Author: debrahburleigh

What conferences are you attending this year to connect, learn, and grow?

No matter what industry you’re operating in, getting out of your daily routine to gain a fresh perspective by going to a professional conference can pay big dividends. Especially when it delivers opportunities to make face-to-face connections with colleagues and customers, learn best practices and take new technologies for a test drive.

When it comes to choosing where to invest your professional development time and budget, there are a lot of options.

So I put together a list of the top conferences I recommend entrepreneurs, bookkeepers, and accounting professionals attend because of their high ROI on connection, education, and inspiration. 

I based my top picks on the audience each conference brings together, immersive learning experiences offered and the leadership speakers and trainers on the program.

Here’s my list of the top conferences to attend this year: 

IPBC Ignite

IPBC’s IGNITE Conference is the premier live educational and networking event in Canada for business advisors offering bookkeeping and accounting products and services. The benefits include learning sessions on tax, software, technology, and best business practices that will elevate your knowledge.

Quickbooks Connect

Quickbooks Connect brings together thousands of entrepreneurs, small business owners, accountants, and developers for three days packed with business strategy and training you can implement to advance your success.

Sage Sessions 

Sage Sessions is a single-day event held in cities across North America including Vancouver, BC in October 2018. This event is designed to deliver learning, training and networking experience that will inspire you to drive your business forward. Focused on the Sage product portfolio and roadmaps, Sage Sessions provide Sage customers, partners, and accountants with actionable tools and insightful knowledge.

 

What conferences are you attending this year? Share your top picks and best experiences on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, #topconferences2018

I’ve been talking to people a lot lately about what works for them. The biggest challenge for most people is figuring out how to ensure the important but not urgent tasks are getting done.

It’s the little things you tend to let fall through the cracks over time that end up costing you more than you realize in time, money and energy. Invoicing, payables, and reviewing financial reports, are important but not always urgent tasks that may fall to the bottom of the priority list when the day-to-day demands start driving your action list.

The good news is some easy to use apps are available that can help you stay organized, prioritize activities and get reminders delivered to your handheld device so you can maintain your focus on what matters most.

A System To Achieve Your Financial Goals

While I haven’t found a one-size to fit all solution,  (Most apps focus on doing a particular task for you), these three apps function as a valuable system you can use to make achieving your financial goals easier:

Stay Organized

Sage One App (For iOS, iPad, and Android)

This easy-to-use and intuitive app is like having a personal assistant with you on your mobile device at all times to handle the money flowing in and out of your business every day. It allows you to record your expenses, connect your bank, credit, and investment accounts, create and send invoices, manage your products and services lists and manage your contacts. You can schedule reminders for recurring invoices or payables. It’ll even give you directions to your contacts location using your mobile navigation. This app also makes it easy to track your personal income and expenses.

We offer a free consult to help you get set up for a free trial and provide you with a discount code if you love the idea of simplifying your accounting. Contact us to book a free consult.

Manage Activities

Asana App (For iOS, iPad, and Android)

Asana is a system of action. It provides you with a simple structure and intuitive workflow to manage all your daily activities from your desktop or mobile device, so nothing falls through the cracks. Set your goals or objectives up as projects, list steps to completion, assign responsibilities and track progress on every project from start to finish. You can attach documents, graphics or presentations or links to files in Dropbox to your projects. You can also

track conversations and turn next steps into tasks with the click of a button. Asana makes it easy to remember what’s most important and prioritize what’s next so you can stay focused and keep your projects moving forward. You can get started for free here.

Get Reminders

CRA Business Tax Reminders App 

If you’ve ever missed a deadline or had to pay a penalty for submitting a late payment to Canada Revenue Agency, you know how much it costs. The CRA Business Tax Reminders App makes it easy to remember your business-related tax deadlines.

You can download the App to get calendar reminders for your CRA business tax due dates sent to you for the following:

  • Installment due dates for individual income tax, corporate income tax, and goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) accounts;
  • Return due dates for:
    • GST/HST return
    • T2 corporation income tax return
    • T4 information return
    • T5013 partnership information return
    • T1 income tax and benefits return;
  • Remittance due dates for payroll and GST/HST accounts.

 

All of these apps work great to help you stay on the right financial track so you can keep moving towards your goals with confidence and clarity.

Click To Tweet

Are you using these apps? Share what works for you on your favorite social media, #stayontrack.

 

Are you tired of not making progress towards achieving your business goals? 

If you’re frustrated by the approach you’ve been taking to set and achieve your business goals, you’re not alone. Running a business is unpredictable. When you have to make difficult decisions every day to keep moving forward it’s a challenge to stay disciplined and focused on important but not urgent activities. Especially if you’re working on a year-long timeline.

In this post, I’m outlining a better process to set and achieve your business goals. The process involves five steps to help you make progress incrementally towards where you want your business to be.

I know this works because I’ve been using it myself for the last several years to make accomplishing my business and financial goals easier. To gain the most benefit, I recommend scheduling a distraction-free hour or two to go through these steps for the first time.

A 5-Step process to set and achieve your business goals

1. Take Inventory

Make a list of your accomplishments in the last 12 months so you can zoom in on what made a positive impact. Highlight the important lessons, achievements, and transformations that come to mind. Once you write down your initial thoughts, invite feedback from your team to add insights and consider different perspectives.

To complete this step, reflect on your list of highlights and underline what stands out.

2. Identify Improvement Areas

Before you take action on any plan, you need to have a clear starting point so you can identify the gaps between where you are and where you want your business to be. I recommend completing a S.W.O.T review (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) to assess where you are today and identify your best opportunities for improvement.

To complete a S.W.O.T. review write down, at least, one idea for each area of the S.W.O.T. If you have a team, engage them in the process as well by gathering ideas from all your key people. You can familiarize yourself with this concept if it is new to you by clicking here. While you may feel some resistance to initiating this step because it sounds time intensive, the result is worth it and you can complete it within 30-45 minutes.

To complete this step, assess the ideas generated through your S.W.O.T review and make a list of three to five key areas of your business you want to focus on improving over the next year.

3. Set Actionable Goals

The next step is to set actionable goals.  Write down one to three actionable goals (maximum) you want to achieve in each quarter over the next year. Limiting the number of goals you set is important so you can narrow the focus on what matters most and avoid stretching resources too thin.

To make goals actionable, you need to be able to turn each one into a project that can be broken down into specific tasks you can schedule, delegate, and complete within the next 90 days.

Break your goals down into tasks you can schedule, delegate, and complete within the next 90… Click To Tweet

I use this variation of the ‘SMART’ acronym as a guideline to ensure my goals are actionable:

Specific – Avoid vague statements like increase sales or pay off debt. For example, increase revenue by $50,000 is more specific. Because the goal aims at a measurable result, you can identify what specific products or services you’re going to focus on selling to achieve it. Retain 90% of existing customers and reduce administrative overhead costs by 15% are also good examples of specific goals. To create specificity use a number or percentage and write down exactly what success looks like, so the finish line is clear.

Meaningful – Write down why each goal you set matters. If your goals move you closer to realizing a vision driven by a clear purpose, you’ll maintain motivation and inspiration that’ll fuel momentum to succeed.

Attainable – Visualize the path to reach each goal by identifying what needs to happen or come together to realize your desired outcome. You need to be able to achieve every goal you set within 30 to 90 days to get on your actionable list. If a goal feels out of reach, add it to your vision board acheter viagra or create a future goals list you’re working towards once you accomplish what needs to be achieved first.

Required – Ensure the goals you set are essential to improve your priority areas of focus.

Timed – Set the desired achievement date for each goal and stagger deadlines so you can make progress incrementally every quarter and assess results.

To complete this step, write down the list of goals you want to accomplish this year and highlight one to three you want to focus on accomplishing in the next 90 days. Use the ‘SMART’ acronym above as your guide to ensure each goal is actionable.

4. Turn Goals Into Projects

Break the goals you’ve set for the next 90 days down into projects and make a list of action steps that can be scheduled, assigned and tracked until completion. One of my favorite apps to facilitate this is Asana.

Use each goal as the title of every project you need to complete.

To complete this step, write out your list of action steps for each goal and/or try out an app like Asana to turn your goals into projects you can track from start to finish.

5. Schedule Quarterly Reviews

Block time in your calendar to review your progress and financial reports every quarter so you can identify what’s working, what’s not and make changes proactively. The greatest obstacle to achieving your desired results is becoming discouraged if goals take longer than expected to achieve and losing sight of what matters most as a result. Quarterly reviews serve to remind you of your vision, communicate effectively about your plan and organize day-to-day activities as needed to stay on track. And, celebrate the small wins along the way to fuel motivation.

Remember, it’s not about perfection; it’s about incremental progress. Don’t overthink it. Reaching goals is never a straight line. Regular reviews are essential so you can tweak priorities and adjust tasks along the way to keep improving.

Achieving a goal is not about perfection. It's about incremental progress. Click To Tweet

To complete this step, schedule a date and time on your calendar to complete a quarterly review. If you’d like help setting up and creating accountability around this process, you can book a consulting session with me here.

Are you ready to get clear on what you want to accomplish in the next 90 days? Time to schedule a date with yourself to go through this process.

 

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If you run a project-based business, you want to finish projects on time, on budget and meet your customer’s expectations.

You need to plan the work before you begin so you can work the plan from start to finish.

And, if you’ve struggled to manage all the moving parts of a project efficiently, you might think you’re not a good enough project manager. But the truth is, every business owner can use a well-developed plan to steer every project toward successful completion.

Here’s your five-step approach to creating a clear project plan with tips on useful tools you can use to simplify complexity:

1. Plan The Work 

Planning the work is the first step to establishing a timeline and allocating the right resources. Collect this information in a project plan document that you can use as a control and communications tool. It involves determining and documenting a list of project deliverables, specific goals, tasks, costs and deadlines.

Here’s a checklist of things to document in your project plan:

Objectives – desired impact for your customer

Goals – specific, measurable results

Phases – critical milestones before completion

Tasks –  action steps to achieve every goal

Resources – people, materials and equipment requirements

Budget – by phase or overall project

Schedule – deadlines for each stage and project completion

It’s also essential to set clear policies and establish processes to handle communication, collect payments, manage

change requests, sign off on completed work, issue refunds and deal with cost-overruns.

Once all the project requirements are clearly defined, ensure you and your customer’s signing authority sign-off on the plan indicating you both agree to the process, terms and deliverables.

Tip: Online proposal software such as QuoteRoller or BidSketch offer templates and can help you get your project proposal signed fasterYou can use an online project management tool such as Asana or Trello to set up project tasks, set deadlines, organize content files and manage communication between team members on progress. Sage 100 Contractor offers an integrated project management solution if you are in the construction industry.

2. Assign Tasks and Set Schedule

Meet with your project team to assign responsibility to each task and create a detailed schedule estimating the time required to complete each phase of the project. Review and discuss timelines to ensure everyone has the information they need to complete their part.  Revise the schedule to address any potential scheduling conflicts or resource constraints.

It may help to look at similar projects you’ve recently completed to get a handle on how long it takes to complete specific tasks. If you don’t have a process in place to track time, now is a great time to start to help accurately schedule tasks for projects moving forward.

Tip:  The project management tools named above allow you to assign tasks and set deadlines. Everhour is a time tracking app that integrates with Asana or you’ll find many other options to consider online.

3. Set Up A Budget

Estimate your expenses to complete each phase of the project. Calculate labour, materials, and any equipment requirements then add a contingency in case your costs are higher than anticipated. It is important to have the right categories for expenses set up in your accounting software so you can track your actual costs compared to budget.

Tip: Choose the right accounting software for your business that you can customize such as Sage 50. You want to be able to set up your project budget, track expenses by category and generate reporting so you can compare actual costs to budget. Consider adding Sage One, an online accounting solution that imports data into Sage 50 and makes it easy to set up project quotes, send invoices, and update transactions from anywhere you have an internet connection so you can work remotely or from the office.

4. Communicate 

Communicate clearly, frequently and concisely with internal and outsourced team members working on every project. Set clear expectations in your initial scheduling meeting about how to deal with issues, where to store project information (and who can access it), and what metrics will be used to achieve the best results. Check in with your team on progress regularly. You don’t have to schedule a meeting every time you check in, but regular email, phone or text communication on progress is essential to control variables and steer progress in the right direction.

Tip: Slack is an online team communication tool with an Asana integration you can use to manage and archive all your team communication in one place instead of tracking emails, phone calls or text messages.

5. Post-Project Debrief

Schedule time to debrief with your team post-project to objectively review what happened, what worked, what didn’t, what was missing and clarify what you’d like to do differently moving forward.

Tip: Debriefing after you’ve completed a project is an excellent way to stay on track to continuously improve and innovate.

Over to you, 

Managing projects is a complex process but starting with a well-developed plan provides a simple structure to

follow a more direct route toward successful completion.

Is one of the steps in this plan a weak point in your current process? Focus on it for your next project.

And, if you would like help with setting up a better structure to create project plans or customize your accounting system to get accurate project reporting, head over to my contact page to book a free consultI’d love to help.

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Thanksgiving is one of my favourite times of the year in Canada. I love the colours of the trees, the crisp air and celebrating the harvest that is a signature of this season.

It is the perfect time of year to share our gratitude and celebrate family and friends.

I’m grateful for:

My family and their love and support on my entrepreneurial journey.

My customers and the privilege to help them make their business dreams come true.

Health and abundant prosperity.

Inspired by this bountiful holiday season, I put together a different style of post this week.

Here are my top five favourite Thanksgiving holiday traditions I’m deeply thankful for:

1. Cooking with family and friends – turkey, stuffing and levitra price uk uae delicious pumpkin cheesecake. To download my favourite pumpkin cheesecake recipe click here.

2. Connecting with my family and friends from near and afar to hear about what’s evolving in their lives.

3. Playing football, baseball cheap levitra uk shop or taking a walk in the park. I love the time we spend outdoors on Thanksgiving weekend having a lot of fun.

4. Playing cards or a board game for an afternoon or evening together.

5. Thanksgiving brunch – Thanksgiving dinner leftovers combined with waffles and seasonal fruit makes the weekend extra special.

 

All of my favourite Thanksgiving moments include family, connection and good food. There is nothing like gathering together around the table to be present with the ones you love. It is the perfect opportunity to remember what matters most.

I’d love to hear what your favourite Thanksgiving traditions are. Share your stories on your favourite social media using hashtag #CanadianThanksgiving

I encourage you to unplug when you can this holiday weekend and enjoy the ones you love!

Podcasts provide a convenient way to gain new ideas and a wealth of knowledge you can apply to your business.

Whether you tune in to listen to your favourite shows on your work commute, while driving your kids to school or during your workout, podcasts are an easy way to learn on the go.

Here’s my list of the top ten podcasts to help you build your business: 

1. Online Marketing Made Easy 

with Amy Porterfield

Known as the Queen of Content Marketing, Amy Porterfield teaches valuable strategies to make more sales and boost your online presence in Online Marketing Made Easy.

Topics include how to attract more customers using podcasts, webinars, social media, and video. By implementing her suggestions, you’ll be well equipped to build a following and start generating more revenue. Learn more.

2. YouPreneur

with Chris Ducker 

Chris Ducker wears a variety of hats including, small business marketing coach, best-selling author, and international keynote speaker. Youpreneur covers marketing strategies to grow your business through blogging and other social media channels, as well as how to effectively outsource work to spend your time where it matters most.

Listening to the Youpreneur podcast is a great resource for mentorship in the beginning stages of your business.

3. This Is Your Life

with Michael Hyatt

Michael Hyatt is a “virtual mentor” and delivers his weekly podcast, This is Your Life to motivate, inspire and influence business owners. You’ll learn helpful business strategies, tips to achieve a successful work-life balance and gain valuable insight about how to deal with entrepreneurial life struggles.

Topics include conquering overwhelm, increasing productivity and staying connected to the passion that fueled your business in the first place.

4. The Good Life Project

with Jonathan Fields

“The Good Life Project is like a B vitamin injection for the mind.” Any entrepreneur (or non-entrepreneur) will benefit from the boost of positive energy and motivation you receive listening to GLP Radio.

Jonathan Fields facilitates unfiltered interviews with today’s thought-leaders and lifestyle experts about finding meaning, happiness, motivation and success.

Subscribe to hear from guests like Brene Brown, Seth Godin, Danielle Laporte, and Kate Northrup on topics such as unlocking creativity, money, meditation, fear, and the gifts of failure.

5. Become a Pro Blogger

with Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is highly knowledgeable when it comes to taking your blog from a hobby to a business. He takes you behind the scenes to get a glimpse of what makes his six-figure blog launches work.

Darren advises on how to find readers, how to create a successful editorial calendar, online and offline strategies for promoting your blog and most importantly – how to create great content.

If you want to grow your audience and build a following, I highly recommend listening to his “31 days to a better blog” series for tangible tips you can implement quickly to start gaining momentum.

6. Eventual Millionaire

with Jaime Masters

Have you ever known deep down you’d be a millionaire?

So did Jaime Masters, a thriving business coach. She’s interviewed 100+ millionaire entrepreneurs on her podcasts about their successes, failures, struggles and lessons learned along the way. Jaime’s story has inspired many. She paid off $70k worth of debt and left a soul-sucking job she hated to pursue starting her own business and making her first million on her terms.

Jaime’s Eventual Millionaire podcast isn’t one to miss if you want to inspire action and gain motivation to keep pushing forward.

7. Start Up School

with Seth Godin

Seth Godin is a pioneer in marketing and entrepreneurship. In his Start Up School podcast, you’ll hear Seth coach thirty students during a workshop on how to bring the business of their dreams into fruition and run it successfully.

8. Business Insanity

with Barry Moltz

Barry Moltz has the formula for taking your business to the next level. He’s founded and led small businesses for over 15 years.

If you feel stuck or lack a clear direction for your business, Barry’s Business Insanity Talk Radio episodes can provide insight and motivation to help you get unstuck.

Subscribe to Business Insanity Talk Radio to hear Barry discuss the craziness of running a small business and how to navigate the exciting and totally unpredictable journey of entrepreneurship.

9. The Soul of Enterprise: Business in The Knowledge Economy

with Ed Kless and Ron Baker

Subscribe to listen to The Soul of Enterprise radio talk-show to change the way you think about wealth, money and how to create more of it.

Both Ed Kless and Ron Baker are pioneers in their industry and considered thought leaders today for their business consulting expertise, mentorship and dedication to helping others succeed. The Soul of Enterprise provides fresh leadership insights and entrepreneurial wisdom you can’t afford to miss.

10. One Percent Podcast

with Susan Solovic

Susan Solovic is an award-winning serial entrepreneur and Small Business Expert. She is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Amazon.com top 100 and USA Today bestselling author, media personality, sought after keynote speaker, and attorney.

Subscribe to One Percent Podcast to hear and learn from Susan’s conversations with business owners, leaders and experts about their problems and stories. She covers specific how-to topics on a variety of subjects to help you apply valuable lessons to building your own profitable business.


Lastly, I am thrilled to announce that I will be launching a business systems learning series soon. You’ll learn easy ways to organize your finances, manage cash flow and ensure the back end of your business is running smoothly so you can generate more profit.

Be the first to know when it launches! Subscribe to get updates and my best articles delivered to your inbox.

 

Entrepreneurs, Bookkeepers, and Accounting Professionals be sure to mark your calendars for these must-attend events in 2015 and 2016!

Attending business conferences related to your area of expertise provides a valuable way to stay up to date with emerging information in your industry while making new connections with like-minded people.

Here are my recommendations for the top five business conferences to attend this year:

1. 2015 Canadian Bookkeeping Conference

The (IPBC) Canadian Bookkeeping Conference is in Niagara Falls, Ontario, October 1 to 3. 

The Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada (IPBC) three-day conference is for bookkeepers and accountants. Over the course of three days, you’ll hear from sponsors such as The Canada Revenue Agency, Canadian Payroll, and Lonestar Sales Performance. Industry experts such as Erich Anderson from Microsoft and Dana Rao from Adobe will be speaking on over 50 topics, so you can expect to receive a weekend full of diversity and value.

Best of all, on September 30, Sage One is hosting a complimentary IPBC pre-conference: Vision and Strategy Workshops for Bookkeeping and Accounting Professionals. The pre-conference delivers plenty of tangible information for your business and clients that you can’t afford to miss. Valued at $250, you’ll receive your complimentary ticket upon registration for IPBC.

The IPBC conference counts towards Professional Development Credits. For registration and more information, visit the IPBC event website.

2. Sleeter Con 2015

Sleeter Con is at the Bellagio Las Vegas, California, November 17 to 19, 2015.

Sleeter Con is a four-day independent conference for accountants to capitalize on industry trends, and receive essential education to take your firm to the next level of success. They will have amazing keynote speakers that you won’t want to miss including:
Tom Hood (@TomHood), Influencer in leadership, learning, and technology.

Jennifer Warawa (@JenniferWarawa), VP, Sage Accountants Solutions.

Doug Sleeter (@DougSleeter), Founder, The Sleeter Group

This accounting solution conference provides hands-on training with the latest innovative technology solutions from exhibitors such as Sage and Xero.

With market demands continuously evolving, Sleeter Con is a must-attend solution based conference for accountants who prioritize staying current and offering their clients consistent value and a seamless experience. Over the course of four days, you’ll receive the opportunity to obtain product expert certifications as well as leads and commissions from high-end product developers.

For registration and details visit SleeterCon.com.

3. TED: Dream 2016

Ted: Dream will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, February 15 to 19, prix cialis en france 2016. 

TED is the renowned, non-profit organization devoted to 18-minute inspirational talks for ideas worth sharing worldwide. The annual TED conference theme for 2016 is “Dream”, and will showcase speakers who share their perspectives on the current challenges of humanity.

TED: Dream is guaranteed to be nothing short of a thought-provoking and influential event, sure to leave you with new ideas and momentum in several aspects of your life in addition to your business.

For more details about the event, click here.

4. 99U Conference 2016

The 99U conference will be held in New York City, May 5 to 6, 2016.

99U is a conference held with the purpose of helping attendees take their ideas from thought form to execution using insights and useful tools.

From the variety of action-oriented talks and master classes with the world’s leading creative visionaries and experts, you’ll leave the conference with a clear vision of how to put your ideas into action.

For registration and program information, click here.

5. Sage Summit 2016

#SageSummit 2016 will be held in Chicago, Illinois, July 25 to 28, 2016.

If you’re going to plan to attend just one business conference, I highly recommend choosing Sage Summit 2016!

Packed full of information from entrepreneurs and thought-leaders, Sage Summit is the event to attend for business owners in any industry. You’ll hear from Sage technology innovators and inspirational speakers who challenge you to think differently.

Past speakers include Deepak Chopra, Jessica Alba, Jane Seymour and Tony Hawk.

By attending Sage Summit in 2016, you’ll stay ahead of your competitors to learn about the latest in solution based bookkeeping to help you skyrocket your business.

Sage Summit stands out from other conferences because of the information and training sessions that are offered to enhance your software skills, exchange and brainstorm new ideas and network with like-minded people over the course of four days.

Read my Sage Summit 2015 recap here to learn more about important takeaways from this extraordinary annual business conference.

For early bird registration discounts, click here. I hope to see you there!

I was extremely excited to attend Sage Summit 2015 this year. Sage Summit is the world’s largest conference event dedicated to helping entrepreneurs succeed. The five-day conference is for both Sage users and non-Sage users. It’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity to hear from thought leaders, mentors and influential entrepreneurs in different industries from all over the world.

Work-life balance is

really important to me, so before the #SageSummit 2015 kick off I went on some amazing tours of New Orleans. My favorite was the swamp tour with Ultimate Swamp Adventures. It was so much fun and Randy the tour guide was very informative.

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Randy had the alligators coming right up to the boat. I actually reached out and ran my hand down the back of one of the larger alligators!

#SageSummit Keynote Speakers

One of my favourite parts of Sage Summit 2015 was listening to the lineup of keynote speakers and learning from the valuable information they had to share with us. They spoke openly about their leadership and business experiences, successes and failures, and provided so many eye-opening concepts to consider.

The line-up of keynote speakers this year included:

  • Tony Hawk
  • Deepak Chopra
  • Chad Hurley
  • Colin Powell
  • Brandi Temple
  • Karen Brady
  • Bre Pettis
  • Dolly Singh
  • Chelsea Krost
  • Jane Seymour
  • William McDonough
  • Matthew Weiner

Needless to say, Sage Summit was anything but a mundane business conference.

#SageSummit Quotes

With the trending Twitter hashtag, #SageSummit, I was able to pull together this list of my favourite quotes from this year’s conference that may also inspire you in your business:

Colin Powell, Retired four star U.S. Army General and Secretary of State
“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”
“Humbleness and humility (& someone to keep you there) is a great way to get there in life.”

Chad Hurley, Co-founder of YouTube
“With any success there are many failures.”

Himanshu Palsule, Chief Technology Officer of Sage Software
“A demo is worth 1,000 Powerpoint slides.”
“85 percent of the global market is and will remain on-premise for a while. We understand and want to help with that. Sage hybrid cloud solutions bridge the gap by offering an integrated system that is customizable to each business.”

Dolly Singh, Founder and CEO of Thesis Couture
“The only failure is quitting, everything else is an opportunity to get better.”

Brandi Temple, Owner and Founder of Lolly Wolly Doodle
“Focus on having a relationship with the customer, rather than just a business transaction.”

We also heard from Stephen Kelly, CEO of The Sage Group plc, whose vision and passion resonates with me.
“Sage is committed to being the best technology company for small & medium businesses.”
“Bolder, faster and a more aggressive pace.” #SageSummit

SageSummit3 SageSummit2 SageSummit1

 

 

Karren BradyBaroness Brady of Knightsbridge CBE
“Drive & ambition are key to success and knowing there are no barriers just because you’re a woman.”
“Every chance you get an opportunity, grab on to it and see where it takes you.”
“It’s far more important to do an action plan than a business plan.”

Connecting At #SageSummit 2015

This year I had the chance to connect with colleagues and meet other like-minded entrepreneurs to share ideas and develop collaborative relationships.

#SageSummit_Highlights1 #SageSummit_Highlights2 #SageSummit_Highlights3

I also had the chance to meet Sage staff members who are always friendly and helpful, especially with brainstorming and sharing new ideas.

SageTeam1 SageTeam_2 SageTeam3

Sage Solutions

During Sage Summit, I met with a number of vendors about new Sage technology solutions to find better ways to provide value to my clients. Here is a sneak peek at an exciting line of new cloud solutions that I’m certain will add even more value to your business and customers:

Sage One

Sage One is a smart, easy to use online accounting system for business owners and freelancers. Sage One is consistently making updates and releasing new features to make managing your business finances faster and easier.

The following two solutions are coming soon to help bookkeepers and accountants specifically:

Sage Impact – a solution to manage your clients and business. Sage Impact helps you grow your business by helping you find clients who need what you offer and offers an extensive dashboard for real-time financial data and client insights.

Sage View– a mobile app for accountants and bookkeepers to receive real-time data from your clients. Sage View helps you build trust, develop stronger customer relationships and enables you to deliver more value from anywhere in the world.

There are more amazing new solutions coming in the next year so be sure you are subscribed to my newsletter to get updates and reviews about new releases.

With these new and exciting program rollouts, Sage will continue to support previously released programs for as long as you choose to use them. The new innovative programs Sage is releasing will make the transition to

cloud accounting easier.

#SummitHunt

Some Sage One thought leaders were chosen to have a little fun in New Orleans by participating in the #SummitHunt scavenger hunt organized by Erin Thompson (pictured with me here). What would a conference that brings together the most creative and innovative business minds to learn and celebrate be without a scavenger hunt?

DebrahandErin

This brilliant scavenger hunt was put on by Sage and I was privileged to be a part of it. Erin Thompson organized the event, sending us all over New Orleans to capture photos and share the experience on Twitter. I had a ton of fun, along with thirty other people. Erin did an amazing job! My colleague and friend Jaime Rein won the grand prize, an Apple watch. Congratulations Jaime!

Sage Summit Hunt Scavenger Hunt

Sage Summit Hunt Scavenger Hunt

 

Bourbon on Bourbon Street

Bourbon on Bourbon Street

 

Big Beads

Big Beads

 

That’s my recap for Sage Summit 2015. I hope you’ll consider joining me for Sage Summit 2016 next year. Early registration has already begun! Click here for details.

 

What comes to mind when you think about your business finances?

If you start thinking about a pile of invoices, crinkled receipts or an outdated excel spreadsheet, you’re not alone.

Managing your finances doesn’t need to be overwhelming or frustrating. While you may think that’s easy for me to say as a Certified Professional Bookkeeper, you can use Sage One to invoice, budget, and manage cash flow all in one place.

Sage One is a cloud accounting solution, which means you can get a clear view of your financial position from anywhere you have an internet connection. And, your data is protected by bank-grade security.

If you’re ready to take the stress out of the back-end of your business, Sage One can help you better manage your finances and turn uncertainty into confidence.

You can track invoices, receivables, quotes, expenses, and link your online bank accounts to your Sage One account. These time-saving features can be accessed all on one screen, rather than switching between programs or different spreadsheets.

Once you import your data, Sage One provides you with a real-time snapshot of how your business is doing. With these insights, you can address costs, assess profitability and resolve issues before year end.

Sage One also includes financial management features such as Paypal integration to accept payments, sending professional quotes to your clients while on location and can track revenue, time, and expenses for projects. You can also share your information with trusted colleagues without providing access to your financial information.

Are you ready to take the pain out of managing your business finances once and for all? Contact me for a consultation to determine what online accounting system is the perfect fit for your business.

 

As a freelancer, you face the pressure of relying solely on yourself to manage your time and earn an income while working on numerous projects and building connections.

Thanks to technology, being a freelancer has its perks. There are several apps designed to make your business life easier.

Here are my personal recommendations for the top 10 must have apps for freelancers.

1. Sign Easy

As a busy freelancer who rarely meets clients face to face, it can be a major headache to send and receive signed documents. Sign Easy converts documents such as NDA’s and contracts to a digital format that can be signed in seconds on a smartphone or tablet with your finger, without the hassle of printing or scanning.

2. Google Docs

Google Docs is the ultimate tool to create projects, presentations and documents that you can access from anywhere. Google Docs integrates with your @gmail.com address and allows you to share and invite others to edit documents. For added convenience, there is also an app you can download for your iPhone and iPad or Android phone and tablet.

3. CX

CX is a cloud storage solution similar to Dropbox, but with the benefit of 10 GB of space at no cost (compared to 2 GB of space with Dropbox before you’re required to pay). CX is extraordinarily helpful in larger file transfer between you and your clients (such as shared photos for social media projects) as well as backing up folders of completed work.

4. Evernote

Evernote is referred to by freelancers as a “virtual notebook” though it’s superior to a notebook. You can use Evernote as your online workspace you can access on the go. With Evernote, you can organize information, research, to-do lists (in order of due dates) and send reminders. Evernote even allows you to add customized tags so you can quickly search and find the information you need.

5. Teux Deux

Teux Deux is a minimalist to-do list iPhone app designed to make creating useful lists and checking things off quick and easy.  You can view your weekly tasks at a glance on a beautiful interface.

6. DoneDone

DoneDone is a brilliant app for team collaboration, where you can categorize, assign and manage tasks on a project dashboard. DoneDone allows you to track issues with one central hub.

7. Bidsketch

Have you ever dreaded writing proposals? Professional looking proposals can take hours to create, which is why Bidsketch is such a valuable app to freelancers. Bidsketch makes it easy to create personally branded templates and send professional looking proposals or landing pages in less time.

8. Mailstrom

Have you ever wanted to hide from your email inbox? With Mailstrom, you’ll never have to feel crowded by sifting through hundreds of emails again. Mailstrom allows you to filter your important emails and separate them from the spam or regularly unopened emails. You can get through hundreds of emails in your inbox with just a few clicks, so your number of unopened messages are a big zero – yay!

9. Dashlane

As a freelancer (or

simply as a user of several apps), you’ll have your work cut out for you with passwords and usernames to track. Dashlane is a secure and free password manager that can also keep track of your receipts and payment information to avoid repetitive typing. Dashlane is also a cloud solution, so you can access your account from anywhere.

10. SageOne

Sage One is a complete online accounting solution that allows you to keep your books in order and run your business on the go.  With Sage One, you can send invoices, receive payments, record expenses, track receivables and reconcile your latest bank and credit card transactions. If you have an accountant, you can both access your up to date financial information to discuss issues and prepare your year-end tax return.

Sage One makes it easy to keep track of your financial position from anywhere you have an Internet connection so you can effectively manage your cash flow and make decisions.  Are you interested in a free Sage One demoEmail or call 1.778.855.5855 and we’ll set it up along with a trial and special promotional code to get this powerful software at a discount.

Whether you are a new or established freelancer, these apps can help you stay organized and boost your productivity.

Love this article? Tweet This: Freelancers: Here are 10 Must Have Apps To Make Your Business Life Easier bit.ly/1NlgQCG via @burleighdebrah

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