Game On!

One of the most heated battles being waged today in the accounting industry is over online accounting software – both for those already using it, and those users getting ready to make the switch.  New players are popping up, literally every month, claiming new features, more flexibility, and sporting fancy logos – and there’s about as much mudslinging and smear campaigning as an election November.

Over the past several years, working for companies that allowed me to “play well in the sandbox with everyone”, I’ve been able to make friends, form strategic alliances, and have come to respect so many of the individuals and companies in this arena. I’ve had a front row seat on the sidelines and have watched it all play out as this duel has heated up…until the other day when I got a call.

I’m proud to announce that I’ve been drafted! Effective this week, I’m suiting up to play for one of the largest accounting software companies in the world, Intuit. As a brand new QuickBooks Online is unveiled, so too is our brand new Dream Team, including my new colleagues, Ray Barlow and David Bergstein. Together, we’ll take on the challenge of helping CPAs bring their clients into the Cloud, and deliver the promise that you can never outgrow the new QBO.

 As if putting on an Intuit jersey isn’t satisfying enough by itself, the promise of teaming with industry legends like Darren Root, Doug Sleeter, reconnecting with some of my favorite partners like Bill.com, Avalara, and SmartVault, and working with newly formed connections like Richard Roppa and Stacy Kildal might just be the icing on the cake. The cherry on top is the opportunity to work even closer with one of the most influential people on my career, Scott Cytron.

This will definitely be a marathon and not a sprint, so I’m packing my stilettos, but lacing up my Nikes for the long haul. We’re not afraid to roll up our sleeves, and know that this will be an exciting journey. The key is that we’ll be here to help firms, accountants, and our customers through it each step of the way.

Ready, Set, GO!

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Living a Legacy

Why is it that we all too often wait until we miss something before we truly realize how amazing it was? Maybe it’s just human nature to only comprehend greatness once it’s no longer available…but what a shame. There are far too few people who really make a difference in our lives (whether it be personally or professionally) every day – and they should know the impact they make long before they are treasured memories.

My Grandmother, Betty Hogan, is by far the most amazing woman I’ve ever known. She lives 3,000 miles from Southern California where my brothers and I were born and raised…yet she never let the miles stand in the way of being a remarkable Grandma. As children, she kept up with our activities through Mom and Dad, and occasionally asked for a short phone visit where she’d ask us about school, sports, and all the various activities in which we were involved.

Being a Grandma of adult grandkids could have made any normal long-distance Grandma fade into the background, or made her crazy by trying to keep up with us all. But not this Grandma – she stepped up her game and the phone visits with her own children turned to calls with us Grandkids, Skype sessions, and even Facebook interactions – still actively participating and making an impact on my personal and even my professional life. I often laugh when I hang up with her realizing she’s typically told me something I didn’t even know about one of my siblings. She’s on the ball.

My Grandfather put it best a few years back when he tried to explain the difference between himself and Grandma – “You see, your Grandmother cares about each and every breath you take…while I’m quite satisfied just knowing you are all still breathing”. Of course that doesn’t stop Grandma from dragging him away from his Tigers game to the computer to check out my newest blog post, or article, or photos. She’ll often even call me to tell me she read him my latest feature even if she doesn’t quite understand all the details.

I’ve used her in numerous examples of Cloud technology adoption – saying that if Grandma can do it, nobody has any excuses. We even had a great conversation one day where I explained to her that she already uses Cloud solutions as she pays her bills online, uses Yahoo! Mail, and is an avid Facebook user.

More than any other quality, it’s her selfless interest in our happiness that always causes me to stand in awe of my Grandma. She’s been in rehabilitation the better part of this year after an infection led to an ongoing problem with her hip, yet you would never know it from talking to her. She’s every bit as eager to hear about us as she’s ever been, and she finds joy in our success regardless of her circumstances. Her thoughtfulness and concern for what we’re going through (even if it pales in comparison to what she might be dealing with) is always obvious. I can’t imagine anyone could ever have a bad thing to say about her, and that, if you ask me, is the exact type of legacy we all should strive to leave. I’m so grateful that I know what an amazing blessing I have in her, and can only hope that when I grow up, I can be half the woman she is.
Grandma