Reconciled CEO Michael Ly has attended QuickBooks Connect for the last several years. This past November, as a Global Firm of the Future Finalist, he brought along some of the Reconciled team as well as a representative from one of Reconciled’s clients.
While Reconciled did not win Global Firm of the Future (Congratulations to Cloud Bookkeeping Services!), the experience was enlightening for the team. It provided opportunities to learn, to be inspired, and to recognize all that we’ve achieved.
Becoming a leader brings perks and responsibilities
“The cloud accounting industry is growing and changing very fast. Since I first attended QB Connect four years ago, Reconciled has become an industry leader,” says Ly. “Intuit has done a great job at making QB Connect a perfect way for someone starting to set themselves up for success.”
“We’re ahead of the curve in a lot of ways,” says Emily McMahon, a marketing consultant that works with Reconciled. “And that brings a real responsibility to keep delivering to our clients and offering not just bookkeeping but advice on how to leverage the best tools.”
Alex Stark is co-founder and COO of Reconciled client Ogee, a luxury organic skincare line. He attended QB Connect alongside Reconciled as a QuickBooks Global Firm of the Future Finalist. “I felt really good that we’re working with Reconciled because I saw Michael constantly engaging with other people in the industry that are always trying to innovate,” says Stark. And in looking at the vendors there, “we saw that Reconciled has really found the best tech for us to integrate with.”
Business challenges remain
“The issues that accounting firms were dealing with four years ago are the same issues they’re dealing with today,” says Ly. “It’s still about keeping great employees, hiring millennials, improving your workflow, promoting your business — just with newer tools.”
Reassurance is helpful
Sometimes it’s useful not just to be inspired to change or grow. But, to be reminded to appreciate the change and growth you’ve already made. At the female entrepreneur’s panel, Petra Newara, a senior accountant with Reconciled, resonated with the recommendations from the panelist. Not because they were suggesting things she needed to do, but because they confirmed that the things she’s doing now are exactly the types of things that successful women everywhere are doing to get ahead.
She’s taking breaks to exercise and creating a schedule that works for her family. Which might mean leaving the office to go to the kids’ soccer game and then working in the evening.
Erin Byerly, Reconciled’s Accounting and Operations Manager, had the same experience on the other end of the spectrum. She left a presentation on client onboarding feeling reassured that it’s a tricky issue for everyone. Erin also left with some great ideas to implement once she got back to the office. She put them in place right away, and they’ve already helped streamline the process.
In-person connections are invaluable
Everyone on the Reconciled team appreciated the opportunity to meet business partners that they work with regularly but not in person. “The personal touch is irreplaceable. We’re all still human even in our integrated world,” says Newara.
We had a quick side meeting with our new rep from Receipt Bank,” says Erin Byerly, Reconciled’s Accounting and Operations Manager. She and Newara shared some of the ways Receipt Bank could help them better utilize the platform. “It was super productive,” says Byerly. “Getting that facetime can be really hard, so connecting with several different vendors at the conference was incredibly useful. We’re already seeing changes based on the meeting.”
Ly attended Bob Wang’s session on scaling your firm from 0 to 100 clients. While Reconciled has surpassed that benchmark, Ly saw Wang’s advice as a good reminder that not only do you need to clearly articulate your vision of what you want to build, you need to communicate that regularly and clearly to your team.
Bringing employees into the fold improves productivity
Stark took to heart a recommendation made by Dylan Lauren of Dylan’s Candy Bar, Simon Enever of Quip, and Jamie Siminoff of Ring at one of the mainstage panels. The heads of each of those companies share their finances with their employees. It helps their team understand the reasons behind what they’re doing.
Ogee implemented the idea after their last quarterly board meeting. They share the presentation they gave to the board with their employees. It’s already helped allow their team to understand why seeing just revenue numbers doesn’t always give the full picture.
Inspiration has real value
Everyone who attended from the Reconciled and Ogee teams felt energized by the conference, and they’ve brought that energy back to their desks.
“The keynotes were awesome,” says Byerly. To hear from these successful people about how they’ve overcome adversity — some of the members on our team that we’re trying to bring up into management positions would really benefit from the feeling there.”
McMahon says, “Seeing how QuickBooks has built and is leveraging this huge ecosystem was really inspiring.”
“It was really inspiring to see so many people there from other countries. Cloud accounting is truly a global industry, and they all want to be playing in the US market,” says Ly.
Stark left QuickBooks Connect feeling inspired, even though he’s not in the accounting industry. “It ended up being really useful,” says Stark. “I would go again even if we weren’t finalists.”
Join Reconciled at Quickbooks Connect 2019 this coming November.