QuickBooks Connect 2014
QUICKBOOKS CONNECT 2014 - San Jose (California) Convention Center
Tonight’s ‘The QB Show’ (formerly known as ‘Radio Free QuickBooks’) centered on the topic of Intuit’s recent formal announcement concerning QuickBooks Connect, the name they have given to their first ever major event that brings together the key constituents of the Intuit ecosystem: accounting professionals, developers and small businesses, as well as Intuit personnel. The conference, designed to empower the involvement of its ecosystem, will be held October 21-23, 2014 at the San Jose (California) Convention Center. The event’s theme is “Reach for the cloud and take your business to the next level."
Kara DeFrias, a 5-1/2 year employee of Intuit, who until recently was associated with TurboTax, will serve as Co-Executive Producer of QuickBooks Connect. In discussing the event with Woody Adams, one of the hosts of The QB Show, Ms. DeFrias said that “the time was right for Intuit to sponsor a show of this magnitude, as QuickBooks Online is transitioning from a product to a platform.” Intuit stands to benefit greatly from the interaction between the members of the QuickBooks ecosystem.
It is obvious to me that Intuit is planning for QuickBooks Connect to be much more than an accounting show. This event will bring together all of the players that people like you and I (as ProAdvisors) need to interact with. We will have the opportunity to hear from QuickBooks users, and not just those we have trained who tend to think the same way we do. We will also be able to interact with 3rd party developers in ways other than at exhibit booths; we most likely will be able to have actual input into their product design and development. The same holds true for Intuit itself, with a huge presence of their product development and implementation teams present, all of us, users, developers and consultants can pin-down Intuit personnel about specific issues, providing feedback, conceptual ideas, and yes, constructive complaints.
When Woody (Adams) asked Ms. DeFrias what would make QuickBooks Connect different, her reply was simple, “Everything, from the celebrities and presenters to industry leaders, but most of all the ‘hands on approach’ that the event would feature.” While she didn’t elaborate, one can only assume that this will be a far more ‘interactive event’ than we have seen before from other training venues.
Here are just a few of the featured speakers at QuickBooks Connect 2014: Scott Cook, founder of Intuit; Brad Smith, CEO of Intuit; Bill Rancic Entrepreneur, Author and Reality Star; M. Darren Root, CPA, former Executive Editor of CPA Practice Advisor; L. Gary Boomer, CPA, a member of the AICPA Council; and Greg LaFollette, CPA, CITP, an acknowledged expert in the area of accounting technology. Additional speakers for the event will be announced in the days and weeks to come.
Joe Woodard, of Woodard Consulting, and sponsor of Scaling New Heights (an Intuit-centric conference for QuickBooks ProAdvisors) will serve as Producer for all of the Accountant training that is part of QuickBooks Connect. Joe referred to the opportunity for those attending the show as ‘1 Big Economic Reality’ in which the participants will be provided with content that equips them to be more successful and to better serve their customers.
As an adjunct to the main events, Joe Woodard said that there will be specialized QuickBooks ProAdvisor pre-certification and post-certification training starting on October 20; another aspect of that training will focus on QuickBooks Enterprise with Advanced Inventory. There will also be an opportunity for individuals to take QuickBooks Online training and then take the actual QBO Certification examinations at the event.
Ms. DeFrias announced that the QuickBooks Connect ‘website’ and early registration is now open at the QuickBooks Connect website. The early bird registration for the main events on 10/22 and 23 is only $169.00 until July 31st. Those wishing to attend the ProAdvisor certification preparation and training starting on10/20 in addition to the standard 2-day conference pass can register for $368.00 until July 31st. However, Intuit has made special pricing available for anyone attending the Scaling New Heights Conference (June 15-18, 2014) whereby they can register for all 4-days of the fall event for only $99.00. (If that isn’t an incentive to get to Scaling New Heights, I don’t know what is!)
While Accounting Professionals will be a key component of this new Intuit event, QuickBooks Connect should in no way preclude a QuickBooks ProAdvisor from attending Scaling New Heights. The two events are, in my opinion, going to be entirely different in both scope and tenor. While ProAdvisors will be able to obtain certification related training and learn about ‘what’s new and on the rise’ in the Intuit product line, QuickBooks Connect is much more of a ‘partnering event’ in which all the key players come together with a realization that ‘we are the Intuit ecosystem’, not just product users. But Scaling New Heights is ‘where it is at’ in terms of ProAdvisors needing to expand their capabilities, learn specific products to enhance their practice offerings, and discover new techniques to build and improve their client interactions. As I “see it” QuickBooks Connect is the telescope, and Scaling New Heights is the microscope for QuickBooks ProAdvisors, Business Consultants and Accountants.
In his closing remarks for tonight’s broadcast, Joe Woodard also announced that even those not attending the Scaling New Heights conference this month could still access ‘live high-quality video streams’ of all 8 hours of the conferences keynote addresses. He pointed out that anyone associated with Intuit’s products would have a special interest in hearing what Brad Smith, Intuit CEO has to say about the future of Intuit’s corporate direction, as well as what’s new and upcoming from ProAdvisor Program Director Luis Sanchez. Also among the featured speakers you can tune-in to hear is noted Fraud expert, Frank Abagnale, who will personally tell his story depicted in the movie, “Catch Me If You Can.” A special link on the Scaling New Heights website will be available to register for these free live video feeds.
Note: Early registration for QuickBooks Connect expires on July 31, 2014; after that higher registration fees will apply. See the QuickBooks Connect website for more details.