Over the past 15 days I have attended and spoken at three national user conferences -- CCH, Thomson Reuters, and the Sleeter Group Accounting Software Consulting Conference. I’ve commented on the first two in earlier posts and now it’s time for the last.

On the vendor side, the count at the SGASCC was significantly up at this year’s conference. However, on the attendee side it was down to a bit under 400, which is a definite drop from last year.


In talking to attendees here (the conference was held in Phoenix), I noted a bit different thought process expressed, than at the CCH or Thomson Reuters conferences. I suspect that difference correlates directly to size and style of practice. The CCH conference draws a fair number of larger firms, which more or less mirrors its software footprint in the profession.

Thomson Reuters, while also drawing its share of large firms to its annual conference, seems to attract quite a number of small firms and sole practitioners. Finally, the Sleeter Group event draws a very large proportion of its attendees from small, independent bookkeeping and accounting software consulting firms. Many of these very small practices are also woman owned -- 72 percent of the attendees were female -- and most seem to service small business almost exclusively.

Almost every attendee I talked to told me of how tight they assumed the future was going to be -- and most had cut back on something else in order to attend this conference, which they termed “indispensable.” Many also told me of a friend or colleague who had decided to not make the trip. That said, the attendees made a hugely positive impression on the vendors. Every vendor with whom I talked reported that this was “the best show we’ve attended all year.” The reason -- engagement.

These attendees are serious. While not taking anything away from those attending the CCH and TR conferences, there is no doubt that the SGASCC attendees worked harder and longer. Period. Nearly 60 percent of them came in a day early for extra cost “pre-conference” sessions and they were all in class at every session.

And, probably most important to the vendors, they seemed to ALL be on the show floor and crowding every booth -- all the time. Hungry people. So many problems, so many solutions, and such precious little time!

The Progressive Accountant
Greg LaFollette, CPA.CITP, is the executive editor of The Progressive Accountant. He has been involved with public accounting for nearly 40 years and to ensure he stays completely current with the needs of the practicing accountant, he is also a senior manager of tax and technology consulting with Top 25 firm Eide Bailly LLP.
Last modified on Sunday, 02 June 2013
Read 3255 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Visit other PMG Sites:

click me
PMG360 is committed to protecting the privacy of the personal data we collect from our subscribers/agents/customers/exhibitors and sponsors. On May 25th, the European's GDPR policy will be enforced. Nothing is changing about your current settings or how your information is processed, however, we have made a few changes. We have updated our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy to make it easier for you to understand what information we collect, how and why we collect it.
Ok Decline