Amy Vetter, the head of the accounting partner channel at Xero, has left the cloud-based accounting software provider to go into business for herself full time, providing public speaking, advisory, consulting and education services to accountants and bookkeepers through her business, QuickStart Training.
A regular member of Accounting Today's Top 100 Most Influential People list, Vetter served in various capacities at Xero for four years. She started as global vice president of education and partner enablement, and ended as head of accounting — partner channel. She was a frequent sight on the mainstage at Xero’s many user conferences, tackling subjects like how to engage millennials in the workplace, and how to achieve work-life balance — or work-life harmony, a phrase she has now trademarked.
Last year, Vetter published two books, both of which go hand in hand with what she hopes achieve in her new venture. The first, “Business, Balance, and Bliss: How the B3 Method Can Transform Your Career and Life,” presents Vetter’s B3 theory for how to “discover and align your authentic self and inner talents with the work you do.” Vetter has espoused this idea in her own life for years; she has owned her own yoga studio in Mason, Ohio, for five years, and has said in several conversations with Accounting Today how vital yoga and her business are to remaining satisfied and productive in her other, more primary occupations.
“For years, I wanted to write a book about the journey of how much my outside activities have really helped me balance my life and business,” Vetter said. “You start to balance things with outside stuff and how to bring them into your workday.”
Vetter, who is a CPA, started her career at KPMG before moving later into technology services for accounting. She founded a firm 2001 that specialized in QuickBooks consulting and outsourced accounting services, and launched QuickStart training in 2004. She then spent time at Intuit and Sage before joining Xero. Her background in both accounting and technology services led to the opportunity for her second book, which Wiley Publishing contacted her about writing last year.
That book, “Integrative Advisory Services: Expanding Your Accounting Services Beyond the Cloud,” was published in November, and details her method for becoming a “cherished advisor” to clients. The idea is the next step from being the “trusted advisor,” which Vetter said should be the most baseline requirement for accountants.
“Trusted is something you should just be, not strive for,” she said during a conversation at Xerocon last year.
Both her advice for achieving work-life balance, and her advice for becoming a better accountant, are ideas she hopes to carry into her consulting business and her public speaking engagements.
“It always felt like the accounting work life is really hard,” Vetter said. “A lot of us who started out that way, we thought it was the only way. But to the new generational mix coming in, it doesnt look that appealing. Many abandon the profession because of it.”
She added that she hopes her B3 technique can “make the profession more realistic for those coming in.”
Vetter already works closely with the American Institute of CPAs, serving on its Information Management and Technology Assurance Executive Committee, and leading the Technology Innovations Taskforce. This experience, she said, has highlighted what she sees as a central problem with conversations about technology in accounting.
“We’re putting out these messages on artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain. It’s definitely an exciting time," she explained -- but uncertainty over how exactly accountants can access this technology, and how will it affect the profession, are creating fear.
QuickStart will be providing advisory services for the AICPA and its members, as well as state associations and firms trying to make the transition into more sophisticated technology. It will also be working with technology companies to help them with their go-to-market strategy and to make sure they’re “delivering what accountants need.”
In the next few months, QuickStart will be working on building an education software platform that people can join as members to take training on what they want to achieve. Tracks in the pipeline include mindfulness in the workday, how to be an empathetic leader and engage with teams in different ways, and how to be more productive, all of which are tenets found in Vetter’s B3 method.
“We have the opportunity to really change cultures and firms,” Vetter said, “because now, you can really automate.”
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