thinkQuickBooks

helping right brain professionals navigate the left brain world of accounting

Archive for the month “September, 2013”

Brand new Canadian Cloud ProAdvisor Program!

This week, the brand new Cloud ProAdvisor program was announced in Canada. There are some innovative changes happening at Intuit, and this program is one of the most exciting! Here’s what I heard about QBO, QBOA and the Cloud ProAdvisor Program at the launch event in Edmonton this week.

PicMonkey Stone MichelleWhat an honour to have guest speaker Michelle Long talk about QuickBooks Online (QBO) and all the great reasons for switching to the cloud. Michelle was recently in the UK doing QBO training and was also at last week’s VIP Summit. Here are a few of the highlights of QBO that she mentioned; no compatibility issues, frequent updates, work anywhere, anytime, on all your devices, and automatic and redundant back-ups. A great bonus right now is that payroll is now LIVE and FREE until March 2014. Subscription levels for your clients can be found here: Compare QuickBooks Online Editions

With QuickBooks Online Accountant Edition (QBOA), we have FREE access to our clients’ files who subscribe to QBO. There’s nothing for us to purchase! You simply ask your client to invite you to be an accountant user in their file. Something I learned about QBOA that I LOVE is that if you work with clients all around the globe, they will ALL appear in your QBOA home page – no need to create different accounts or profiles for different countries. We can even use a copy of the program for our own books at no charge!

I won’t talk about QBO or QBOA too much more in this blog post, because what I really want to talk about is the NEW CLOUD PROADVISOR PROGRAM!PicMonkey Zac

Zac Parsons, Marketing Manager, Accounting Professionals Division, unveiled the awesome new Cloud ProAdvisor Program. He spoke very candidly about how the ProAdvisor Program has had its struggles over the past couple years. I think the entire room appreciated the fact that he spoke openly and honestly. He said that they haven’t been innovative… that they’ve been flat in terms of what they’ve been able to deliver. But he said that things are changing and Intuit is 100% committed to revolutionizing the ProAdvisor Program. They want to deliver on their promises.

With that, he introduced the new QuickBooks Cloud ProAdvisor Program. And here are the highlights. The theme again and again was FREE. Benefits include:

1. FREE access to QuickBooks Online Accountant. It’s incredibly easy to sign up!

2. FREE online training webinars.

3. FREE certification test. Opportunity to become QBO certified and get your own logo.

4. FREE QBO training through AccountingCycle. They offer 5 classes for a total of 10 hours of training. And if you want to become certified, they also offer a FREE QuickBooks Online Certification Exam Preparation Webinar. Here’s a link to their website: QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor Certification Training

5. FREE listing on the brand new Find-a-ProAdvisor website. Having certifications will move you to the top of the list. The Find-a-ProAdvisor website will launch on September 23rd.

6. FREE Turnkey Marketing Tools where you can upload your company logo and access customizable templates, banner ads, and more.

7. FREE phone-based support, which will be moving to chat in a couple months. My own experience with the QBO support team has been outstanding.

8. FREE data conversion from Sage to QBO (coming soon). Note: there is currently no conversion tool to transfer a QuickBooks desktop file to QBO… but it’s also in the works!IntuitCloud YEG 128

The one other item Zac talked about was discounts for our clients. Because it’s fairly complex and still a work-in-progress, he couldn’t say much more at this point. But he did promise that the discounts will come this November and they’re greater than they’ve ever been!

Only one thing was missing from the launch event, and that was the mention of ‘Harmony’ – the new look of QBO. Having just come back from the Intuit VIP Summit in California – where ‘Harmony’ was unveiled with much excitement – I totally expected it would be announced here as well. I do understand it will take a while to roll it out across North America, and Intuit Canada probably wants to work out any kinks before making if official. Harmony is the number one reason I’m so excited about QBO and eagerly await the day that ALL QBO customers are using this platform. If you want to take the US version of QBO ‘Harmony’ for a test drive, you can find it here Craig’s Design & Landscaping Services.

Intuit will be hosting several “Find your Freedom in the Cloud” events across Canada in the upcoming weeks. Watch the Intuit Canada website for more information.

So… some incredible opportunities that are basically too good to pass up! Stone de Souza, Senior Marketing Manager, Global Business Division, said that Intuit really wants to reward and incentivize their partners. With QBOA and the Cloud ProAdvisor Program, we’ll have the ability to add value, grow our practice, and serve our customers better. Sounds good to me!

Here’s the link to get started QuickBooks Cloud ProAdvisor Program.

Intuit VIP Summit 2013. Be inspired!

Image

Just a few of the guests at last week’s Intuit VIP Summit in California. Here are the international attendees from Canada, India, UK and Australia. Thank you to Margaret Carey for the photo!

Last week I was honored and humbled to be invited to the Intuit VIP Summit in Mountain View, California. The event was attended by QuickBooks Accountants and Influencers from all over the globe. The two Canadian ProAdvisors in attendance were Esther Friedberg Karp and myself. It was definitely the event of a lifetime, and I certainly hope we get asked back.

The evening before the official event, a lovely cocktail reception was held on the ‘Moon and Stars’ patio at the Westin Palo Alto. Two of the first people I had the chance to meet were Charlie Russell and William Murphy, who I’m definitely IN AWE OF. It was a great opportunity to connect with a few of the attendees and some of the folks from Intuit.

DAY ONE was held at the Intuit campus. We had a bit of time for breakfast and socializing, and I got to meet several more QuickBooks ninjas including Doug Sleeter, Michelle Long, the gang from RadioFree QuickBooks, Seth David of Nerd Enterprises, and the incredible team from Intuit. I’m sorry I can’t list all the guests, but one thing is for sure, they are all QB rockstars! It was an absolute thrill to meet so many people I feel like I know because of social media. And speaking of social media, we were encouraged to be active on all platforms and tweet using the hashtag #IntuitSummit. We lit up Twitter like a Christmas tree!

Brad Smith EditAfter an awesome welcome from Senior VP Jill Ward, CEO Brad Smith delivered the key-note address. His speech got the room energized about all the exciting innovation happening at Intuit. We were introduced to the new look of QBO (code name ‘Harmony’). It has an updated look that’s modern and clean (and kind of reminds me of Wave). Intuit is putting a lot of resources into the product, worldwide. Last July, QBO was in five countries. Now it’s in over 100! One of the awesome features is that QBO works with a lot of third-party apps. Brad said that Intuit is a team sport and they value their developers. Someone asked about tech support. Brad said that they are aware of the challenges with tech support and believe deeply that “service matters.” He said their goal is to help us to win, not to eliminate our jobs. And he stressed the fact that Intuit cannot succeed without accounting professionals. I have to say I am COMPLETELY excited about ‘Harmony,’ and I will discuss (and challenge) some of the most common objections about QBO in an upcoming blog.

In the afternoon, we took part in a “Design for Delight” exercise where we had the chance to break into teams and CREATE! There was much energy and laughter, as all seven tables were assigned a challenge to brainstorm specific ideas/solutions for QBO. Scott Cook, Founder of Intuit, sat at each of the tables, listening and observing. The presentations were intriguing, outrageous, and clever. Shortly after our innovation exercise, it was time to depart for the next part of our day-one adventure.

We loaded into buses and were driven up the winding road to the Mountain Winery in Saratoga. We were treated to some excellent wines, delicious appetizers, a stunning view of Silicon Valley, and the “Innovation Showcase,” where we were able to preview some of Intuit’s newest products and meet with Intuit developers at various displays. I was particularly excited to meet Pamela Bailey, Design Lead for the desktop version, who had QuickBooks 2014 on display. She’s from Edmonton, my hometown, and we have mutual friends, so we had lots to cCalifornia (50)hat about. Intuit continues to make improvements to the desktop version, and even with ‘Harmony’ taking center-stage, it definitely won’t be neglected. One thing you’ll appreciate is that the left-icon bar now has color!

As the sun went down, we enjoyed a first-class meal and lively conversation on the patio. The Google Glass was in attendance for anyone who wanted to try it, and a cool 3D printer sent us all home with an Intuit wine bottle key chain. Two high-powered telescopes allowed us to admire the stars. It was a very full day, and my heavenly bed at the Westin was just that.

DAY TWO was held at the beautiful Quadras Conference Center. Our morning was an interactive session with Steve King from Emergent Research discussing the future of accounting. We learned some interesting facts. Like sales of tablets are predicated to outpace sales of PCs by 2014. That boomers likely need prescription Google Glass! That social media has created FOMO – the fear of missing out. That predicting the future isn’t that hard… but getting the timing right is. The entire morning was captured by Terry, a graphic recorder. In colorful markers, she recorded the morning’s conversation. It’s really something to see. Her amazing artwork will go back to Steve’s office where he will use it for his Future of Accountancy project.

Remember our “Design for Delight” exercise from day one? Joe Wells, the VP of Engineering at Intuit, showed up with the previous day’s best idea magically implemented into QBO! It was very exciting to see our suggestion come to life and confirmed what we’d been hearing over the last two days – that Intuit really is listening.

Prizes were awarded for the ‘most social’ attendees, and according to TweetReach, our influence on Twitter was stellar!  You can check out all the awesome posts by searching #IntuitSummit. You can also see some great pics of the summit on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/search/?q=IntuitSummit.

It was an amazing, incredible, inspiring two days. I came home with some awesome swag (including a bottle of wine from Scott Cook’s own vineyard!), many new connections, and complete excitement around what Intuit is doing for accountants and customers.California (17)

Coming in Friday’s blog – information about the new Cloud ProAdvisor Program!

Post Navigation