Profile of Intuit’s VIP Summit

Five years ago I was invited to the very first Intuit (INTU) VIP Summit.

I almost missed it. I ignored the “memo.”

Then Kim Amsbaugh (@kamsbaugh) from Intuit reached out to me and made it clear that they would really like me to be there. It made me feel important. Up until that point, I was beginning to realize that Intuit had taken note of what I was doing, but I was not aware of the extent to which they had noticed.

That first year, there were 40 people selected from around the world to attend. We were the “Top 40 Global Influencers.”

This year there were 75 chosen.

To properly give you a “Profile of Intuit’s VIP Summit” I need to profile some of the people who were there. You may be wondering. Why not me? What makes Intuit notice these people, and recognize them?

These aren’t common people. They’re personalities. They’re the “influencers” who influence the influencers. You will rarely hear me refer to myself as an influencer, but I need to, for context here. The truth is I cringe when I see or hear someone referring to themselves and an “influencer.” It’s cheesy at best, and at worst, the people who do it, are not actually influencers.

It’s one of those things. A true influencer would never feel the need to refer to themselves as such. And someone who is truly humble would even be uncomfortable (as I am) with the thought of someone else referring to them that way.

I look around the room, and wonder what I am doing there. I see people who have built big firms. Not me. People who are flown around the country by Intuit to train others. Not me.

I’ve earned my place here. In my case, it is the videos, and other social media channels, where I have influence. It’s not just about having followers. It’s about getting engagement. Do people “respond” to you. I am also building a good sized email list.

If you want to make an impression, substantial enough to be included on a list like this, you have to do something remarkable. Having a big firm is not enough. There are many of those out there. It’s having a big firm, that has influence.

Rich Preece (@Rich_Preece), Vice President, Accountant Segment kicked off VIP Summit this year. He gave us some stats, and lead us into the day.

Intuit brings us here, so we can learn their vision, and then share that with each of you. They go to quite a bit of trouble (and expense) to get us all here, so remember this, the next time someone tells you that Intuit doesn’t care about accountants:

Nothing could be further from the truth.

So who was at Intuit’s VIP Summit this year?


Let’s look at Dawn Brolin, and Laura Redmond. You probably already know who they are, and that alone should answer the question about why they are here. If you’ve been to a QuickBooks Online certification training, there is a good chance Laura was there alongside MB Raimondi giving the training. MB is at VIP Summit each year as well.

Read about Dawn on her website:
Meet Dawn Brolin

Meet Laura Redmond


Oh! There’s Laura right on a giant mural on the wall inside Intuit’s brand new Building 20 (more on that below).

I guess it’s safe to say that Laura has made an impression. Quite literally!

Laura is one of the nicest people you could ever meet, and she has two very remarkable businesses.

Redmond Accounting, aka QBO Pro, and Aero Workflow ( @AeroWorkflow), where she’s partnered with Victoria Cameron to deliver a mind blowing work flow tool. Aero has been a sponsor of ours right here on this site.


Meet Mariette Martinez


This was Mariette’s first year, and she has most definitely earned her place. Mariette has taken our community by storm, and made her presence known. She is an author right here on Mariette is our resident expert on QuickBooks Self Employed (QBSE), and she has now dedicated herself to serving mompreneurs and the latino community.

Mariette has done something remarkable, which is to say that what she has done, is worthy of a remark. Her accomplishments are worthy of inclusion in this group of 75 Influencers from around the world.

Have a look around the room, and you’ll start to see who’s here.


Juliet Aurora from AIS, winner of this year’s Firm of the Future Award.


Clayton Oates


Andrew Wall


Tiffany Stewart


Dawn Leaney Davidson


Diane Lucas


Lauretta Finis (another of our authors)


Gail Perry


Darren Root


Eileen Sass


Michelle Long


Cindy Schroeder


Oh and there’s Kim Amsbaugh, Hi Kim!


Everyone in this room has made a name for him/herself in this industry. That list is only a few out of the 75 who were in the room.

Alison Ball is in the back with Shauna (who manages @IntuitAccts on twitter along with Mindy King), and Danielle Ferris looks like she’s hard at work over there 🙂


Carl Reader (@CarlReader)  just gave a presentation on how to become a thought leader. It’s ok to want to be one. Just don’t call yourself one! Be remarkable, and the thought leader thing will take care of itself.

Meet Sholto MacPherson

Sholto is a journalist from Digital First. I met him at the first VIP summit. He may secretly be the “real” Clark Kent – a mild mannered reporter…

Edited (11/22/17)

I have no idea who this is (she works for Intuit)

Meet Ariege Misherghi, she leads Product and is Director of Product Management for the Accountant Segment

But she should have been up there with Rich Preece. She had all the answers, when we asked questions!


We heard from Intuit Global leaders about what is going on in their countries.

Intuit is the # 1 place to work at in India.

Intuit is the  # 2 place to work in Australia.

Of course we also heard from the UK and Canada.

France and Brazil are “in induction” so I imagine we’ll be hearing from their global leaders next year.

As of the last tally, there are approximately 2.4 Million QuickBooks Online users worldwide.

Most of that traction has happened in the last 3 years, so adoption is escalating quickly.

7/10 subscribers now choose QBO over desktop.

Here’s the basic vision that Intuit has:

Books | Tax | Payroll | Third Party Apps.

There will be an emphasis on developing a community around the tax professionals, just as there has been around the Proadvisor providing bookkeeping, and financial accounting services. We should see a Find a Tax Advisor area on the Intuit platform.

The Tour of Intuit’s Mountain View Campus


The View is gorgeous


Oh and did I mention Wayne Schmidt?


Just the fact that he was wearing shoes that blended in very well with Intuit’s carpeting, should be enough to tell you why he was here.

Wayne, is most definitely, a remarkable human being.

If you are in the accounting industry, and you don’t know who Joe Woodard is…

Then you’ll need to come out from under that rock you’ve been living under!


Here I caught Joe sneaking away from the activities to take a meeting in one of the “Phone Booths” in the building.


Intuit’s Building 20

This is not your typical building. They way they were talking about it, almost made it sound like Area 51. This building very possibly could have come from outer space. The building is designed to promote innovation. It holds up to 1,000 people, which is approximately half of Intuit’s total population on the Mountain View campus.

What was also interesting, was the fact that this building is the most “green” a building could be. The technical explanation was a bit outside my pay grade, but suffice it to say that the cooling system is built into the concrete, to allow for the least possible expending of energy.

Notice how amazed Dawn Brolin was. And if SHE’s amazed, then we all should be amazed, because Dawn Brolin is not easily amazed!


Also another shout out to Diane Lucas, and there’s Barry MacQuarrie standing right behind Diane. Barry is one of my favorite people on this planet. Every year when I go to QuickBooks Connect, I just know that at some point, I am going to sit down, and have an amazing, and inspiring conversation with Barry, and we usually have a few really good laughs.

Spencer (the photographer)

I want to tell you about Spencer. Of the people I spent the day with, he made the biggest impression on me. He noticed that I was shooting photos with my Nikon D7200. I am a beginner photographer at best. He saw me shooting photos, and offered to let me play around with his lense. This thing was amazing. Not the one you see in this photo. The one I borrowed was a super badass telephoto zoom lense that seemed like it could zoom in on something halfway around the world. I am pretty sure I could see Rich Preece’s facial hair growing in real time.

And I had the most amazing conversation with Spencer, because guess what! He’s a small business owner, just like you and me.

If you ever need a photographer, and you’re up in the area (Mountain View) track him down. I wish I’d gotten his contact info.


Meet Clayton Oates


I met Clayton at the very first Sleeter Conference where I spoke. It was also my very first conference. Doug Sleeter found me at what was actually a low point in my career. He brought me out of my nerd cave, put me on stage, and that was where I met Clayton for the very first time. That session was called, “A Program of Attraction, Not promotion.” Clayton sat in the front row, and later we grabbed some coffee, and the rest is history.

Clayton is my brother from another mother, and I absolutely love this man. I am so proud to call him a friend.

Here Clayton and I were at the very table where Scott Cook conceived the idea of Intuit. We were working on the next great idea!


Nerdy Oates. That sounds more like a cereal!

Meet Cathy Iconis


The queen of the @QBOChat

Cathy thinks that I was a snob during that first year of VIP Summit. She’s justified in feeling that way, but here’s why. I wasn’t actually being a snob. I was in fact so taken by the fact that “these people” knew who the hell I was. So what looked like me being stand-off-ish was actually me being immersed in an intense feeling that this was all so surreal. I wasn’t being a snob. I was freaked out, and I had no idea how to act or react.

Meanwhile, Cathy and I confirmed this year, that we cannot sit together during the VIP Summit event. We are like those two kids in grade school, that the teacher would have to separate. It just spells trouble.

If you want to know who cathy is, join her QBO Chat every Thurs at 12 pm Pacific, 3 pm eastern.

The tour ended outside, and along the way we got to see Intuit Employees hard at work.

Some of the best ideas are conceived, during a little game of 1:1



I consider it to be a HUGE honor to be included in this group. There are lots of amazing people in our community.

Want to be in this group? One great way would be to “hang out” with us. We don’t bite, and one of the things that put us all here, is that we LOVE to connect. I’ve provided you with links throughout this entire article. Use them. Connect with us. That’s what Mariette Martinez did, and now she’s here with us!


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