It's In the Cloud: A Look Back at CABS 2012

A few weeks ago, I attended the California Accounting and Business Show and Conference, along with hundreds of accounting and tax professionals and dozens of vendors in the accounting and technology profession. Vendors set up booths in three rooms to demonstrate their products and speak to attendees in between CPE sessions.

The show also featured two walking tours led by our Executive Editor, Darren Root, CPA.CITP. The tours commenced with Root giving participants a little background on each of the featured companies before heading out to the respective booths for product demonstrations. The companies that participated in the walking tours were ShareFile, Thomson Reuters, Intacct Corporation, Intuit, CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business, Office Tools Professional and Xero.

During the conference and Innovation Awards reception, I had the opportunity to chat with several professionals from some of the leading companies in the accounting and tax profession. I spoke with representatives from companies such as Bank of America Practice Solutions/Small Business, CCH, CPA2Biz, Inc., Emochila, Inc., New River Innovation, Inc., The Sleeter Group, Wave Accounting and Xero, among others. A few of the vendors I had seen the previous month at the NY Accounting and Technology Show and we shared some of the best practices and knowledge we learned at the two conferences. For example, having a solid strategy in place is key to successfully transitioning your firm to the cloud. And as Doug Sleeter, Founder and President of The Sleeter Group, Inc., reminded participants, "It's impossible to opt out of the cloud because so much data already exists in the cloud. Instead of asking, 'Should I move to the cloud?' you need to ask 'How do I move to the cloud?'"

In addition to meeting in LA, I also had the pleasure of visiting CCH’s headquarters in Riverwoods, Illinois, a few days before the California show. During my visit, I received a tour of the campus grounds - including an up-close look at the woods that surround one of their conference rooms - and met with several CCH employees. From tax experts to marketing representatives to product managers, I was introduced to the people that make CCH’s products, such as IntelliConnect happen.

IntelliConnect, CCH’s research platform allows users to look up federal rulings, tax terms, tax laws and more. "IntelliConnect has many tax laws and terms, dating back to the beginning of tax law," said Eric Scott, CCH Senior Communications Specialist. "Its library is extensive and easy to use. You simply type in what you're looking for and it displays results. It's like Google for tax professionals and much easier than searching through stacks of tax books and journals for answers."

I enjoyed meeting with the various vendors and professionals in LA and I look forward to meeting up with them again and seeing many new faces in August at the Midwest Accounting & Finance Showcase in Rosemont, Illinois.