Accounting conferences can be a big boost for firm owners, providing new ideas and connections during your year. 

Going to industry-related events is a fantastic way to:

  • Stay on top of trends and be ready for the future of accounting
  • See friends from around the world (and meet new ones)
  • Connect with potential vendors and networking partners
  • Gain valuable advice to improve the processes in your firm
  • Get inspired and refreshed

There are many accounting conferences to choose from and I wanted to provide a glimpse at some of the top options. 

Let’s dig into the list and maybe I’ll see you there!

1. AICPA & CIMA CFO Conference

Event format: In-person

As it’s an accounting conference geared towards Chief Financial Officers, it’s focused on a pretty specific target audience. And since it is put on by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, members usually get a discount. A couple of reasons to consider going:

  • Your firm offers fractional CFO, valuation services, and advisory services.
  • One of your target clients is organizations with CFOs who employ accounting firms as part of their financial system.

Key benefits:

  • The primary focus is to discuss and educate attendees on current pressing issues as well as what’s coming, in terms of the business financial landscape.
  • A fantastic opportunity to be updated on the latest industry trends and network with and get the attention of decision-makers (aka CFOs).

2. AICPA Engage

Event format: In-person (with virtual options)

Another one of the popular accounting trade shows is by the AICPA. AICPA Engage serves accounting firms and AICPA members, usually hosted in Las Vegas. Most sessions cover skills that move the revenue needle forward. For example, Engage 2022’s agenda includes better serving high net-worth individuals, advanced estate planning, and tech-related issues — all to improve both what you offer and how you deliver it.

This accounting and finance community event is one of the biggest accounting conferences out there, and one I attended in 2019.

Here’s me giving my thoughts about the event:

Key benefits:

  • Advanced industry training in things not always covered in other events, like security in a digital world.
  • Accounting-specific topics to improve the function, diversity, and culture of your firm.

3. The One Conference (CPA Canada)

The One Conference is arguably Canada’s premier accounting event, hosted by CPA Canada.

The event provides a distinct focus on education with a high-energy lineup of speakers and tracks. The benefit for Canadian firm owners is the obvious direct focus on local issues.

With CPA Canada’s backing, the event is able to offer plenty of CPD hours, plus gleaned insights from their 220,000 members for top-tier content.

Key Benefits:

  • Enjoyable opportunity to gain CPD hours
  • Canada-specific networking and education

the one conference cpa canada

4. AFP Treasury & Finance Conference

Event format: In-person (with virtual options)

AFP embraces the new dual event strategy (in-person and virtual). Many accounting conferences offer recordings, virtual conferences, or remote access to sessions, but the Treasury & Finance conference has two separate, yet valuable tracks.

It’s almost two events happening simultaneously. Many of the speaker sessions crossover, but AFP creates “virtual” exhibit halls and round tables for those attending from the home or office.

Key benefits:

  • A catered experience regardless of how you attend.
  • Dedicated blog to discuss current and previous conferences and stay up to date with the next.

5. QuickBooks Connect

Event format: In-person

Quickbooks Connect may be the broadest of the events on this list, reaching well beyond the accounting space. It usually has some pretty high-profile guests and plenty of interesting ideas.

This is one I usually attend and have enjoyed not only the speakers but a good amount of product updates and major developments.

Key benefits: 

  1. Updates and trends on the accounting industry
  2. A-list talent for keynote speakers (Hello Ashton Kutcher)

quickbooks connect san jose 2019

6. Sage Transform

Event format: In-person (with virtual options)

“Transform” is the new nametag on what was Sage Intacct Advantage, in years passed. The conference, since it’s put on by Sage, offers personalized experiences for Intacct users, including 1:1 sessions with your account manager, upon request.

Plus, there are networking events, keynotes, and expo halls to explore, connect, and give you ideas to grow.

Key benefits:

  • The one-on-one sessions to get more out of Intacct is a unique and classy touch.
  • Pre-conference training is available, which is nice if you’re heavily invested in the Sage ecosystem.

7. Ignite Conference

CPB Canada hosts the annual Ignite conference, which provides a strong networking opportunity for Canadian firm that offers bookkeeping services.

In 2021, Ignite held a virtual-only conference, and it’s to be determined whether there is a live event for 2022.

In any event, this accounting conference is one of the top choices for Canadian accounting and bookkeeping finance professionals, providing breakout sessions, helpful speakers, and plenty of networking opportunities.

Key benefits:

  • Specific vendors helpful for Canadian firms.
  • Very reasonable cost structure.

8. Digital CPA (DCPA)

Event format: In-person (with virtual options)

DCPA is put on by CPA.com which is under the umbrella of the AICPA. It’s also firmly geared towards tech in the accounting industry. Tax and audit, over the past decade, is now more about global clients, cloud-based reporting, and (the big one) advisory services.

And again, DCPA is really focused on practical and technical things, including project management, client success, and remote work.

Key benefits:

  • Possibly the most actionable advice, when it comes to tweaking and changing your business to improve it.
  • A solid intention to help accountants grow, both in the number of clients and the amount of revenue per client.

9. AccountingWEB Live Summit

Event format: In-person (possible remote options)

This summit is a new one with a clear vein pointed to “digital and technology content” for financial professionals. That said, it’s not their core focus. Other pillars include tax, compliance, growth, people, and operational topics.

To put it clearly, it’s a holistic event for firm owners and partners.

Key benefits:

  • A full menu of potential areas firms actively wants to improve and the ability to choose those keynotes and sessions most important to them.
  • Several event types and content sessions, aside from the typical keynotes and round tables.

accountingweb live summit

10. Xerocon

Event format: In-person (no virtual options listed)

Xerocon is a well-known accounting conference, put on (obviously) by accounting software trend-setter—Xero.

One of the best accounting trade shows, this is truly one of my favorite conferences of the year. It’s forward-thinking and worth the time.

It’s also an affordable option, with conference admission lower than many of the other events on the list. While there are specific elements related to your firm, Xerocon points attendees toward making connections and getting inspired before they head back to the office.

Key benefits:

  • The timing of this conference is immediately post-tax season, making it a nice break after some long hours.
  • Instead of staying in conference-heavy places, Xerocon moves around to different locations, like San Francisco, making it (potentially) more accessible to some.

11. BKX (Digital Bookkeeper Association)

Event format: In-person

A fairly new entry into the accounting conferences space, BKX is put on by the Digital Bookkeeper Association. This event, as well as the DBA, is intended to serve bookkeepers all over the world.

The event promises real advice to build a small business in bookkeeping.

Key benefits:

  • Time (during the event) to work on your specific business in a sort of workshop environment.
  • An intense goal to build a global community of bookkeeping professionals, meaning a lot of relationships to be had.

12. Scaling New Heights

Event format: In-person

This unique event, from Joe Woodard, is aptly called Scaling New Heights. This event, and really most of the conferences on our list, want to give management accountants a chance to think about the future and pull themselves out of the grind.

Key benefits:

  • Adjustable training tracks include basic, intermediate, and advanced depending on what you’d like to learn.
  • Partner training is available, through third-party vendors (including onsite training from Quickbooks).

scaling new heights

13. Women Who Count Conference

Event format: In-person

A name as clever as it is clear, the Women Who Count event is put on by the Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance specifically for female financial professionals. However, its agenda is a wide-ranging and full-fledged look at the accounting industry—covering topics from IRS audits to cannabis accounting.

Key benefits:

  • The distinct ability to meet, network, and develop relationships with other women leaders in the financial industry.
  • A really intense schedule covering some of the biggest changes affecting firms, regardless of gender.

14. SYNERGY (Thomson Reuters)

Event format: In-person (Virtual options available, but usually on different days)

Synergy, put on by Thomson Reuters, is a dual-purpose conference. Well, there are two dates, typically very close together. One is for accounting firms, the other is intended for “corporations.”

Of course, there are sponsor spots open for the corporate event. Depending on who your ideal buyers are, it’s possible to come for the accounting firm event and stick around to begin conversations with leads.

Key benefits:

  • A conference for firms, followed immediately by an opportunity to meet decisions makers of corporations is a unique opportunity.
  • Tech is an important aspect of Synergy, looking at how software and accounting work together closely.

15. Accounting and Finance Show

Event format: In-person

The Accounting and Finance Show, put on by Terrapinn, is touted as the “largest independent accounting & finance conference and exhibition” in the U.S.A.. No small feat, as the finance industry loves conferences.

Some good stuff comes from being the biggest like; a massive list of experienced speakers, typically a huge amount of booths in the exhibit hall, and a ton of great information.

Key benefits:

  • A solid opportunity to speak, based on your experience, since there are usually a high number of presenters.
  • Highlighting the vastness of this event, there is literally a checklist to filter the number of sessions, events, and keynotes.

16. APP2P

Event format: In-person

APP2P is held by the Institute of Finance & Management, and describes that attending has a “high ROI.” The event has a number of tracks, available to see before you attend, creating a customizable experience based on your personal or business needs.

Key benefits:

  • Attendees have certifications they can get while they’re at the event, which is a really neat aspect of advancing your career.
  • Specific tracks to focus your learning; including categories like; compliance, leadership/career development, gaining exclusive insights, developing practical skills, and automation.

17. FinNext

Event format: Unknown (the last conference was virtual attendance only)

Similar to AICPA’s CFO conference, FinNext is “FP&A Corporate Practitioner centric event” with accountants and finance teams both welcome. Recently events have been virtual (like many others), but the next may be in-person (with or without virtual attendance options).

There’s a heavy focus on interactions, seeing new technologies, and intensive learning sessions to advance FP&A careers.

Key benefits:

  • A great accounting conference to connect with both other practitioners and product experts to improve your performance.
  • Flexible attendance and watching options that allow you to easily report certification credits.

18. SFVegas (Structured Finance Association)

Event format: In-person

The Structured Finance Association brings us to the last (although certainly not least) entry on the list—SFVegas.

By the name you likely guess where this conference resides, and who holds it. That said, SFVegas gives another dual-purpose conference, offering information to use in your business as well as the opportunity to start conversations with potential leads.

Key benefits:

  • Primarily for accounting firms and financial accounting professionals, but the event also draws potential tools, partners, and clients for maximum benefit.
  • Topics aren’t too specific to “in the firm” but broader including the overall finance and investment markets.

Ready for Accounting Conferences?

There are a lot of on-site and virtual conferences available for you.

Did I miss any of your favorites?

Comment below and let me know!