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[IMGCAP(2)]I just got back from the CCH User Conference (#CCHUC16), where I presented a session on Social Business. In the spirit of the conference, I thought I would share the top 8 connections that happened for me during the event.

1. Now yes, I did learn about all the new updates to our CCH Axcess software from Wolters Kluwer itself but more importantly I learned about how other practitioners are using it. As we retool the process at my firm, New Vision CPA Group, it’s priceless to hear the successes and challenges of other firms. And what I especially love is that everyone is so willing to share.

2. I met some of my online friends in IRL for the first time. Like, Frank Stitely. He’s a Radical CPA from Stitely & Karstetter in Virginia and we’re Facebook and Twitter buddies. We’ve discovered we have similar practice management philosophies. So cool to chat with him and catch up in person!   

3   I met another Radical CPA who accosted me in the lobby to tell me what my book “The Radical CPA: New Rules for the Future-Ready Firm” had done for his firm. He shared five changes from my book that he has been able to implement since last year. WOW. 

4.  I was able to spend time with CCH product managers and tell them exactly what I thought of their products and what “buttons” they need to fix/adjust and what updates are in the pipeline. That felt good.

5.  I was able to connect with the leadership team and encourage them to move faster. I reminded them that the world is moving at record pace and it’s hard for us CPAs to keep up. I really stressed that we need our software moving faster too. They want to connect for feedback. And you know me, I’m quiet and shy. (Kidding)

6.  I was inspired by the keynote given by business consultant Peter Sheahan about why organizations are “slow to change, where there is ego there is excess and where there is attachment there is inefficiency.” CPA firms, anyone?

7.  The event closed with former Olympian and motivational speaker Vince Poscente who spoke about enjoying the journey of the summit and that “the opposite end of the spectrum from fear is fun and that’s where the solutions happen.” He reminded us to have fun on our journey when we know the change we need to bring to our firms seems overwhelming at times.

8.  I was able to review The Real Estate Professional rules after 1031 class. Sometimes, it’s good to put my technical hat on and just tax geek out. With speakers like Tony Nitti fromForbes, how can you not learn something new?

Jody Padar, CPA, MST, is the chief executive officer and principal at New Vision CPA Group and the author of The Radical CPA.