"Change Me into the power of WE." This was the overarching theme of QuickBooks Connect 2014, which concluded Wednesday night with a memorable concert by Train in the reconfigured main stage in the San Jose convention center. What a way to end a great conference that served as a way for accounting professionals, developers, and small businesses alike to come together with intuit in a manner that hasn't been done since...well ever.
The unique format spanned Monday to Wednesday. Accounting professionals interested in a QuickBooks "deep dive" arrived on Monday for classes that delved into QuickBooks subjects ranging from data file integrity, to tax time preparation, to advanced reporting capability to name a few. Developers were there early as well with many participating in the Intuit sponsored "hack-a-thon," in which teams competed for cash prizes developing new QBO apps with a recently released QB API. Imitating the current hot show "shark tank," teams were then judged by panelists, peers, and experts in a pressure cooking final day with a winner being chosen at the conclusion. The winning team came from Method CRM who created a clever app to simplify charitable donations for non-profit users of QBO.
The final day saw close to 4,000 attendees flowing through the San Jose convention center. Keynote and closing speakers included the likes of Magic Johnson, Martha Stewart, Giuliana Rancic, and Ariana Huffington. Each spoke about his or her journey as entrepreneurs overcoming obstacles, working harder than they ever thought possible, and experiencing the ultimate reward of starting a business that became both profitable and sustainable. A special note has to be made touting the opening and closing remarks by Sekou Harris the poet/motivational speaker whose ability to weave inspiration and invoicing, emotion and accounting, and passion and purchase orders so seemlessly was mind blowing to say the least.
Intuit is working to help accountants and end users alike "change me into the power of we" through its software offerings and pro advisor program. Both are designed to empower each group to save time and money, which Intuit asserts will enable everyone to focus their efforts on the things they do best, thus adding value to their businesses.