Practice Management

AICPA Engage 2020: Conference Recap & Highlights

Article
              author, Callie Hinman
Callie Hinman
Jun 25, 2019

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AICPA and CIMA Engage conference transformed into a virtual event for its 2020 iteration. It's not easy shifting a traditionally in-person event with thousands of attendees and hundreds of vendors to a completely online format within such a short time frame, but the AICPA and CIMA did an impressive job pivoting. Even online, the show maintained its acclaim as one of the best events for CPAs and accounting professionals across the country to attend.

As the AICPA's exclusive member discount partner for online payments, the CPACharge team had the pleasure of exhibiting as well.

Here’s a brief recap of the event from our perspective:

AICPA ENGAGE 2020 at a Glance

  • Official Website: aicpaengage.com
  • Date: July 20-24, 2020
  • Location: Online
  • Attendees: ~2,000
  • Exhibitors: ~150
  • CPE Credits Available: 40+ hours
  • Keynote Speakers: Daymond John, Barry C. Melancon, Tracey Golden, Susan Coffey, Erik Asgeirsson

CPACharge's Recap and Highlights from Engage 2020

Unsurprisingly, the big theme of this year’s event was “navigating a new normal” and how the industry was being affected by COVID-19. Some sessions spoke to this issue directly, including “Business Continuity - Lessons Learned from Dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic,” “COVID-19 Effects on Risk Assessment, Remote Audits & Financial Statement Disclosures,” and “Best Retirement Ideas – Advising Retirement Clients in Market Volatility.”

We can certainly appreciate this theme. As CPAs, Enrolled Agents and accountants adapt to running their business remotely, online payments have quickly become a necessity for maintaining operations, client satisfaction and cash flow.

Attendees were provided with a list of exhibitors, each with a special link to visit their virtual booth. Our team at the CPACharge booth had a blast chatting with attendees online, providing demos, and answering questions. It’s these discussions that truly help us make the best online payment solution for accounting professionals.

We were also excited to sponsor the show’s Exhibitor Bingo game! When attendees visited a virtual booth, they could collect a “stamp” that they could use to enter various drawings and raffles. Some lucky winners even won a brand new pair of Apple AirPod Pros, delivered right to their door!

Though a bit different from past events, Engage 2020 was nevertheless a fantastic event and we look forward to seeing everyone (hopefully in person) at Engage 2021!

Highlights from AICPA Engage 2019

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“Closing the gap between idea and action”

Part of what makes ENGAGE the event for accounting and finance professionals is that it’s actually a collection of eight different conferences, each with its own set of workshops and presentations.

CPACharge was part of the AICPA Practitioners and TECH+ track, featuring sessions including “Transcending Technology: How to Ensure Competitive Advantage,” “Leading Digital Transformation,” and “Tech Update: Today's Biggest Trends, Solutions, and Opportunities.”

“Where your quest meets direction” and “Closing the gap between idea and action” were the overall and track-specific themes, respectively, this year. We especially appreciated the themes because of how well they capture the journey CPAs take on their way to partnering with CPACharge.

Prior to choosing CPACharge, each of our current users was on a mission to find ways to improve how they run their firm. Using an online payment solution is very often the first step toward this goal.

The opportunity to meet and connect with our customers is one of the other things we look forward to when attending events like ENGAGE. We were able to hear firsthand not only what users appreciated about the platform but also what kind of new features and updates they’d like to see. This valuable feedback allows us to continuously improve the software as well as level of service we provide.

While the opportunity to speak with current and potential future CPACharge users was a delight and getting to hear Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway speak on Wednesday was a treat, the most exciting part of the ENGAGE 2019 for us had to be when we announced the winners of our daily $100 cash prize giveaways and grand prize giveaway of an AWAY suitcase later that day.

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AICPA ENGAGE 2019 was definitely one for the books. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year!

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