Why the Scaling New Heights 2018 Conference Will
Focus on Taming the Machines

The accounting and bookkeeping professions are facing a technological shift – what some are calling the 4th Industrial Revolution – that will, through automation, machine learning, artificial intelligence and Blockchain, radically alter the way you deliver services to your clients.

To view Joe Woodard’s presentation on this topic from Scaling New Heights 2017, click here

The accounting and bookkeeping professions now have access to a wide range of powerful software solutions that automate many of the cyclical tasks you perform – like bookkeeping, tax preparation and audit. As a result, you have an unprecedented opportunity to significantly increase profits and add value around the way you engage your clients.

At Woodard we have identified two key ways for accountants and bookkeepers to respond to this technological shift – two ways to…“Tame the Machines.”

Response 1: Leverage the Machines

There is much concern in the space about automation, machine learning, artificial intelligence and Blockchain displacing the role of accounting and bookkeeping professionals – and doing so in the not-too-distant future. Though this type of displacement is certainly a long-term possibility, in the short term (meaning in the next 5-10 years…at least), you have an incredible opportunity to leverage automation technology to generate extreme profits on cyclical work, to scale your clientele, and to democratize process throughout your practice.

We call this response “Leveraging the Machines.”

We designed much of the education of Scaling New Heights with this goal in mind – to “leverage the machines” in a way that generates both significant practice growth/development as well as significant competitive advantage. Some examples include:

“Productivity Tech: Dramatically Increase Your Personal Productivity”

In this session, Barry MacQuarrie will take an in-depth look at leveraging apps that can help you solve real-world productivity issues. Barry is an experienced accounting and technology professional who provides consulting services to small business owners and accounting firms. He is a frequent speaker on the topics of cloud accounting, technology, personal productivity, and presentation skills.

“Automating Bookkeeping Processes with QuickBooks Online Integrated Applications”

In this session, Heather Satterley will show you how you can use QuickBooks Online’s powerful automation tools to minimize (and in some cases even eliminate) manual data entry. A true lover of accounting technology, Heather is co-author of the QuickBooks Online Core and Advanced Certification Training materials and an active member of the Intuit Trainer/Writer Network. Over the past 19 years, she has trained and supported hundreds of accountants, bookkeepers, and small business owners.

“Blockchain 101: What are Blockchain and Bitcoin and How Can They Be Used”

In this introductory session, Nancy Orben will demystify blockchain, bitcoin and cryptocurrencies and explain how you can make use of the blockchain technology. With more than 30 years of accounting and auditing experience as a CPA, Nancy specializes in accounting software and consulting.

“Blockchain 102: Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence – Helping Accountants Deliver More Value”

In this session, Sean D. Smith will provide you with real-world examples of how these tools are currently being used and the future possibilities for integrating them into your practice. Assistant Professor at Lehman College and an international public speaker, Sean is passionate about education and is an avid user of technology and social media for educational purposes.

For more details about these, and other sessions to be offered at Scaling New Heights, please refer to the Course Descriptions document here.

Response 2: Transcend the Machines

By “Leveraging the Machines,” accountants and bookkeepers can generate real time and highly detailed financial and operational reports, arming you with information that was, until this technological shift, largely unavailable to you in the support of small businesses. Also, by relegating much of the manual accounting and bookkeeping process to automated systems, you free your time and you free your clients’ budgets to expand beyond historical reports and compliance and toward a systematic client coaching role. In other words, this technological shift provides you with the information and the capacity to be agents of small business transformation.

We call this response “Transcending the Machines,” doing the type of work that only humans can do, using machines as a form of cognitive assistant.

We designed much of the education of Scaling New Heights with this goal in mind – to “transcend the machines” in a way that increases the value you bring your clients, significantly increases profits (through business model innovation, including value pricing), and equips you to coach clients toward small business success. Some examples include:

“Fostering Effective Communications with Clients”

In this session, Denise Bailey will show how to strengthen client relationships through providing productive feedback in a way that allows your client to “hear” you, and how to ask for, and respond to, feedback from your client in a way that encourages better communication. Denise has more than 15 years of experience providing businesses of various sizes with accounting, tax planning, and consulting services.

“How to Create a One-Page Exit & Succession Plan with Clients”

In this session, Peter Hickey will provide a step-by-step methodology and a worksheet that can be used with clients to help them create an exit and succession plan. Peter, CEO of MAUS Business Systems and president of the Australian Chapter of the Exit Planning Institute, has written a number of best selling books on business planning, as well as exit and succession planning.

“Journey to Becoming a Digital Expert in Your Field”

In this session, Gale Kirsopp will guide you along the roadmap of how to become a digital expert in your niche. Gale is a recognized expert in the legal industry and has extensive experience and expertise working at the intersection of outsourced accounting services and bar compliance.

“The Art of Asking Questions: Getting Your Clients to ‘Why’”

In this session, Kirk Bowman will illustrate, through group exercises, what questions to ask, how to ask the questions, and how to redirect a question to help the client go deeper … all the way to “Why.” Kirk is the founder and Visionary of Value at Art of Value. He provides speaking, coaching, and consulting around the topics of discovering value, creating options, and learning to price.

For more details about these, and other sessions at Scaling New Heights designed to teach you how to “transcend the machines,” please refer to the Course Descriptions document here.

Announcing a New Track Delivered by Ron Baker in Partnership with VeraSage Institute

For Scaling New Heights 2018, Woodard and VeraSage Institute have teamed up to bring you a new learning track, led by Ron Baker, focused on “transcending the machines.”

In this track, Ron Baker will distinguish between:

  • Service Work – exchanging our time and/or the movements of our bodies for money, and
  • Knowledge Work – the exchange of our intellectual properties for the advancement of our clients, and
  • Relationship Work – infusing value for small business owners by forging meaningful, high-trust and enduring partnerships

As Ron will attest, a professional who maximizes value for clients and manages the holistic needs of clients embracing all three roles in combination – with the ultimate goal of generating wealth for the client and pricing accordingly—are the ones who will have a competitive advantage in the future of certain disruption.

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