This week’s featured QuickBooks ProAdvisor is Cathy Iconis, founder of the Iconis Group, an Atlanta-based accounting consultancy that works with a range of clients. Cathy is also the ProAdvisor responsible for #QBOChat on Thursday afternoons. We got Cathy’s thoughts on the state of the ProAdvisor community, their opportunities, and of course her advice about how to get the most out of QB Connect in October.
How long have you been a QuickBooks ProAdvisor?
I’ve been a ProAdvisor since 2009, shortly after I started my own business. I realized that the ProAdvisor Program was the best deal to get me the tools and training that I needed to be a good QuickBooks Consultant.
What sorts of clients do you specialize in serving?
My firm specializes in servicing clients that are on QuickBooks Online or that would like to convert to QBO. Several years ago we jumped onto the cloud and realized this year that we should specialize in just QuickBooks Online clients and utilizing different apps available to expand their business and accounting platform.
How has becoming a QuickBooks ProAdvisor impacted your business?
Becoming a ProAdvisor has made a huge impact on my business. I was lucky to have a client that pushed me to start using QuickBooks Online and I quickly fell in love with it. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of Intuit’s Accountant and Advisor Council, part of their VIP Summit, and now a member of their Trainer-Writer Network. All of this has helped me establish my firm as a leading QuickBooks Online consulting firm.
QB Connect is coming up, and will bring together accountants, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and developers in a way that hasn’t happened before. What unique opportunities do you think the event will bring?
I’m so excited about #QBConnect! I know it is going to be amazing to have all the Intuit customers in one place. For me, the event will be about making connections. I’m lucky that I get to experience a small taste of that every week on my weekly tweet chat – #QBOchat. So many of us feel like we are working in isolation with people that don’t really understand the work that we do. Well, when you bring together each part of the ecosystem, and explosion of ideas and connections are made.
There is a vibrant and growing ecosystem of cloud-based apps for QBO – including everything from TSheets, Constant Contact, Tallie, and Vend. With technologists, startups, and accountants coming together to serve small business, how is the cloud opening new opportunities for accountants and small businesses?
Brad Smith said last year that QuickBooks will become the business platform and I just continue to see this develop. Businesses can finally enjoy the resources that have only been available to big businesses in the past. With QuickBooks’ open API, developers are able to fill gaps for businesses, no matter the industry. This gives businesses a competitive edge over others that aren’t using the cloud.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the ProAdvisor community in the next year?
I think the ProAdvisor community will continue to challenge with embracing new technologies and learning how to implement them into their practices and even recommend them to their clients. So many ProAdvisors are hanging on to the desktop application, which is fine, but if they aren’t at least exploring the possibilities the cloud provides, then they will be left in the dark.
What’s your #1 piece of advice you’d give to other ProAdvisors to make the most of QB Connect?
If you are a ProAdvisor, make a point to attend a session from one of the other tracks. It is important for us to understand all parts of this ecosystem. We need to know what is going on with developers just as much as we need to understand what challenges our clients are facing. There are going to be amazing sessions in each track, so take the opportunity to explore. And, make sure to make connections with all the different types of attendees!
About Austin Gunter
Austin helps run the North American marketing efforts for Vend. Growing up around his family's Honey Farm and store in Texas, he has a passion for small business in his DNA. Austin is a writer, a traveler, and a live-music lover. Ask him what he's reading this week!