Pivoting for Profitability
by Heather Robinson, Marketing Manager
Recently, several Boomer consultants had an opportunity to participate in Intuit’s Pivoting for Profitability Virtual Conference. This two-day event focused on innovative approaches accountants can take to serve their clients, with insights into workflows, tools, and tips to build stronger foundations for collaboration in their firms.
The conference featured engaging keynote speakers and valuable breakout sessions. Today, we’re sharing a few takeaways from our favorite sessions.
Talent in the New Normal
This panel discussion included Jon Hubbard, Director at Boomer Consulting, Inc., Jennifer Wilson, Partner and Co-Founder at ConvergenceCoaching LLC, Angie Grissom, Owner of The Rainmaker Companies and was moderated by Reggie Wilford, HR Business Partner at Intuit.
The panel discussed the changing skills and knowledge professionals need to succeed in today’s accounting profession. While the skillset of an accountant leaned heavily toward the technical side in the past, today’s accountants need to be much more focused on interpersonal and relationship skills and business development.
One of the things we coach firms on is that clients need to see you as key to reaching their business or financial goals,” Jon said. “Have strategic conversations with prospects and clients on what is important to them and their goals. Help them see that your work is tied to their success.”
Rise of the Robo Accountant
Marc Staut, Chief Innovation and Technology Officer at Boomer Consulting, Inc., hosted a session on disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), algorithms, super-intelligent systems, and machine learning.
Marc pushed back a little against the term disruption, as it tends to scare people when what we should really be focused on is looking for opportunity. In many cases, existing technologies are being used in new and exciting ways.
After discussing the state of AI and other emerging technologies today, Marc discussed the new roles we’ll be seeing in firms soon, including automation trainers, AI business development managers, data detectives, and high-level consultants.
“We need to start thinking about is as working with the technology rather than competing with it,” Marc said. “Look to robotic process automation for cost savings, scale, improved speed, and extending the life of your legacy systems.”
Scaling Your Practice through Business Development and Marketing
Jim Boomer, CEO of Boomer Consulting, Inc., presented a session focused on learning how to clarify a firm’s message and communicate its value proposition to clients through strategic sales and marketing initiatives.
Accounting firms tend to approach their business development and marketing initiatives separately, but they need to be coordinated for the firm to achieve the results its looking for.
Jim discussed common website mistakes that firms make, marketing best practices, and a strategy for creating new business leads from your existing clients. Most importantly, he reminded the audience that marketing and messaging needs to focus on the client – not the firm. “Your customers want your brand to participate in their transformation, not be their transformation,” Jim said.
Important Trends in the Tax and Accounting Profession
This panel discussion featured Arianna Campbell, Director at Boomer Consulting, Inc., Donny Shimamoto, Managing Director of Intraprise TechKnowledgies, Tom Hood, President and CEO of Maryland Association of CPAs, and Garret Wagner, Founder of C3 Evolution Group and was hosted by Gail Perry, Editor-in-Chief of CPA Practice Advisor.
The panel discussed how trends in the tax and accounting profession are impacting accountants and their clients. Of course, during a pandemic, the move to remote work is top of mind for many firms. Now that the dust has settled from the sudden shift in March, firms are evaluating whether it can work for the long term and taking stock of how they measure performance.
“Remember, these aren’t normal circumstances,” said Arianna. “If someone is under or overperforming, take into account all of the things impacting them now that won’t affect them later.”
That could be caring for sick family members, homeschooling children, having both spouses working from home at the same time, and various other scenarios. Arianna recommends providing coaching and support and doing a “pulse check” to find out what’s going on in their life.
“Think about how you’ll evaluate performance after the pandemic,” Arianna said. “Extend some grace while we’re all working from home AND living at work.”
Of course, these are just a few of the excellent insights shared by presenters and panelists during this informative event. Our profession is changing quickly, and learning from our peers – either at conferences like this one or in peer networking groups – is the best way to stay on top. If you’re interested in connecting with other leaders in the accounting and advisory profession, the Boomer Business Transformation Circle is an excellent resource. Apply now, and we’ll schedule a short call to discuss how you might benefit from being a member of this powerful peer community.
As the Marketing Manager for Boomer Consulting, Inc., Heather’s primary focus is on developing the firm’s marketing strategy and brand awareness to help drive business results. She manages and executes marketing and business development initiatives, with daily oversight of the website, social media, and thought leadership content. In addition, as a part of the Business Development team, she provides leadership and strategic planning on marketing and communication practices for the firm.