ask them a lot more, I think, in the initial conversation about what their business is about, or what their struggle ... I mean, I guess we do- what they're struggling with ...  Lee Podolsky: Right. We're listening to them and their pain points. We can identify right away if [00:12:00] they're just focused on price; that's the cost and not ... It's trying to get them past that and talking to them about what really is driving them. But what I think would be really helpful for us is sort of more of the tactical- the types of questions to be drawing that information out. So, maybe we'll be reading your [crosstalk] Rhondalynn Korolak: When you read "Pricing Value," I sort of explain it. Then, in the workbook, I basically literally have created a set [00:12:30] of checklists and scripts; everything is color-coded. It's like, "Ask these questions and then take this information ..." and that goes to economic value. So, it's like a road map to implement it. Blake Oliver: So, Mary and Lee, we've got a little bit time. You basically have a free consulting session right now with Rhondalynn. Do you have any-  Mary Hambleton: I was just thinking the same thing.  Blake Oliver: Do you have any questions that you would like to ask her to help you with your value-pricing journey? Lee Podolsky: Well, so we really are working on this in our firm right now, in our strategic planning for the next five years. One [00:13:00] thing that came out when we're talking about what we're offering is something that is possibly hard to quantify - the peace of mind; like having clients tell us, "I can finally sleep at night." That peace that ... How do you put a dollar on that? I don't know, but that is something that comes up a lot. Blake Oliver: It's like a MasterCard commercial - it's priceless. Mary Hambleton: Yes, yes. It's priceless.  Rhondalynn Korolak: Not all pain is financial. There's personal, and strategic, as well. So, when you're dealing [00:13:30] with something like that, you would wanna be asking questions ... "If you were able to get a good night's sleep, what would that be worth to you?" Or, "If you were not getting woken up every night because of these things, how much extra time would you have?" You can start to back your way into questions around that to get more specificity. Blake Oliver: You mean actually asking the clients, "What is that worth to you?"  Rhondalynn Korolak: Yeah, straight out. It's on the script. It's just straight out? I just ask ... I say, "Look, when you thought about acquiring a solution to this problem that we're talking about right [00:14:00] now, what is the most difficult thing associated with finding the solution?" [crosstalk]  David Leary: If I'm an accountant or bookkeeper, that's a very scary question for me to ask my client because I'm afraid that they might say, "It's only worth $200 a month to me ..." It's a scary- to ask an open-ended question of my client like that, it's a little scary. Rhondalynn Korolak: Look, a lot of the pain that our clients are in is pretty big, right? When you take a look  ... Because I'm talking about cash flow tomorrow, so I've done a lot of stats in America and compared them to what I know about Australia. 87 [00:14:30] to 93 percent of small businesses have severe cash-flow and working-capital pain. If you start to actually figure out how much cash is trapped in their business, if you start to figure out how much interest-carrying charges they're doing ... I did a pricing session last night for a bunch of people, pre-con ... We sat down, and we practiced. One of the ladies said, "Oh, it's costing us $560 a month in credit cards because we're not able to pay our credit card." The interest alone was $560 a month. Well, now you know, right, and you ... Lost [00:15:00] opportunity costs ... If you don't collect your debts quick in your business, you actually possibly have to hire somebody and pay a wage to hire somebody in your accounting department to try to collect money, that's a lost cost that you- it's not even on your radar. You start to add up all of these things - opportunity costs, interest-carrying costs, debt factoring, the cost of somebody- receivables chasing stuff - that's a lot of money, and if you add that up ... The whole point is you get your client to acknowledge [00:15:30] the magnitude of those losses. I had a client ... I'm just gonna take this back to when I was coaching SMEs, right? I had this client that was a $24 million electrical contractor. So, it's a big company, but they were carrying $2 million of receivables a month at 92 days to collection. I kept telling them, "You need to collect your debts quicker," and they all sat there going ... One day, I went in and said, "It costs you $234,000 that you're flushing down the toilet every single year because you haven't collected your debts." Well, boom! I had their attention because [00:16:00] I said, "If you got that money, you could both pay your mortgages off." So, we need to make it ... If someone's problem is $234,000, it's not that hard to tell them, "Oh, and by the way, my cost to you to fix this here and put all the systems in place will be $40,000. Thank you very much. I take Visa, MasterCard and check." David Leary: So, you guys said you're starting to go for family offices. Is that because there's opportunity to- there's just more money in that? What made you choose the family offices? Lee Podolsky: Actually, by just by being asked [00:16:30] several times. Actually, the services that we provide to the family offices are very similar. We already have the set-up, and the technology, and everything to do this for our business clients, so it's an easy addition to be using. It's just a different client segment that has a lot more concern around security, and confidentiality. Blake Oliver: Any other questions? Lee Podolsky: I guess my only other question would be around  ... To me, it sounds like we would- we're almost talking to them about the return on their investment. They invest [00:17:00] in us, and this is what they would get in return. Is that right? Rhondalynn Korolak: Yeah, it's about a whole bunch of things. It's about their feelings, the solutions to their pain points, and the desired transformations in their business. "You're right here and you wanna get to there. How is that gonna happen?" So, it's more than just pain points; it sort of encompasses ...  Lee Podolsky: It's interesting because that's a very different conversation than they're used to ever having with an accountant, or attorney, or anything. [00:17:30] So, it is gonna rock them a little bit- Mary Hambleton: For sure.  Lee Podolsky: Because they're so used to ... "Well, I've got these proposals from these three firms," and they're trying to sort of match it all together; so, to just veer it to that conversation and really get them engaged in that is key.  Mary Hambleton: Yep, absolutely. Rhondalynn Korolak: Well, and don't be afraid to shy away from this stuff ... I've done a three-hour session at QB Connect in Sydney and Melbourne several times, and I did one last night for pre-con. It is not uncommon to see tears. One [00:18:00] of the participants that was in the workshop felt uncomfortable about that, and I said, "Look, we need to be asking these questions because they may have never voiced these concerns and fears that they have to a single other human being on the planet."  When you know that, and you've developed that rapport with them, you now have leverage; leverage in two ways - leverage, because you know what to price it, but also, they are extremely motivated to fix the problem. If somebody doesn't realize they have a problem, they've got all the procrastination and excuses in the world, but [00:18:30] if you can help them crank it up and realize that this is a $234,000 problem, you're gonna get action. You wanna get action because you don't wanna do the work. When you transition to value pricing, the whole thing is also about them being accountable, and stepping up, and taking action in their own business. It's not your responsibility to fix the problems. They need to step up, as well, too, and that's part of it. Lee Podolsky: Well, it makes it a true partnership? Rhondalynn Korolak: Yeah, a collaboration. David Leary: Lee, and Mary, how do people get a hold of you if they're listening to the podcast, and they wanna contact you? Lee Podolsky: You [00:19:00] can visit our website, which is BreakwaterCorp.com.  David Leary: Rhondalynn, how would people get a hold of you? Rhondalynn Korolak: At PricingValue.co [crosstalk]  David Leary: What about Twitter? Rhondalynn Korolak: My name -@Rhondalynn. There's probably only one of me, so it's the easy one. David Leary: Perfect and enjoy the rest of the QuickBooks Connect!  Mary Hambleton: Thank you so much!  Lee Podolsky: Thank you.  Rhondalynn Korolak: Thank you.  Blake Oliver: Thanks for joining us!  David Leary: Bye, everybody. 
  4. SponsorsIntuit QuickBooks https://cloudaccountingpodcast.promo/quickbooksShow Notes 00:57 – Meet the women behind Next Level Women Leaders - Stacy, Nancy, and Laura! 01:49 – Next Level Women Leaders focuses on helping women align who they are inside with how they appear on the outside 03:09 – Women tend to absorb the stories we're told growing up, along with the cultural expectations when creating their own stories 04:40 – In the accounting world, women have the dual challenges of finding their own value, as a woman, and as an accounting professional 06:23 – How do we fix the imbalances?  06:56 – Establishing personal values is the foundation for creating the most fulfilling path in career and life 07:45 – Momentum happens wherever you're at 08:31 – We all, men and women, need to get back some of the hope we had before we grew up 09:28 – Go here to hear what else Jina has to say about diversity  12:30 – It was actually Episode 124 – Our discussion on women CEOs and women-led companies  13:15 – These Next Level women define success  14:59 – So many people compromise their own values so they can fall in line, instead of carving out their own space 16:39 – As more women find their power, and voices, the better off we all are 18:14 -- We get the elevator version of a Next Level Women Leaders two-day workshop 21:41 – E&Y has yet to get on board with allowing women to define their own style | HuffPost 22:48 – The Next Level founders took their belief in each other and the impact it made on them, as individuals, and combined forces to start sharing that powerful force with other women 23:58 – Don't toy with me - we talk about the, still, lack of diversity in the world of toys  Connect with Nancy, Stacy, and Laura Nancy Buffington, Owner, Nancy Buffington, LLC LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nbuffington/ Website: https://www.nancybuffington.net/ Stacy Ennis, CEO & Founder of Creatively, LLC LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stacylynn/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/StacyEnnis Website: https://stacyennis.com/ Laura Tully, Wardrobe Styles and Owner, Laura Tully, LLC LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laura-tully-b183a3109/ Website: https://www.lauratully.co/ Get in TouchThanks for listening and for the great reviews! We appreciate you! Follow and tweet @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Find us on Facebook and, if you like what you hear, please do us a favor and write a review on iTunes, or Podchaser. Interested in sponsoring the Cloud Accounting Podcast? For details, read the prospectus, and NOW, you can see our smiling faces on Instagram!  Meet Blake and David in person! Sadly, we do not have any 2020 travel plans as of yet.    Limited edition shirts, stickers, and other necessitiesTeePublic Store: http://cloudacctpod.link/merch  Subscribe Apple Podcasts: http://cloudacctpod.link/ApplePodcasts Spotify: http://cloudacctpod.link/Spotify Google Play: http://cloudacctpod.link/GooglePlay Stitcher: http://cloudacctpod.link/Stitcher Overcast: http://cloudacctpod.link/Overcast   Episode Art Photo Credit: Will Farnell https://twitter.com/willfarnell https://twitter.com/willfarnell/status/1191506218424176640/photo/1 TranscriptThis episode of The Cloud Accounting Podcast is sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks. Accounting professionals and bookkeepers have long been at the forefront of using cutting-edge technologies to take the profession to the next level and to ensure they're delivering the best possible service to their clients. Whether you want to grow your firm or sharpen your skills, Intuit QuickBooks provides you with the AI-driven products, services, and the resources that you need to help all sides of your career take shape. To learn more about how QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Online Accountant, QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping, and the ProAdvisor program can help you grow your practice and scale your impact, head over to CloudAccountingPodcast.promo/quickbooks. That is Cloud Accounting Podcast dot promo forward slash Q-U-I-C-K-B-O-O-K-S. QuickBooks - Backing you.Stacy Ennis: And I think a lot of us lose that - men and women, young and old; we lose that hope so early in our lives. Blake Oliver: Welcome to The Cloud Accounting Podcast. I'm Blake Oliver. David Leary: I'm David Leary. Stacy Ennis: I'm Stacy Ennis. Nancy Buffington: I'm Nancy Buffington. [00:01:00] Laura Tully: I'm Laura Tully, and we're from Next Level Women Leaders. David Leary: Next Level Women Leaders ... We are here at QuickBooks Connect in San Jose, 2019. We are recording live. All of you are on the QuickBooks Connect speakers page, and I start poking around because I'm like, what makes a good podcast? What's interesting? Usually it's like, "This one'll be interesting; something I don't know a lot about." I start drilling down on everybody's profiles, and I noticed all of you were founders of the Next Level Women Leaders. Me [00:01:30] being a father of a powerful 13-year-old girl, who's- she's the president of her school, and she's very career-focused, and very driven, and very strong-minded ... Why is there a need for a communication platform and leadership training for women? Why does that need to exist, or why'd you found that? Stacy Ennis: Well, we started Next Level Women Leaders because we noticed a gap with women that we were working with. It was really a gap between what they knew [00:02:00] was inside of them - the potential that they knew they could achieve - and what the world believed they could deliver. So, our training is really about helping women align who they are on the inside with how they show up on the outside. Nancy Buffington: I'm gonna say a little bit more there. More power to you and your daughter for having- for her being a really powerful 13-year-old. I was a really powerful and eccentric girl in the 1960s, surrounded by artists and all kinds of crazy people, and when I turned 12, I got [00:02:30] real quiet real fast, because at 12 years old, you're developing; you suddenly have peer pressure that you're aware of.  I went absolutely silent from sixth grade until the end of graduate school. Never said a word in class. That's kind of what Stacy was just talking about - this huge gap between what you have inside, and the potential you've got, and what you're showing to the rest of the world. So, I had a lot to get over, personally, in order to be able to share that, and that's why I feel like we all wanna give back in that kinda way. David Leary: Is it just [00:03:00] stifled, actually, by stereotypes and other people's behaviors? Nancy Buffington: Learned, at 12 years old, that it really was not okay to be a smart girl. Laura Tully: I think it's a combination of all of it, too. I think we take in the stories of what we're told, where we should be placed. We take in the stories of cultural expectations. But I think we also craft our own stories about where we feel like we- where we fit in, or where we belong.  I think what's cool about Next Level [00:03:30] is that we really allow women to have that space where we could have these really hard conversations about showing up in your own way. That doesn't have to be, "I gotta be like a guy, or I have to be really feminine." It can be on a term where you're actually defining it in your own way. I don't think most women get to have that space for themselves because it's always been carved out for other people. [00:04:00] Blake Oliver: A lot of the, I guess ... Maybe not so much now, but at least in the past, a lot of the advice to women was, "Act more like men if you wanna get ahead." Stacy Ennis: Right. Blake Oliver: And there's still, I think, still some of that messaging that goes on. You're saying it doesn't have to be that way? Stacy Ennis: Yeah, absolutely. Laura Tully: Absolutely.  Nancy Buffington: That's right. Stacy Ennis: We're in a really exciting time to be able to gather women together in a space, and talk about these issues, and to help each other feel emboldened to take that next [00:04:30] step, and maybe take a risk or at least define for ourselves what our lives can be, and then take the steps to get there. I mean, that's really what we're aiming to help women do. David Leary: So, our last interview we did was- there was a bunch of accountants' coaches. One of the big problems for accountants and bookkeepers is value- charge charging for their value or finding value in themselves. It sounds like that's almost a double-edged challenge for women because you have to get over this women stereotype - am I valuable as a woman? Then, now I gotta figure out if I'm valuable as [00:05:00] an accountant or bookkeeper. That's what you guys do is help people - entrepreneurs - then get over these hurdles. Laura Tully: Yeah, and I think it's more than just, "Get over it," but I think it's really intentionally carving their own space. Whether you're a man or a woman, I think it's really having that space where you can actively participate in how you are showing up. I think what Next Level does is [00:05:30] give these women the space to really immerse themselves in conversations that are, quite frankly ... Our two-day training is very challenging. The feedback that we get from our attendees are that it pushes them in ways that made them really uncomfortable, but I feel like that is part of the growth. That's part of the process of really getting to where you're gonna thrive. Blake Oliver: So, gender diversity is a ... Diversity, basically, [00:06:00] in general, is a big problem in the accounting profession, right? I don't know the stats off the top of my head, but it's like less than 20 percent of partners at firms, at least the big firms, are women, right? I'm close to that number. David Leary: I think it's almost 50 percent, at the beginning, as far as entering the profession. Then, as it goes up - each layer of management to partner - it just gets less. There's just so much attrition. Nancy Buffington: That's typical. Blake Oliver: What advice do you have to women who are in those firms [00:06:30] who are not partner, and aspire to be partner, and want to break into those ranks? How do we fix this imbalance? Or do I try to work my way into the system that's already there, or do we just say that's failing, and we can never fix it. Nancy Buffington: One of the things that I would say, and it goes back, David, to what you were saying about value, is we really start with values. What is my value, and what are my values as an individual? Not those that are given to me, but what am I carving out for myself? That's a real mindset piece, and that gives you this clarity to then realize [00:07:00] that you actually have a fair amount of choice and freedom about do I wanna go do my own thing? Do I wanna do this corporate thing? Do I wanna create something entirely new? It's really based on your values and what you wanna get out of your life and what you have to contribute. Then, everything else builds on that. That's the foundation. Stacy Ennis: I could build on that, as well. I think one of the things that we hope women take out of this training is to recognize that they actually have more influence than they believed previously and teaching them [00:07:30] ways to influence the people above them, around them, below them, in their lives, in their work, and to begin to feel this, I think, hope for having more influence in their work. Laura Tully: Yeah. Just to add to that, I think it's also recognizing that momentum can happen wherever you are. Whether you're at an entry level, whether [00:08:00] you're about to put yourself in the position of advancing in your career, or asking for that big raise, or whatever it is, I feel like the point for progress is to plug ourselves into all aspects and all arenas to make our physical selves, and what we think, and how we think visible, because, if I'm not in the room with you guys, you're not gonna know what I'm thinking- Stacy Ennis: I think this applies to men, too [crosstalk]  Laura Tully: Yeah, vice [00:08:30] versa, totally. Blake Oliver: Right. Stacy Ennis: I have a daughter, and she's six; her name's Lilly. I observed, one day, just kind of ... I'd seen her do this a bunch of times, but it just struck me this one day that when she looks at herself in the mirror, she has this huge smile on her face. It's like she can see what's inside of her. She sees all this greatness, and potential, and hope. I think a lot of us lose that - men and women, young and old - we lose that [00:09:00] hope so early in our lives. I think that there's room for us to reclaim that and move forward into a vision- a life that we really, truly want. Laura Tully: Yeah, and I think it's both arenas, too, of women giving men the space to be vulnerable and men allowing themselves to not act as the- what's the word? Stacy Ennis: Status quo? Laura Tully: Status quo.  Blake Oliver: Right.  Laura Tully: Yeah.  David Leary: We had another guest in the past, Jina Etienne-  [00:09:30] Blake Oliver: Jina Etienne.  David Leary: -who was on, and she really opened our eyes. She talked about the whole ... If you have a room of just white men, you have to have diversity in that room because even men will get together and they'll assimilate into the same role and none of  them will be themselves. Until they can be themselves, how are they gonna be even open to letting other people be themselves? Blake Oliver: She connected, for me, this idea that ... Think about it, the reason these firms can't move forward and can't embrace new technology and new ways of working together is because there's not enough diversity of thought [crosstalk] in that room, period. It's [00:10:00] about creating like diversity of experiences in life-  Nancy Buffington: Absolutely.  Blake Oliver: -and you can't have that, if you're all from the same group that has this limited life experience. Nancy Buffington: Absolutely.  Blake Oliver: So, I think that's something that, I don't know, white guys have trouble understanding; at least, as a white guy ... Hey, this is something I can actually talk about from my own experience! There's this feeling, and especially, I feel like people in accounting have this idea, like everything [00:10:30] should just be merit-based; like we should ... The people who - and this is the way the big firms are set up, right? Like whoever works the hardest and bills the most gets the partner, and that's the way it should be, and it should always be that way, right? But the way the way it's set up, you see the fall off. It's designed to create this narrow group of people that can succeed in that environment, and that's bad for the firm [crosstalk]  Nancy Buffington: It's absolutely bad for the firm. The other piece of that is that, when you ask ... If you start backing up, [00:11:00] and you go, okay, let's even say that it's merit-based and who's doing- who's making the most contributions, and who's bringing in the most work or whatever? The way you define those-  Blake Oliver: How do you define merit? Nancy Buffington: Right?  Blake Oliver: How do you define achievement? Nancy Buffington: And who feels like they can actually come out and say, "Here's what I just did. Let me share my story ..." [crosstalk]  Stacy Ennis: Yeah, who's given that space? Nancy Buffington: -it's gonna be people who feel comfortable already doing it; those who feel more tentative, may be doing incredible work, but no one knows it because they're keeping [00:11:30] it private. Blake Oliver: Yeah, and I saw that for myself ... It's very easy to take credit for other people's work on a team-based environment like an accounting firm, and people would do it all the time. People would stay late, just to be the last person leaving, even though ... It doesn't mean they did any better work, or they did more work. Then, the mom who leaves to pick up her kids gets penalized in the eyes of the partner for not being as hard-working, even though maybe she is the one who supported [00:12:00] all of this to happen. We value hours put in rather than client relationships- Stacy Ennis: Yeah, or quality of work. Blake Oliver: Quality of work ... It's all set up in a way that, you know, if I'm willing to ignore my family, sacrifice my personal relationships, and do nothing but stay in the office all the time, which is traditionally easier for white males to do, then you'll succeed. But, it's just ... I couldn't do it. David Leary: The value's not there. Two episodes ago, I think, we [00:12:30] had news story about female-led companies/female CEOs ... If you have a female CEO, or a female CFO, they're more profitable. Remember [crosstalk]  Blake Oliver: Yeah,  yeah, there's a study. I forget where it showed up, but- Nancy Buffington: And also, females on the board - more profitable. David Leary: More profitable. I wanna tie this back to some stats you have on your website, and I'm just gonna read that here. "Even though women make up 57 percent of college graduates, they comprise of only 38 percent of management positions and a meager two percent of CEOs ..."  Blake Oliver: Two percent of CEOs. That is- Nancy Buffington: It's astounding [crosstalk]  David Leary: What does success look like? Obviously, [00:13:00] you have individual client success, but what do successful women look like? If they're percent of college grads, or 57 percent being CEOS ... What is success? What's the world you imagine for our daughters? Laura Tully: I think what I want for myself and what I want for my daughter is to be able to choose. I think just having the space for options and not feeling like, "This space [00:13:30] isn't for you. You can't go to that space. You don't belong here because you've never been in this space ..." I feel like just being able to have the option of accessing as many different spaces and arenas would be a huge progress. Nancy Buffington: I like that a lot because- what I like about that is that it speaks to what you were saying earlier, Laura, about not having your space carved out by other people, but it's this kind of more opened-up space where I can decide that I'm gonna work hard, do [00:14:00] awesome stuff, and be a CEO. I can decide that I'm gonna create my own business. I'm gonna decide that I'm gonna take time and be with my kids. Nobody is telling me I have to do either one of those things. I'm the one in charge, and I have a clear sense of how and why I wanna make those decisions. Laura Tully: Absolutely. I think, too, just as a woman, and as a black woman, I think that one of the things that has always struck me is that I am now having the ability to [00:14:30] see that I can belong in a lot more places where I've just never seen anyone that looks like me, which was mind-blowing, and I'm a grown-ass woman. Just the fact of seeing women in spaces where you thought like, "Oh, I didn't know I could exist in the space," and that you belong, and you're competent, and capable of being here, I think that's gonna be huge. [00:15:00] David Leary: The takeaway for me, I think, is this not carving out your own space, and it's the same, if you're using Blake's example of the guys working at the firm. They're not controlling their space. They're not making their value choices. They're just doing whatever they need to do because everybody else told them they have to do that. Everybody keeps compromising their own values- Stacy Ennis: It's a very American way of working. I've lived in four different countries outside of the U.S.; I'm in Portugal, right now. Nancy Buffington: Not right [00:15:30] now. Stacy Ennis: Well ... [crosstalk] calling in. Yes, but I find ... It's interesting because I feel it when I come back for any extended period of time, in the U.S., just the difference in workplace culture. Everything shuts down for two hours in the middle of the day, where I live in Portugal.  Blake Oliver: That sounds nice.  Stacy Ennis: Yeah, including government [crosstalk] It's annoying when you're trying to get something done, but it's nice when [00:16:00] you live in a place where it's accepted that you spend time with your family. People meet together for meals during the day, and it's a really, really nice thing. I wish we had more of that here.  Blake Oliver: Spending time with family. Stacy Ennis: Isn't that a concept? Blake Oliver: I love the flexibility that I have. I get to work from home. I get to go pick up my son from school, or I get to see him in the morning. My father lived a life in corporate America where he was gone when I woke up, and he came home when I went to sleep, and if he [00:16:30] was on business trips, I would go weeks without seeing him. That was just normal. I thought that's the way it was when you grew up. So, I'm glad that things are changing in that regard. David Leary: I think the stronger women get, it's gonna make the world better for us men. Nancy Buffington: Absolutely. Blake Oliver: My wife doesn't put up with anything. She's changing our small family by saying, "Hey, this is gonna be 50/50. I'm not gonna be the caretaker, and you're not gonna be the breadwinner. We're not gonna do it that way."  Nancy Buffington: That's great.  Laura Tully: I totally [00:17:00] agree, David; both of you ... I feel like it gives you guys more freedom; so much more freedom to choose in a way that you probably are pretty constrained right now in choosing. So, I feel like it goes both ways. Blake Oliver: I like it. I actually- I think every dad should have the flexibility that I have. We need to change the way that we work in this country- Nancy Buffington: Absolutely right. Blake Oliver: -so that [00:17:30] families can spend time together. Nancy Buffington: Going back to your question earlier about what does success look like? I think it would be similar for women and men. How about if we just were able to be and to do things, instead of always having to second guess, and work ourselves up for things, and compare, and go, "Oh, I'm not qualified for that." How about if I just go, "Hey, here's a thing. Let me spend all my energy just doing and being that thing instead of all the internal stuff." That goes for men, too, but [00:18:00] it's certainly a challenge for women. Blake Oliver: So, I know that you do a two-day course, and I'm hoping, maybe in the time we have left on the show, you could give us a preview of some of the- David Leary: A two-minute course [crosstalk] Stacy Ennis: Let's speed this up - a minute per day.  Blake Oliver: Well, we've talked about - we need to do this. We need to make this happen. What are the things that you teach in your course - some of those key learnings, if you can share? Anything you'd like to share? Stacy Ennis: Well, Abbey, our other co-founder, Abbey Louie, is [00:18:30] not here. She starts off our two-day training with a session on vision and values. So, she actually starts with values and then goes to vision. One of the things that's different about what we do is there's a lot of introspection and work. People don't just sit there and listen to us talk. Most people don't enjoy just sitting for two straight days and listening.  There's a lot of Sticky Notes involved, and we have art supplies, and people are moving around; they're interacting. She's [00:19:00] walking the people who are there through this process of defining their values, beginning to define a vision for themselves. Then, I get to take over after her and work through defining your core leadership message. So, how do I define myself? Who am I? How do I show up? Then, it goes over to Nancy. Nancy Buffington: I take the baton from Stacy and we go, "Okay, here's this cool core message that is unique to you and really reflects [00:19:30] your values and your vision. How do you begin to tell that story, physically, even?" What we're leading up to, again, is that they're going to develop a story and share that live in front of each other; in front of 29 other women.  We start with a piece on physical presence, and that's where we make that ... We begin to make that shift from the internal work to the external work - how do you show up? What does physical presence look like? Then, we spend a fair amount of time helping them develop a story [00:20:00] that really helps people understand who they are and what kind of leader, what kind of professional they are. They share that, and their laughter, and tears, and those kinds of things. Then, Laura- Laura Tully: The process, as you can see, is we work from the inside out. Where my part is - how do you create this really great package with all the work that you've done from the inside to make sure that it's expressive in the most authentic [00:20:30] way on the outside, through wardrobe styling, and just putting on a damn good outfit that you feel and look good in?  One of the main things that I dive into is letting our attendees recognize that you have the space to really create how you are showing up to the world, and you can choose how you define that in a really powerful way. Whether it's feeling good [00:21:00] in those jeans that you're putting on or rocking that most awesome blazer, or whatever it is, it's just having ownership in that you are being authentically you and not someone in a magazine or something you saw on a mannequin ... It's being reflected from the inside out. At the end of day, it just makes getting dressed a lot easier. Nancy Buffington: What is interesting about the fact that we all chose to [00:21:30] kind of wrap the whole thing up with this great bow of the wardrobe styling with Laura is that a lot of women's trainings really shy away from that. I understand why - it's a little [inaudible] like, "Oh, really? Are we gonna do clothes?" Blake Oliver: Well, I read ... Ernst & Young apparently didn't shy away from it. I don't know if you saw that story. We talked about it recently. Nancy Buffington: No. Blake Oliver: Some of their internal training materials for women were released; leaked ... Nancy Buffington: Oh, yes, you're right.  Blake Oliver: It wasn't exactly the most flattering type of training. Nancy Buffington: Correct. Right. So, instead of creating [00:22:00] more constrictions and saying, "Here's what you must do, and can do," and all that, it's like, "Let's show you how to do it, and then you take it from here. You decide how you wanna do things. You have ownership over this." Trainings that don't give women at least that information leave them kind of- they're very hungry for it, we've realized. They get really, really into it, and they go, "Oh, you mean I could do this? I could do that?" There's a lot of self-doubt and even self-hatred that comes out in these sessions, and it's [00:22:30] a pretty healing experience [crosstalk] David Leary: I can tell there's a domino effect of this. If you could get somebody to just like ... "You can pick what you wanna wear to a business meeting. You don't have to wear what you're told you have to wear to a business meeting ..." It's a domino, right? That leads to another decision you make. "Oh, I can make the decision, or the choice."  Stacy Ennis: It's intentionality, really, at the end of the day. Part of it, for all of us, is we've all been impacted by each other and our own growth. Part of why we came together is because we believe [00:23:00] in each other and the impact that they've had on us. So, Nancy, Laura, Abbey have all had a really profound impact on me. We were working with all these people and referring them between each other, so we were able to pull it together into this really powerful experience rather than kind of jostling people between us. It's been pretty neat to see the impact. Nancy Buffington: Yeah. Blake Oliver: Well, to end on a slightly- a lighter note, holiday season is coming up, and people are gonna be buying [00:23:30] toys for their girls, their daughters. I don't know where I saw this, but I saw Barbie recently - entomologist Barbie. I wanna get your opinion. Knowing that Barbie hasn't always been exactly the best role model, but, is this a good thing? Laura Tully: You know, I ... Stacy Ennis: I have so many feelings. Laura Tully: I wanna see the outfit first [crosstalk] David Leary: We're gonna lose our Mattel sponsorship ...  Laura Tully: Look, Barbie [00:24:00] is an iconic figure. Mattel is a giant in the toy industry. I think it's important that we, as consumers, hold these giants ... Have our expectations met, as far as what we want for our children and for our family. I think that an anthropologist [crosstalk]  Blake Oliver: I [00:24:30] had to actually ... Yeah, it's somebody who studies insects. It's a very specific Barbie occupation, but I think it's good, because used to be [crosstalk]  Stacy Ennis: It used to be a pink Corvette Barbie ... [crosstalk]  Blake Oliver: She's still wearing pink. Don't get me wrong, but she's also wearing science-y stuff, too [crosstalk]  Laura Tully: I think it's a drop in the bucket that we need to fill. These small micro-movements [00:25:00] matter, and we're not gonna fill the bucket overnight, and that's okay, but I think every step, or every drop [crosstalk]  Stacy Ennis: I feel like, honestly, we've sworn a couple of times ... So, I think it's been a kind of half-assed effort from most of the toy manufacturers. Where are the non-white toys? Why don't we have more colors represented in the outfits? I don't know [crosstalk]  David Leary: -stats about management, right?  [00:25:30] Blake Oliver: My son is obsessed with the game Guess Who? Have any of you played that recently?  Laura Tully: Oh, yeah.  Stacy Ennis: Yeah.  Blake Oliver: I looked at Guess Who? ... We've been playing it for a little while, and I'm like, "God, these are all super-white names." [crosstalk]  Stacy Ennis: Yeah. 100 percent.  Blake Oliver: Even for the people of color [crosstalk] I'm like, "You haven't fixed this yet?" It's like John, Sally, Will ...  Laura Tully: I don't remember the photographer, but there is this image of a little [00:26:00] white girl, and she's standing in a toy store, and it's all black dolls. Blake Oliver: Oh, that's cool. Nancy Buffington: Oh, right. Laura Tully: When I saw it, I got choked up because I think there was a part of me that felt like could this ever ... It just seems like, oh, my gosh, like I can't even imagine that ever happening. I think the fact that that space exists for [00:26:30] a lot of young black girls and boys to be in many spaces where they just never see themselves, it's a big deal.  Nancy Buffington: Two quick things I wanna say about the Barbie. One is it's cool to have them do, like, Entomologist Barbie, and there's a Frida Kahlo Barbie, and a space- astronaut! That's the word! Astronaut Barbie. It'd be really cool if they would take away the tiny little feet that are also jammed into high heels because I [00:27:00] heard about the entomologist Barbie. It was really hard for them to get the boots on her feet.  Blake Oliver: Right. Nancy Buffington: The other thing is that it's cool to have entomologist Barbie, but wouldn't it also be cool to just like buy your daughter an insect collection kit, or a microscope? Blake Oliver: We need a PwC partner Barbie, right? Stacy Ennis: There you go- Blake Oliver: A Big Four accountant Barbie.  Nancy Buffington: That's right. I will also say that my 25-year-old son, when he was little, had a Barbie, and his father was so embarrassed to have him take it around on plane trips and things, but it was his Barbie. So, [00:27:30] if you're gonna have Barbies, they should be ... Boys should be able to play with them, too.  Blake Oliver: I like it.  Laura Tully: Definitely. David Leary: So, you guys have a busy schedule. You guys are doing coaching, right? Nancy Buffington: Coaching, presenting, mentoring. David Leary: So, what's the best way, if somebody who's listening wants to go to your boot camp in Boise?  Stacy Ennis: We're at NextLevelWomenLeaders.com, and we're also on Instagram at the same handle. Blake Oliver: How about each of you personally? Our listeners, they can't see us, so would [00:28:00] you mind going down the row again and just saying who you are and how people can get in touch with you? Stacy Ennis: Yeah. I'm Stacey Ennis. I'm an author and consultant. My website is StacyEnnis.com. Nancy Buffington: I'm Nancy Buffington. I'm a public speaking coach and trainer, and my website is NancyBuffington.net. Laura Tully: I'm Laura Tully. I'm a personal wardrobe stylist and influencer, and you can reach me at LauraTully.co. Blake Oliver: And, as always, I am @BlakeTOliver. And you, David? David Leary: I'm @DavidLeary. Blake Oliver: Thanks for joining us. Stacy Ennis: Thanks for [00:28:30] having us [crosstalk] 
  5. SponsorsIntuit QuickBooks https://cloudaccountingpodcast.promo/quickbooks Show Notes 00:57 – Claudell is so far beyond MIA, we couldn't even say her name right!   01:05 – Who needs Claudell, when you have a real LIVE QuickBooks Live bookkeeper to talk with? Meet Pam Bingham!  01:30 – David's got a gazillion questions!   02:54 – Pam shares what it's like to be a QuickBooks Live bookkeeper 03:30 – Job-in-a-box - QuickBooks Live provides its bookkeepers with everything they need to start - from equipment to training 04:48 – The main focus of QuickBooks Live bookkeeping is helping clients clean up and prep their books for month-end closes, and tax time 06:35 – While some providers aren't crazy about QuickBooks Live, Pam took this opportunity and ran with it 07:58 – QuickBooks Live can give bookkeepers some stability when their own practices face constant changes 08:38 – Your practice is what you choose to make of it - plain and simple 11:08 – For clients, QuickBooks Live allows them the freedom to focus and work on the top priority, their business 12:28 – Most of the work done for QuickBooks Live is offline. The face-to-face client meeting is typically a small fraction of the entire process 13:25 – Unlike driving for Uber, being a QuickBooks Live bookkeeper is about building and maintaining long-lasting relationships  Connect with Pam Pam Bingham, EA, Founder, PB Tax and Accounting Services  Twitter: https://twitter.com/PBTaxAccounting LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pambingham/ Website: http://www.pbtaxinc.com/ Get in TouchThanks for listening and for the great reviews! We appreciate you! Follow and tweet @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Find us on Facebook and, if you like what you hear, please do us a favor and write a review on iTunes, or Podchaser. Interested in sponsoring the Cloud Accounting Podcast? For details, read the prospectus, and NOW, you can see our smiling faces on Instagram!  Meet Blake and David in person! Sadly, we do not have any 2020 travel plans as of yet.           Limited edition shirts, stickers, and other necessitiesTeePublic Store: http://cloudacctpod.link/merch  Subscribe Apple Podcasts: http://cloudacctpod.link/ApplePodcasts Spotify: http://cloudacctpod.link/Spotify Google Play: http://cloudacctpod.link/GooglePlay Stitcher: http://cloudacctpod.link/Stitcher Overcast: http://cloudacctpod.link/Overcast   Episode Art Photo Credit: Will Farnell https://twitter.com/willfarnell https://twitter.com/willfarnell/status/1191506218424176640/photo/1 TranscriptThis episode of The Cloud Accounting Podcast is sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks. Accounting professionals and bookkeepers have long been at the forefront of using cutting-edge technologies to take the profession to the next level and to ensure they're delivering the best possible service to their clients. Whether you want to grow your firm or sharpen your skills, Intuit QuickBooks provides you with the AI-driven products, services, and the resources that you need to help all sides of your career take shape. To learn more about how QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Online Accountant, QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping, and the ProAdvisor program can help you grow your practice and scale your impact, head over to CloudAccountingPodcast.promo/quickbooks. That is Cloud Accounting Podcast dot promo forward slash Q-U-I-C-K-B-O-O-K-S. QuickBooks - Backing you.Pam Bingham: This gives them an opportunity to work on their business, focus on their business, and let QuickBooks Live handle their books.  Blake Oliver: Welcome to The Cloud Accounting Podcast. I'm Blake Oliver. David Leary: I'm David Leary. Pam Bingham: And I am Claudette. Blake Oliver: What? [00:01:00] David Leary: Claudette's here?  Blake Oliver: Claudette is here from QuickBooks Live? No ... David Leary: QuickBooks Live Claudette. Blake Oliver: I don't believe it. David Leary: No ... Pam Bingham: That's right, don't believe it. I'm Pam Bingham. Blake Oliver: You are a QuickBooks Live advisor!  Pam Bingham: I am a QuickBooks Live bookkeeper, that's correct. Blake Oliver: A QuickBooks Live bookkeeper ... Wow!  David Leary: This was meant to be ... So, Tuesday, I go to lunch; I sit down ... Rewind a second. We are at QuickBooks Connect 2019 ... This is our last interview we're doing- Blake Oliver: Yep.  David Leary: It's wrapping up on Friday. Blake Oliver: People are literally taking things down as we speak. The place is being dismantled. David Leary: Hopefully, we [00:01:30] still have power. So, we sit down on Tuesday, and a lot of people are talking about QuickBooks Live. Everybody's at the table, chatting about QuickBooks Live, QuickBooks Live ... Then, Pam chimes up and says, "Oh, I was a TurboTax Live bookkeeper, or advisor, and now I'm a QuickBooks Live bookkeeper." I was like ... I started shaking. I was like, "You're going on the podcast! Wait until I tell Blake! I'm bringing you on the podcast!" So, now we're here. We have a real QuickBooks Live bookkeeper on the podcast, and we wanna understand ... Who are you, first? Because I know you're a  ProAdvisor, and you have a firm and that experience, and then, where QuickBooks Live fits [00:02:00] in that experience. Then [crosstalk] Blake Oliver: Or we could start with that.  David Leary: All right, we'll start with that, yeah ...  Blake Oliver: We won't overload you with too many questions-  David Leary: I'm actually excited. I got a little shaky here. Could be the fresh-pressed juice or something ...  Pam Bingham: It might be. David Leary: It might be. Pam Bingham: It might be the juice ...  Blake Oliver: So, who is Pam? Pam Bingham: Pam? Pam is ... I am a ProAdvisor, and I am an enrolled agent. I have a practice that I- I have bookkeeping and tax clients, and I am a QuickBooks Live [00:02:30] bookkeeper, as well. Blake Oliver: So, where are you based? Pam Bingham: I'm in the Los Angeles area, the San Fernando Valley. Blake Oliver: Oh, me, too! We're neighbors! Pam Bingham: Yeah. David Leary: Yeah, so listeners ... It's amazing. Blake has had a QuickBooks Live bookkeeper living next door to him, and he's never broke the story. Blake Oliver: Wow. Yeah, I feel bad now ... So, you have your own practice? Pam Bingham: I do. Blake Oliver: You're an enrolled agent. Yeah, so, I don't know ... What's a day in the life of being on QuickBooks Live? Pam Bingham: It's great because you work with the small business owners, and you help [00:03:00] them with their books. You help them clean up their books and teach them good workflows. So, it's a pretty good offering, and it's a pretty good opportunity to help small business owners. David Leary: I think when we had Rich Preece on, in the past, he talked about [crosstalk] Blake Oliver: Former leader of QuickBooks Live [crosstalk] David Leary: -he said they send you out a box. You get a laptop; you get a pop-up banner behind you ... What's your experience? When you go from, "Hey, I'm working; doing my firm work now, and I put on my QuickBooks Live hat," what do you do, actually, [00:03:30] to do that?  Pam Bingham: I take off my firm hat and I put my QuickBooks Live hat on ... No, they do. They send you out a box that has all the equipment that you'll, like a laptop, and your camera, headphones, and, yes, a wrap-around so that you can block the noise-  Blake Oliver: A backdrop for your chair?  Pam Bingham: Yeah, a backdrop for your chair. It comes all ready to go, and then, you're [00:04:00] ready to go; you're ready to start training, and going through learning all their processes and that type of thing. Blake Oliver: How much of your time are you dividing between QuickBooks Live and your own work as a ProAdvisor? Pam Bingham: You're required to work about 20 hours, at least; 20 hours a week. Blake Oliver: How many clients do you work with? Pam Bingham: It could be between 15 and 20. Blake Oliver: 15 and 20 clients on an ongoing basis and about- at least 20 hours [00:04:30] a week? Pam Bingham: Yeah. Blake Oliver: Got it.  David Leary: When you say it's about 20 hours a week, is it when you have time to pop in and out, like an Uber driver's like, "I feel like going to do rides right now," or do you have a little bit of a schedule [crosstalk]  Pam Bingham: No, you have a schedule. David Leary: Okay. Pam Bingham: Yeah. Blake Oliver: Got it. So, you log in and then, you go to work ... How do you- do you schedule appointments with clients? Pam Bingham: Well, they are able to schedule the appointments with us, so you meet with your clients, and you figure out what they need, and you provide [00:05:00] that service. It's basically helping the clients have tax-ready books for the end of the year. You make sure that you prepare the necessary ... Help them with their transactions and help them just kind of reconcile and wrap up the month to close the books ... You build this relationship with the clients. Blake Oliver: So, coding those- getting those transactions into the GL, categorizing them. Are you reconciling the books, as well? Pam Bingham: Mm-hmm.  [00:05:30] Blake Oliver: I understand part of the service is helping the clients understand their reports, right? Do you do that - walk through the reports with them? Pam Bingham: Well, you know-  Blake Oliver: Is that something they have to ask for? Pam Bingham: Yeah, but we're not ... I don't give tax advice or anything like that. Blake Oliver: Right, but if I wanna understand my P&L, and walk through that with you-  Pam Bingham: Yeah, I can walk you through your P&L, definitely. I definitely do that, yeah.  David Leary: Do you actually do other things like help them set up their bank rules? Pam Bingham: Yes. David Leary: You do things like that. Okay.  Pam Bingham: Set up bank rules, and recurring transactions, [00:06:00] and stuff like that. Blake Oliver: How did you get into the program? Pam Bingham: You know, I did hear about it like everyone else. They reached out to some of the tax folks and asked us if we'd like to come on board. Blake Oliver: Oh, correct, because you were at TurboTax Live. Pam Bingham: Yeah.  Blake Oliver: So, have you switched over completely, or are you still doing-  Pam Bingham: I have.  Blake Oliver: Got it.  Pam Bingham: I have left that world of TurboTax-   David Leary: One thing that struck me, yesterday or Tuesday, at lunch, was you have an existing, real bookkeeping practice. You're a traditional [00:06:30] ProAdvisor to some extent, right?  Pam Bingham: I am. David Leary: You are very comfortable with the idea of QuickBooks Live-  Pam Bingham: I am.  David Leary: There are some providers that are not comfortable with it. Can you explain where your comfort level is and where it fits in, in your view of all the clients you have, or don't have, or might take? Pam Bingham: Well, for me, my practice is ... It's kind of probably difficult to understand. I have a full practice - a full practice, for me. Let me explain that. David Leary: Okay.  [00:07:00] Pam Bingham: I vacillated - do I want to ... How far do I wanna grow my practice? I've had it for about eight years; almost eight years, and it has grown since I started it. It's gone up; it's gone down; it's changed. I've changed the way that I work with clients. But, for me, this opportunity that came along with QuickBooks Live was kind of like a fill-in-the-blank type [00:07:30] of situation- Blake Oliver: Because you're doing mostly tax work with your own practice. Pam Bingham: Yeah, I have more tax clients than I do bookkeeping clients. That is correct. Blake Oliver: Got it.  Pam Bingham: So, it was kinda fill in the blanks and then, it gave me an opportunity to be a part of this this service that ... It's new! It's new, so why wouldn't I wanna do it now, if I'm going to participate? Blake Oliver: Right. You're an early adopter. You're a trailblazer.  Pam Bingham: Right.  Blake Oliver: That's really cool. David Leary: One thing that I think I've [00:08:00] never even considered before was it was always presented as, "Oh, if I have some downtime, I could do QuickBooks Live on the side to supplement my practice." I think, if I just heard you correctly, is QuickBooks Live's letting you stabilize your practice, because your practice is a little variable. Pam Bingham: Sure. David Leary: Now, with QuickBooks Live, you're like, "Hey, I know 20 hours a week are gonna be stable. I'm gonna have income; I'm gonna have X number of clients ... It's pretty stable; the demand's gonna be stable, and my practice can be the variable," versus the other way.  Pam Bingham: Right.  David Leary: I [00:08:30] think some people always thought QuickBooks Live would be the variable thing; like, "Oh, yeah, I'll pop in eight hours a week; I'll do some QuickBooks Live, and do [crosstalk] practice ..." It's interesting, you just changed my perspective on this. Pam Bingham: Yeah ... I can only answer why I do it. I don't know why other [crosstalk] I'm sure there's bookkeepers that work there that probably don't have clients or don't have the means to get other clients. I'm capable of building my practice as far as I want to build it, whichever way I want. It's probably [00:09:00] not fair to say, but I think if you wanna do it, you can do it. But I determined, for myself, that this is the route that I wanted to go. I saw it as a good opportunity. Again, early adopter ... They just have really great opportunities for you to grow, and grow with the company, if that's what you choose to do.  Blake Oliver: Wonderful.  David Leary: What would be an example of a QuickBooks Live engagement? The customer sets the appointment; they get on the phone [00:09:30] with you ... What are they asking? Pam Bingham: Well, it's just like any other customer who needs help with books. It really is no different. The only difference is we have parameters in that we can't take every client. Well, who would? I mean, I don't take every client, but I probably take- David Leary: I think there's a lot of firms that try to take every client, and that gets them in bad situations. Blake Oliver: Yep. Pam Bingham: I probably take on more- would take on different situations that QuickBooks Live would not, but ... It's a startup [00:10:00] that doesn't know what to do and handle it so you can get them set up and teach them how to manage this thing so that they can know where they are, financially, all the time. That's the goal with bookkeeping. David Leary: I like how ... Intuit's offering QuickBooks Live bookkeeping kind of at the purchase point of QuickBooks Online. In theory, the hope and the theory is, from day one, they in QuickBooks Online. They set up employment, [00:10:30] and from day one, they're starting to set things up correctly, which just helps everybody down the funnel, eventually. If they grow to a big, huge company and they move on out of QuickBooks Live to another bookkeeper, or ProAdvisor, their books are actually set up, and they're actually usable- Pam Bingham: Right, instead of the way that I sometimes get clients, and I'm like, "Okay, well, did you have help doing this?" "Well, I just started figuring it out ..."  Blake Oliver: That's the classic Desktop QuickBooks situation, where the bookkeeper doesn't get involved until 14 months later, and they have to untangle [00:11:00] a year- Pam Bingham: Or two. Blake Oliver: -or two ... This is hopefully eliminating that situation. Pam Bingham: Yeah. It's giving business owners a head start to really move out of the space that they really don't need to be in. They need to be in a space where they're growing their business and delegate ... It's hard to do it. I mean, you know it; even everyone who has a business ... It's hard to delegate. It's hard for me to delegate ... This gives them an opportunity to work on their business, [00:11:30] focus on their business, and let QuickBooks Live handle their books. David Leary: Do you do any QuickBooks Live work offline? If you have real clients, you talk to your client; you have a meeting; you might, for an hour, do work in their QuickBooks file or something. Does that model exist with QuickBooks Live? Pam Bingham: No.  David Leary: You just do whatever you do, real-time, when you're in a face-to-face video [crosstalk]  Pam Bingham: -during whatever time frame that you're working for QuickBooks Live ... It doesn't have to be just face to face. You can do it offline, with not talking to the client, yes.  [00:12:00] David Leary: Okay, so you are doing some sort of bookkeeping work behind the scenes. Pam Bingham: Yes.  David Leary: It's not all live client interaction- Pam Bingham: Okay, yeah.  David Leary: -interesting to know. I did not [crosstalk]  Blake Oliver: That's one the questions we had, actually. I'm glad you asked that. Yeah, is it only with the client, holding their hand, or is there an offline component, which David's talking about? Pam Bingham: Yes. Blake Oliver: Yeah. I'd assume you wouldn't need to be on the phone live with the client, while you're getting reconciled, right? Pam Bingham: No.  Blake Oliver: Yeah, that may not be productive. Pam Bingham: No, it would not. David Leary: What's the ratio, do you [00:12:30] think, as far as time you spend chatting, video, face to face with your client versus doing offline work? Pam Bingham: Usually if you have an appointment, it's about an hour, depending on the client. But typically, it's an hour to go over, review whatever it is that you're reviewing with the customer. Blake Oliver: What's the longest client call you've had? Pam Bingham: An hour-ish ...  Blake Oliver: Okay. That's not bad. I was thinking, like somebody could keep you on for like half a day ...  Pam Bingham: An hour-ISH ...  [00:13:00] Blake Oliver: An hour-ish ...  Pam Bingham: Yeah, no, no ... How does that help the client anyway? If you're on with them for half a day, what could you possibly do? Blake Oliver: Good point.  David Leary: That's true ... Are you starting to recognize repeat clients or seeing the same faces to where you're getting to know these clients a little bit [crosstalk]  Pam Bingham: Well, this is a relationship that you're building. The goal is to have this client, to help them keep their books in order. Blake Oliver: These are not just one-off calls, and requests for work-  Pam Bingham: No-  David Leary: It's not like an Uber driver [crosstalk]  Blake Oliver: This is an ongoing relationship- [00:13:30] Pam Bingham: Yes.  Blake Oliver: -with, you said, like 20-something clients, is that right? Pam Bingham: Yeah. David Leary: Okay.  Blake Oliver: This has been super-helpful- Pam Bingham: Really? Okay. Blake Oliver: Yeah! Thank you so much for helping us understand how it works. It's one thing to hear about the program from the leaders; it another thing to talk to somebody who's actually doing it. So, thank you so much, Pam, for joining us. Pam Bingham: You're very welcome! Blake Oliver: Normally, we ask our guests - are you on social media? If people wanna follow you, should they follow you? Do you wanna share that out?  David Leary: Well, this is the easy answer - if you wanna get a hold of Pam, you join- you buy QuickBooks Live for bookkeeping, and then, you can talk to Pam! That's probably the easiest way. [00:14:00] Pam Bingham: I think that I may follow you both. I think I do.  Blake Oliver: All right. As always, you can find me on Twitter. I'm @BlakeTOliver, and how about you, David? David Leary: I'm @DavidLeary. Blake Oliver: And Pam, thank you so much for joining us today. Pam Bingham: Take care. David Leary: Thank you, Pam.  Pam Bingham: You're welcome. Bye!  
  6. SponsorsIntuit QuickBooks https://cloudaccountingpodcast.promo/quickbooks Show Notes 00:57 – Meet Ariege!  02:44 – Fun fact: 500 new small businesses start up for every one new accounting professional entering the workforce 03:18 – How is Intuit helping small businesses succeed? Mainly through automation and a high level of quality 04:19 – Fear is not an option - with the obvious shortage of accountants, the only way to effectively help clients is with automation 05:38 – Ariege explains why the new QuickBooks feature, the Optimization Center, was created 07:37 – Intuit's pain, and solving for it - in entering the bookkeeping game - could ultimately be a gain for everyone 09:29 – As mentioned in our last episode, accountants are an unexpected market for the QuickBooks Live offering, according to Ted Callahan, Director of the QuickBooks Live Offering  11:00 – Check out Jade Simmons’ QuickBooks Connect 2019 presentation! | YouTube 15:02 – Ariege gives us the rundown on the Business Performance Overview feature 17:32 – According to futurist Michael McQueen, innovation isn’t slowing down. See his QBC presentation here | YouTube 17:53 – Change is gonna come - but Ariege doesn't have the details yet 19:27 – You heard it here first ... Sort of ... Ariege spills some new feature news!  21:33 –Start talking!Intuit's priority list is constructed around what users want and need   Connect with Ariege Ariege Misherghi, Global Accountant Segment Leader, Intuit Twitter: https://twitter.com/ariegem LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ariege/ Get in TouchThanks for listening and for the great reviews! We appreciate you! Follow and tweet @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Find us on Facebook and, if you like what you hear, please do us a favor and write a review on iTunes, or Podchaser. Interested in sponsoring the Cloud Accounting Podcast? For details, read the prospectus, and NOW, you can see our smiling faces on Instagram!  Meet Blake in person! December 9-11: Digital CPA Conference in Seattle         Limited edition shirts, stickers, and other necessitiesTeePublic Store: http://cloudacctpod.link/merch  Subscribe Apple Podcasts: http://cloudacctpod.link/ApplePodcasts Spotify: http://cloudacctpod.link/Spotify Google Play: http://cloudacctpod.link/GooglePlay Stitcher: http://cloudacctpod.link/Stitcher Overcast: http://cloudacctpod.link/Overcast   Episode Art Photo Credit: Will Farnell https://twitter.com/willfarnell https://twitter.com/willfarnell/status/1191506218424176640/photo/1 Transcript This episode of The Cloud Accounting Podcast is sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks. Accounting professionals and bookkeepers have long been at the forefront of using cutting-edge technologies to take the profession to the next level and to ensure they're delivering the best possible service to their clients. Whether you want to grow your firm or sharpen your skills, Intuit QuickBooks provides you with the AI-driven products, services, and the resources that you need to help all sides of your career take shape. To learn more about how QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Online Accountant, QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping, and the ProAdvisor program can help you grow your practice and scale your impact, head over to CloudAccountingPodcast.promo/quickbooks. That is Cloud Accounting Podcast dot promo forward slash Q-U-I-C-K-B-O-O-K-S. QuickBooks - Backing you.Ariege Misherghi: I wanna make sure that I'm helping accounting professionals get the work done, not just track the work. Blake Oliver: Welcome to The Cloud Accounting Podcast. I'm Blake Oliver. David Leary: I'm David Leary. Ariege Misherghi: And I'm Ariege Misherghi. I lead the Accountant Team at Intuit [00:01:00] QuickBooks. David Leary: Ariege, we finally caught up with you. You were one of the most [inaudible] people at QuickBooks Connect this week. We're now on day three, but you were the opening keynote of day one. Ariege Misherghi: Oh, man, I'm not fancy, but I've been watching you guys talk to so many cool people as I've been walking by, just waiting for my turn. So, glad to be here. David Leary: I've been looking forward to it all week. I texted you a little bit to give you the heads up that we were gonna try and get you on. So, I'm very excited that you're here. I'm actually excited about the announcements that you made on stage. Blake Oliver: Oh, yeah.  Ariege Misherghi: Oh, rock on. Blake Oliver: So many massive product announcements. We're not used to this. We've [00:01:30] been going to a lot of conferences, and a lot of times, it's like, "Well, we did one thing. We're gonna try to stretch that out for an hour and talk about that one thing," and-  David Leary: They were good. They weren't 'pie in the sky' announcements. Blake Oliver: No.  David Leary: I was like, this is real things that are gonna help accountants and bookkeepers get more efficient. Ariege Misherghi: Oh, I'm so glad you guys feel that way. What's funny is I was working with my team to just figure out what specific things we were gonna break in to the actual speech. There was so much we couldn't fit in. So, it just feels ... It's awesome to hear that you feel that way. Thank you. David Leary: The stack makes [00:02:00] sense, right? We can get into the details of each one, but it's just make your clients efficient, make yourself efficient, and now you can do some advising [crosstalk] you really stacked it up really nicely like that.  Ariege Misherghi: Oh, thank you.  David Leary: Can you talk about- what's the tool, like this optimization? What's it called? Blake Oliver: Yeah, so the-  Ariege Misherghi: The Optimization Center, yeah. Blake Oliver: The Optimization Center ... There was applause in the audience. It was like you were a rock star up there. Ariege Misherghi: Oh, well, thank you. Blake Oliver: I saw a screen of a list of clients, and here's an optimization score, a percentage. Then [00:02:30] you can drill down, and there's a breakdown ... Tell us a little bit, for our listeners-  David Leary: What's the genesis of that? Blake Oliver: Yeah, what was the genesis of that? Then, for our listeners who weren't here at QuickBooks Connect, who didn't get the chance to see it, try to paint a picture for us ... Ariege Misherghi: Yeah, 100 percent. The genesis is basically this - we know the challenges that accounting professionals around the world face; they're more the same than they are different. Really, it comes down to two things. There's an objective to grow, and there's an objective to scale. Our objective [00:03:00] for accounting professionals around the world is to help you grow your practice and to help you scale your impact. As we think about scale, that's becoming more and more important. One of the things that was fascinating to me was to learn that there are 500 new small businesses that get started for every one accounting professional that enters the workforce. Blake Oliver: That's quite a ratio. Ariege Misherghi: It's intense, right? Blake Oliver: Yeah.  Ariege Misherghi: You think about accounting professionals and how many small businesses they tend to support on bookkeeping, it's 25:1, on average. The need to scale is massive. So, if Intuit's mission [00:03:30] is to help small businesses succeed, and we know the number-one way to help them do that is to connect them to a pro, well, how do we help the pro scale? That's really the question that we were asking ourselves. Ultimately, it came down to two things. The first is there is work we need to automate. The second is we wanna make sure that the work that happens happens with a really high level of quality. When we think about automation ... It's so funny. I feel like - and you guys tell me what you think - but I feel like when I hear people talking about automation, especially with the accounting-professional community, it's about the work going away. It's like this heavy, [00:04:00] scary thing. When I-  Blake Oliver: Right, yeah, but that doesn't make sense because what you just said- there's not enough accountants for the businesses out there- Ariege Misherghi: 100 percent. Got it.  Blake Oliver: You look at the unemployment rate in accounting and bookkeeping, and it's like half the national average, which is already less than four percent. Ariege Misherghi: Totally, yeah.  Blake Oliver: The work is going away, and yet we don't have enough accountants? David Leary: Well, and you can make it worse. What if the Find a ProAdvisor site was perfect, and 100 percent of people that visited that were sent to an accountant? Intuit would just be sending so much work to accountants, who would not be [00:04:30] getting more efficient if you don't have automation ... Ariege Misherghi: Right.  David Leary: Somebody's gotta help these clients, and the only way it's gonna happen is automation. Ariege Misherghi: That's right.  Blake Oliver: So, clearly, you do not have the same doom-and-gloom prediction, right?  Ariege Misherghi: I think that's exactly right. When we look at the most- the accounting professionals that are leveraging automation most effectively, they're serving clients at a ratio of 50:1, and they're not sacrificing time with their clients; they're actually spending more time with their clients. There's this element of they're saving time, they're picking up new clients, and they're spending the time on the things that they wanna do, which is the [00:05:00] face-to-face.  When I talk to accounting pros, that's what drives them; that's why they're in this, in the first place, is they wanna help somebody, just like Intuit is trying to help people. You're not really helping somebody, if you're categorizing transactions, but you are, when you're helping them understand their business, you know what I mean? Blake Oliver: Yep, yep. I just wanna call out those numbers you said. You had a lot of numbers in your presentation [crosstalk]  David Leary: I could not write them down fast enough. There were so many awesome numbers. Ariege Misherghi: I am so data-driven. Oh, man ...  Blake Oliver: Which is good because accountants are data-driven- Ariege Misherghi: Yeah, there you go.  Blake Oliver: -you speak to accountants, give them stats, right? You said the typical [00:05:30] accountant, or typical ProAdvisor is 25 clients to one ProAdvisor; but if you are really efficient, you can make that 50:1, right?  Ariege Misherghi: Exactly. Exactly. That's where the Optimization Center was born is we thought, "Okay, well, how do we help people get from 25:1 to 50:1?" So, we went, and we really studied those people that have more clients than the average. What we found is they're using automation. Then, we went, and we talked to the people who aren't. We're like, "Hey, what's going on? Why is it that you're not using this?" Number one is they don't know. [00:06:00] They don't know what automation is available in QuickBooks. So, that's one is awareness. The second thing that we found out is they think they're using it, which is great, but they don't realize that they can actually improve the way that they're using; deepen the way that they're using. So, we're like, "Oh, fantastic ..." There was zero resistance. I didn't talk to a single person, and my team didn't talk to a single person who said, "I am not interested in ways to be more efficient so that I can bring on more clients or help the clients that I have even more deeply," you know what I mean? That's where it was born. What we decided was, number one, [00:06:30] let's give people an objective measure of where they are. Optimization Center gives you an efficiency score, and the efficiency score is effectively this - it looks at all the transactions that have been created in QuickBooks. We're looking for how effectively were the transactions created automatically? How effectively were they categorized automatically and then, reconciled automatically? We look at the percentage that you really only had to touch once to accept them in, and all those things just happened - check, check, check. Then, we let you know, really ... That's what [00:07:00] determines your score. Then we [crosstalk]  Blake Oliver: It's a mix of those three factors. Got it.  Ariege Misherghi: That's it. It's those three factors. Then, we look- we give you the breakdown, too, so you can see what is driving your score and where your inefficiency is coming from. For example, if you haven't yet adopted bank rules to categorize transactions, we're not just gonna say, "Adopt bank rules." We're gonna show you the rules that might be effective for that specific client, and you can just accept, accept, accept. That's one example of what we might do as a result. Blake Oliver: A lot of applause at that - those suggested matches-  Ariege Misherghi: Yeah! People seemed to really dig that-  Blake Oliver: Taking that [00:07:30] idea of suggested matches and creating suggested rules. Ariege Misherghi: You got it. Yeah. David Leary: And the copying of the rules from one client to another - a lot of people loved that idea-  Blake Oliver: Oh, that was big.  Ariege Misherghi: Yeah.  David Leary: How much is driven by your team listening to accountants, talking to accountants, and how much is ... One thing that ... I'm sitting in the chairs watching this get presented, and I was like, "Oh, my God, this is what Intuit needs internally for QuickBooks Live." I was just thinking, like ... Because, now, QuickBooks is getting into the bookkeeping game a little bit with QuickBooks Live. In a way, Intuit's now- because they're becoming [00:08:00] a bookkeeping firm, a little bit, they're gonna really understand the pains at a huge level they never understood them before at. Now, Intuit ... It's gonna force Intuit to build solutions better than they would have just by, "Hey, accountant or bookkeeper, what do you want?" Intuit's gonna feel those pains and have to go solve these. Everybody's gonna win.  Ariege Misherghi: Well, here's kind of how I think about it. I think that's- yeah, it's an interesting way to think about it. The way that I think about it is this - in the past, our objective was to help accountants grow and manage their practice. We built an awesome [00:08:30] practice-management solution that people are using in the hundreds of thousands. What we've realized, though, is it's not just about tracking your work. It's about getting your work done. That was an insight that came to us, as we were digging into how do we help people be more effective in managing their practices? We've gotta help them get their work done. As I moved from the product leader role to the segment leader role in the Accountant Team, that was a big objective for me. As I think about strategy, I wanna make sure that I'm helping accounting professionals get the work done, not just track the work. There's been [00:09:00] a flame in me to do that for some time. There are two additional changes within Intuit that have really helped us, from a resourcing perspective, just get all the energy of the organization behind it. So, the strategy is there. Then, the second piece is - you're right - it does help Live agents. That's why you heard me talking about we're building an expert platform, and Live is a part of that platform, but we all get the benefit of everything we're doing to help accounting professionals get- scale their impact. Blake Oliver: We spoke to Ted Callahan who's the new [00:09:30] lead, or head of QuickBooks Live, and I was amazed ... You found somebody even more well-spoken than Rich Preece, or equally well-spoken, I should say. That's amazing. It was so great. One thing he said, in particular, stuck out to me, when we talked to him about it.  He said that a lot of accounting firms have expressed a tremendous amount of interest in actually outsourcing a lot of their own bookkeeping to QuickBooks Live because they don't have the staff to do it. So, they're saying, "Hey, can we use QuickBooks Live? You help our clients with the bookkeeping, and we'll [00:10:00] do the tax and advisory." Ariege Misherghi: Yeah, that was a real surprise to me and to all of us, as we were working on QuickBooks Live. That day that I gave my keynote, a couple of the other things I did is I went to some QuickBooks Live sessions and I was like an emcee, just trying to support the team as they were helping people understand our intention with QuickBooks Live and also what the profile of a bookkeeper would be, for those that are interested. There were two types of questions that we got. We took a ton of questions in the sessions. One type was just trying to evaluate, "Is this the right service [00:10:30] for me to participate in? I'm a bookkeeper, or I'm an a CPA, and perhaps this is something I could do to gain revenue, but does this work for me?" The other types of questions we got were from practices, live in the room, saying, "Hey, could I use this as an outsource solution?"  We've heard it in pockets before, it's just not anything we have yet pursued, but it's fascinating to me. It's just one of those things where it's like, you go, you try and solve a problem ... Jade Simmons was actually talking about this. She closed QuickBooks Connect, and if you guys have not seen that, it was one of the most incredible- Blake Oliver: The pianist. [00:11:00] Ariege Misherghi: Oh, my God, she was so good! Well, she's a pianist, and a storyteller, and she was so compelling, and so emotional. It's all on YouTube, so you could check it out. One of the things that she said was pay attention to what your customers are telling you, like what business your customers are telling you you need to be in. That was an element, for me, that was just such a huge A-ha, which is accounting professionals are telling us perhaps they are the target for QuickBooks Live- Blake Oliver: Which is not what you thought, originally.  Ariege Misherghi: No, we just did not expect that. Blake Oliver: That's amazing. Well, [00:11:30] there were two more big announcements that I wanna hit on before we go. Ariege Misherghi: Oh, and I'm so sorry, Blake, to interrupt you ... But back to the previous question- Blake Oliver: Oh, sure. Ariege Misherghi: What else is the inertia that's behind all this automation? There's a third piece, which is QuickBooks Advanced. What we find is that mid-market customers are far more likely to have an in-house CFO or an in-house bookkeeper. So, now, the Accountant Team is thinking about three different types of accounting professionals - the mid-market, in-house accounting professional, the independent practice, which we've always been [00:12:00] serving, and now, QuickBooks Live. It's the three of those that are really getting us to get just a tremendous level of momentum in the organization. Blake Oliver: We've been talking about automating transactional categorization; getting the data in the system. You also talked about what happens after that - the review process, which a lot of times is not really formalized. There's sort of like a soft close that happens every month. You guys announced Bookkeeping Review, which I think is gonna do a lot to help tighten [00:12:30] things up for firms. Ariege Misherghi: Well, that's the hope. What we found is, number one, that there are a series of reviews that established practices do at month end to make sure that everything is ticked and tied. Then, we also found that, for less-established practices, people are just figuring out what's the right process. Blake Oliver: Yeah, "I know it in my head ..."  Ariege Misherghi: You got it, or the Sticky Notes, which is great; the method works ... But then, there's also this really generous nature I've found in the accounting professional community, which is people [00:13:00] wanna share best practices; they want the profession to move forward. So, we thought, "How can we help that? How can we aid it?"  The intention is to pull together an end-to-end workflow, but then, also automate steps in that workflow, so you're not hunting and pecking for issues. What could we do to automatically find duplicate transactions, to automatically find changes to prior periods, or whatever it is that people are spending a tremendous amount of time digging into? If we could put that in one place, that could help. Blake Oliver: There was something similar like this in the Desktop product, at one point, but it was for like annual reviews, right, I think ...? Ariege Misherghi: Yeah. [00:13:30] Data Checker? Was that what it's called? I don't remember. David Leary: I don't remember either [crosstalk] That's not good ...  Blake Oliver: I remember, it was like your client would send you the Desktop file for taxes and then, you went through this workflow that helped you-  Ariege Misherghi: A scan, right?  Blake Oliver: Yeah, that helped you fix all the mistakes they made throughout the year? Ariege Misherghi: Yeah.  Blake Oliver: It's funny to think we don't have to deal with that now because we can do it every month. That changed very quickly. David Leary: What I liked about that whole concept of the month-end ... What are you calling that feature? Blake Oliver: The Bookkeeping Review-  Ariege Misherghi: Bookkeeping Review.  David Leary: Bookkeeping Review ... It's how you pulled everything into one place, including statements. Instead [00:14:00] of people having to go to ... "Oh, I have to go run this report over here to find the uncategorized transactions; I have to do something over here to do this ... I have to go over here, and I have to go to a bank website and download a statement- Ariege Misherghi: Totally ...  David Leary: -everything just in one little section I can- it's just efficient. Blake Oliver: And click to get there, right? That's the thing ...  Ariege Misherghi: Which is fascinating, right, because QuickBooks is an accounting tool. We know this, right? People are using it to do their bookkeeping, but there is no bookkeeping workflow until now. So, now there is a workflow to complete the actual bookkeeping review at the end of the month. Blake Oliver: So, the last bit was the Business Performance [00:14:30] over ... The last bit was the Business Performance Overview tab, and that's within QBOA, right?  Ariege Misherghi: It's actually in your clients' books, but it's a QBOA feature. Exactly.  Blake Oliver: Got it. So, can they access it themselves, or is it something only the accountants see? Ariege Misherghi: For everything that we've announced, it's only for experts. So, only the accounting professionals see it. But we've learned from accounting professionals, you wanna see it in the books, so we put it in your client's books, but only you can see it. Blake Oliver: Got it. Tell us a little bit about why you created a Business Performance Overview. Why KPIs ...? Why do that?  [00:15:00] Ariege Misherghi: Yeah. I think David said it best, which is there is a flow that we're looking for, which is how can we help you scale? How can we help you ensure the accuracy of your work? Then, as you have that free time, you can either bring on more clients or you can deepen the impact that you have on the clients that you have.  That third piece about deepening impact and helping more small businesses succeed, that just led us to believe, like, hey, we've gotta figure out how ... We can't just tell accounting professionals that advisory is where [00:15:30] things are going. We gotta give you the tools, and the training, if we can, to support the community in that transition. That's where Business Performance Overview came in. This is just the first step, but I think is a pretty darn good first step, based on what I'm hearing from people at the conference. It's effectively this - we start with P&L KPIs. They're just a set of P&L KPIs that are useful for you to get a quick view of, "How am I doing relative to a prior period?" You can set the prior period. We find most people do month over month. "How am I doing this month on this KPI, [00:16:00] relative to last?"  Then, we show you trends. QuickBooks is really moving into beautiful visualizations of data. What my team is trying to do is just make sure those visualizations represent what it is that an accounting professional wants to see. What we're doing is we're showing you how you're performing against certain reports that you would normally pull over a 12-month period.  We're also comparing you to prior year, so you could see micro and macro trends. We're doing that across a series of reports. Our [00:16:30] intention is to expand it, so my hope is that the community engages and just lets ... Well, it's not just a hope! People are engaging and giving us their perspective now on what they wanna see next. So, it's just a start, but really exciting stuff going on there. Blake Oliver: In a way, it's an extension of the Bookkeeping Review because you need to check those KPIs to make sure ... If COGS suddenly jumps 10, 20 percent, maybe something wasn't coded properly, right? I don't know. Who knows?  Ariege Misherghi: Could be ... Yeah, that's right.  David Leary: I've got two things left, I think, til we let you get on your way here; head home. Everybody's catching flights after they get off the interview, like, "I just have to get off [00:17:00] this podcast ... I'm catching a flight!" I feel like, for 2019, for ProAdvisors, especially, the amount of change ... Massive amounts of change from Intuit this year. There's been price changes, wholesale changes. There's QuickBooks Live. There's just been tons and tons of change. The pricing of QuickBooks, externally, for their clients ... They're clients are gonna be, "What do you mean QuickBooks now costs more?" Are things gonna stabilize a little bit in 2020, or are we gonna see ...? Or is it still gonna be just as much variance as [00:17:30] we had in 2019? Ariege Misherghi: You know, after I spoke on day one, Michael McQueen spoke. He's a futurist, also definitely worth catching. He one of the things that he said that's still stayed with me is like the pace of innovation is faster than it's ever been, and it will never be this slow again. Blake Oliver: There's your answer, David- Ariege Misherghi: You know what I mean? Blake Oliver: Yeah.  Ariege Misherghi: Well, I do; I think that changes ... It would be disingenuous of me to say that more change isn't coming. [00:18:00] If I knew what it was, I would tell you right now, but I will be just as surprised as the community, as we think about new problems and how it is that we wanna solve them.  I think there's fair feedback for Intuit, as well, in the way that we've managed change in the past, I think about the initial roll-out of QuickBooks Live; I think about some of the advanced notice on pricing changes. These are things that we wanna get much better at, so know that they're top of mind for me. My hope is that the community sees what we're doing to get on top of that. We're increasing the frequency at which we post blogs on Firm of the [00:18:30] Future, which is a phenomenal place to get information. We're also, for the first time, putting product-update notifications in the product. As QuickBooks Live changes and evolves, we're notifying people in the product. We're ensuring that people get plenty of advance notice on changes before your clients are aware, when we make lineup changes, or price changes.  There are a series of things and policies that we're putting in place just to make sure that we're thinking about the accounting professional and how their business operates through this change. I think that's where I'm putting [00:19:00] my energy because I don't think it makes sense for anybody to try to put their body in front of a change train ... The change is coming. It's coming. Blake Oliver: Get on the train ...  Ariege Misherghi: But I can make sure that the way that we manage change is done really well. David Leary: There's one thing that ... Obviously, you only have limited time on the keynote. Ariege Misherghi: Yeah. David Leary: Is there anything that didn't get announced this week that maybe you wanna share, special for our listeners? Ariege Misherghi: Possibly ...  Blake Oliver: Ooh, exclusive?  Ariege Misherghi: Yeah, I could give you one ... I could give you one that I'm really, really excited about [00:19:30] and it's cool ... I mentioned it to a couple of accounting professionals in the hall, and they seemed to really get excited about it, too. We talked about-  actually, it's in Bookkeeping Review.  So, we talked about Bookkeeping Review is a process to ensure that you're cleaning the books completely and accurately at month end. One of the things that we know happens is just information exchanges between the accountant and small business. You don't get everything you need from your client when you need it, which is a big, big hassle. You [00:20:00] guys know that we're working to automatically pull bank statements - that's not a surprise - which is gonna help tremendously. But we also know there's a lot of conversation around individual transactions; like, "Hey, did you have any cash transactions?" or, "Was this a personal expense, or what have you?" or, "What did you buy at Costco? Because I don't know if that's tech or that's food. You gotta let me know."  All those kinds of things, right now, get handled in email or people have to type those into Excel or whatever it is, but there's some like 'get data out of QuickBooks in an inefficient way, send [00:20:30] it to my client, hope that they get back to me, and then, figure out how to get that data and information that my client gives me back into QuickBooks.' What we're doing is we're gonna give you a way to select the transactions that you have questions about. We'll then send a text or a push notification to your client. We might also post it on that client dashboard, so it's the first thing they see, saying, "Hey ..." It's not just 'ask my accountant' anymore, it's 'ask my client.' Here the specific transactions with the specific questions that the accounting professional has, and you can see the answers. They're entered [00:21:00] into QuickBooks, real time- Blake Oliver: Wow ...  Ariege Misherghi: Which totally eliminates the need for you to go out of band to get the answer to those questions. David Leary: All right, so I'm hearing this correctly - Blake's my client; Blake scans in some receipt, and he forgot write what it was for, or what customer job it was for, something like that.  Ariege Misherghi: Yep. Never happens ...  David Leary: I'm now in Bookkeeping Review ... Previously, I would have to call Blake, send him ... I'd be tracking him down, like "What's the receipt say?" "I don't remember ..." This is gonna be some sorta ... I will send him some sort of push notification. He'll get it. He'll go to a website. He'll be like, "Oh, yeah, that was for this job." He codes it, and then it gets into QuickBooks ... It's tracked. I have some sort of dashboard, and I [00:21:30] know it's been done [crosstalk]  Ariege Misherghi: You got it. Exactly.  Blake Oliver: So, when's this coming? Is this ... Ariege Misherghi: Yeah ... Well, everything that I've shared with you and the things that we're thinking about next, the way that we determine what is the order of those is to understand from the community what you wanna see next [crosstalk]  David Leary: Oh, so, our listeners, if they want this, you need to tweet at Ariege-  Ariege Misherghi: Yes, that's totally fine. The other way you could do it is in product. There's a feedback link on every single page that we build for experts, and we read every single response. I [00:22:00] start and end every day ... Actually, I was just reading them this morning, and we got a ton just because of QuickBooks Connect. Any submission we get really helps us determine what do we do ... In aggregate, we look at those, and we figure out what's the right next thing for us to do? So, if this is a problem and you have it, tweet me - @Ariegem, or you're very welcome to just submit a feedback link through the product. Blake Oliver: Before we go, Ariege, how did you end up at Intuit? You've been there for a long time, right?  [00:22:30] Ariege Misherghi: I have, yeah.  Blake Oliver: How did you start there? Ariege Misherghi: It's kind of a funky journey. I studied computer science in school, but I had this internship, and I just realized ... This is like the early 2000s, so the work of an engineer is so different than it was, at least at that time. My experience as an engineer at this little startup was that we didn't have much control over what we got done, and that wasn't what I wanted to do. I would like to have a say in [00:23:00] the work that actually happens. I thought, okay, well, maybe engineering isn't for me. I just didn't have the network at the time, I think, to even understand that there were potentially other scopes for engineering roles. So, I thought, okay, let me do something different. But I was in a position where I needed to work, and actually, the first job out of college was a customer-support job at a startup at a payroll company called PayCycle. I started at that company, and I loved it. I absolutely loved it. I loved it because the people were awesome. But more than that, I loved [00:23:30] it because the satisfaction you get at the end of the day from answering a call ... you know, your payroll calls can be really intense ... You get a paycheck that- you need that for your mortgage- David Leary: Yeah, I did tech support for payroll, my first four years at Intuit [crosstalk]  Ariege Misherghi: You did tech support? Rock on! [crosstalk] QuickBooks Desktop?  David Leary: QuickBooks Desktop-  Blake Oliver: Also, quality assurance, as well, right?  David Leary: -I got into quality assurance, eventually, but yeah, definitely, I took my fair share of "Why is line X wrong on my 941?"  Ariege Misherghi: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. [00:24:00] I was taking calls for customer service, really shortly after I started there; like, "Hey, this woman seems to know what she's talking about. Let's put her on the Accountant line," which was very intense. Actually, some of the first customers that I served were accounting professionals, which was really neat. That startup actually ended up getting bought by Intuit, and it's what's now Intuit Online Payroll. Yeah ... Blake Oliver: So, Ariege, if people want to connect with you online, find out what you're up to, what's the best way for them to do that? Ariege Misherghi: Yeah, you're welcome to reach me at Twitter. My handle's @Ariegem. Would [00:24:30] absolutely love to connect with people. Blake Oliver: Wonderful, and as always, I am @BlakeTOliver, and how about you, David? David Leary: I'm @DavidLeary. Blake Oliver: Ariege, thank you so much for your time today. This was really a pleasure. What a great event you all put on here at Intuit. Great-  Ariege Misherghi: Well, thank you. Blake Oliver: Thanks for having us.  Ariege Misherghi: Oh, this is wonderful-  David Leary: Thank you so much. 
  7. SponsorsIntuit QuickBooks https://cloudaccountingpodcast.promo/quickbooks Show Notes 01:20 – Meet Ted!   02:59 – Ted talks about Intuit's impetus behind moving into the service game 03:28 – Confidence is key!  Most of the small businesses without an accountant or bookkeeper lack the confidence to reach out for help 04:42 – While QuickBooks Live and TurboTax Live share similar tech, their services are very different 06:04 – QuickBooks Live is only available, currently, in the U.S., and all Live bookkeepers reside in the U.S.  07:03 – Ted shares some of the requirements for becoming a QuickBooks Live bookkeeper 08:01 – The gentleman talk QBO Accountants Edition, and some of the new feature roll-outs, such as the Optimization Center 09:42 – Intuit sees a huge opportunity to capture those small businesses that are, so far, sans accountant 11:11 – What's the real scope of the QuickBooks Live offering?  13:42 – What differentiates the different price points in QuickBooks Live?  14:38 – Intuit is solving for both sides of the market - small biz and accounting professional 15:38 – A bit of discussion on the different ProAdvisor buckets and how QuickBooks Live will affect them 16:39 – What do you tell a ProAdvisor who loses a client to QuickBooks Live?  17:46 – Take a load off, Annie - QuickBooks Live plays a key role in the advisory vision - by transferring lesser-value work  to QB Live, so accountants and bookkeepers can focus on advising and other value-add services 18:28 – Intuit needs to establish clear guidelines around relationships to solve for the needs of the customers and accounting partners 19:43 – Is there a grand convergence of all the Intuit offerings on the horizon?  20:29 – Who's in charge of ensuring the delivery QuickBooks Live services meet's Intuit's WOW factor?   21:49 – What's next on the agenda, for Ted, and QuickBooks Live?  Connect with Ted Ted Callahan, Director, QuickBooks Live Offering, Intuit Twitter: https://twitter.com/asciv LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tedcallahan/ Get in TouchThanks for listening and for the great reviews! We appreciate you! Follow and tweet @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Find us on Facebook and, if you like what you hear, please do us a favor and write a review on iTunes, or Podchaser. Interested in sponsoring the Cloud Accounting Podcast? For details, read the prospectus, and NOW, you can see our smiling faces on Instagram!  Meet Blake and David in person! December 9-11: Digital CPA Conference in Seattle         Limited edition shirts, stickers, and other necessitiesTeePublic Store: http://cloudacctpod.link/merch  Subscribe Apple Podcasts: http://cloudacctpod.link/ApplePodcasts Spotify: http://cloudacctpod.link/Spotify Google Play: http://cloudacctpod.link/GooglePlay Stitcher: http://cloudacctpod.link/Stitcher Overcast: http://cloudacctpod.link/Overcast   Episode Art Photo Credit: Will Farnell https://twitter.com/willfarnell https://twitter.com/willfarnell/status/1191506218424176640/photo/1 Transcript This episode of The Cloud Accounting Podcast is sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks. Accounting professionals and bookkeepers have long been at the forefront of using cutting-edge technologies to take the profession to the next level and to ensure they're delivering the best possible service to their clients. Whether you want to grow your firm or sharpen your skills, Intuit QuickBooks provides you with the AI-driven products, services, and the resources that you need to help all sides of your career take shape. To learn more about how QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Online Accountant, QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping, and the ProAdvisor program can help you grow your practice and scale your impact, head over to CloudAccountingPodcast.promo/quickbooks. That is Cloud Accounting Podcast dot promo forward slash Q-U-I-C-K-B-O-O-K-S. QuickBooks - Backing you.Ted Callahan: You want to have a person who really knows your business helping you do that, so you need to build a durable connection. Blake Oliver: Welcome to The Cloud Accounting Podcast. I'm Blake Oliver. David Leary: I'm David Leary. Ted Callahan: I'm Ted Callahan, the Director of the QuickBooks [00:01:00] Live Offering. David Leary: Ted, thanks for joining us. We're here at the last day of QuickBooks- not the last day, the end of the first day of QuickBooks Connect. It's getting a little late. Blake Oliver: We're gonna get this right at some point, right? David Leary: Yes, yes, yes, we will. By day three I will ... It's day one, and we're meeting you for the first time, and I think most of our listeners are meeting you for the first time. What's your background? How'd you get here? Ted Callahan: Sure. Yeah. I've been at Intuit a little over two-and-a-half years, joined their Self-Employed team. I know you guys have talked with the QuickBooks Self-Employed crew in [00:01:30] the past. I had a unique role where I was actually building a bridge across two different business units so that we could really have the TurboTax Self-Employed offering and the QuickBooks Self-Employed offering work together and build a flywheel from that accounting product into the tax product. David Leary: Interesting. Ted Callahan: Mm-hmm. David Leary: Good. Then you came over to the small business side, and it's all QuickBooks Live now? Ted Callahan: Yep, joined the QuickBooks Live team in May. David Leary: Got it-  Blake Oliver: I think the last time we talked about QuickBooks Live on the show, it was still in a development phase- Ted Callahan: That's right.  Blake Oliver: -it was not [00:02:00] live yet. Since then, it has expanded beyond the Boise office. I think, what, it was 10 bookkeepers to start - very trial phase? Ted Callahan: Right. We had a Boise bookkeeping lab, and we still do. We had a crew of bookkeepers there so that we could test and iterate really quickly, figuring out how exactly does this all work? Because, obviously, Intuit's traditionally been a software company, not a services company, and you've gotta really learn your way, end to end, how to operate that as a true business. [00:02:30] David Leary: Could we pause on that? Ted Callahan: Mm-hmm. David Leary: We were walking last night after dinner, and we were thinking about software companies getting into the service game, and it's hard, right? Then, also, just we started talking about margins. Traditionally, software companies are running 80-, 90-percent margins, and the WeWorks now, and you look at Ubers and Lyfts, these software companies, tech companies are trying to do the human element; their margins, they're running at 40-percent margins. Why would Intuit even do this, at some level, right? Ted Callahan: Yeah, it's [00:03:00] a great question. I had the same question when they came to me with the opportunity, to be candid. I think, fundamentally, it comes back to the process that we used to really understand what are the needs of our customers? When we talked to our small business customers, 60 percent are already connected to an accountant. I know Rich covered that when he was with you guys back in June. There's a whole other set, then, 40 percent - tough math - that aren't connected. When we talked to them, and we found out, "What are your biggest problems?"  It came down to they didn't have confidence [00:03:30] that they were keeping their books correctly, and they also weren't spending the time to maintain those books. It was a compounding problem - because they didn't have the confidence, they wouldn't dedicate the time, and you can see that just getting worse and worse.  Literally, when we're looking at some of these small business's books, they'll have over 800 unreconciled transactions. They'll have hundreds of duplicate transactions because they've implemented a third-party app incorrectly. They were really eager for us to help them solve those problems, but they didn't feel like they were ready to go [00:04:00] to the ProAdvisor Network and get the kind of help that we already offer through that platform today. David Leary: I could see how that's intimidating. If you haven't reconciled ever, and you're like, 'Oh, my God. This guy's just ..."  Blake Oliver: Maybe you've never had an accountant or a bookkeeper before, in your life, right? Ted Callahan: Right. Blake Oliver: That's where QuickBooks Online is different in that- or QuickBooks Online- QBO Live is different in that you can engage with a bookkeeper directly through the app, right? Ted Callahan: Exactly. Blake Oliver: It's video conferencing inside of QuickBooks. I've [00:04:30] used the TurboTax Live product. Did you use it too, David? David Leary: I paid for it and never used it [crosstalk] I sent a message and Claudell was not available, and I was very upset. Blake Oliver: We haven't gotten to try QuickBooks Live yet, but I assume it's like the same- is it the same tech? Ted Callahan: It's very similar tech. Yeah, I think the critical difference is TurboTax Live, they are transactionally helping a customer with a problem as you're going through a very linear flow of getting your taxes done. You've got a very clear goal - get that thing done. Bookkeeping is a different matter because it is every month, you've [00:05:00] gotta do it again, and again.  You wanna have a person who really knows your business helping you do that, so you need to build a durable connection. So, similar tech; fundamentally, same platform is the ultimate vision, but if you think about building that durable relationship between a team of bookkeepers and that small business entity, that requires some very real back-end lift. Blake Oliver: How does that work, then, given that it's not transactional? Am I assigned a single bookkeeper, or ...?  Ted Callahan: Yeah, it's a great question. [00:05:30] The way that it works is you're assigned a team of bookkeepers where you have one primary bookkeeper who's the lead. Their job is really understand your needs, then put together a personalized plan for your business, and then manage the team to make sure they deliver great product on time for that business. Then the team is there to support; provide greater depth expertise as needed; extra muscle in those clumpy seasons when more transactions come in, things like that. Blake Oliver: These Live bookkeepers are anywhere, [00:06:00] right? They can work remotely? Ted Callahan: That's correct. Yeah, that's a great question. Blake Oliver: Okay. United States? Globally? Ted Callahan: Right now, we're only in the United States, and all of the bookkeepers are in United States. It's a very common question we get from the small businesses. They say, "Wait a second. Is this gonna be a call-center experience?" We say, "Absolutely not. This is truly about providing expertise for your business, so in-market is important." David Leary: Where are you at in the size journey? Because, I think, early on, some of the projections- we were working backwards from that and like, "Oh, my gosh. Intuit's gonna be the 60th biggest accounting firm overnight." Are [00:06:30] you still ramping up? I forgot the numbers from before, it was thousands, right? You were gonna ramp up really quickly. Ted Callahan: There's all kinds of great projections, right? The great thing about a forecast is the only thing you know is that it's wrong. It's very early days, right? We're just announcing the service, so we're not providing any public figures. What I can say is that the demand continues to outpace supply, so we're constantly looking for more high-quality bookkeepers, and we can talk about their qualifications, as well. Blake Oliver: Yeah, so who can be a Live bookkeeper? [00:07:00] Ted Callahan: Yeah, great question. Blake Oliver: You did kinda tee that up for me, thank you.  Ted Callahan: I know. I was about to say that was a really nice segue [crosstalk] We just met each other, and we've already got that kind of vibe. We ask that they would ... A requirement is you've gotta be a certified ProAdvisor who's active. That means you're current on the latest QuickBooks Online set of features and capabilities. We also require at least a year of active service in that QuickBooks world, so that you have some real depth and content expertise. We also wanna make sure, from a background [00:07:30] perspective, that you either have a degree in accounting or finance or that you've been working as a bookkeeper for at least three or more years. That's because we know a lot of the great bookkeepers - my sister-in-law is actually one of these - haven't actually completed school, but they've developed a real practice and craft expertise that we want [inaudible]. Blake Oliver: I'm a CPA now, but I was a music major- Ted Callahan: Oh yeah? Blake Oliver: -and a bookkeeper for many years before I ever got my accounting, so I appreciate that because otherwise, you'd be kind of blocking people that are otherwise qualified, so [00:08:00] that's great. David Leary: There are some great announcements for the QuickBooks Online Accountants Edition today; great features were added in there, I'd argue. I'm wondering were those features already on the road map, are they being built, or is this because now that Intuit's truly a bookkeeper, is Intuit experiencing these pains, and finally, Intuit is adding real functionality? Those features that were added today were super-super-functional features that people need. Ted Callahan: Yeah. David Leary: Now that you're actually eating the dog food and going through the pains of running a bookkeeping practice, are we gonna see better and better features added to QuickBooks for everybody? [00:08:30] Ted Callahan: Yeah, it's a really insightful question. I certainly think when you really ... When you don't only eat the dog food, but you pay for the cost of the dog food, you look at that set of features that get prioritized probably in a different light. We've been working very closely with the accounting team to prioritize those common features and get them across the line when we didn't have enough resources on them. Blake Oliver: For context here, for our listeners who didn't get to go to the keynote, we were looking at- Ariege introduced the Optimization Center, which you [00:09:00] can actually see an efficiency score for each client based on how automated they are. I thought that was pretty cool; very useful for your Live team, as well, I imagine. David Leary: What I love about that is I see that score, this efficiency score, and you wanna get your clients 85 percent or higher to be efficient in scale. I could see internally that's another way Intuit could make QuickBooks Live work. You're gonna have to scale this massively at the Intuit scale level, right? Ted Callahan: Yeah. David Leary: What's great is I could see you guys using that internally, [00:09:30] but you put it in the product for everybody else, for all accountants and bookkeepers. Blake Oliver: That was a question we had, is would these Live tools for the Live team be available to all ProAdvisors? It seems like that's happening. Ted Callahan: Yeah, I think a key message that I've really been testing with all of the different conversations I've been having is that we fundamentally believe that this is a win-win because we're growing the market for services, right? We talk about out there in the wild, seven out of 10 small businesses aren't connected to an accountant.  That's an opportunity [00:10:00] for everybody that's here at this conference, from an accounting perspective. I think, again, that gap that we see where they say, "Hey, we're not quite ready," here's where we can step into that and help provide some transparency in the category of what is bookkeeping, how do I pay, and to have all of that transparency right up front is really clarifying, and I think will help grow that market. Blake Oliver: The two other major features that were announced were a Bookkeeping Review area where- almost like a checklist; "Here's everything that I need [00:10:30] to do," linked to certain areas of QuickBooks. "Here's what I need to close the books," basically.  Ted Callahan: Yep.  Blake Oliver: With a customizable aspect, too. I think that's neat in that firms will be able to, or individuals will be able to create a customized close checklist for each client. Then, the last one was the Business Performance Overview, like KPI charts ... Not a huge number, but all the really essential ones, right? That brings me to my [00:11:00] next question, which is what exactly is the Live offering going to encompass as a service offering? David Leary: Oh, like will Live eventually get into the advising game? Blake Oliver: Yeah, well ... Are they gonna take me through my KPIs? Are they gonna help me set them up? That's been a big question for us is what exactly is the scope of that $400 per month service? Because I, as a independent ProAdvisor, also offering similar services, I [00:11:30] need to price my services, so I kinda wanna know what is the QuickBooks Live ... What encompasses that? Ted Callahan: Yeah, that's a great question. I would say I'd break it out into three discrete pieces. The first is all around setup; getting that small business customer appropriately set up with their bank, their bank feeds, and their third-party apps which, again, is a place where we see folks can get really messed up.  Then, there's that core, I call, meat-and-potatoes bookkeeping work, which is the categorization of the expenses; the reconciliation of the transactions. Then, [00:12:00] also teaching the customer key workflows in the product. Because, again, my analogy for this is QuickBooks is a very powerful tool. Like a chainsaw, you can cut down a huge tree with it, or you could chop off your own arm if you don't know how to handle that thing. Teaching our small business customers how to use the product in the right way is a fundamental task that QuickBooks Live is providing, where the small business owners are getting a lot of value and, again, that's improving their confidence and their desire to actually engage in the product. Your last point on the personalized [00:12:30] reports, that's also a key part of the value delivery because this is all about giving a customer the insights so they can be managing their business better and then making those right decisions to grow their business. Blake Oliver: My QuickBooks Live bookkeeper would walk me through those reports every month? Ted Callahan: That's right. Yep. That's definitely part of the personalized plan. That's what they come up with of, "Hey, what do you need to be managing your business? Where are you?" One of our early customers was a surf shop in Hawaii. They had just gotten a bank loan, and the bank was requiring them to [00:13:00] be providing much more sophisticated reporting. So, they actually hired us to help them as they started scaling up their operations from one to three different places, including a coffee shop. We were very much a part of, "Help us deliver that monthly income statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flows to the bank, so the loan gets paid down appropriately." Blake Oliver: The price is $400 per month. Is that right? Ted Callahan: Oh, yeah. We've actually [crosstalk] we've rolled out three different price points now. Blake Oliver: Okay, because that's what I was wondering - how you could possibly [00:13:30] serve the wide variety of QuickBooks customers at one price point? Ted Callahan: Yeah. We now have a $200 offering a month, a $400 per month, and then a $600 per month offering. Blake Oliver: What differentiates those? Ted Callahan: It's all around the amount of expenses a small business has per month. If you have $0 to $25,000 a month in expenses, you'll be in the $200 skew. If you have greater than $150,000 a month, you'll be in the $600 skew. If you're in between $25,000 to $150,000 of expenses [00:14:00] a month, you'll be in that $400 price point. Blake Oliver: Gotcha.  David Leary: That's a good way to do it versus transaction volume. Ted Callahan: Mm-hmm. Blake Oliver: Yeah. Ted Callahan: Yeah. As you would imagine, we explored a lot of different ... The goal was how can we clearly communicate to a customer what to expect in a way that made sense and scaled with what we would need to be doing for them on the back end. David Leary: Now that QuickBooks Live is kinda ... You're advertising it. You're not running a Super Bowl ad yet, or anything crazy like that, but it's being advertised. It's out there. The covers are off. Is it bringing in new small businesses [00:14:30] to the QuickBooks family that just never approached it before or even new accountants and bookkeepers are joining QuickBooks Live that, maybe, the typical ProAdvisor fit wasn't for them ...? They don't have a firm, but they kinda wanna do bookkeeping. Ted Callahan: Yeah, great questions. It brings it back to that vision of solving for both sides of the market, right, both the small business and the accounting professional. On the small business side, the answer is it's both ... We see that 40 percent of our current customers who aren't attached to an accountant who said they need help, they're super-excited [00:15:00] about the service, and they're signing up for it in droves. Then also, like you said, there's a whole slew of customers out there who never considered QuickBooks because they viewed it as do-it-yourself accounting software. They said, "Hey, I don't wanna do my books. I want someone to do that with me," so we're testing into how do you communicate to that set of customers because that's a very different value proposition and, candidly, how- and marketing machine to go do that. That's on the small business side. On the ProAdvisor side, because we have that requirement of you've been active, and [00:15:30] you've been a ProAdvisor for over a year, I think it's exactly what you would expect on the ProAdvisor side, but maybe you had more behind the question. Happy to- David Leary: No, I'm just wondering if ... I feel like there's- you can kinda group some of the ProAdvisors in different buckets, right? I think you have some people that - they're value pricing, they have a niche practice; for them, they just look at QuickBooks Live as nothing. It's not gonna compete with them, et cetera. Then, I think, on the other end of the bell curve, you have ... You'll see it in these Facebook groups; there's people that are like, "How do I grow my bookkeeping practice? How do I get clients?" [00:16:00] Blake Oliver: "How do I get clients?"  David Leary: "How do I get clients? How do I market for ...?" Almost, their questions are like they don't really wanna run a bookkeeping firm, and I can see where they're big fans of QuickBooks Live because they're gonna be able to just do what they wanna do, which is just do bookkeeping for small businesses. They can work [from home]; they have lots of flexibility, et cetera.  I think that the people that I feel like are the most threatened I feel like are the people that are - they have a practice, and it's very similar to the offering QuickBooks Live has. I think those people feel the most threatened because they do have clients; they have a real business; they're past that "How do I get any clients" phase; but [00:16:30] they're also not in the new world of offering advising, and value-added services. I think those are the ones that have the biggest fears, the biggest threats, and the biggest concerns about QuickBooks Live. Where are those people gonna fit in? Blake Oliver: Yeah. What do you say to the ProAdvisor who loses a client to QuickBooks Live? Because it will inevitably happen. Ted Callahan: Yeah, I think ... All great questions. I think, fundamentally, what you guys are doing is you're segmenting the accounting market into these different groups. I would say, for the ProAdvisors that have their practice, they actually ... This has [00:17:00] been the surprise of the conference for me, personally; they're actually coming up saying, "I would love to partner with you and hand over my bookkeeping practice to you or at least a portion of it. Let's test into that." That's something that we were not prepared to have happen. Literally, I've got over a dozen business cards of different firms asking to do this. David Leary: It's good that you answered that because I actually have a question from a listener who is asking, "Do you plan on partnering with people ...? If I'm trying to grow my firm, how do I utilize QuickBooks Live to help me grow my firm?" Ted Callahan: Exactly. We [00:17:30] actually had two sessions today. We actually had to move to a larger room because there were so many people that were wanting to come learn more about it, which was great. Blake Oliver: I could hand off my lower-end work to QuickBooks Live, right, so that I can focus on the higher-level tax advisory. Ted Callahan: Exactly, all part of that advisory vision that we talk about. That's an important opportunity that we need to now say, "Okay, have we really earned the right to do that?" We'll figure that one out.  Blake Oliver: The demand is there, apparently. David Leary: How does that work? Because Rich Preece talked about it before about how Intuit's gonna own [00:18:00] the relationship with the small business owner, right? Ted Callahan: Mm-hmm. That was in that model of exactly how I've been articulating - small business customer saying they're not ready for an accountant. This is different. This is a small business customer who's made that choice, so that's a different world. David Leary: That's what I'm trying ... So, I work for an accounting firm, and I have some clients that I'm like, "Yeah, I need to ... I can't be doing the work for these clients until they get a little bigger, and I can provide some more value." So, they're gonna kick them to QuickBooks Live for a while, and then, how do they get  them back? Ted Callahan: Yeah, these are all things we need to go figure [00:18:30] out [crosstalk] As you would imagine, Intuit is a very principled company, and so we would establish a very clear set of principles of is this our customer relationship, or is this the accounting firm's customer relationship? Then, we would have to think through what are the different use cases and make sure we're solving each one appropriately, both for the needs of that small business customer and that accounting partner. David Leary: Because I could see a graduation here. Ted Callahan: Mm-hmm. You could even see it going back and forth, to your point, right? An accounting firm says, "Hey, not right for us. Send them into the QuickBooks Live offering." Then, because we know that when you [00:19:00] work with an accountant, you're more likely to be successful, they graduate; then we can hand them back would be the vision. But you can imagine the complexity of tracking and managing that through time. Blake Oliver: If anyone can do it, I think Intuit can figure it out. David Leary: If you can make it super-complicated, Intuit's gonna figure that out. Yes. Do you ever see a collision between ... You're starting to see a lot of companies now are doing this Software as a Service, or accounting firms are adding engineers. They're having a front-end software product. We've seen acquisitions of tax companies buying accounting software products.  Is there a collision course where there's gonna be an [00:19:30] offering like, "I'm a small business owner. I'm getting TurboTax. I'm getting QuickBooks. I'm getting a QuickBooks Live Bookkeeper. I'm getting a TurboTax Live Accountant all in one price point. I just get it all at once." Is this on a collision course, here? Ted Callahan: I mean, you could definitely make the case there's gonna be this grand convergence in the future. Where my head goes to is, have we earned the right to do that today? There's a lot of capabilities in QuickBooks that don't exist yet to have that seamless flow. On [00:20:00] the TurboTax side, they don't even have a business product, to my knowledge, that's online, so that's not where things are.  Then, I think, also, the concept of how do you communicate that credibly to a customer? You'd really have to think through - how do you position that? I think anytime we get those big, grand visions that we can all see, "Oh, this makes a lot of sense. Everyone will do this!" Then, you go, "How would you go tell somebody and convince them to buy that if they don't know you?" That bar gets really challenging, it turns out. David Leary: Makes sense. No, I think one of the questions [00:20:30] I have, talking to people, is oversight. Who's making sure the QuickBooks Live bookkeepers are doing their jobs correctly, and where's that oversight? Because, I mean, if you talk to ProAdvisors, in general, they'll get a client and they're like, "Oh, their last bookkeeper messed all their stuff up," right? How are you guys managing that? Ted Callahan: Absolutely. Yeah, no, it's a great question. A couple answers for that. First of all, we're absolutely managing that. We actually have four different roles on the back end of the experience of different bookkeepers, [00:21:00] based on their level of experience. We have everything from an associate bookkeeper all the way up to a senior bookkeeping expert and then, two in between that. That's at the front lines, and only that senior expert is the person who's doing the client-facing work. Then, above that, we actually have two layers of management watching over, where there's lots of support; where we answer questions, but we're also making sure, hey, there's a standard of bookkeeping we want to be practicing because, ultimately, the brand equity of Intuit, it [00:21:30] represents a lot of trust to these small business owners. We have to be delivering what we talk about as a consistent "wow" bookkeeping experience. David Leary: Yeah, I imagine it's ... QuickBooks Live is dead if it starts screwing up people's books [crosstalk]  Blake Oliver: QuickBooks Live is dead? Ted Callahan: Yeah, QuickBooks Live is dead. Blake Oliver: Long live QuickBooks Live? David Leary: That'll be the episode title. Ted Callahan: We can see that now. Blake Oliver: Ted, I got one last question for you, which is what is next for you and for QuickBooks Live? Ted Callahan: Yeah.  Good question. I would say it's all about earning the right for our customers [00:22:00] to do the job that we've set out to do and consistently finding new ways to delight them. Blake Oliver: Where can people find you online if they wanna connect with you or learn more about QuickBooks Live? Ted Callahan: Yep, so I'm on Twitter. I'm @asciv. Long story, won't explain ...  Blake Oliver: Well, we'll have to ...  Ted Callahan: Or you can find me on LinkedIn. Ted Callahan on LinkedIn. Blake Oliver: All right. We'll have to hit you up at the party and find out the story behind that [crosstalk]  David Leary: How do they get a hold of you, Blake? Blake Oliver: I am @BlakeTOliver, and you, David? David Leary: @DavidLeary. Blake Oliver: Hey, thanks for your time, Ted. This was great. Ted Callahan: Great to meet you guys. Thanks for your time.
  8. SponsorsIntuit QuickBooks https://cloudaccountingpodcast.promo/quickbooks Show Notes 01:35 – Let's meet The Canadians!  (Well, three of them, anyway …)  03:41 – Canada's no longer last in the lunch line with the increasing focus on QuickBooks Online 04:50 – Scott and Brad pontificate on  the new QBO statement-importing feature 06:27 – How do Canadians approach cloud accounting, and all the innovation that comes along with it?  08:13 – Along with faster adoption of new tech, Canadian app development is on the rise, and people seem to share a common passion and excitement, without a lot of drama, on the socials.  10:42 – With the Canadian government’s investment in functional, high-speed internet, clients being eternally bound to their desktop programs is more the exception than the norm  12:00 – Brad talks benefits of going full cloud 14:43 – Scott talks about some of the work Intuit’s Canadian branch is doing to solve for Canada-specific issues, such as tax and payroll 16:30 – Winter is coming, or you'll be coming to Winter is you visit QuickBooks Connect Toronto. Grab a toque, or a touque, or a tuque?    18:24 – While Canadian accountants are excited about new industry developments, they also know a good thing when they use it, and tend to stay loyal to a narrow collection of accounting tools 19:36 – Brad sees a sort of ‘take it or leave it’ attitude when it comes to dealing with U.S. accounting software developers. Some listen; some don’t.  21:50 – Cheryl notes that conferences, such as QuickBooks Connect, and Scaling New Heights are a prime method for discussion, learning, and developing partnerships that will lead to future opportunities Connect with Scott, Cheryl, and Brad Scott Zandbergen, Principal Marketing Manager and Accounting Community Advocate at Intuit Twitter: https://twitter.com/szandbergen LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/szandbergen/  Website: https://scottzandbergen.com/ Cheryl Manmohan, Senior Training & Education Program Manager at Intuit Twitter: https://twitter.com/cherylmanmohan LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cheryl-manmohan-ab70754/?originalSubdomain=ca Brad Celmainis, CPA and President of Brad Celmainis Accounting Solutions Twitter: https://twitter.com/BradCelmainis LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bradcelmainis/ Website: https://bradcelmainis.com/ Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/getintuit/?source_id=622030231160596 Learn more about QuickBooks Connect Toronto here: https://can.quickbooksconnect.com/?cid=SOC_CA_QBC_-NON_INT-QBC-CA-Blog-SponsorProfile Get in TouchThanks for listening and for the great reviews! We appreciate you! Follow and tweet @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Find us on Facebook and, if you like what you hear, please do us a favor and write a review on iTunes, or Podchaser. Interested in sponsoring the Cloud Accounting Podcast? For details, read the prospectus, and NOW, you can see our smiling faces on Instagram!  Meet Blake in person! December 9-11: Digital CPA Conference in Seattle         Limited edition shirts, stickers, and other necessitiesTeePublic Store: http://cloudacctpod.link/merch  Subscribe Apple Podcasts: http://cloudacctpod.link/ApplePodcasts Spotify: http://cloudacctpod.link/Spotify Google Play: http://cloudacctpod.link/GooglePlay Stitcher: http://cloudacctpod.link/Stitcher Overcast: http://cloudacctpod.link/Overcast   Episode Art Photo Credit: Will Farnell https://twitter.com/willfarnell https://twitter.com/willfarnell/status/1191506218424176640/photo/1 TranscriptThis episode of The Cloud Accounting Podcast is sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks. Accounting professionals and bookkeepers have long been at the forefront of using cutting-edge technologies to take the profession to the next level and to ensure they're delivering the best possible service to their clients. Whether you want to grow your firm or sharpen your skills, Intuit QuickBooks provides you with the AI-driven products, services, and the resources that you need to help all sides of your career take shape. To learn more about how QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Online Accountant, QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping, and the ProAdvisor program can help you grow your practice and scale your impact, head over to CloudAccountingPodcast.promo/quickbooks. That is Cloud Accounting Podcast dot promo forward slash Q-U-I-C-K-B-O-O-K-S. QuickBooks - Backing you.Scott Zandbergen: People are getting on to these communities. They learn more about it, so there's a lot of passion and excitement.  Blake Oliver: Welcome to The Cloud Accounting Podcast. I'm Blake Oliver. David Leary: I'm David Leary. Cheryl Manmohan: I'm Cheryl Manmohan.  Scott Zandbergen: I'm Scott Zandbergen.  [00:01:00] Brad Celmainis: And I'm Brad Celmainis. The Canadians: 😁 And we are the Canadians! David Leary: The Canadians. We are not in Canada, though. We're in San Jose for QuickBooks Connect 2019. This is day two. We just finished lunch. We're well-fed. I was looking at our podcast download numbers, and our second biggest audience is Canada. Scott Zandbergen: Go, Canada!  David Leary: So, podcasting's very big in Canada. Apparently, people really wanna listen to our show, and I was like, "I don't know really what's going on with QuickBooks in Canada right now," and I figured, let's bring [00:01:30] on some Canadians and figure this out. Do you each wanna just say what you do? Cheryl Manmohan: Sure. David Leary: You wanna start, Cheryl? Cheryl Manmohan: Yeah. I can kick that off. I manage the Education Program for accountants and bookkeepers, so I'm basically responsible for the certification and education of ProAdvisors across Canada. Scott Zandbergen: I'm Scott, and I'm kind of a community advocate guy. I work with the accounting and bookkeeping community across Canada. So, I get to go to a lot of the events, speak on lots of different stages, and share all of the good things that we are [00:02:00] working on at Intuit Canada for our ProAdvisors. Brad Celmainis: I'm Brad, and unlike these guys, I don't actually work for Intuit, but some people say I do, so it gets confusing at times. My business is Brad Celmainis Accounting Solutions in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I'm a ProAdvisor, but unlike every other ProAdvisor out there, I don't do compliance work, tax work. I like the consulting- the operational applications of the software. Blake Oliver: From where I sit, in Los Angeles, [00:02:30] you definitely seem to be a very visible ProAdvisor. Brad Celmainis: Yeah, I got the social side down pretty good.  Blake Oliver: Yeah, you got that down pretty well. Awesome.  David Leary: At previous QuickBooks Connects, the Canadians come out with the power. They travel all the way to San Jose. Is it because of the weather? They're like, "We're out, and hey, it's beautiful in San Jose, right now ..."?  Blake Oliver: Yeah ...  Cheryl Manmohan: So, it's currently snowing in Toronto, Ontario-  Brad Celmainis: Calgary's got snow on the ground, too.  Scott Zandbergen: You know what? We're actually super-happy. We have about a hundred Canadian ProAdvisors that made the trip down this year. So, we held a nice event for them last night. A place called District; had a little soiree; it [00:03:00] was a lot of fun. David Leary: There was a special party just for Canadians [crosstalk]  Scott Zandbergen: Just for Canadians, yeah, yeah ...  Blake Oliver: How do I get into that? David Leary: How do we get into that one?  Scott Zandbergen: I'm sorry, but you guys weren't invited. Cheryl Manmohan: That's the first sorry. Are we counting the sorries on this episode? Blake Oliver: Ding!  David Leary: Is that a Canadian thing to say sorry a lot?  Brad Celmainis: Yes.  Scott Zandbergen: I apologize [crosstalk]  Brad Celmainis: -we like to say "Eh?" Cheryl Manmohan: We apologize ...  Brad Celmainis: C-A-N-A-D-EH? That's how you spell Canada, right?  David Leary: So, what's going on with QuickBooks in Canada? I know it exists. Previously, in the old Desktop days, Canada was always three years behind. It was a separate branch ... A feature would come in QuickBooks Desktop, and then, three years later, Canada [00:03:30] would get it. But now, with QuickBooks Online, it's the same code base, right?  Scott Zandbergen: Yeah.  David Leary: What's the differences in QuickBooks? Are there special things bookkeepers have to deal with in Canada? What's the scene up there? Scott Zandbergen: Well, I'll start on that one. My history, I used to be on the product side for QBO in Canada ... Yeah, it's very different in the online world because it is one code base. There's something that we call feature flags, or country flags in the products, so many times, a feature will get deployed globally all at the same time, or across the [00:04:00] world, which is really awesome because Canadians are always accustomed to having to wait three years for some new feature or something like that.  Now, we are pretty much on par with all the great things coming out and, in some cases, we've had access to the new capabilities because we're testing new features in Canada before they roll out across the globe. Statement import would be an example of that, that we have in Canada already that is nowhere else. David Leary: I heard yesterday- I think the stat was on statement import ... In Canada, 85 percent of all [00:04:30] available banks, or bank statements for the [inaudible] can be downloaded because I think Canada just has a limited number of banks, so it's easier to do that [crosstalk] but that's pretty good. Nobody's close to that in the U.S., unless you put all your clients on the one bank ...  Cheryl Manmohan: Which everybody will do. Blake Oliver: Because they listen to us ... Cheryl Manmohan: That's right. Blake Oliver: Right. David Leary: I'm sorry ... Sorry, I interrupted about the statement importer. Continue on.  Scott Zandbergen: No, it's probably one of the most- features that people are really looking forward to, at least in Canada. Based on the reaction from the main stage, yesterday, when Ariege talked about it, clearly, [00:05:00] everybody here wants it, as well. In fact, I got kind of bugged at lunch just now by sitting across from somebody from San Diego. She was asking, "Why did the Canadians get that feature and we didn't get it?" I'm like, "We're Canadian. I'm sorry ..." [crosstalk]  Brad Celmainis: -yeah, there's definitely an envy. I've talked to some people, as well, and they're like - this morning, down in the Society of ProAdvisors - "You're Canadian. Tell us about this." I don't actually have access to it because I wasn't on the beta, and I deal with the only bank in [00:05:30] the country that isn't on board with it yet, which kinda disappointed me, but I've watched it in action. It is super-cool.  People are gonna love it. I think they're just gonna have to realize that the bugs and everything, they gotta get them out. They really dialed it in, though. From what I'm hearing, it works almost perfectly [crosstalk] deal with the breakdowns, right? They don't wanna deal with that because that's what's happening with the existing tools out there is they don't stay connected. I don't think that's the case. Is that correct, Scott? Scott Zandbergen: From what we're seeing so far, yes. [00:06:00] We've also had this in beta, in Canada, for, I don't know ... It feels like six months- Brad Celmainis: Well, since the last QuickBooks [crosstalk]  Scott Zandbergen: Okay, so even longer. The feedback from the limited group that was using it was they were really blown away with the way it was fully integrated into the Reconcile screens, and the connection seemed really, really solid. So, yeah, now that it's starting to roll out holistically, I think it's gonna be a pretty popular feature. Blake Oliver: So, broadening the discussion, not just [00:06:30] QuickBooks, but cloud accounting, in general, how is the world of cloud accounting in Canada different than it is here in the United States? What are the big differences? David Leary: It's colder ... Cheryl Manmohan: I had an interesting conversation with one of our national sales team members, and he was saying that one of the things he's noticed is the adoption is much quicker in Canada, amongst the larger firms, than it is in the U.S.. Is that true? I don't know. Blake Oliver: I don't know. It's possible.  Cheryl Manmohan: That's what we're hearing. [00:07:00] Blake Oliver: Interesting.  Cheryl Manmohan: We're hearing that Canada, the larger firms are more ready than they are in the U.S.. Have you heard that, Scott? Did I make that up?  Scott Zandbergen: I think you made that up, but we'll go with it-  Cheryl Manmohan: Do you think that was after a couple of beers last night that somebody said that?  Scott Zandbergen: Yeah, I wasn't part of that conversation, but [crosstalk]  Blake Oliver: We report false information all the time on this podcast, so ...  Cheryl Manmohan: Well, in that case ...  Brad Celmainis: Well, it seems that there's a lot more talk about it in our communities in Canada because they're smaller. It's kinda like it's really getting out there. Now, official [00:07:30] adoption rates- I keep hearing there's 20 to 25 percent. Blake Oliver: Yeah.  Brad Celmainis: I don't know how that compares with the U.S., or the UK, or Australia, but it does seem we talk about it a lot, and people are getting on to these communities, and they learn more about it, so there's a lot of passion and excitement about it. I think that's why people come down here. We've got the great QuickBooks Connect in Toronto, but Canada's a massive country, so you're getting ... A lot of the people that are down here right now are coming down from British Columbia, which is [00:08:00] due north - short flight. I'm two hours from San Francisco. I think that's why people wanna be a part of this technological revolution. It just seems that we talk about it a lot.  Blake Oliver: Yeah.  Brad Celmainis: I spend a lot of time in the U.S. social media groups, as well. I just find the vibe is different. We have a lot more passion in our forums. There's a lot more interest in getting better, and because we're so polite, [00:08:30] we don't complain as much ... So, I like the vibe on our groups. I may be biased. Scott Zandbergen: I would say there's a strong sense of a tribe, like community in Canada [crosstalk]  David Leary: Yes, I have observed that.  Scott Zandbergen: -and that's certainly all grounded around cloud accounting. The other point I was gonna make around Canada being- I don't know if it's unique, but we certainly see a lot of app development happening out of Canada, which has really cropped up since [crosstalk]  Blake Oliver: Yeah, a ton of startups, recently-  David Leary: -process is hot ... Process is really hot. Scott Zandbergen: Yep.  Cheryl Manmohan: Vancouver, and Calgary seem to have a lot of that [crosstalk] Brad Celmainis: -in Calgary, we have CHATA. We have ... I'm trying to think ... Helm [crosstalk] Helm is here.   [00:09:00] Scott Zandbergen: Helm. Dryrun.  Brad Celmainis: Dryrun ... Well, they're in Edmonton, but yeah, it is big everywhere, and these accounting apps are popping up. I know of more in the works, as well. So, I think it's, disproportionately, we're lower in a lot of things, but it just seems more visible. David Leary: I can definitely see how they ... You talk about the tribe ... Because I think if you are an accountant or bookkeeper in Canada, you get to bond with other accountants and bookkeepers; you get to bond over QuickBooks if you love QuickBooks and all these apps. But then because you're Canadian, [00:09:30] you get to bond, as well. I think, here in The States, no accountants and bookkeepers are bonding, like, "We're Americans!!"  Brad Celmainis: Yeah, true ...  David Leary: Nobody's doing that, right? So, there's one less layer of bonding, and you can see that and feel it through the Facebook groups. It's just really ... Nobody brings U.S. flags to a conference and waves them around because there's a Canadian onstage. Cheryl Manmohan: Right.  David Leary: But the Canadians do that. Scott Zandbergen: We saw that. Yes, that's right [crosstalk]  Brad Celmainis: -of course, Firm of the Future, the last two champions were from Canada, and they're not doing that anymore, so we are the- David Leary: That's because Canada was hogging [crosstalk]  [00:10:00] Brad Celmainis: -champions, forever.  David Leary: They had to kill the whole contest [crosstalk] Canadians were getting it.  Brad Celmainis: Yeah, we're never gonna win again, so we have to have a different competition. Blake Oliver: So, we had a listener from, I think it was Iowa, mentioned that, "Cloud is great and everything, and I love listening to the podcast, and I wanna do everything, but a lot of the time, I can't because my customers do not have reliable broadband-internet access," which is still a problem in much of the United States. I'm wondering if you- Cheryl Manmohan: Really?  Blake Oliver: Yeah. Outside [00:10:30] of major cities ... Is that an issue in Canada at all, or is there [crosstalk] Cheryl Manmohan: I haven't heard it. Scott Zandbergen: I forget the stat, but it's some crazy-high percentage of Canadians that live- hug the American border, in the major centers. Blake Oliver: Okay.  Scott Zandbergen: So, that's obviously where we do most of our business, I would say. But, I think there's less populous areas where we do fine. The Canadian government has been investing in broadband internet, and things like that, and have a commitment to get high speed to every Canadian, but I think you'll certainly still find pockets where [00:11:00] that is problematic, yep.  Brad Celmainis: It's pretty rare, though. Like with my clients, I had some that live out in acreages and that, and they go out and buy their broadband, so they're guaranteed it. I don't really think of it as much of an issue anymore [crosstalk] because it doesn't come up very often. It used to be THE issue - if I don't have internet, I can't use cloud. I had clients, two, three years ago, that was an issue. They got to go on Desktop because of it. I don't have that conversation anymore, including rural clients. David Leary: I always [00:11:30] find that a funny argument, too, because the people posting that, they're posting on Facebook. I'm like, "Obviously,  you have connections! How is this possible!" Brad Celmainis: Yeah, exactly.  David Leary: I'm not buying into the whole, "I don't have connections ..."  Blake Oliver: Well, it's one thing to go on Facebook, on your phone, and post something, but then to have the connection to ... I think the problem is the speed of loading pages [crosstalk]  Cheryl Manmohan: Yeah, it's the reliability.  Blake Oliver: -it's very frustrating to be able to have that instant satisfaction of entering a transaction in a Desktop app and then have to wait for a page to refresh- Cheryl Manmohan: Yeah, and watch the wheel spin- Blake Oliver: -and watch the wheel spin- David Leary: It affects productivity. Blake Oliver: Yeah, definitely. [00:12:00] David Leary: Obviously, Brad, you're all in on cloud, pretty much. What's been the big benefit to you in your business when you did go full-blown cloud? Brad Celmainis: It was just the ability to not have to deal with the IT infrastructure of my clients. Having to get VPN access, and the password, and it works sometimes. I don't like that part of the job. I had Desktop clients, that was the only way to get to them, or to travel to their destination. I don't like doing that. I really like [00:12:30] the ability to serve my clients wherever I am and have them all in one place; easily jump back and forth between the files, and, of course, the back-up, and keeping the file from getting corrupt. You don't have to worry about that anymore. So, I don't miss that part of it. I mean, I still do some Desktop support, but I tend to be very selective who I'm gonna take in, in that area. I take higher-quality clients. The big one is, in Desktop, people call you up and say, "Inventory [00:13:00] broken, please fix." It's like, I don't think I want to because inventory gets broken in Desktop because it wasn't set up correctly. They do it wrong for four or five years. Someone does an adjustment; they make it worse. I dread those, so I won't do clean up and stuff like that.  It really is, on the cloud side, it just makes my life easier; it allows me to stay focused on the type of client I'm looking for. I love being able to serve them wherever they are. I give them incentive to use my online access. I charge [00:13:30] extra. If you want me to come to your office, I will charge travel, charge mileage. It's really allowed me to just stay focused on that tight leash and be super-passionate about the brand. I had a potential client recently, and he's on Desktop. I said, "Why are you on Desktop?" He gave me his reasons; I didn't really buy it, so I came back with my natural response, and he goes, "I sort of expected you to come back with a marketing message." I said, "Marketing message? No, [00:14:00] it's not. That's just reality. You don't wanna be left behind. Why not future-proof your business?" That wasn't enough for him. He said, "Well, thanks, but no thanks. I'm fine."  I stay pretty focused, and because I'm in the community and listening to the messages from you guys on the podcast; I know Intuit Canada very well; I can stay on point. It helps me sell benefits of being in the cloud. It's just easier. Desktop, I tend to avoid the discussion. David Leary: Scott, how does Intuit and QuickBooks solve all the regional-type [00:14:30] things, like sales tax, or back tax being calculated, or payroll? I mean because there's ... That won't work, if QuickBooks Payroll for the U.S. just can't do it with a bunch of other countries, so how do I payroll if I'm in Canada? Scott Zandbergen: Yeah. Many people may not realize, but we have our own development teams that are Canadian-specific. In Edmonton, Alberta, we have, I don't know ... There's probably 200 people that work out of that office or something like that, now; the majority of the staff there are engineers, so [00:15:00] they do development. We have a portion of them that are just meant for doing localization work. Sales tax and payroll are two great examples of where we can't just take what's coming out of Mountain View from the QBO team and then just roll it out in Canada. We have to do localization. The last couple years, we've been doing a full-on overhaul of the Sales Tax Center in QBO and been rolling that out; great feedback. The other one- well, I definitely would plug the work that's going on for Payroll because, for anybody [00:15:30] in the QBO world, has known that the Canadian Payroll module has been a little bit unloved for a number of years, right? Brad Celmainis: Understatement ...  Scott Zandbergen: I'm putting it lightly, yeah ... But, in last, I'm gonna say, 18 months or so, they've really been doubling down. Put three new engineering teams in Edmonton that are just focused only on Canadian Payroll, and they're just knocking features outta the park, right now. If you wanna keep your eye on what's going on in the payroll space, I think QBO Payroll, Canadian Payroll is gonna be a force to be reckoned [00:16:00] with in the coming months and years, yeah.  David Leary: Wow! The gauntlet's been dropped! Scott Zandbergen: Boom!  Cheryl Manmohan: Can I make a plug for one of our exciting QBC sessions? We have a Payroll session this year to talk about- David Leary: At QuickBooks Connect in Toronto? Cheryl Manmohan: That's right. David Leary: What is this event? When's this happening? Blake Oliver: How do we get- how do we get there? David Leary: Can I bring a bunch of USA people there? Could we have a USA party when we go there [crosstalk]  Brad Celmainis: Only if you bring flags. Cheryl Manmohan: Yeah.  Blake Oliver: What time of year is it, in Toronto? Cheryl Manmohan: It will be in the dead of winter, and- Blake Oliver: Okay ... Well, you're always in a conference hall, anyway, so ...  David Leary: Winter is coming. Is that the theme?  Scott Zandbergen: Winter [00:16:30] is coming. Cheryl Manmohan: Winter is coming, yep. Bring your touque. What do we call them down here? Scott Zandbergen: Beanies [crosstalk]  Blake Oliver: -a touque is a beanie?  Cheryl Manmohan: A touque is a beanie. We'll get you some- we'll get you a translation tool for that.  Blake Oliver: Okay, got it!  Cheryl Manmohan: Yeah, December 9th to 11th, we've got QuickBooks Connect coming up. Scott, what do we got going on? We've got, from my perspective ... So, I'm responsible for the accountant and bookkeeper sessions. We've got 33 sessions going on this year, which is up from 24 last year. So, we've got a ton more [00:17:00] accountant content. We've got meetups going on. We've got ... You've been talking about hearing about brain dates down here. The one-on-one stuff. So, we've got that, as well. Scott Zandbergen: I would also say we're on our fifth year of having a QBC, although it's been- it was rebranded a couple times. We used to call it Intuit Thrive for the first couple of years. Now, we're on year three or so of QuickBooks Connect. It's essentially a smaller version of what we're at right now, in San Jose. We will have somewhere [00:17:30] between 1,500 and 2,000, which is pretty good. Blake Oliver: That's not too small [crosstalk]  Cheryl Manmohan: -it's respectable for a small country like ours. Scott Zandbergen: I think we're punching above our weight class, to be honest ...  Blake Oliver: Do you have app sponsors, as well [crosstalk]  Scott Zandbergen: App sponsors, yep. We've got an exhibit hall; somewhere around 50 sponsors-  David Leary: Do you get Canadian celebrities? Cheryl Manmohan: We do. Can we tell you who's gonna be there?  David Leary: Yes, who's gonna be there?  Cheryl Manmohan: Are you guys into space? Blake Oliver: Yeah, who is it?  Cheryl Manmohan: Our most famous, or our second-most famous Canadian astronaut's gonna be one of our keynote speakers. Does anybody know who he is? [00:18:00] Mr. Chris Hadfield. Blake Oliver: Oh, wow!  Cheryl Manmohan: Colonel Chris Hadfield- Blake Oliver: Colonel Chris Hadfield ...  Cheryl Manmohan: He's gonna be there.  Brad Celmainis: He is awesome!  Blake Oliver: That's great. Cheryl Manmohan: We've got him. We've got a couple of the speakers we're seeing here are gonna be up north, as well. We got them some toques, and they said they'd join us [crosstalk]  David Leary: -warm up there.  Blake Oliver: Who are the big app marketplace partners in Canada? Is it the same mix that we see here, or is it a different shift? Brad Celmainis: I think it's more tightly focused. There's this tech stack in Canada that people seem to use over and [00:18:30] over again. You got the three accounting tools. Of course, Hubdoc, Canadian company. Technically, I guess it still is - based in Toronto. A lot of loyalty because it's a Canadian brand. Receipt Bank is a very common tool and, of course, AutoEntry is very popular there. That's it.  So, those are the three tools that- you use one or the other. We have payment tools that are very specific to our marketplace, like Pluto, WayPay ... Those are really popular. You just don't see as [00:19:00] many of the different apps that are down here, because some of them may not even work in the marketplace. It is definitely a tighter tech stack, I think. David Leary: Can I build off of that question? Brad Celmainis: Absolutely. David Leary: It's my experience, I've seen a lot - when I was had the apps team at Inuit - a lot of people would try an app ... They would try it out, and they're like, "Oh, my God, this'd be awesome!" Then they find out it doesn't do something that candidate needs. Brad Celmainis: Usually tax.  David Leary: What's your message to app developers? Brad Celmainis: Queue it! David Leary: Are they ignoring the Canadian market? Are they missing the Canadian market? Is the Canadian market just hard to deal with? [00:19:30] What's your message - you have this free platform here to deliver - to these app developers that are ignoring Canada? Brad Celmainis: My impression has always been that some will take it seriously, when you ask, and to some, it doesn't even matter. They'll say, "Well, I don't see why it wouldn't work," and you try it out ... It's when that tax component comes in because we have a national sales tax. So, you pay it no matter where you are, and that's important [crosstalk]  Blake Oliver: So, one sales tax jurisdiction to deal with? Brad Celmainis: Well, there's one across Canada [crosstalk]  Scott Zandbergen: and there's provincial [crosstalk]  [00:20:00] Blake Oliver: But not like the 20,000 or something [crosstalk]  Brad Celmainis: Like you have in New York City, where you have 18 taxes on your bill [crosstalk] That's the big one, but if you do talk to the app partners, and I'm gonna applaud LOCATE Inventory [crosstalk]  Blake Oliver: I was gonna ask you what you do for inventory. Brad Celmainis: Well, tools like SOS are really popular because there's a lot thrown into that tool, but LOCATE has been listening because their tool has a really ... It's that mid-market niche ... Now, you can take QBO, throw a tool like LOCATE [00:20:30] at it and punch outside your weight class for sure. Blake Oliver: This is what David talks about all the time. It's like QBO plus add-ons becomes ERP, or mid-market. Brad Celmainis: Yes. That's where they're focused, but they don't have the GST piece. Some of our ... I'll mention Sherri-Lee Mathers, a friend of all of ours ... She has been working with them to get the GST done, and they're really close. I think they're gonna announce it fairly soon. Then, we've got the access to those tools. Some listen; some don't.  Scott Zandbergen: What I think, too, is every [00:21:00] time this conference happens down here and there's a lot of these app partners. I don't know how many are here. You probably [crosstalk]. David Leary: I counted. It's about 109.  Scott Zandbergen: What happens is always a flurry of activity that happens post-QBC because a lot of them are having conversations with 100 very passionate ProAdvisors from Canada that are here, and they're putting pressure on, and they're asking, like, "This is exactly what we need in our market." So, I think you'll always get a few app partners afterwards that will start to at least explore that as an option, right? Because, up until this point, some of them are [00:21:30] not even thinking Canada. Brad Celmainis: That's a great point, because at Scaling New Heights in June, that's where the LOCATE thing started. Sherri talked to them, and they said, "Yeah, we we'd like to do it." I don't think ... At the end of the day, why not give it a shot, in some cases? I think it depends on the size of the app and how much resources they have to devote to it. Cheryl Manmohan: Then, I think if there's the opportunity for the app partners to connect with folks like you who are on the Canadian side to discuss things like the compliance that they need to learn about, [00:22:00] then once you form that partnership, then I think it creates better opportunities. David Leary: Got it. So, I think we're running out of time here. We're gonna have to wrap up soon. Before I have everybody tell us how to connect with you guys individually, if people are interested in QB Connect Toronto, how do they find out about that? Scott Zandbergen: Go to Google; type in "QuickBooks Connect Toronto." Cheryl Manmohan: December 9th to 11th. Don't miss it!  David Leary: Okay. Cheryl, if people want to get a hold of you, how would they do that? Cheryl Manmohan: You can find me on Twitter, or you can find me on Facebook, as @CManmohan for Twitter. [00:22:30] David Leary: And Scott, how about you? Scott Zandbergen: Same. Twitter. Email me. Put it in the show notes, I guess, right? Blake Oliver: What's your Twitter handle? Scott Zandbergen: @SZandbergen.  Brad Celmainis: With me, Twitter, as everyone knows, I'm @BradCelmainis, and Facebook, very visible there, as well [crosstalk]  David Leary: Don't you have a group? A Facebook group [crosstalk]  Brad Celmainis: -we also have a called "Get Intuit." You just type in "Get Intuit." We're really focused on the Canadian brand ... David Leary: And Blake?  Blake Oliver: You can find me, as always, on Twitter. I'm @BlakeTOliver. And how about you, David? David Leary: I'm @DavidLeary on Twitter. Blake Oliver: Thank you all so much. Brad Celmainis: Thanks [00:23:00] for having us. That was a lotta fun [crosstalk]  David Leary: Awesome. Have a great rest of the conference- Blake Oliver: Thank you! Have a great rest of your conference. 

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