If you’ve been following Intuit the past year, chances are you’ve heard the company talk about its plans to remove pain points for small businesses. Every move the company has made seems to be a calculated step in the direction of building a seamless QuickBooks Online ecosystem for its customers. The latest announcement of its new conference, QuickBooks Connect is no different.
Intuit, creator of business and financial management solutions, is inviting thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, accountants and developers to San Jose, CA for one day packed with educational tracks and presentations from industry experts. The first-ever QuickBooks Connect is a two-in-one conference. The first part of the conference, geared towards accountants, opens on October 21, 2014 and runs until 0ctober 23. The main event, which targets small business owners, will take place on October 22 and is a one-day event.
“We decided to make the conference a one-day event for small business owners so that it wouldn’t be a burden for them to attend,” said Rob Lanesey, Chief Communications Officer, Intuit. “We also have activities before and after the conference for accountants and developers, both of whom tend to have a bit more flexibility in their schedules. However, small business owners are welcome to attend these events as well.”
The conference has a number of shared sessions scheduled, which are geared toward all attendees: small businesses, entrepreneurs, accountants and developers. They include keynote presentations, an innovation gallery, networking opportunities, roundtables and hands-on workshops. Throughout the day, specially designed tracks for each audience are also available in order to meet their unique needs and points of view.
There will be an additional workshop on October 20 for accountants, which features Advanced ProAdvisor certification exam prep, training and product deep dive training for QuickBooks desktop. Other conference events include a developer hackathon and an innovation workshop scheduled for the day after the main event designed to inspire attendees who want to take their businesses to the next level.
The conference features a full roster of speakers including Intuit president and CEO Brad Smith, Founder Scott Cook, entrepreneur and TV star Bill Rancic, GoldieBlox CEO Debbie Sterling, and Tristan Walker of Walker & Co. and Code2040. Additional speakers will be announced closer to the conference. In addition to the main stage speakers, there will be several breakout speakers, focusing hot topics in the accounting profession. Speakers include Joe Woodard, Darren Root, Michelle Long, Greg LaFollette and Edi Osbourne.
“We want to inspire small business owners and aspiring business owners. Our goal is for the conference to be a blend of inspiration to take that leap into entrepreneurship and practical how-to advice. We have successful entrepreneurs, such as Bill and Debbie, who will talk about their experiences and what they went through. Small business owners will learn some tips and tricks, as well as what it takes to run a small business,” said Lanesey, who is leading the production of the QuickBooks Connect conference. Rob’s quotes are very focused on the small business experience, which is fine, but I would love to insert something in there about “This will be a unique opportunity for accountants – many of whom are often small business owners themselves – to meet the people, get the training and learn the skills they need to take their practice to the cloud and better support their clients.”
Connect. Educate. Inspire.
As the name suggests, QuickBooks Connect is focused on helping small business owners, accountants and developers connect with each other and others who use the QB ecosystem. Through the hands-on workshops and various networking opportunities, entrepreneurs will not only get to connect with other like-minded individuals, but they will also have the opportunity to learn about the ins and outs of running a successful business.
QuickBooks Connect is structured to provide specialized tracks for each of its target audiences – small business owners, entrepreneurs, accountants and developers. Entrepreneurs will learn how to turn their ideas and passion into a business by making connections and securing funding. Tracks geared towards small business owners will focus on taking their business to the next level, as well as hiring and financial outlook. Meanwhile, accountants will earn continuing professional education credits and learn about new products. Intuit is also hosting a special design workshop to show developers how to create innovative apps that utilize QB data.
Looking to highlight its investments into the QBO ecosystem, Intuit made the strategic decision to host an event that would not only market the ecosystem, but also serve to strengthen and build QBO’s brand and ecosystem.
“This conference is part of our company’s bigger effort to emphasize QuickBooks as not just a platform, but a thriving ecosystem for more than five million small business customers,” said Lanesey. “QuickBooks Connect will showcase our transition to the Cloud and allow our customers to see firsthand the benefits of the Cloud.”
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