Karbon - US firms: What are your live event plans for 2024? Here’s my shortlist. image

Karbon - US firms: What are your live event plans for 2024? Here’s my shortlist.

Seth Fineberg shares his 2024 round-up of must-attend events in the US for accounting professionals.

Posted byKarbon
onTuesday, 5 March 2024

I try to make it a point every year that there's not a pandemic to reiterate the importance of attending live events, especially for accountants. 

While they're not all for everyone, the idea of being among your colleagues, sharing thoughts, ideas, challenges and, yes, fitting in some CPE, has proved invaluable in the best and worst of times.

There's also no question that the profession is at an inflection point, with generational, technological, and functional gaps needing to be bridged.

I've long said that no growth can happen by resisting processes and methods that differ from the ones you are ’comfortable’ with. And I don’t believe that people attend live events with the intent of staying the same.

With that said, it’s time to embrace a little discomfort, and if you can, attend some live events and learn (and share) from others in the profession. Chances are you’ll be inspired by someone or something and/or find a solution you can actually implement before the year is through.

While there are a solid dozen or so live events for US-based accountants this year, I want to call out some of the newer ones as well as those that have evolved over the years.

You might not be able to (or want to) attend all, but I strongly consider attending at least one.

Must-attend 2024 live events for US accountants

Accounting Today's 'Firm Growth Forum'

📍 San Diego, CA 

📅 May 21-22

Entering its sophomore year, this event brought to you by industry veterans Accounting Today, is very much what the title suggests. If you are a firm leader or decision-maker that has any interest in growth of any fashion—be it through M&A, succession, staffing, new services like CAS or other specialty offerings—then this is where you should be.

Sessions are designed to give you strategies and inspiration to help your firm evolve to both compete and thrive in the current environment and beyond. 

You’ll learn from and partner with a healthy combination of industry leaders and colleagues in the same or similar boat as you—think mostly mid-larger CPA firms, or those on a progressive trajectory looking to validate their paths.

This event is also relatively intimate (approximately 300 attendees are expected), so you’ll be able to maximize your networking time with speakers, colleagues and vendors that can legitimately help you on your growth path, whatever it may be.


📍 Chicago, IL

📅  July 18-20

While details are still pending, what needs to be noted here is that this is an event that was literally born out of pure need for community and connection among tax professionals on Twitter/X. 

Last year, the grassroots effort gave rise to the inaugural event in Denver, and organizers and volunteers are furiously putting together (during tax season, mind you!) the agenda and finer details for its second year.

This time around, it will be in the Chicago area and, like last year, be entirely focused on issues and conversations that tax pros truly need to discuss, solve and feel confident about. Be it the impact of certain tax code changes or to just be around thought leaders and like-minded professionals.

I can't think of a single reason why, as an Enrolled Agent or CPA, you would not want to attend, help, and make the most of your time away from the office.

Bridging the Gap (Tri-Merit Group)

📍 Rosemont, IL

📅 July 22-24

Like the #TaxTwitterRetreat, this event grew out of pure need. The need to have speakers and presenters truly speak to you, because many of them are you. 

They are (mostly) small-mid sized firm owners and decision-makers who have struggled, learned, tried the uncomfortable and failed, and come out the other side better for the experience. And they want to share their experiences with people like them: bookkeepers and tax pros who just want to feel like they are moving in the right direction, and feel safe to laugh, cry, shout and just be their authentic selves.

Tri-Merit Group, and its co-founder Randy Crabtree, CPA and his well-known podcast, The Unique CPA, have created a mission-centric event that focuses on the well-being of the accountant and other core issues that need to be addressed. Issues like life/work balance, diversity and inclusion, generational issues, and the technological confidence to address efficiencies and evolving business needs.

More event details to come on the website but if it's anything like last year, you are truly in for a treat!

Xerocon US

📍 Nashville, TN

📅 Aug 14-15

Xero has mostly been on the path of hosting global events (and why not, they are a global company) across the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand—and this year, they’re coming back to the US for the first time since 2022.

The reason I call out Xerocon is, similar to the others, it tends to attract a more forward-minded accountant. Those truly looking for something different and, again, the chance to mingle and share ideas with similar firm leaders.

I've often referred to Xero as the ’Apple’ of the business and accounting technology world, and it shows in their approach. Like Apple is not trying to be Microsoft, Xero isn't trying to be like Intuit or any of its global competitors. For anyone who has used their core platform, you know it's not like QuickBooks or anything similar.

While it's not for everyone, it is just the right amount of ’different’ that many accounting professionals and small business clients are looking for, and they host an event with that in mind.

Honorable mentions

I wanted to call these out for basically existing. Much like #TaxTwitterRetreat, these were grassroots efforts to keep an intimate community of accountants and vendors together, while focusing on the real issues that impact accounting professionals regularly. 

So, major kudos to:

Other US events to consider

Now, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the many other events that have been tried and true, or worth another look. 

No matter which event or events you decide to attend this year, always know what your goal is in doing so—that way you'll always make the most of it. Some events are larger than others, some may have less CPE to offer, but if you find your people and know your purpose, it will be worth the investment of time and money to go.

As of this writing, here's what else is out there to consider:

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