When walking into a conference room in San Jose, CA it seems confusing as to where to sit. It is the last day at the Quickbooks Connect conference and despite being the first class of the day, the room is already packed. The room is large and filled proportionately with a mixture of attendees that are already seated and with some who are still looking for seats. It is ten minutes past the scheduled start of the class, “Using Quickbooks Online for Nonprofits.” As the seats fill up and everyone prepares to take notes, they look around for Gregg S. Bossen, the nonprofit expert and noticeably absent course instructor.
Two more minutes go by until a man in a neon yellow shirt takes the stage of the room, and with it the attention of its attendants. “I’m Gregg Bossen,” the man says with a wave to the classroom. His breath is short and it is immediately obvious that he rushed to get to the classroom. “I’d like to apologize for being late,” he continues, “but I am proud to announce that the reason I’m late is because my team and I just won first place in the QB Connect Hackathon!”
The room fills with applause but Gregg can sense the question on everyone’s mind: what does that mean? He explains to the audience that the Hackathon was a contest for teams of developers, designers, experts, and entrepreneurs to design an application within 36 hours to meet the needs of small businesses and companies. There were three tracks of competition: one for enhancing existing apps, one for creating new apps, and a third for offering solutions for nonprofits. Gregg Bossen, with the help of David Webb, Bill Kennedy, Karine Woodman, and Robin Hall, won first place in the nonprofit category for the creation of Pledgify, an app that seeks to track pledges for nonprofits. See what Scott Cook, Founder of Intuit has to say about it on YouTube.
Everyone settles into their seats after hearing the explanation, comfortably knowing that the reason their field expert was late is because he was winning a contest where he was working to improve the field he is an expert in. His involvement with nonprofits was pure happenstance, but his impact has been nothing short of powerful.
After graduating from Emory University in Atlanta, Gregg joined one of the top five accounting firms in the country as a young CPA. Despite being a high profile firm, their different jobs and audits were assigned through a magnetic blackboard. Each employee’s name was on a magnet and each assignment was on a magnet. The employees and their assignments were matched based on someone pushing the two together to make a pair. This was how Gregg was assigned his very first non-profit case, auditing Alpha Delta Pi, the first ever sorority.
His success with that first audit led to his future pairings with other nonprofits, establishing himself as the firm’s “Go-To Guy” for the field. Realizing the niche market of working with non-profits, he left the large firm. The combination of his unique knowledge of non-profit operations and his ability to offer services at a lower rate due to being a business of one, allowed him to open his own small and thriving accounting firm.
As Gregg’s accounting firm grew and advanced so did technology. His clients started delivering their files to him using QuickBooks. In order to effectively understand QuickBooks for his clients he signed up to attend a class. While sitting in on the class he found himself thinking, “I can do this.” He reached out to the training company and asked if he could join them as a product trainer. After submitting a filmed presentation he gave to one of his own non-profit clients, he was selected as a national trainer.
The more Gregg taught the better he became. He went from teaching and training clients how to use QuickBooks, to creating his own training guides and building his own classes that were industry specific. His accounting firm remained steady as he branched out to create “QuickBooks Made Easy,” his own company for QuickBooks training software and technical support.
With the success of “QuickBooks Made Easy” Gregg Bossen further solidified his status as a field expert across the country. As a teacher he has visited most of the fifty states, and regularly takes on new clients who discover him through QuickBooks Made Easy. One such client is the Metropolitan Counseling Services in Atlanta.
Gregg’s success in the Hackathon is due partly to his relationship with the Metropolitan Counseling Services. His idea to create an app that tracks pledges for a nonprofit came from a conversation he had with board members of the organization. He consulted with them on their needs, what they were looking for, and how to address their overall concerns with an app. He absorbed the information and integrated it with his idea to create the winning app: Pledgify.
In addition to winning first place in the nonprofit track of the Hackathon with Pledgify, each participant on Gregg’s winning team is given $1000 to donate to a nonprofit organization. For Gregg the Metropolitan Counseling Services is his obvious choice. “Not only were they integral in the app’s creation,” he said, “but they are also out there doing great work.” The work that he refers to is the matching of aspiring caregivers with people in need of counseling and therapy services. These soon to be therapists get the required training and practice they need to be licensed while their patients get the care they need at affordable prices.
Gregg believes that each business move he has made that involves working with nonprofits was not really a move, but rather the result of relationships he has cultivated. Perhaps that is his biggest key to success: building relationships. Whether he is building an app, teaching a seminar, or conducting an audit, he consciously builds relationships with his clients and colleagues to ensure trust and understanding. The relationships he builds with clients are what keeps him coming to conferences like QuickBooks Connect, and they are what have established him as a field expert.
For more information or to see when Gregg will be in your city please visit www.QuickBooksMadeEasy.com.