The Taking Your Firm Virtual Summit is back again this year from August 2- August 4!
Day 1 Review
The Taking Your Firm Virtual Summit is back for its third year! I’m proud to say I have attended this incredible event each year, and at Bookkeep, we are so excited to be a sponsor this year. The online conference began yesterday, August 2, and will run until Thursday, August 4. The summit includes 30+ incredible speakers with topics ranging from The Must Have Technology Tools to Run a Cloud Based Firm to Firing and Hiring the Best Remote Talent, and everything in between.
The Taking Your Firm Virtual Summit host is Nayo Carter-Gray, who created this summit to “help you confidently and securely take your firm to the cloud. The goal is for your practice to become more profitable, automated, and stress-free.”
On the first day, Nayo Carter-Gray opened up with the Welcome Session and talked about the summit, the AirMeet platform, and what to expect in the next few days. It was great to immediately see people in the chat saying “hello!” to old friends and connecting with industry peers. The accounting community is such a fun and friendly group, and one of my favorite things about this conference is the interactive chat throughout the sessions. It’s here we can all listen to the topic, leave comments, and converse with others. The sessions are always thought-provoking, and I love seeing everyone’s different pain points, stories, and perspectives in the chat.
Speaking of connecting with others in the industry, the first session was Bonding Over Business: Creating a Community of Growth, with an all-star lineup of the “Biz BFFs” including Nayo, Sherrell Martin, Nicole Davis, CPA, Erika Williams, Melanie Willis, EA, Kesha JonTae, Joyce Washington, CPA, LuSandra Everett, EA, CTC, NTPI Fellow, and Kesha Harris. They discussed how they met (mostly at QB Connect) and built their community around a commonality, to connect, encourage and support each other, and ultimately, be a friend to one another. Astrid Daniela Galvez, EA also presented a segment about her business partners, her sisters, and how they started to build a business to help educate and serve the Spanish-speaking community. The session was even presented in Spanish with closed-captioning! In the chat, ShawnToya Jones commented, “Loving this! Not even 2 hours in and this might be the most inclusive summit I’ve ever attended.”
Next up was Andrew Wall, CPA presenting Cloud in a Box: Safeguarding your Cloud Based Data. He reminded us that small businesses spend the least on cybersecurity, but are often the most targeted. He gave us five cybersecurity checkpoints to keep in mind:
- Pop-ups, emails, and unknown links
- Passwords and password managers
- Multi-factor authentication
- Network security
- Security software for data and devices
After we discussed cloud-based cybersecurity, Nayo presented Mobile Matters: Protecting Your Smartphone. Can you believe there are 6.6 billion smartphone users worldwide!? This session discussed the wonders, and dangers, of using mobile devices. Spammers love to target emails, calls, and texts. You also have to be weary of different applications you download and what permissions you are agreeing to. Some apps can take information from your contacts, some track your online activity, and some even use geolocation. Nayo discussed encryption, apps to use for security, and how important (and easy) it is to back up your device.
The Lunch and Learn session was all about Gusto. Will Lopez not only talked about Gusto and the capabilities of the software, but also the importance of utilizing a good partner program.
Following lunch, Crystal Wheeler, EA presented Pronoun-ING: The basics of using more inclusive language in your firm. Let me say, this was my favorite session of the day. It’s important to realize that voice, appearance, and name is not indicative of gender or pronouns. The overall message of this session was that inclusive language is for everyone, “it’s all a part of respecting each other,” said Cyrstal. Take a look at your company’s online presence, in online meetings, in your email signature, on your website add pronouns to establish how the person should be referred to. If someone wants to be called Katie instead of Katherine, we call them what they want, not what we want or think. Inclusive language is not about “you,” it’s about them. Her call to action was for us to continue to learn, and work to be more inclusive.
Next, up was Tyrone Gregory giving us all the tips for an awesome office set up, in Tech it Out: Top Tech Tools You Need to Run a Cloud Based Firm. In this session, he discussed how a USB microphone, a higher-quality webcam, and good lighting can make such a difference in your firm for client experience and engagement. We then had 30 minutes to explore vendor booths and network in the fluid space. The airmeet platform is pretty cool, and we could establish little pods to pop on webcam and chat with each other. Not to mention, the vendor booths are set up so you can go in and explore, grab downloadable resources, and chat with a representative from the company. Don’t forget to pop in to learn more about Gusto, FreshBooks, Ignition, Keeper, and Bookkeep! The last session of the day was From To-Do’s to Done, presented by Jessica Smith, all about workflows, automation, and how TaxDome works for her to streamline her business.
If you haven’t attended the Taking Your Firm Virtual Summit, you’re missing out! We’re looking forward to Day Two and we’ll have another summary tomorrow.
It’s not too late to register, we hope to see you there!