This week I stood in a room at a conference with hundreds of other people, and I alongside many others rejoiced at being together once more. This may not be widely known and it may trample all over that old stereotype, but bookkeepers are actually social butterflies and dare I say it, wilder than you’d think!
There is a misconception that we’re holed up in tiny windowless rooms with our cardigans, calculators and copious cups of tea, and I hate to bust the myth, but it’s simply not true! Every year thousands of bookkeepers descend on huge community events and conferences like the one I’ve just attended.
Rise of the Advisor
For the last few days I’ve trained and spoken at the Scaling New Heights, Rise of the Advisor conference. During my keynote I spoke about the trends, technology, small business, and why, more so than ever we are the backbone of global economies.
In my training workshops I encountered experienced advisors who have been supporting small businesses during the pandemic recession. Many of these seasoned practitioners saw first hand the devastation the last major recession wreaked and, at a time when technology was not as sophisticated as it is now.
Technology is the sibling of systems and processes in any practice and we’re using technology powered by AI and machine learning to manage the complex needs of clients.
So it makes sense that the only accounting conference in the world held its own with both in person (with social distancing) and remote / virtual attendance. They created a booth to enable live streams and provided an awesome app to keep everyone engaged.
Hundreds of people attended… glued to their phones.. chatting to clients, working through accounting software apps and keeping their teams up to date with the conference via Slack. See, that’s one of the myths being busted, oops!
We can service our small business clients via our phones! The MO for most accounting software companies is providing flexibility for both small businesses and their advisors (us!) and it means we have the ability to work around our lives.
Ambition in abundance
I myself am an avid motorcycle enthusiast and once owned a dealership, and I’m a musician in a band. You could say I’m a little bit rock and roll (pokes tongue firmly in cheek) and nowhere near that stereotype!
What I know for sure is the hunger and ambition of bookkeepers is feistier than ever. They love their communities and they know small businesses are the glue that keeps people employed and food on the table.
Staff at the resort thanked us for coming to the conference and told us that events like this are keeping them employed – some had been out of work. Some, like one beautiful I chatted with, had been volunteering in her church soup kitchen, making 600 meals a week.
Let’s keep moving
It was emotional, confronting, and deeply profound.
It also gave me hope. I know these small businesses employing so many people are in good hands – hands of people who care about them and want them to succeed. We can’t fix everything, but we can damn try!
I guess I can’t finish without letting you into our secret wild side! In the alternative reality, pre-covid, we’d usually party until the small hours, on this occasion we kept it low key and just reflected on the blessings we have at this time.
But, we’ll be back. And we’ll raise the roof.
Thank you, Joe Woodard and team