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AcuityCon 2021: Celebrating Our Growth In Gathering Together Again

By September 28, 2021 No Comments

Well, the third annual AcuityCon has come and gone, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the time we spent together.

This year, we had 65 new conference attendees.

And the No. 1 item on our agenda was this: We’re here to form lasting connections.

AcuityCon 2021

Starting With Gratitude:

Kenji and Matthew gave a few shoutouts to people who made AcuityCon 2021 happen.

The first shoutout went to Kelli Spanjers, who made everything come together, whether it was the space at Atlanta Tech Village, the incredible food and drinks, the company merch – none of it would’ve been possible without her.

AcuityCon 2021

The second went to Sammy Siddique, Team Lead for Cloud Accounting & Technologies. She helped coordinate and correspond with all of our technology stack partners who were at AcuityCon.

AcuityCon 2021

Part of gratitude was also announcing our 2021 MITCH Award Winner, which is someone who represents our company’s core values. Kenji and Matthew brought Account Executive Tyler Horn up on stage as the recipient to embarrass him a little, hand him a MITCH plaque, and give him and a guest a free trip to St. Lucia to spend some time there with the Acuity team in our new office space!

st lucia

Our Growth:

So. This year – “A few things happened,” as Kenji put it.

“We’ve been a really boring company during COVID,” said Matthew, sarcastically, of course.

But in all seriousness, check out what’s been happening:

  1. We had great financial results, which is always exciting. We finished 2020 with $7.5M in revenue, and we’ll likely finish a little over $9M in revenue this year. And we’re on the trajectory to hit $10.5M!
  2. We acquired two businesses since AcuityCon 2020 (Counting House Associates and Catching Clouds). We’re really excited about the amazing people we’ve added to our team.
  3. We have a new vertical – ecommerce. We’re excited about ecommerce. It’s a place that we’ve attempted to develop a vertical in, and it’s been really challenging. Ecommerce has blown up, and we know that’s not going away! To be able to bring that expertise in, through Patti and Scott Scharf with Catching Clouds as well as other partnerships, has been huge for our investment in ecommerce.
  4. We added 70 people! Now, we have 138 team members in four countries. This time last year, Kenji and Matthew were wondering how they were going to break 100. Special shoutout to the St. Lucia team (some of which traveled to AcuityCon).

Our BHAG:

AcuityCon 2021

Looking at the future of your company, you’ve got to have a Big Hairy Audacious Goal, or a BHAG for short.

And this is ours: “Acuity will be the most desired destination to work at within the accounting profession.”

That’s it. That’s the mission. That’s what we’re pushing for.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t love our clients. But what it does mean is that the real priority is our team members. “That’s got to be our North Star,” according to Kenji.

One of the big shifts that Acuity is making after looking at our BHAG is dissolving our Customer Success Team and shifting our focus to employee success. We want to actualize our goals. We’re at the tip of the iceberg here. We can’t lose sight of our customers, but the focus is going to be different. Exciting changes to come!

Making Acuity Easier To Use:

We’re continuing to try to make Acuity easier to use, which will be crucial as we keep growing and working toward our BHAG.

We acknowledge that we’re all human and we all do a lot of things. We can only move certain things forward, but we have to move those things forward to make progress.

Here are the things that we’re focusing on with the help of our leadership team!

Our COO Lisa Gilreath said, “If we are going to attract great colleagues, we have to be great colleagues. And so, in terms of the people part of this, we’re going to make this easier by really embracing what it means to be great employees and great colleagues.”

As Lisa pointed out, part of embracing this at Acuity is focusing on bettering our company, post acquisitions. We can do this by taking the best of the three different companies and forming one stronger company.

We can make this happen by focusing on a couple of things: 

  • Creating a smooth onboarding and training experience for new hires
  • Standardizing our playbook and expectations so that operations can support team members more effectively
  • Shifting our mindset from task management to process management, emphasizing communication, training, and automation

Our CPO Patti Scharf is the queen of process management, ready to revolutionize the way that the Acuity team works on a daily basis. Excited is an understatement for how she feels about getting Acuity set up with platforms like Airtable, Zapier, and Process Street. As she put it: “Tools we’re going to be using to make some magic.”

As the CTO and Acuity’s leader into the ecommerce space, Scott Scharf emphasized the importance of security. 

Kenji shared that when Scott asked for his IT spreadsheet, all it had was a list of which laptop was issued to each employee…Meanwhile, Matthew shared that he lived through 6 identity thefts in an 18-month period.

So, it’s probably time to make a few healthy changes, right? 

Gathering With Our Partners:

AcuityCon 2021

Our trade show, which took place across both days, was a huge success.

Our partners showed up and showed out with smiles on their faces and company swag on their trade show tables, eager to make connections with new faces as well as catch up with old friends.

Below is a list of all of our tech stack partners that came to this year’s conference. Some flew in from the West Coast, and some traveled from down the road.

The community center at ATV was hoppin’. There was rarely a time where there weren’t at least a few Acuity team members and partners hanging out in there together.

Partners also contributed in other ways outside of the trade show. On Wednesday, Founder of Goodie Nation Joey Womack got up on stage to talk about his journey to start Goodie Nation and his vision for its future. Goodie Nation is our latest AcuityCares partner, which is a charitable giving initiative that we started to provide free services to nonprofits that are making a tremendous impact.

AcuityCon 2021

Breakfast early on Thursday morning was made better with our partner Refuge Coffee. They served espresso, hot chocolate, tea, and coffee on their cart in the community center.

AcuityCon 2021

To close Thursday, industry veterans from four of our tech stack partners got up on stage to close out AcuityCon with a panel discussion led by Kenji. The four vets were Mike Triantos, Latisha Carter, David Leary, and Jamie McDonald.

Special shoutout to Gusto, too! They sponsored meals for our virtual AcuityCon attendees. For each of the team members that couldn’t come in person, Gusto sent out UberEats vouchers so that they could eat alongside us – and unpromptedly. How cool.

AcuityCon 2021

And we can’t forget to mention our longtime partners, Marketwake! Several team members came on Wednesday evening to share some food and drinks with us, which was much deserved after all that they did to promote AcuityCon.

AcuityCon 2021

And with that, another successful AcuityCon is in the books — get it, because we’re accountants? 😉 We’re already counting down the days until AcuityCon 2022!