CPA Practice Advisor

JUL 2018

Today's Technology for Tomorrow's Firm.

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JULY 2018 ■ www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com 17 SPONSORED CONTENT The ProAdvisor Spotlight ARE YOU A FIRM OF THE FUTURE? This year’s Intuit QuickBooks Global Firm of the Future contest celebrates the ways bookkeeping, full-service accounting, and tax firms help small businesses succeed and prosper. Intuit QuickBooks and ProConnect Group will offer over $135,000 USD in prizes, including cash prizes and an all-expense paid trip to Intuit’s fifth annual QuickBooks Connect conference. During the voting phase of the contest, Intuit QuickBooks will also be making a donation of up to $25,000 USD to Kiva.org (http://www.kiva.org), a San Francisco-based non-profit that invests in entrepreneurs from underserved communities around the world. Think you have what it takes to win the coveted title of Intuit QuickBooks Global Firm of the Future? Here’s what you need to know. The call for entries is open through August 12, 2018 at 11:59 PM Eastern. Any bookkeeping, full-service accounting, and/or tax firm based in Australia, Canada (except Quebec), the United Kingdom, the United States and, for the first time, India are eligible to enter at http://intuit.me/FOTF2018 (note the capital letters). Your entry will entail answering six questions, as well as uploading a photo that best exemplifies how your company is a Firm of the Future. Participants are also asked to highlight how they have helped a particular small business client succeed, and new this year, that client is also eligible for prizes. One finalist will be chosen from each country, as well as up to 10 runners-up from around the world. Intuit will help each finalist produce a video entry spotlighting what makes their firm a Firm of the Future to be used during the October 16-31, 2018 public voting period. The grand prize winner and the small business client included in their submission will be revealed onstage at QuickBooks Connect (https://quickbooksconnect.com/) in San Jose, November 5-7, 2018. The five global finalists win $5,000 USD each for their firms and $5,000 USD for their designated small business client, along with an expense-paid trip to QuickBooks Connect. The grand prize winner wins an additional $25,000 USD, along with $15,000 for their client. Up to 10 runners-up will win $2,500 USD, as well as $1,000 for their designated small business client. Ariege Misherghi, accountant product leader, Intuit notes, “This year’s Firm of the Future contest is our chance to recognize accounting and tax firms for the work they do to help their small business clients succeed. We want to shine a spotlight on firms around the globe who push boundaries and embrace the future in order to help their clients grow and prosper.” Juliet Aurora and Steve Loates, founders of AIS Solutions of Burlington, Ontario, Canada, certainly agree, as their firm was chosen as the 2017 Global Firm of the Future. Juliet and Steve recently shared their thoughts on the experience: What success have you seen since being named the grand prize winner of the 2017 contest? It’s nearly a year later, what has changed for you and your business? It has certainly been a valuable experience for us, and the recognition within our industry has been tremendous. We have been provided with speaking and presenting opportunities to assist others on this cloud journey. Having won the title of Intuit QuickBooks Global Firm of the Future has certainly provided us with a great deal of credibility with our clients and potential clients, boosting our authority when we provide a recommendation for a particular third-party app or conversion to QuickBooks Online. But more importantly than all of the external success or recognition, it was the internal pride of our team that was most rewarding. They proudly state that they are the Intuit QuickBooks Global Firm of the Future whenever the opportunity presents itself. What did you think of your Firm of the Future experience? Did participating in the contest itself push you to think outside the box, try new ideas, etc.? The experience has been a fabulous one from start to finish. Internally it brought our entire team closer together in working toward a common goal of remaining at the forefront of this technological change. It also caused us to ask ourselves, “Now what? What’s next for us? What is the next accomplishment for us after winning the Global Firm of the Future contest?” Probably that last question more than any other has pushed us to think outside the box – or perhaps, think of how we could create a new box. What would you say to accounting professionals considering entering the contest? Absolutely enter! Our story is actually quite comical when we tell people that we weren’t even going to put our name into the contest. We said to ourselves, “How is it possible that we could ever win?” But look how that turned out! On a more serious note, I think the reason you must enter is that by entering you will be forced to push yourself and your firm...and that is never a bad thing. How did you spend the prize? We actually haven’t spent it all yet! A great deal of the prize money went back into our team, as that is one of our greatest strengths. We were able to increase the budget on the educational opportunities for our team, as well as introduce a Profit Sharing Program. We also are redeveloping our AIS Website and have put extra funding on growing our Kninja Platform to help give back to the industry. What’s your advice for the next generation of firms looking to be the next Firm of the Future? Our industry is changing, and it’s changing quickly. You are being presented with a unique opportunity to witness the disruption of the accounting and bookkeeping industry. Embrace it. Be one of the pioneers in this shift. What’s next for your business? So many exciting new things are on the horizon for us. We are publishing a book this summer called “The Kninja Way - Our Journey to the Firm of the Future.” We are also launching a new series of courses through the Kninja Knetwork to help other accounting professionals with specific pain points in this transition to the cloud, and we are continuing to impact small businesses in Canada through QuickBooks Online and the ecosystems we create for them. 2017 was a great year for us, and we look forward to building on that success and are excited to see what the future holds for AIS Solutions and Kninja Knetwork. Apply today at http://intuit.me.com/FOTF2018 to join in the running for this year’s Firm of the Future title, and visit www.firmofthefuture.com to access a wide array of resources to help your company prepare for tomorrow. The ProAdvisor Spotlight is sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks.

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