A few weeks ago, some of our team members traveled to Orlando, Florida for the Scaling New Heights conference. SNH is a multi-day event for Accountants and other Business Advisors that offers the largest tech expo for Accountants in the country and more than 100 unique education sessions.
Over four days, our team attended classes on everything from elevating the experience of our clients to building financial dashboards. We heard from inspirational speakers and met the teams behind some of our favorite software.
It was an invaluable experience from our firm, but so much of what we learned is applicable to all businesses — not just Accounting and Advisory professionals. Below are three of the biggest takeaways from Scaling New Heights that you might want to take back to your own company.
It’s time to rethink how we approach security.
Protecting our clients’ data is one of the most important things we do. Over the past several months, we’ve been updating our security policies, implementing safer tech, and working to educate our clients on the risks they may be exposed to.
But Scaling New Heights really put the threat into perspective.
One speaker, Randy Johnston, indicated that Microsoft sees about 800 cyberattacks per second. This time last year, there were 1,000 per minute. That’s about a 4,700% increase.
Cyber security experts are saying that it’s a question of when, not if, your business will be attacked, regardless of your size, revenue, or location.
It’s time to go all-in on security.
This quarter, our priority is to continue updating our procedures and putting even more safeguards in place.
We encourage you to dig into how you handle your organization’s data, including the data of any clients you support. How are you managing passwords? What training are you providing on safe email practices and digital hygiene? What security measures are in place for the tools you use?
The National Institute of Standards and Technology is a great place to start reviewing and updating your cyber security practices.
Every company has the ability to innovate.
Unless you’re working to develop new technology, it might feel impossible to create new, exciting solutions for your clients and customers.
Most of us work in well-established industries; we know the best practices, we know what has worked for our colleagues, and, while there might be ways to improve our workflows, the core of what we do is stagnant.
But it doesn’t have to be.
One class a team member attended was focused on innovation beyond technology. The key message was that you don’t have to come up with huge, complicated ideas to change your work.
Some of the ways the speaker, Ed Kless, mentioned you could innovate are:
- Around your customer experience. Did you know that the #1 predictor for how satisfied someone will be during their hotel stay is their check-in experience? If someone has a negative experience checking into a hotel, their confirmation bias will lead them to look for other things they don’t like during their stay. The same works when someone has a positive experience checking in. Innovation around your onboarding, sales process, and initial projects can go a long way in how your clients and customers feel long term.
- Around customer processes. Consider the $300 Million Button. Small changes to what you expect from your clients and customers can completely change how they view you and your business.
- Around marketing. Ed shared this hilarious (and true!) story about the cereal brand Shreddies. There are ways to change how you’re positioned in the marketplace, all while changing very little about what your company does or how you work.
We’re still tossing ideas around internally for how we plan to innovate our Accounting and Consulting practices, from how we interact with our clients to the language we use to describe our services. Our goal in innovating is to improve our clients’ experience.
It’s time to expand our consulting practices.
We love partnering with our clients in their success. We’ve offered Consulting and Advisory services for years, but there are so many different ways we can empower our clients even when we aren’t face-to-face.
Some of the new offers we hope to provide to clients in the near future include:
- Dashboarding. Our team plans to build and maintain dashboards for Consulting clients so they can get real-time, easy-to-digest business intelligence from profit to productivity.
- Tech Consulting. We’re exploring new ways to help our clients find and implement better, more cost-effective, more secure tech stacks.
- Process Consulting. We want to be sure that our clients’ businesses are operating as effectively as possible, which means supporting them in developing more robust workflows, creating automations, and improving their documentation.
Be on the lookout for when we begin officially offering some of these exciting additions.
Until then, where in your business can you find opportunities for expansion? How can you leverage technology to take a more supportive role with your clients or customers? Where can you be more valuable?
We’re here to help!
These three takeaways are truly the tip of the iceberg for what we learned at the Scaling New Heights conference. There are even more exciting things that we’ll be implementing in our practice, both internally and for our clients.
If, like us, you’re ready to make some major changes in your business, let’s talk! We offer Client Advisory Services and would love to discuss how we can support you and your goals going into the second half of the year. Reach out to us to set up your free consultation.