What you missed at Partner Connect 2018

While nothing compares to witnessing the full scope of learning, inspiration and community on offer at MYOB’s high-profile accounting and bookkeeping conference, here’s a small glimpse of the action for those who couldn’t attend.

Passionate bookkeepers and accountants descended on Melbourne across two days this September, joining in on a truly unique experience.

How can an industry event lie so close to the heart of so many? For anyone who hasn’t been to Partner Connect, the conference revealed the full extent of the passion felt by a group of professionals who dedicate their efforts to maintaining their clients’ financial wellbeing.

And of course, there’s no way to cover off all the updates and news from Partner Connect in one article, so for those who couldn’t make it there’s also a Digital Showbag packed with resources, presentation videos and information about exhibitors available for you to peruse.

Business isn’t just business, it’s personal. And for the enthusiastic group of attendees at Partner Connect 2018, it’s everything.


Keynotes: Tears, laughter and learning


“At MYOB, our purpose is to help businesses succeed,” said MYOB CEO Tim Reed in his opening keynote address.

“Accountants and bookkeepers are the lifeblood of our business, our vision of The Connected Practice places our partners at the centre of business advisory.

“We are proud of the work we’re delivering to strengthen the vital relationships between accountants and bookkeepers and their clients to ensure they can create a thriving business for themselves and the people they serve.”

But rather than speaking about his own view of success, Reed closed his presentation by telling the audience it would be more appropriate to hear from one of their own, proceeding to introduce Rob Marshall of Ebiz Solutions to the stage.

Marshall’s story was personal – one of love, loss and a very near-death experience. It’s safe to say there weren’t many dry eyes in the crowd as the talk unfolded, but it also encouraged attendees to reflect on what they considered to be important in their life and work.

“Rob’s talk really made me think,” said Stacey Price of Healthy Business Finances. “We spend so much time helping our clients so that their work doesn’t take over their private lives, but we don’t often stop to take our own advice.”

The heartfelt nature of the presentation struck a chord, but it also turned out to be something of a theme for conference.

Keynotes from the likes of Futurist Steve Sammartino, Cosentino The Illusionist, Boost founder Janine Allis and more, all touched on the idea that success in business is so often dictated by your ability to step back and away from it.

The wealth of information presented by speakers covered a broad range of business topics, from payments to payroll and innovations in invoicing.

Attendees were particularly interested in hearing about updates and refinements introduced to MYOB software that will assist them on their way to becoming a Connected Practice, so for those who missed out we’ve covered some of the big announcements below.


1. MySuccess brings the Partner Program together


Available to accountants and bookkeepers who join the MYOB Partner Program, MySuccess has become a key tool to bring together all the relevant information you need to maintain and grow your client portfolio.

Presented in Melbourne by MYOB Partner Program Manager Celeste Gullone, she told The Pulse that partners are already enjoying the convenience offered by MySuccess.

“While we launched the MySuccess Portal to a very appreciative user base last year, we’ve continued to build out it’s functionality since then,” said Gullone.

“In the past, we’d supply our partners with dozens of links and log ins as part of the Partner Program, but now everything they need – from their Partner Dashboard, Marketing Portal, and the ability to connect directly with their Partner Manager – is all in the one place.”


2. Solutions for clients: Improving cashflow, digital records and better insights


In a session entitled ‘Products For Your Clients’, MYOB’s Senior Product Marketer Merrin Hughes and Head of Product Dale Dixon presented a number of updates and improvements to MYOB products specifically designed to assist SME clients.

“We want to help small businesses understand and track the money flowing in and out of their business, and we can do this by sharing advice, but also in using online software to help them keep accurate records,” said Hughes.

The updates include new methods of receipt storage, payroll improvements and how STP is being simplified for MYOB’s clients. Mobile quoting and invoices were announced, which allows customers to quote and invoice from their mobile device, as well as Invoice Payments, which enables invoices to be paid by credit card, reducing the time it takes to get paid.

Many partners were also interested to hear MYOB has just announced a partnership with Reece to enable automatic expenses and invoicing for tradespeople, which is part of a larger initiative dubbed Supplier Invoices.

This announcement, alongside the release of Smart Receipts (which allows people to photograph a receipt on their mobile and have it automatically sent to a digital ‘in tray’ for reconciliation), illustrates a future where the acting of giving or receiving payments becomes almost instantaneous.

READ: Why payment solutions advisory is critical to The Connected Practice


3. The Connected Practice vision becoming a reality


An integrated suite of practice solutions reducing effort across every workflow. Processes that optimise the way that you want to work.

This is a vision that is very quickly coming to life. MYOB’s vision of its practice solutions evolving to redefine efficiency in transaction processing, compliance, running your business and providing advisory services was presented at Partner Connect by MYOB’s General Manager of Product, David Weickhardt.

Plans to bring together MYOB’s various practice solutions into one system resonated strongly with audiences at the event, and the speakers were bombarded with questions and support almost as soon as they left the stage.

“From the simple removal or reduction of key steps in the compliance workflow, through to the seamless flow of data throughout the platform, the most common reaction I received, was how this really was reimaging the core functions performed daily by both bookkeepers and accountants,” said Weickhardt.

The integrated solution, along with the efficiency it drives, made it easy for those attending to get a sense of the productivity gains they will soon be able to realise.

“I had some really interesting discussions about how that change would benefit the many varied advisors in the room,” he said.

“From extending into new revenue streams, improving profitability, or to gaining a better work/life balance, it was really great to hear that what we are working on will make a real difference in the lives of our customers.”


4. MYOB Advisor to make value-added services easy


Recently launched to the market, MYOB Advisor is a feature that many accountants and bookkeepers saw for the first time as presented at Partner Connect 2018.

The AI-driven insights software was unveiled by MYOB Client Solutions Consulting Team Leader Chris McCormack, who said his presentation drew a tangible response from many attendees.

“With a few clicks of the mouse, MYOB Advisor unlocks a wealth of information about any client, which our partners can use – for free – to deliver valuable insights that would usually take days to derive,” said McCormack.

“Seeing that lightbulb go off in so many of our partners’ heads was a humbling moment – many came up to me straight after the presentation to discuss the possibilities in detail.”

READ: How AI can help your practice become even more human

 

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