18th October, 2022

Bookkeeper on tour: The Bookkeeper Event 2022

After a four-year hiatus, ABN’s The Bookkeeper Event delivered a live conference schedule packed with learnings for personal development, compliance and new tech demos, writes Leanne Berry.

Returning to Cairns’ Pullman Hotel, this year’s The Bookkeeper Event as hosted by The Australian Bookkeepers Network (ABN) arrived just as the last of Australia’s COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.

The conference served primarily to remind us all once again that live events are back — and the 250 or so attendees couldn’t have been happier about it.

The content of the event reflected this attitude well, dubbed ‘Be Together, Learn Together, Stronger Together’, the two-day event included 11 CPE hours with a great mix of both technical and professional development sessions from industry experts.

More to discover with MYOB

“I didn’t know MYOB could do that!” was a phrase heard repeatedly throughout the conference.

As the event’s major sponsor, we had a unique opportunity to put our best foot forward in discussing the powerful features available across the MYOB range — and the attendees responded with surprise and delight at each turn.

Kicking the proceedings off with a technology afternoon on Thursday, MYOB joined forces with Dext, BizCover and Tall Emu to share insights into all things tech for bookkeepers of all sizes.

I had the pleasure of sharing the spotlight with MYOB Client Solutions Consulting Team Leader Chris McCormack and MYOB Solutions Consultant Sonya Prosper to give the attendees a real deep dive into everything we’ve been working on, including the banking, Intray and reporting processes that demonstrate the true power of our flagship product: MYOB Business.

CEO of Tall Emu Mike Nash then took to the stage to reveal the power of customer relationship management (CRM) systems and how it integrates with MYOB products to deliver a complete sales and marketing solution.

The Bookkeeper Event
Following the tech afternoon, the official proceeding were kicked off across the road at Hemingway’s Brewery.

The tech afternoon was a fantastic way to whet the attendees’ appetites, many of whom demonstrated a real hunger to learn more about MYOB’s solutions in-person, resulting in huge demand for in-person product demos throughout the remainder of the conference.

It was also closely followed by an official welcome event, held at Hemingway’s Brewery on Thursday night, which set the tone for networking on a more social, personable level (and I can confirm all those in attendance were talking about it for the rest of the conference!).

The personal touch: Professional development sessions stand out

On top of the technical learnings on offer, a major drawcard for the event were the keynotes that delivered professional development coaching and insights, all of which I found truly inspirational.

In particular, speeches given by award-winning Executive Coach Josie Thomson, International Speakers Hall of Fame Inductee Lisa McInnes-Smith and Physiotherapist and Coach Lauren Cox had the entire audience enthralled.

Each of these speakers invited attendees to rethink their attitudes towards their work, the value and support they offer customers and, importantly, offered some practicable tips on how to be more mindful and resilient as professionals in bookkeeping.

What does digitisation mean for bookkeepers?

Following on from MYOB’s appearance at the tech afternoon, Thursday also saw our Chief Sales and Support Officer Daniel West steal the show as a headline act, revealing how bookkeepers can begin to think of the role of digitisation as a fundamental and ongoing goal of bookkeeping practices and advisory.

His keynote provided insights into not only what good digitisation looks like for bookkeepers (and how to avoid the pitfalls of bad digitisation), but he also unpacked the three key functions that a modern bookkeeping practice must focus on in order to succeed in the current financial year.

The Bookkeeper Event
I was fortunate enough to make several speakers appearances throughout the conference, this time pictured on stage with ABN Director Peter Thorp.

Solving common concerns, one conversation at a time

From advising bookkeepers on STP2 deferrals to generally getting more from their software solutions, the staff at MYOB had a very busy couple of days as exhibitors to the conference.

And, as you would expect from good bookkeepers, the conversation usually begins with “my clients…” or “I have a client who…” — revealing just how important their relationships are to them.

Fortunately, we spend just as much time thinking about how to present the best possible solutions to these clients as our bookkeepers do, leading to very powerful conversations about which products and features can offer the best result for any given situation.

These chats also gave me plenty of opportunity to hear feedback from the attendees about the conference itself — all of which was overwhelmingly positive.

A standout in my busy calendar (and it seems the 250 bookkeeping attendees agreed), the return of The Bookkeepers Conference by ABN was delivered with panache and ran like clockwork, reminding me once again why it’s so great for us all to be back and supporting the bookkeeping community.