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Concurrent Session II

December 14, 2017, 3:15pm–4:30pm


Talent Track

Learning and Training Trends for the New World of Consulting

Presented by Tom Hood

The latest research from the Business Learning Institute shows the hard trends of technology, demographics and regulations are transforming the CPA Profession and some say we won't recognize most firms in five years. What skills will be needed in this age of artificial intelligence and big data? What about the skills need to be proactive, anticipatory, trusted advisors? This session will cover the latest trends in learning and training and how the best firms are making this a competitive advantage. - Understand the latest trends in learning and development and best practices. - Learn the top eight competencies required in the age of artificial intelligence and big data. - Develop an action plan to apply these leading strategies to elevate your firm's learning and development.

Technology & Innovation Track

Zen and the Art of Consulting

Presented by Ed Kless

This session is dedicated to the possibility that an accounting professional can increase their effectiveness in working with their customers (NOTE: not clients) if they adopt some concepts of consulting theory. Adopting these behaviors is not easy as it requires professionals to think differently than they have in the past. If you think you can think a bit differently about your professional relationships, you are invited to attend this conversational session by Ed Kless, Sage’s senior director of partner development and strategy.

Growth Track

Upstream Mergers' Perspectives on M&A

Presented by Allan Koltin, Kathie Gottlieb, Linda Saddlemire, & Mike Poirier

This session will feature leaders of CPA firms who have merged “upstream” in the recent past. Their comments will range from decisions made initially to merge upstream to how they went about deciding on the proper accounting firm to merge with. Lastly, it will also include a look back perspective from each of the panelists identifying anything they might have done differently along the way, as well as a brief discussion on how the integration process has gone for their firm.

Executive Level Marketing Track

Maximize Your Firm at the Service Level

What firm doesn’t want to maximize business value? Successful companies do this at a product (or service) level. A product management strategy is like a strategic plan for each service you sell focusing on optimizing its market position and financial return across its entire lifecycle. From researching market needs to market identification to marketing strategies and tactics to reach buyers, your strategy should include both new product introduction as well as management of all services as long as they remain in existence. Questions addressed in this session will include: What is product management and how will a strategy help a CPA firm? How do you identify potential solutions (e.g., research)? How does a solid market-driven solution move from identification to eventual sale? What should you be considering with older, more mature service offerings? What is the role of a product manager? How does product management work with marketing? Sales? Firm leadership?

Business Development Track

Building a Formal Business Development Training Program in Your Firm

Presented by Brad Self