Carol Oliver, Manager, Accountant Education and Training (Woodard Events), manages training sessions, from concept to delivery, with the goal of providing attendees with training on the most relevant topics delivered by knowledgeable, encouraging presenters. She is a QuickBooks ProAdvisor certified in both Desktop and QBO.
I caught up with Carol recently to learn a little more about the training taking place at Scaling New Heights 2015. According to Carol, the educational tracks are broken down into 7 different
"Paths" consisting of QuickBooks/QBO Core, Desktop - Industry Specific, Client Accounting Services, Mid-Market, Tools and Utilities, Practice Growth and Management and Certification. She shared that "there is some overlap in sessions. For example, one of our new sessions, “Moving from Bookkeeper to Trusted Advisor,” is included in multiple paths: QuickBooks/QBO Core as well as Practice Growth and Management."
Carol also said "It is going to be very difficult for people to choose their sessions this year, because there are so many good options. For example, we’re handling most of the QuickBooks/QBO Certification courses a little differently this year. We’re presenting the sessions as “topics” instead of “just certification courses.” The topics will cover everything a person needs to know to pass the certification exam plus extra tidbits the instructor thinks would be valuable. So people who are already certified and want a refresher, or are not interested in certification, could attend a single topic (like Complex Problem Solving in QBO) and gain the knowledge the session provides."
I asked Carol to give me some insight on the new sessions, to which she responded that there are over 50 new sessions, so there are too many to cover. She settled on her "Top 6 Picks", which are:
- “QuickBooks Desktop Database Essentials” which will benefit those who have not worked extensively with the database and will provide a foundation for quite a few of our other courses, including the second course in the series: “QuickBooks Desktop Super-Geek.” These sessions will be taught by our own much-loved “Murph,” technical guru, Intuitive Accountant Technical Editor and resource-to-us-all.
- “Diagramming Workflow in Client Engagements” is a new two-part course that is designed to teach the value of Process Models, how to create them and how they can help elevate you as your clients’ trusted advisor.
- “Using QuickBooks Reports as an Actionable Management Tool” covers how to use standard QuickBooks reports to turn information into real insight that will provide practical solutions.
- “Invisible Strategies & Tools to Make You a Better Negotiator" will help advisors win more business on their own terms.
- “Train the Trainer to Train: A Sampler” will be a sampling of topics from a much more comprehensive course to be taught at a later time and will cover some of the basics of providing powerful training in a variety of settings, from one-on-one with your clients to presenting in front of a large audience.
Ever wondered how the educational tracks are determined at an event of this magnitude? Carol shared how the Scaling team decides which sessions make the cut and which ones don't.
"As you know, we focus on practical, cutting edge technical topics and topics that empower accounting professionals to grow their practices, expand the consulting services they offer their clients and master Intuit products.
All year, we take notes when people give us ideas about things they would like to learn. We listen carefully when someone says, “I’m having a challenge solving an issue…” We ask our instructors about topics they are interested in presenting. We solicit feedback from the National Advisor Network. Then each person on the Scaling New Heights Team writes down his or her own ideas for topics we think are relevant, timely and interesting for our attendees.
Then the fun begins: we have multiple brainstorming sessions. We toss ideas into the ring and wrestle them around until we either toss them out of the ring or transform them into topics that make the list of “Probabilities.” In order to get on that list, a topic must provide great value for attendees and the entire Scaling New Heights team must buy into it.
Designing the schedule is complicated. We use quadratic equations (not really but there are so many variables to consider!)"
The million dollar question for any prospective new attendee is, "Why should I attend?" According to Carol, ProAdvisors should attend Scaling New Heights because:
"Scaling New Heights keeps you up-to-date on key issues in our industry as well as new solutions available.
We provide in-depth training for you to learn new skills and attain new professional certifications that keep you current, and competitive, in your chosen field.
When you also consider that it provides a valuable opportunity to gain insight into the experiences of others who face the same challenges you do on a daily basis, the decision to attend Scaling New Heights is easy to make."
The million dollar question for any prospective returning attendee is the same. "Why should I attend (again)?" Not surprisingly, Carol had a great answer for this question as well:
"Aside from the fact that it is a lot of fun, Scaling New Heights has over 50 new sessions this year as well as a star-studded lineup of keynote presenters.
If you are a consultant, the Consult-a-thon is an incredible opportunity for you to hone your skills and develop new ones.
The networking opportunities are invaluable. Not only can you get encouragement from your peers, but you can create strategic partnerships with those who have expertise with a product that you would like to offer your clients.
There are new professional certification courses that can help you add new services to your offerings.
This year, more than ever, we want people to leave their sessions with action plans that provide clear direction on taking the 'theory' presented in the sessions and applying that theory to their everyday practice."
If you attend events and are unsure whether Scaling New Heights is right for you, then I would suggest that you ask your colleagues or check out social media for your own confirmation. However, I can tell you that long before we launched Intuitive Accountant, I was a big fan of Scaling New Heights. The community of ProAdvisors who attend this show is made up of some of the top ProAdvisors in the country. In fact, more than 70 of our 2014 Top 100 ProAdvisors attended the show last year. Hopefully we'll see even more of our Top 100 and more of our audience members there this year.
We will be running a series of articles about Scaling New Heights in the weeks leading up to the show in June, so keep reading so you will know what to expect at the largest event in the world for practicing QuickBooks ProAdvisors.