Conferences. Love or hate them it is always up to the individual how much or little one gets out of them. As someone who works from home I leap at the opportunity to get out and mingle with like minded people, network, learn, be inspired, and try to capture that energy with some sort of action before the ‘ra ra’ wears off and you are back in the daily stuff.
So my action today, is to let you know what I got out of two events attended within 10 days of each other: The New Zealand Bookkeepers Association Inc (NZBAI) Conference, and the latest Xero Roadshow in Central Auckland. Just the things that I think will benefit my clients and readers mind you. Not the fact that I wrote down ‘must get more sleep’.
Firstly, what does it mean for my clients that I am a certified member of NZBAI? This network exists to put bookkeeping on the National radar as a profession and holds us to high standards of both conduct and qualifications. “Bookkeeping is now a highly skilled professional class of service, whose providers add a huge amount of value and contribution to the success of a small business.” (Melanie Power – Head of Bookkeeping – Xero) The support, guidance and camaraderie amongst the bookkeeping community is a huge boost to the services we provide.
The Future Bookie:
Technology and the Cloud has ‘interrupted’ many professions and the way businesses work. Bookkeepers have kept ahead of this technology and will continue to do so in order to help our clients remain agile and thrive in the coming environment. I was fairly amazed at the number of Tech and Ground breaking companies who want to align with the NZBAI, either to have us as ‘Early Adopters’ of their systems or to have end user feedback they see as critical. We are on the coal face and they know it.
More and more the bookkeeper finds themselves in a unique position of connecting many different professionals and businesses together. It starts with the Client, their Accountant, and the Accounting Software, and then our own networks which could include a growing number of NZBAI partners such as HR, Insurance, banks, payroll, business mentors, credit control, and so on. Add into this the Xero Add on partners (500 and growing!) and your bookkeeper becomes a hub of hive proportions.
World of Xero:
The latest updates continue to make life easier for businesses – not the least is sending off your GST returns straight from Xero to the IRD. Make sure you check out the latest Enterprise connections in case you deal with any of these companies: Z energy, Meridian, Watercare, and Placemakers can send their bills directly to your Xero software. Serko.travel makes business travel arrangements easy while integrating with Xero.
And back to those 500 Add on partners: there is now a user-friendly Marketplace where you can look them up by function required or your business type, and check out reviews and star ratings. I already use Receipt Bank and two of the Payroll options, have trialled two of the reporting options and Job Management options (when I’m a bigger fish they will be awesome!) and have clients using various trade or job costing Add ons. The world is most certainly a big fat oyster!
It is nice to have an occasional ‘aha’ moment isn’t it? And often a conference can do that as you have thinking time that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. For me it was clicking that I have an affinity with not-for-profits, and having gained a couple of NFP clients recently realised it is an easy fit for My Green Bookkeeper. I do love my business clients too, and will continue to say ‘yes we can’ (is that Bob the Builder or Barack Obama inspired?) to all who fit the client criteria for us, but opening our arms to Charities and education centres will be a future focus as well.
In conclusion, if you have a conference to go to, go to it! Or a workshop, or training day or whatever is on offer in your life. Let any hype just go right over your head and instead look for those gems that will become practical or inspirational now or for the long game. And if you feel you may be out of your depth when it comes to riding the wave of cloud technology, get a bookkeeper on board to connect you with the right solution for your enterprise.