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Ask The Expert: QBO Panel
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Cathy Iconis, CPA
When I recently spoke with Kara Defrias, the Co-Executive Producer for QuickBooks Connect, she told me that she was most excited for the panels “because you get this really witty, substantial dialogue between people who have been in the trenches and you hear their stories and you feel like you’re not alone.” One of those people who wants to share her story, help you become more successful with helping your clients, and make sure you don’t end up alone (left behind by the shift to cloud) is Cathy Iconis, the third panelist for “Ask the Experts: QBO Small Firm.”
Cathy Iconis is a CPA, Certified QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor and the CEO and Client Finance Director for her firm Iconis Group, LLC. In this role she helps small business owners better understand their numbers and thus make better decisions about their businesses by analyzing their books monthly (or quarterly) and going over the results with them, talking to them about what’s going on and what their needs are, and by feeding them the right information to help them.
When asked how she became involved in QuickBooks Online and how her firm switched to specializing in only QBO clients, she said that it was actually really unexpected and that it began when she helped a client make the decision to switch:
She said, “Shortly after I started my firm, I got a client and he was running on QuickBooks for Mac, and I’d already completed the ProAdvisor certification so going through that I knew QuickBooks for Mac wasn’t the strongest product back then. So I sort of did an analysis for him where he could go to desktop or go to QuickBooks Online. And at that time I’d done a lot of research that was saying that QuickBooks Online wasn’t good, but still I said ‘It’d be better if we go to desktop, but here are all the options we have. And he decided to go with QuickBooks Online. So I transferred him over and dug into the program more and I fell in love with it.”
It is with this same passion for the program that Cathy wanted to inspire others. She said “QuickBooks Online is my world so I’m passionate about where it’s going and encouraging others to use it. And a majority of new businesses are signing up so learning how to use this program and getting comfortable with it now will only benefit you (other ProAdvisors) in the future.”
Therefore, a ProAdvisor, an accountant, or an advisor who attends this panel will not only benefit by becoming more prepared for the shift to the cloud with their clients, but will also benefit by learning:
- how using QuickBooks Online will help you create a deeper relationship with your clients (because QBO is a much more open to having a collaborative relationship)
- how using QuickBooks Online will helps you become a virtual operation (how you can work from anywhere without being tied to paper and how everything becomes more flexible in the cloud)
Also, according to Cathy, attending this panel and learning about the importance of using QuickBooks Online in your practice will also benefit you by:
- making you appear more confident and capable to your clients
- protecting you from a bad reputation
She said, “You want your clients to have confidence that you can help them and guide them in the right direction. So if you come into a situation and go ‘Okay I know nothing about QuickBooks Online, but I want to put you on it’ and it turns out to be a complete failure then that impacts your reputation and your business. So this panel will teach you the ways to explore using QuickBooks Online in your firm without hurting the brand that you’ve built so far.”
People that attend this panel will also benefit from what Cathy has to add as a speaker. When asked what her speaking style was she said, “I’m just real. I want to bring humor to the conversation. I don’t take any topic too seriously and I don’t expect people to completely understand what I’m talking about. So for this panel about QuickBooks Online I’m not going to expect the audience to understand it the way I do so I’ll be making the topic more approachable so that they’re not intimidated by it.”
Attendees who share a passion for helping their small business clients grow and succeed will also be able to relate to Cathy as a speaker because she’s very genuine about helping small businesses.
She said, “I’ve worked for a large business before and they have the resources (they have the money to be able to make their businesses better), but they also have a lot of politics too that I really don’t want to be involved in. So working with the small business owner is different. They don’t have the resources available and they don’t know what all big businesses are doing management wise to help them run better. And most of them don’t even know about the accounting side. They really care more about what they came into this business to do (to accomplish). So what I enjoy doing is helping them understand how accounting helps them accomplish what they are in business to do, how there is a value in the numbers, and how understanding those numbers can help them grow and move forward.”
From Cathy you get a woman who is very passionate about what she does and who truly enjoys teaching others to follow in her footsteps, and by attending this panel you’ll be given the help you need to understand the importance of using QuickBooks Online in your practice and how doing so will prepare you for the future.