Play Your Position

Growing up playing soccer, I learned many lessons about being a good team player: don’t hog the ball; cover for your teammate when they need it; when you get a break-away…don’t look back! As the resident center forward, I spent most Saturday afternoons gloating about how many goals I scored – of course, very aware that it took an entire team to get me the ball, cover for me, and ensure that while I was sprinting down the field with the ball, nobody was going to sneak up on me at the last minute and make me miss the shot. There’s no way I would have had the successful 10-year run in the sport had it not been for my teammates.

Score

And every once in a while, when the lineup was laid out, I would see my name somewhere other than front & center, but on defense instead. I admit, I loved being the star & getting the high-fives for making the victories happen, but it was also very necessary to fill in when I was needed in the back field – or to give others a chance to be in the spotlight. So I would take the field and give it 110% every time, and be sure that I helped our team win every way I could.

Little did I know that 20+ years later, I’d be using those childhood soccer lessons in my professional life. For the past 9 years, my various roles have centered mainly around attending accounting conferences and trade shows – I made my name in the accounting world as “ScanSnapKim” by doing so, and have met so many amazing people on the road at shows. While the show circuit can be exhausting at times, there’s such a great community in which you become a part, and I look forward to seeing them at each event.

When I started at Intuit back in 2013 as part of a new Business Development team & program, we saturated the events world as a way to get our message out to our accountant partners. The past 2 years have been absolutely brutal, but amazing at the same time. I’ve often compared it to building a skyscraper – you have to first dig down deep, to ensure that you’ve got a solid foundation that will support the exponential growth yet to come. Of course, very few people see how much effort goes into building everything below ground – it’s always the building that gets the attention.

With that, we’ve had an incredible past year, as QBO has hit and passed the one million company mark here in the U.S. – and our team is a huge part of that growth. I’ve loved being part of this success – scoring victories along with my accounting firms as they transform their businesses into being firms of the future with QBO and cloud technology – and getting recognized internally and in the accounting profession for doing so.

All the success has come with lots of changes too – new leadership, new initiatives, new responsibilities. As we round out our fiscal year, I’ve been asked to play a new position, which will keep me out of the conference circuit for most of the remainder of the year. For the first time in years, I’m missing some of the “can’t miss” events that I look forward to each year. But I won’t be putting my suitcase away. In fact, I’ll be traveling more than ever as I visit accounting firms and work strategically with them to transition their practice…those meetings, which are vital to our success at Intuit, don’t however have event hashtags.

So as I sat in an all-day training session in Dubuque, IA this week, and now rush around the Mid-West from meeting to meeting, I’ll be thinking of everyone at Expensicon. Last week I could only sympathize with my fellow ITA members as they braved the Houston floods at ITA’s Spring Collaborative. And when I see all the photos from my work friends in the Bahamas next month at Scaling New Heights, I’ll likely be driving from firm to firm in Southern California. I’ll be missing all the laughs & photo opps, but I know I’m where I need to be to help Intuit reach our next goal.

My absolute best season of soccer ended unusually for me – I didn’t make the all-star roster, which was tough for me to swallow…but at our end of the year party, my coach presented me with the game ball – the ball with which we won every game of the season but two, the ball that took us to a sudden-death shoot-out in the championship game, the ball that she told everyone I had put the most marks on throughout the course of the season.

My hope is that as I play my position at Intuit this year, I’ll be fortunate enough to put a few marks on our game ball, and when I see everyone next year, I’ll have some great stories to tell about what we’re doing to help or firms reach for the cloud.

Soccer

Advertisements

6 Ways We’ll Know if #QBConnectOrBust is a Success

That’s right – we’re doing it again! Why fly when you can spend the entire day driving to QuickBooks Connect! As you can imagine, a lot can happen when you put 6 people in a Ford Expedition for 445.5 miles, but here are 6 ways that we’ll know the trip was worth our effort!

  1. If we get there & Wally World is open
  1. If we avoid the need to intentionally drive the car off a cliff while holding hands and humming aloud Hans Zimmer’s “Thunderbird”
  1. If we don’t have to leave Richard’s luggage on the roadside to make room for our dead uncle in the trunk area
  1. If nobody strips down to their tighty-whities and succumbs to the invisible fire after crashing into a ravine alongside Interstate 5 near the Grapevine
  1. If we don’t find out in Bakersfield that there’s a bomb in the car that will go off if Brian lets the car go below 50mph
  1. If we arrive in San Jose safely in our rental car and not a Las Vegas PD squad car with a tiger in the back seat

QBConnectOrBust 2015 copy

Be sure to follow all of us for #QBConnectOrBust updates! We’ll be tweeting from the road as we make our way to #QBConnect on Sunday, November 1.

Kim Austin | The Hostess with the Mostest | @Kimtuitive

 QB_IntuitLogo_Horiz_RGB21

Brian Austin | The Transporter | @AustinNexus

Avalara

Kelly Bistriceanu | The Party Starter | @KellyTSheets

logo-we-heart-employees

Gail Perry | The Documentarian | @GaPerry

CPA-Practice-Advisor

Jan Haugo | The Troublemaker | @JazFun

ICB

Richard Roppa-Roberts | Curmudgeon | @NeverCallMeRich

Results-logo1

Old Dogs Can Teach New Tricks

And by “old dogs” I do mean “seasoned accounting veterans”. I just got home from the Midwest Accounting Show in Rosemont, IL, where I was honored (and a bit star struck) to have opportunity to eat some authentic Chicago deep dish with one of the most respected thought leaders in the industry, Dana “Rick” Richardson. Most people know Rick as the closer – it never fails that show managers put him on the schedule for the end of the day, and he comes in just like any good relief pitcher and gets them 1, 2, 3.

After holding the attention of 1,500 accountants for over an hour and a half at the end of a long day, Rick was gracious enough to join my XCM Teammates, Brian Austin from Avalara, along with Doug Sleeter, Jody Padar, and Jennifer Warawa, three nationally recognized accounting influencers, for a “FOX” (Friends of XCM) dinner at Gino’s East. I think it’s safe to say that nobody on that bus knew exactly what was in store for the evening. Unfortunately, none of us were able to see Rick speak an hour earlier – but it didn’t matter, we all got our own private session at the master’s feet.

We hadn’t even pulled into the Gino’s parking lot when my colleague, Beth Bruck, had resorted to making a “Rick List” on her iPhone of some of the technology devices Rick began to mention. As the conversation continued well into dinner (2 slices of pizza into dinner that is), that list kept growing. So did Rick’s audience, as he quickly added the third XCM blonde at the table, Jamie Soper. I couldn’t help but sit back in awe that here I was at a table with so many accounting greats – Jennifer, Doug, Jody, Brian – and Rick, who has been a rock-steady icon in the CPA world for longer than I’ve been alive, and might just be the most tech-savvy of us all. From being a Mac champion, to embracing the Cloud, to his love of productivity apps like Evernote…he proves more than anyone I’ve ever met that technology is not defined by age or by generation, but rather by willingness to think outside the box, and by a passion for achieving greatness.

As this year’s CPA Practice Advisor 40 Under 40 list hits the wire this week, I can’t think of anyone more deserving of a big thank you from those receiving that honor – after all, without folks like Rick, we’d have no footsteps in which to follow…

The Four Types of Trade Show Stalkers

One of my very favorite blog posts of all time is by Scott Cytron: The Four Types of Trade Show Reps. For anyone who has had the pleasure of attending even half as many accounting conferences as me, it is clear that Scott is spot on. When I read this post a few years back, I immediately decided that if (when) I had my own blog, I would have to do my own take on this theme…so here it is, ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Four Types of Tradeshow Stalkers.

Perhaps it’s the fact that I started on the conference scene at the ripe old age of 22, or maybe it was the fact that I’ve always been the one who just hates to miss out on any action, but it sure didn’t take long for me to discover that amid all of the amazing thought leaders, industry ISV partners, accounting press, and my practitioner friends is one more class of attendees: the stalkers. For those of you who know me, you’ll agree that I must have some type of stalker magnet and seem to attract what one colleague once referred to as “the best of the worst.” I’ve taken the liberty of categorizing these folks into four main groups.

The Family Guy

These poor guys barely get out of the house…but when they do, look out! Warning signs to watch for are strategically placed tan lines on the left ring finger, absence of any personal life discussions, and the combination of consistent yawning before 10pm (when they normally get to bed after the kiddos are down) & frequent unexplained trips away from a group when a cell phone rings “Sorry, I have to take this.” These are perhaps the most harmless of the stalkers, as they typically turn in early, but be careful friending them on Facebook; that woman in the photo might not be as friendly as her CPA husband.

The Internet Romeo

Another relatively harmless bunch may seem pretty normal in person, but save the good stuff for on-line follow up. These are the ones who get you to almost let your guard down at the show, before you quickly realize that they’re not merely interested in continuing the workflow conversation. True story: I once received an email that began “I normally don’t like Monday’s here in Utah, but last Monday started out quite well after our discussion about scanners…” My advice: Ladies, don’t be afraid of that block button – use it when necessary.

The Repeat Offender

These are the guys who have the determination of Olympic athletes. It’s not bad enough to be turned down once, but they insist on repeatedly returning for more rejection as if they are unable to grasp the concept of the word “no.” These guys, if left unattended, have the potential to become the most dangerous breed of tradeshow stalkers, The “Don’t You Dare get in that Elevator with Him.”

The “Don’t you Dare get in that Elevator with Him”

Laugh if you must, but I speak from experience. It’s amusing (but also a tad unnerving) when I guy gets into an elevator and attempts to push the highest floor before realizing his key isn’t coded for that level. I’ve been saved by hotel security a time or two. After that experience, I’ve learned to stall outside of elevator bays – one time until the wee hours before my phone finally buzzed and I was able to politely excuse myself “Sorry, I need to take this.”