Intuit has formally opened its Firm of the Future contest and is calling accounting firms within Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States to enter. The contest, an extension of last year’s successful Firm of the Future search in the US, will offer top accounting firms the chance to win over $100,000 USD in prizes, including multiple cash prizes and all-expense paid trips to Intuit’s QuickBooks Connect conference being held October 24 through 26, 2016 in San Jose, California.
“We’re pleased to expand the search for the Firm of the Future contest to accounting firms across the globe who have embraced change and implemented innovative processes that help fuel their clients’ success,” said Jim McGinnis, vice president, Intuit Accountant Segment. “Through this contest, Intuit is celebrating the accounting professionals, sole proprietors to large firms, whose forward thinking and willingness to embrace new technologies has transformed the way they collaborate with clients, elevated themselves to trusted advisors and grown their practices.”
McGinnis, and a global panel of qualified judges from Intuit’s Small Business Group and Accountant Segment, will select one finalist from each participating country, for a total of four finalists. There will also be an opportunity to reward up to 15 runners up from all entries who best embody the transformation from a traditional accounting or bookkeeping firm into a “firm of future”.
Firms can enter the contest anytime between June 14, 2016 (12:00 a.m. United States Eastern Time ET), until July 31 (11:59 p.m. ET). Accounting firms in Australia, Canada (except Quebec), the United Kingdom and United States can enter by filling out the registration form at their local Firm of the Future webpage: Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and United States.
Each firm will need to answer questions (in 200 words or fewer) demonstrating that their firm is indeed a Firm of the Future:
- How many small business clients do you serve for accounting/bookkeeping needs?
- What percentage of your small business clients use QuickBooks Online?
- Explain how you save time for your firm and your clients by leveraging cloud-based accounting technologies, including QuickBooks Online and/or any third party applications.
- Describe your value billing model. Explain how this pricing model enables your firm to serve as an advisor to your small business clients.
- Tell us how your firm is leveraging the Web, digital marketing and social media to interact with clients, reach new prospects and grow.
Firms will also need to upload one photo (collages including multiple images are permitted) that best exemplifies their firm’s future-forward business lifestyle.
Four finalists from each country will be announced in August 2016, where they’ll have the opportunity to bring their submission to life with a creative video detailing what makes their firm a Firm of the Future. Intuit will provide a videographer and producer for filming and work directly with each of the four finalists to create a high-quality video entry. Once complete, the videos will be available in an online gallery on each country’s contest site for public voting between October 3-15, 2016. Finalists will be encouraged to share their video on social media and ask voters and others to join in the conversation using the hashtag #QBFirmOfTheFuture.
The top four global finalists will receive a $5,000 USD cash prize and two tickets to attend QuickBooks Connect, October 24-26, in San Jose, California. The global Firm of the Future winner will then be revealed on October 24, 2016 at QuickBooks Connect where they will receive an additional cash prize of $10,000 USD. Up to 15 runner-up Firms of the Future worldwide will also be awarded a cash prize of $2,500 USD.
In order to facilitate both the contest, as well as Firms of the Future, Intuit has created the Firm of the Future website, which curates actionable step-by-step guides and resource links. The site serves as a content platform where accounting professionals can start their journey toward becoming a Firm of the Future. The website also offers inspiration from last year’s top 20 Firms of the Future in the US, including Chad Ridner, whose Knoxville, Tenn. firm Two Roads won the grand prize.
Even if you don’t plan to enter this year’s contest, you can still participate in conversation and idea sharing surrounding Intuit’s Firm of the Future program via Facebook and Twitter using #QBFirmOfTheFuture.