The Accounting Podcast

We're back from ExpensiCon in Italy with thoughts on Expensify's future and the future of spend management; a report from Kristen Keats at Accounting Today's Firm Growth Forum conference; ChatGPT coming soon to a Wendy's drive-thru near you!

  • (00:25) - Every Payment Is A Conversation
  • (01:11) - Blake and David are back from Italy
  • (05:01) - Let’s talk about ExpensiCon
  • (10:09) - The original Expensify and ExpensiCon
  • (12:36) - The new Expensify they're building
  • (18:12) - Expensify is adding great tech support
  • (25:14) - The future of Expensify
  • (30:13) - How much do we think this event cost and playing the long game
  • (41:24) - Some general observations on Italy
  • (49:04) - Kristen Keats checks in from Accounting Today's conference
  • (56:34) - Let's hear some listener reviews of CAP
  • (57:16) - Is AI encouraging or discouraging for accountants and jobs?
  • (01:01:45) - Wendy's Fresh AI
  • (01:04:13) - ChatGPT 4 passes CPA exam
  • (01:05:36) - Wrap up and where to reach us

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Show Notes
Expensify Launches Transactional Chat for Accountants - Business Wire 

Wendy’s to Launch AI-Powered Drive-Thru Service    
What if AI could rebuild the middle class? : Planet Money : NPR

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The full transcript for this episode is available by clicking on the Transcript tab at the top of this page

Creators & Guests

Blake Oliver
Founder and CEO of Earmark CPE
David Leary
President and Founder, Sombrero Apps Company

What is The Accounting Podcast?

The Accounting Podcast (formerly the Cloud Accounting Podcast) is the world's #1 accounting, bookkeeping, and tax podcast! Join us weekly for a roundup of accounting news, analysis, and interviews. Plus, earn free NASBA-approved CPE credits for listening with the Earmark app. Learn more at

Attention: This is a machine-generated transcript. As such, there may be spelling, grammar, and accuracy errors throughout. Thank you for your understanding!

Blake Oliver: [00:00:04] So when David Barrett says every payment is a conversation, he's right. Because ultimately with AI, everything is a conversation. Everything will be human conversation. We will be talking to our phones and it won't be just to make a statement that is something scripted out so that it does what we want. We will just ask the AI to do something. This connected to a microphone and it will do it and so will Expensify. Welcome to The Cloud Accounting Podcast. I'm Blake Oliver.

David Leary: [00:00:38] And I'm David Leary.

Blake Oliver: [00:00:39] And we are coming to you live from the NPR recording studio. We have just returned from Italia. We were in Italy at Expensive Con. David, how's your jet lag?

David Leary: [00:00:51] It was bad yesterday. We had a very long it was a very long flight coming back. And then I'd go back to the airport again the next day because one of my bags did not make it so.

Blake Oliver: [00:01:00] Oh, no. I was worried about that. I was very concerned. But we had a good experience. But it is a long flight. And now, having taken my first trip to Europe, this was my first trip to Italy, first trip to Europe. I understand why most Americans actually don't travel abroad because, man, it takes a long time to get there. And when you are in economy, which is how I have the privilege of traveling. Yeah, it gets it gets it gets long.

David Leary: [00:01:30] But you stretched it out for an extra week. Like I did. Basically it was an expensive con, was a three day conference and I put a day of travel on both sides. So it was like two two trips within a five day period. So it was a, Oh yeah, it's a lot on the body.

Blake Oliver: [00:01:47] You had a lot. And so I was just going from here to Italy. I did a week in advance because I haven't had the chance to go before and I wanted to really experience it. So we went to Rome, we went to Sorrento, and then we went to Puglia, which is the heel of Italy, and it's just south of Bari is where the conference was held. And yeah, it was just spectacular. The conference was ridiculous. I don't know if before we.

David Leary: [00:02:15] Get into the conference, like when I went to Italy, I went on a trek and came back with some accounting and tax knowledge. Remember I talked about the bankrupt and the desk and I went and saw Luca Pacioli's birthplace and his statue. Like, Did you learn any accounting things when you were in Italy?

Blake Oliver: [00:02:31] Yeah, I did well. And I have a story about the region that we were in in Puglia. There are these houses called Trulli. A single truly is a trullo and they are these stone houses where the the roof is made from unmortared stone that is stacked together. And the legend has it that in the 1500s or, you know, medieval times or whatever it was, that the taxes were assessed based on dwelling units. And because this area has a lot of stone, the landlords told the peasants to construct their homes with the stone, but to make them unmortared and to stack them in such a way that there would be a keystone at the top of the roof. And if you pulled out the keystone, the whole thing would collapse. And so when they saw the tax collectors coming, the peasants would all pull out the keystone and the roof would fall in. And if there's no roof, there's no dwelling unit. And if there's no dwelling unit, there's no taxes and that's it. I mean, it's a core story about the houses they used to live in in this region is related to tax avoidance or tax evasion, however you want to look at it. And I think it's very appropriate that that was the area we were in and that accounting was born in Italy. Double entry accounting was born in Italy. And we did that conference there. Yeah, it's a fun, fun story. So look up the story of the truly an tax evasion. And I see we've got Hector in the audience. Hector Garcia, thanks for joining us. As we stream today, a reminder to all our listeners that you can follow our YouTube channel and get notified when we go live and you can chat with us, ask us questions, you can heckle us. You can just hang with us as we do this. So great to see you, Hector. All right, David, can we talk about the conference, though?

David Leary: [00:04:21] Yeah, let's talk about the conference. Yeah. Okay.

Blake Oliver: [00:04:23] So ridiculous is kind of the word I would use to describe it. Maybe over the top. I mean, beautiful expensify, the spend management company, the super app, as they like to call it, the developer of the super app, I should say. They put on this conference in Puglia, Italy at the Borgo Egnazia Resort, which is this five star resort in Puglia, incredibly beautiful region. And the resort and I didn't know this before I went, but apparently they rented out the whole resort and invited 100 accountants and accounting thought leaders to the event with their plus ones and then a bunch of the expensify people. So I think it was 3 to 400 people at this event.

David Leary: [00:05:10] Yeah, maybe a little less. But yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:05:12] It was four days. It was hundreds of people, four days and there were sessions. David Barrett spoke, talked about the future of Expensify. I got to present a session which was a.

David Leary: [00:05:23] Presentation which I've heard raving reviews about. I wish I would have saw it.

Blake Oliver: [00:05:26] Thank you. Hopefully we'll get to see the recording because they were recording these sessions, so if there is one, I'll be sure to share it. It was a new presentation I did on artificial intelligence and accounting. A lot of the stuff we talk about here every week and George Clooney was the keynote speaker. So we got to sit in a room with a few hundred people. And David Barrett interviewed George Clooney about the work that he and his wife are doing to help save the planet, which is a big part of expensify his mission. I can't remember the exact.

David Leary: [00:05:57] His his his foundation is a customer of Expensify and that's why he was brought in. But some of that work he's doing to save the planet, you know, he and his wife are grafted. These bad guys and some part of it they go after is researching the money flow.

Blake Oliver: [00:06:11] Yes, that was interesting.

David Leary: [00:06:13] And George Clooney has 12 or 14. I think it might be 14 accountants on staff investigating fraud and chasing fraudulent money all over the world, forensic accounting of criminals.

Blake Oliver: [00:06:23] And it's interesting because I'm glad you brought this up because he said that. They've learned at the Clooney Foundation and. It doesn't help to shame a dictator or a killer because they don't have any shame. So, you know, you can take aerial satellite photographs of mass graves and you can call out the people that they've put in jail for illegitimate reasons, but it doesn't actually do anything. And that what really has made the difference in the years they've been doing this is tracking the money and cutting off the sources of funding and shaming the companies that are doing business with these dictators. So the forensic accounting is actually a really important part of what they do. And I just love that. That was I never heard that before.

David Leary: [00:07:10] I didn't know that he was doing that. Right. That's amazing. You're like that was the last thing I expected to come out of his mouth like, oh, by the way, I have this whole team of accountants tracking down bad money all over the world.

Blake Oliver: [00:07:21] The other thing, since we're talking about Clooney, the other thing I really loved about that interview was what he said about failure. And he said, I believe the quote was, I've never learned anything from being right. I've never learned anything from being right. And he talked about how he's failed so many times. And of course, he made a joke about that Batman and Robin movie. And it's like we all forget about that. He's such a star and we forget that he has failed and made stuff that wasn't good. And he still feels that way, right? Every every time he does something, you know, it doesn't work. And so if you are, you know, starting a podcast or you are doing a presentation for a conference or you are building an accounting practice, you're going to feel like you're failing a lot of the time. And that is okay. And that is normal because. The other thing he said that was pretty funny is, you know, if you're beating your chest and you think everything you're doing is great, usually it sucks, right? Those people are the ones who are the worst. So just very charming, very charming person.

David Leary: [00:08:28] You came off a lot more down to earth than you thought he would. Yeah, because even before you went up on stage, he's kind of standing there off the stage and you can see him. And it is the term like overly put together the right term. Like. Like like he's almost a statue in a way. Right? And I was like, oh, gosh, he's going to be stiff. He's going, this is going to be horrible. And once he got on stage, he loosened up. He was very laid back, very open and honest about stuff. And, you know, it's pretty good. Pretty funny, too. He was expecting to be so funny.

Blake Oliver: [00:08:56] We've got more folks joining us in the live stream. Hey, Edgar, how you doing? Hazardous items. Great to see you. Hazardous items and your spectacular username Hazardous says. Thought I'd let the cloud accounting guys know I finally passed all four parts of the CPA exam. My next cert is the CMA exam, which is really underrated in my opinion. Congratulations. Yes, well done. And I can't believe you're going for CMA as well. That's that's quite a lot. But yeah, go for it. Congratulations. Nicely done.

David Leary: [00:09:27] So do you want to talk about what was covered in the keynotes, Some of the content.

Blake Oliver: [00:09:31] Let's do it. Let's talk about the phrase Every payment is a conversation. That's what stuck out to me in David Barrett's keynote when he was talking about the product and the direction of Expensify. Actually, can we just step back for a second? David? Yeah. Talk about the, the first expensive con And do you remember when we went to that? This is the third one they've done? The first one, David Barrett got up on stage and he had a single slide.

David Leary: [00:09:58] That's right. He spoke to one slide. He spoke to animated. It took a long time to build the whole slide.

Blake Oliver: [00:10:02] He built the slide up and he basically explained expensive fees. Entire strategy. He just laid it out on the table and. That strategy has guided expensify to where it is today. They got, you know, thousands and thousands of customers and, you know, $100 million run rate and 140, 150 employees. And they can do conferences like this. But basically, if I had to summarize the original product vision from, you know, expensify one expense con one, it was let's create a product that is just fantastic for the end user and like make expense reporting simple for them and anyone can use it. You don't have to get your CFO or your controller to sign up for it. Anyone who needs to file an expense report can pick up Expensify for free and use it and snap a picture and make an expense report and send it in. And if enough people at a company do this, then eventually the accounting and finance team says, Hmm, maybe we should look into this. And then they buy it. And so I wrote a story at that after that event called I think the headline was Expensify is the slack of accounting because of that grass roots user acquisition strategy. And that is really something that you don't see a lot in accounting. A lot of the apps go in top down. They're designed for the CFO, they're designed for the CEO. And so the user experience often sucks for the end user because they are the last person that the company thinks about. But at Expensify, it's the opposite. Yeah, the person using the app is the first person they think about. And I have always thought about that when I think about product development and even building our own app. David When we build earmark, you know, it's all about the end user. So at this conference, this third one, David Barrett, got up there and he started out talking about how every payment is a conversation and basically unveiled announced the new Expensify app. How would you describe the difference between Expensify now and and what they're building?

David Leary: [00:12:12] Well, so I think the other part of that, his vision about, you know, this like every expense is a conversation or adding context to a transaction. Right? There's there's always a conversation about the expense report happening somewhere either right months before where I'm like, hey, I got to get this oven fixed. If I'm a restaurant owner and there's already a conversation happening somewhere or after the fact. And the other concept he kind of brings up and like fundamentally, like over beers and we're drinking and nerdy talk like you and I. I can kind of see this vision, right, of that, an expense report, an invoice, a paycheck to roommates that are splitting a bill like their rent. It's all an expense report at some level. Right. Right. If I if I submit an invoice to you, it's basically the expenses on my company I'm sending to you to pay. Right. In a kind of a way.

Blake Oliver: [00:13:05] That's the thing that that. Really resets the the expensify experience is. He's talking about like eliminating the expense report. That's what the expense has been built on, is creating easy expense reports. Right. And now they want to go one step further and completely eliminate the expense report with a chat based interface in the new Expensify app where it's we just David, if we're talking about an expense, we just chat about it and then the app facilitates the request and the reimbursement and the payment, all of that. And the whole time I kept thinking about how similar this is to Chatgpt. An expensive has been working on this for a while now.

David Leary: [00:13:48] It's not there. Right exactly. So so they rolled this out and basically and right now I would say it's like a a version of Slack or Microsoft teams, you know, and we saw this I think we were at Sage Intacct, how they they made integration with Microsoft teams and like an expense report had to be approved. And then the approval came through to the chat and somebody could approve it right there in the chat in Microsoft teams and it reflected back in Sage Intacct. So that's kind of where maybe it's at or it's probably the next steps. But as I sat there and looked at it, I was like, Oh, it needs to be like full blown chat GPT style to where it can access old conversations because, you know, they bring all these accountants and bookkeepers in and show them this, right? All these accountants, accounting influencers. And I think for a lot of these people, especially if they're controllers or virtual controllers or we have big clients, they almost couldn't wrap their head around it fully. Like they're still stuck in the old world of like employee submits expenses. I've reviewed the expenses, I approve the expenses, and I'm stepping back and I'm like, You don't need any of that because it could just when an expense gets submitted, go find the old conversation that we had two months ago where you basically said, Yes, get the oven fixed, right? Yeah. And bring that context forward. And so it's very obvious like that's the next layer into this. There has to be this chat eye level.

Blake Oliver: [00:15:03] Well, and the way they've built the interface, they could totally layer it in. They could just like add it in and you really could just have this conversation. And then all of the expense request reimbursement is handled by the AI. So I mean, it's very visionary to for them to have thought of this before any of this ChatGPT stuff started to happen. Like they've been working on this for years, right? And now now we're seeing it happen with Chatgpt. And I guess my question is, you know, what, what is going to actually do? It will will expensify do it again and build this thing that nobody's ever seen before or will, you know, CHATGPT just do it right. That's the risk that they have. And I don't know. I mean, I guess you're reluctant to say lightning can strike twice, right? Or genius can strike twice. But with Barrett and Expensify. I think they've got a good shot at it.

David Leary: [00:15:59] I agree. I mean, I've worked with a lot of founders in this space, and Barrett's probably the one of the smartest I've ever met for sure.

Blake Oliver: [00:16:05] You know, some of the other mind blowing stuff that he talked about is how they're building this new app. So the reason it's taken a while to get going is that they had to completely rebuild this thing, the brand new platform. And it's built, it's actually open sourced. So they've figured out a way where. They can hire contract developers to work on specific features that are not part of expensify and they can pay them a fixed fee to build something and then they can submit the code and add it into the app like it's an open source project and that's kind of mind blowing. So this is continuing, this ability for Expensify to operate with extremely low headcount. Yep. And that's something Expensify has always been famous for.

David Leary: [00:16:46] Yeah. So instead of having like, going out like, a lot of startups, right? Oh, they went out and hire a thousand engineers. Right. And now you got to bring in a bunch of vpcs and layers of management to manage a thousand engineers. And then then you have just a lot of meetings and stuff doesn't get done. They basically had to invent a system and a process for them to post. I'm going to say five or I don't know if they're using Fiverr, but basically post a problem out there on Fiverr. Specific problem that needs solved by code and an engineer can contribute to their project and get paid for that one little snippet of work. They do so because of that. Now, with the new Expensify, they've had a thousand different engineers contribute code to the new Expensify and they didn't have to hire any engineers. Yeah, and they're also doing the flip of that with support. So they have.

Blake Oliver: [00:17:34] So this is important announcements and support. This is the one this is the number one thing that is held back Most accounting firms from using Expensify in their firms over these years is that Expensify has been super lean. And that means they didn't have the people to provide the support that accountants are used to getting from, say, a payroll company where you have an account manager and you have somebody dedicated to you. But that was the big announcement, right, David, is they are adding in account managers for accounting firms.

David Leary: [00:18:01] Yeah. And but the way they're doing it is they're because what they what they try to do before is they just had like one email address, like help at expensify, you know, something like that. And every single person that needed help went to the same spot. So if you had, you know, employees that are looking for the reimbursement, random employees, because that's the majority of the users of expensive hire a bunch of employees or people getting reimbursed. And so that just floods their support channels. Right? And then you wonder why use the accountant, You get in the same line and you can't get help. But instead of going out and hiring 900 call center employees, it took them a very long time, but they built a complete infrastructure back end. So it's all through their concierge service chat. Concierge does is it's part of a bot, it's part I. But then there's also humans. But so basically, like if you contact me for support and ask me a question, I'm on the back end. It's going to answer your question. But me, the human is going to be like, Yep, that's the right answer to give to Blake and I'll click it and send that. So there's like that level of of support on that front line. Then they have a second level of support and then then they have human support for the next level. So you as the accountant or bookkeeper will have your own dedicated and don't quote me on product account manager or sales manager. I don't even know what the proper terms are, but you'll have somebody and then your client and the client's employees will have a different support channel of somebody to help that client. So use the accountant. You can basically have expensify set up the client for you. It's probably the way to think about that. You don't have to actually do the setup.

Blake Oliver: [00:19:29] So you have to have a certain number of clients or end users like associated with your firm in order to get the account manager. But I think the number was ten, Is that right?

David Leary: [00:19:39] It didn't seem unreasonable.

Blake Oliver: [00:19:40] Yeah, it's not unreasonable. And you can just so if you want that support, you can just pay for the ten and get the support and if expensive, I can do that. If they can provide support that accountants have been missing and they can do that in scale without adding too many headcount, I think it's a winner. So if you had a bad experience with Expensify in the past because they didn't have the support for you, I would say take another look. And Joy says concierge is next level already with GPT added, it will be game changer. And I agree. I think if Expensify can add in the AI and have it do a lot of the frontline support, which I think it certainly could, then they'll be able to scale and other companies will model after this when it comes to their support is is chat based. Support honestly is the best like David I prefer chat instead of phone when I need to have a problem. Oh yeah. I only want to do phone support if I if it can't be resolved via chat and as long as it's quick. That's the thing, right? You want to get you want to get in the chat queue and have somebody answering you within a few minutes.

David Leary: [00:20:48] Yeah, the, the worst thing is when there's a chat and you click on it and somebody says, We'll be with you in eight hours. I'm like, Why do you even offer chat? Like, we live in a world now where you can man that chat 24 hours a day. It's very reasonable for you to have staff do that. I think the one interesting thing about the way they did this is new Expensify is not done. It's not close to being done. It is arguably.

Blake Oliver: [00:21:10] Well, it's a work in progress.

David Leary: [00:21:11] I mean, it's very, very early, but by putting it out there and letting everybody use it. So you had to use it at the conference, right? People were using it to communicate. And if you want a massage, you had to use it to book a massage, right? You had to use the app. But it forced basically what it did is it forced accountants and bookkeepers to raise all their questions and concerns like, well, what about this? How is it going to do this? Will this work? Will this work? So really what this was, is a big feedback session on an unfinished product. Now Expensify can take back and solve these other problems and concerns that everybody has. The one thing, though, I think they they they caused is now they've got themselves a dilemma, right? If we think about everybody that has two products, you always run into this like, okay, now what? And well, the old product maybe they're probably going to call Expensify classic. They're referencing it as already. So that's the old Expensify. And all I hear is like, Oh, great, 25 years from now, people are still going to be on Expensify Classic. It's like a QuickBooks desktop scenario all over. And that could possibly be true. Oh yeah, in the long term. And the other interesting thing that an accountant asked was why not just put chat in the old Expensify product as almost like a transitional period?

Blake Oliver: [00:22:24] Yeah. And maybe like if you've got chat GPT layered on top of the old expensify, maybe you could just chat with that and then have it do all the stuff in the old one. But yeah, I agree it's going to be an issue for them. It's listening to some of the product people talk about how they're going to transition people over. You and I were laughing to ourselves knowing that it's going to take decades. Where you move everybody over. But, you know, I mean, it'll be fine. You can support that old product and then have the new one be the new expensify forever. Now, the thing that was interesting, David, about all of this was I got this feeling like expensify is like launching a new company. This is almost like a new I mean, it's called the new Expensify app, right? This is the new Expensify as a company as well in many ways. And they've still got this really profitable, really successful app supporting them and providing the cash flow for them. But it's going to be tough, I think, because, you know, they're a public company and you and I hear this stuff and we see where Expensify is going, but I don't think the markets do because the first thing when I tweeted out that I was an expensive con, the first thing that happened is some random person on Twitter posted the stock price going down over the last two years.

Blake Oliver: [00:23:43] So Expensify went public in, oh, I don't remember when it was 20. Was it 2021? 2020? And. Since then. Right there, I think it was 2021. Yeah. November 2021. Their stock price, you know, blew up, went up to 40 something. And ever since then, it has just been on a decline. Now there's macroeconomic issues there, right? Like they went public at the high. They timed it really well. But now, you know, they're down to like $6. And as we record $6.64 a share. So, you know, it's lost 86% of its share value in the past however many years, that is to, you know, short amount of time. And so the market clearly doesn't see it. And the question is when? When will the like, if you were an investor thinking like, do I buy expensify? Right. If you believe that they're going to make this new expensify thing happen, you should buy. I don't have any stocks. Yeah, it.

David Leary: [00:24:41] Does feel that way. Like this. This product is so different. Like you said, they're almost killing their old product in a weird way over a long enough timeline. But this product is still pretty conceptually high. And like I said, you and I get it because we're nerds and we talk about this stuff over beers all the time. And Dave Barrett obviously thinks about this all the time. And but for the average person out there, maybe even somebody on the streets like this is, it feels a little crazy. It feels very edgy. But I'm imagining, what if it was just a startup like it was a new startup? It wasn't had, you know what I mean? And they were building this product. People would be going crazy to get it right from a from an investor standpoint and maybe not right. I find ironic. Yeah, Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:25:20] They'd have to be using AI and GPT in their pitch deck as right to get that money. But yeah, I mean, so, so we're going to see, we're going to see what happens. But I really do think like they were on the right path already and Chatgpt is just solidified for me. That chat is so when David Barrett says every payment is a conversation, he's right because ultimately with AI, everything is a conversation. Everything will be human conversation. We will be talking to our phones and it won't be just to make a statement that is something scripted out so that it does what we want. We will just ask the AI to do something that's connected to a microphone and it will do it and so will Expensify.

David Leary: [00:26:06] Yeah, because it's like they've spent the last 7 or 8 years building new Expensify and all the structures there and how convenient, something called Chatgpt just shows up and it's just going to it's like the perfect it's like the perfect whipped cream. It's the decoration, right? It's just that little bit they need to add to the new expensify and it makes so much sense.

Blake Oliver: [00:26:25] And this is where the opportunity is, is I don't remember the exact numbers, but they were talking about the total addressable market. And you know, the the market for expense report software is not that big in the United States. There are only something like 40,000 mid-market companies out there. So if you're going for that mid-market and you're trying to be that expense spend management app like, you know, you're lucky to get a few thousand customers, right, which is Expensify has thousands of customers now in that larger company space. When I say mid-market, I'm talking about not these, you know, millions of small businesses that are really just micro businesses, one person, two people, that sort of thing. I'm talking about businesses with dozens or hundreds of employees.

David Leary: [00:27:04] Having thousands of expense reports a week.

Blake Oliver: [00:27:06] Exactly. And so those are the ones that all the traditional companies are going after. But what Barrett wants to do is go after, like all the businesses, including those small ones, which are impossible to support with traditional enterprise software. Nobody can make the economics work, but I think Expensify can. So, you know, the question there is with the new Expensify, right? And you can pay and get paid as a conversation, is that going to be like Venmo, you know, are they. Amelio Right. All these apps that are out there that are gaining tons of market share to help people get pay and get paid, that's what the new Expensify could be in addition to serving all these bigger businesses too, right? But that's where they say the total addressable market is millions.

David Leary: [00:27:47] Well, I think you said a billion. He's like, I don't want to build like I don't want just a couple of million people using expensify. I want a billion people.

Blake Oliver: [00:27:53] And and globally too, right?

David Leary: [00:27:55] Globally. Globally. A billion people. Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:27:56] So, yeah, so that was so much fun. I did a straw poll. I was just like walking around asking people like, What do you think this event cost? David Because it's an accounting conference, right?

David Leary: [00:28:06] Well, they're all accountants. Everybody was doing this math. Everybody was doing the math. Okay?

Blake Oliver: [00:28:10] So I said, you know, what do you think this costs? And I think the low number was 2 million and the upper number was 10 million. And I think the 5 to 10 million range, I'm thinking 5 to 7. We didn't we didn't ask. We probably should have asked somebody what it cost. I don't know if they would have told us. But I know this is what makes me think that might be right is that a large firm was there and the one of the partners told me that they did a conference where they brought all the partners and senior managers and directors out. And it was it was a lot of people and it ended up being about $10,000 a person for that conference, which I think was of similar duration, and that was in the United States. So if there were 300 people there times 10,000, that's 3 million. That would be on the low end. Double that number easily or maybe even more. So I think it could easily have been.

David Leary: [00:29:00] And I think I heard a rumor. So Justin Timberlake got married at the same property. Yes. And now he had I think he spent 7 to $10 million on his wedding, but he also built them a church because there was no church to get married in on the property. So they built them a church, something like that. So, yeah, it's somewhere in that range and it does feel kind of crazy. But I really thought about it a lot. I know for a fact there are apps out there that are running half 1 million to $1 million a month on Facebook and Google ads, so they might be spending 7 to $12 million a year on Facebook and Google ads, which we all know are not very effective in general. Right. It's very expensive to try to reach accountants. There's not a clear funnel because accountants take a long time to talk to. Right. So what they've done is they're spending that money with a very focused audience. Right? You can't go anywhere like you're in for three days. I should say.

Blake Oliver: [00:29:49] That most of the attendees here were, I would say, mid-sized firms, attendees for mid-sized firms like, you know, top 100 firms. Were there smaller ones, too? Don't get me wrong. But like I think most of the folks there were top 100.

David Leary: [00:30:03] Yeah. And so but if you think about everybody, they make the experience so mind blowing that you'll talk people are going to talk about this for the rest of their life. So if you think about this, maybe they'll do another expensify in 3 or 4 years. Maybe when the new expensify is finished, who knows, right? They'll do another expense account. And but so per day over the next four years, like this is probably a very cheap marketing activity. If you start calculating it out.

Blake Oliver: [00:30:28] You're not going to calculate direct ROI, right? They're not going not direct ROI. They're not going to add subscriptions just from this event. And so that's not the way to think about it. It's really. Now everyone's thinking expensify at all these firms and even people who didn't go are seeing pictures from it and saying like, okay, what is this app like that? That's smart. And so it's another way of doing things completely different. Like you said, not spending all this money on Facebook ads for leads that never turn into anything. It's create this amazing experience that generates buzz and people talk about it and then also pairing that with the support improvements. If they hadn't done that with the support, I would actually have come back from that conference and say that was a waste of money. And I expected that's what I expected. Actually, I expected to go and it would just be a bunch of like fluff and they'd talk all this game. But if they don't add the support, no accountants are ever going to use it. But then we we actually talked to, you know, Daniel, who's in charge of the support and he talked about everything they're doing. And then I said to myself, okay, whatever. It's just like they're just talking about it. And then we interviewed BDO, BDO and they were we asked them, what is your favorite thing about Expensify expecting them to say something about the product. And they said it was the support. And I thought that was incredible and more people told us about that. And these are at the larger firms that are getting the new support. They've got the account managers. And so if they can do that and activate. These firms, these large firms, and get them to put their clients on. You know, it's it's another user acquisition strategy that is outside the norm that is not what's traditional. And so I love I was.

David Leary: [00:32:05] Thinking every app should also do their same kind of conference like that and invite David and Blake.

Blake Oliver: [00:32:11] Yeah. Yeah.

David Leary: [00:32:13] I mean one of these a week for the next 52 weeks. It would be fun.

Blake Oliver: [00:32:16] I would. I would gladly go to varieties of expensive con type experiences and report on them. That would be not a bad job, David. You know, I was feeling like we kind of made it in a way, like go into that conference after five years of doing this podcast was a really fun thing and good ROI for us. Honestly, I didn't expect to get a trip to Italy out of doing a podcast. You never know what's going to happen.

David Leary: [00:32:40] Actually, there's two other aha moments that weren't specific to Expensify, but that kind of went off in my head while we were there. Once I attended Clayton Oates's Infinity Game or Infinite Game Talk. That might not be the exact name of the talk, but the bell went off for me because he's relating that that there's with Infinite, there's either people that are playing to win right. Or playing the other there's a winner and loser or they're playing the long game right. The infinite.

Blake Oliver: [00:33:06] Game. Right. Which has no winners and losers.

David Leary: [00:33:08] And so if you and the person you're partnering with are not both playing the same game, there's no hope. Right? There's really no hope in that partnership. And he related this back to you as an accountant or bookkeeper and the app partners, the tech partners you're using. And it really, you know, all this time is spent with all these apps and all these things. And it really hit me. I'm like, Yeah, there's apps that show up. The founders show up. Their motivation is to get an exit, to get rich and get an exit, and they're gone. If they can sell their company in three years, they're going to do it. They're not in it for the long, long game. Yeah. And it just I was like, Man, that's a good way to to when you look at apps and technology stacks for your firm, you've got to be thinking that is this app in it for the long game.

Blake Oliver: [00:33:53] Yeah. Are they in it to make the world a better place? Are they in it to help you and your clients or are they just in it to get subscriptions and then get acquired and then be gone? And then now you're stuck with an app that's not going to get improved that you're stuck on and you get to migrate. And yeah, that's those are not the companies to partner with.

David Leary: [00:34:12] And then the other big thing that went off for me is, you know, we've been talking about accountant shortage, right? And even when Clooney was talking to Dave Barrett about some of the things Clooney is doing to A at the high school level, junior high like to educate people, There's some business things they're doing like that. I was thinking, you know, and my wife's a counselor and she goes to this event and she's like, Geez, like, how do you get more students involved in accounting? We've all talked about this, and I was thinking, you know, who could do this and probably figure it out. It would be expensive. I like like they would figure out how to do it because even if they fail at getting more people to do accounting, everybody in high school now is going to file expense reports a decade from now. Right. So it's still worth their time, like getting into high schools and teaching them accounting. Maybe I'm like all the companies that could do this. I'd put money on expensive con or expensify to solve the high school sexiness of accounting problem.

Blake Oliver: [00:35:06] Well, putting on that conference and getting all those accountants to post on social media, they're experience certainly helps. I think. You know, David, you had a story a few weeks ago going concern, Adrian going concern said that accountants need to spend money, show off their wealth in order to get young accountants into accounting and expensive can certainly help with that. I mean on the last day David they they I don't know how they did this, but they got this guy who lives in the area who owns 88 classic Italian cars to loan them to us so that we could all drive, we could all drive ourselves in these classic Italian cars to the happy hour. That was, you know, I don't know how far we drove, but it was like 20 minutes or something. And we're driving along the countryside. And, you know, I had a little Fiat. I mean, it's just that was amazing, right? Like that kind of stuff, I think.

David Leary: [00:36:05] And and like we talked about Sara Laidlaw, if you want to bring up her.

Blake Oliver: [00:36:10] Her. Oh, yeah. So we've got a few more folks who have joined us from the live stream, Sara said. We're still talking about Maui. It's smart to pull accountants together. Yes, agreed. Bring us together and we'll help you figure out what to do with your app. Everything wrong with it, and we'll help you fix it. And we'll share it with the world. Giles Pearson said. We'll invite you to the account test conference in New Zealand. Hey, we're in, please. I would love that. And Kenji has joined. Kenji Kuramoto said Clayton's presentation was great, very solid analogy on tech partnerships. Great to see you, Kenji, at the conference. That was awesome.

David Leary: [00:36:54] That was actually one of the good things about this conference is they created collisions that you can't get at bigger conferences. Like we've been trying to make friends with the CPAs for for years now. We have besties. I have besties at the CPAs, right. Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:37:09] No, it was it was awesome. Yeah. Met a lot of people that are sort of outside of our experience. I knew maybe like 10% at most 20% of the people there. I think that'd be 10%. And so I got to meet a ton of new people and that was really awesome. We've got a few interviews that we'll be putting out onto the feed in the future. Some videos from there. There's one thing I wanted to add about Italy, David, because I've never been to Europe or Italy before, and there were like there were some interesting things, things I was missing and things that I loved. And I have to say two things that I loved. And then maybe you can tell me what you think. David So I loved contactless payments in Italy. You can pay with your phone everywhere. I think it's some sort of law that they pass. Like you have to do it like everywhere takes contactless payments. You don't need your wallet. You can just pay with Apple, pay everywhere and. That was really neat. And there was one other thing I was going to say. Oh, no tipping. I just I got to say, I like the no tipping. Yeah, I know. I know. You don't get the same, like, service with a smile that you get here, But I feel like the people working, all the waiters, the staff, everybody working everywhere just seemed a lot more like relaxed, doing their job. They're there to help you, to serve you, but not to, like, I don't know, get a.

David Leary: [00:38:29] Lot of bongiorno's.

Blake Oliver: [00:38:30] Yeah, they're there to do their job. Not to, like, you know, make you happy or something like that.

David Leary: [00:38:34] And then you land at the American airport and you're like, Oh, right back to the reality of like, nobody caring. You don't get even a hello, but you still get the thing on the point of sale that says, Please leave a tip and like you're guilty in the tipping.

Blake Oliver: [00:38:47] The tipping at the counter service is like just ridiculous here. So I really like that. No fans in the bathrooms. That's weird to me. I don't know if that was just my hotels. There's no fans in the bathrooms, but they also have the like emergency pull in all the bathrooms, like so like, I think Italians are very concerned about falling in the bath or shower because like, they have those little like and it rings a bell somewhere to pull. Yeah, Yeah. So I don't know, it's just some interesting differences. Um, but I mean, it was just the food was so good and the, the food is.

David Leary: [00:39:23] It is unbelievable. I mean.

Blake Oliver: [00:39:25] Maybe I'm just. This is me. Just. This could just be me romanticizing Italy, like, you know, some dumb American who goes there. But, like, I really do feel like the people there are happy. Like, they just. They know how to live well. And I think that. We accountants especially, could learn to relax a little bit and enjoy a two hour meal with our friends and design lives and professional lives that give us that time to enjoy the money we're making. What's the point of having all that money if you're not enjoying it with your friends and your family and taking time out? And on the flip side, of course, it's like, you know, how do you ever get anything done? But I think there's a balance to be struck there. And it was nice going and getting a new perspective on things. It's one thing to read about it or watch it on TV, it's another thing to actually go. So I highly recommend everyone go and take a trip.

David Leary: [00:40:20] Take a trip to Italy.

Blake Oliver: [00:40:21] Yeah. It's a very crowded though, man. This is tourist. You know, the Vatican was just like, I cannot believe how many people they put through that place.

David Leary: [00:40:29] Guess what's not crowded? The statue of Luca Pacioli. You can just go there. There's no tourists around. You could sit there all day by yourself. Not nobody will bump into you.

Blake Oliver: [00:40:38] And for for our listeners who have no idea what Dave was talking about when he went to Italy on a separate vacation last year, it was last year he went he you went to the statue of Luca Pacioli in some town nobody ever goes to. You took a train ride to get there and you took a picture and you left our card at his feet. So you went to the birthplace of accounting. Luca Pacioli, the father.

David Leary: [00:40:59] Get away from the tourist. You just have to go to things that are accounting related and nobody's going to be there.

Blake Oliver: [00:41:05] Kenji said regarding expensive con that he also loved the way that Expensify treated and included our plus ones. That was really amazing. Have never experienced anything like that at another conference and I would say yes, that's awesome. Oh my favorite story about the plus ones is the the gentleman who who's like, so he's the plus one and he's at the gate to get on the plane with the attendee who is supposed to come an accountant. And unfortunately, the accountant had a passport that was expiring in two months. And so they wouldn't let him on the plane because your passport has to have an expiration beyond three months to go to Italy, which.

David Leary: [00:41:43] Could have been my problem.

Blake Oliver: [00:41:44] Thank goodness that almost happened.

David Leary: [00:41:46] He got my new one. Yes, it would have happened to me.

Blake Oliver: [00:41:48] So. So that happened. And then the plus one, it's like it was a friend. And he said, Hey, you mind if I go like I. And the guy's like, I guess. And so he went. He came on.

David Leary: [00:41:59] His own, plus one came on his own, which is just.

Blake Oliver: [00:42:01] To a conference. And he's like, in his name is Joe from New York and he's in sports strength training. So, you know, the opposite of accounting in some ways, like and he had a blast and it was fun. We got to I got to sit with him at lunch on one of the excursions.

David Leary: [00:42:19] So I think his takeaway, right, is like accountants don't sleep enough and they drink too much and then your body never recovers.

Blake Oliver: [00:42:26] That's right. He was he was I asked him, you know, I asked him like, yeah, I know. We were talking about like my fitness routine. I was trying to get I was getting free advice. Right. When you sit across from a guy who's like training basketball players for a living, you know, you want to get some free ice, he said like, yeah, if if you work out and then you drink and you go to bed, you're not recovering and that's why you feel like crap the next day. So you got to work out and then not drink. It seems kind of obvious, but you know, then you'll recover and then you can have fun. So he's like, Just make it every other day, you know? He's not. Yeah.

David Leary: [00:43:00] So before we jump into news, I just want to since we're speaking about conferences, we're starting to wrap up our, you know, the next thing we'll be at is going to be AICPA Engage. And we have a session we are doing with ShareFile. So we are going to be the panelist on a session called Elevate and Modernize Your Client Experience. Now, if you want to come join us at this session, you cannot you have you cannot drink on Sunday night and you cannot stay up because we have a 7 a.m. session on Monday morning at Engage 7 a.m. to be there.

Blake Oliver: [00:43:32] Oh, dang. David. I think next time, before we commit to anything, we have to find out the time of the session. I think we just said, Yeah, that sounds great. Let's do it. And they said it. Soon we'll be at that point.

David Leary: [00:43:42] Where we can demand them to change the whole schedule at engage around our schedule.

Blake Oliver: [00:43:47] Yeah, that'd be great. Well, David, I've got a segment I'd like to play for you, because there were other accounting conferences that were going on while we were in Italy and where I was in Italy, and one of them was Accounting today's conference. I forget the name of it. Do you have the name handy?

David Leary: [00:44:06] No, it's in San Diego, though. I know it was in San Diego.

Blake Oliver: [00:44:10] So accounting today took over the accounting Web conference and which, you know, after accounting web went went under, they took it over. It's called the Firm Growth Forum. And they did their first one just a week or two ago. And friend of the show, Kristin Keats, was a speaker and an attendee and offered to do some interviews since we couldn't be there. So I'd like to play for you a few of a video of Kristin's experience and experience of some other people at the Accounting Today conference.

Kristen Keats: [00:44:44] Hey, Blake and David, Kristin Keith's here, your roving reporter for The Cloud Accounting Podcast. I know I'm looking a little rough. This is after two days of very intense. Thank you, sir. We're getting cocktails here, too. So this is after two days of very intense seminars and training at the Accounting Today Firm Growth Forum conference in San Diego. So at my table here, I've got Randy Crabtree, who is also a presenter at the conference. I've got Sarah Harris and I've got Alison McLeod. And we're here to give you our input on how the conference went. So without any further ado, let me pass the video to Randy and he can give you his take on the conference.

Randy Crabtree: [00:45:23] Hey guys, happy to be here today. I was hanging out in the advisory track. Got to see Jody Grunden talk. Let's talk. Let's find ways that we can work less and be more profitable. And so I enjoyed what I saw today. One, it was just a great location. We had a great time to just the people here. I got here last night and I think I hugged about 30 people. And just to see these people that I respect and enjoy being around at the conference, that in general is just an awesome part of conferences. And this conference was a up and above. I thought from that standpoint, the collaborations, the information, the knowledge sharing that happens outside of the classes is probably just as important and sometimes more important than the class itself. It was awesome from that standpoint.

Kristen Keats: [00:46:11] I will agree with Randy on that. What I did like about this conference is they seemed to create spaces for that type of interaction. They had specific networking spaces that were allowed for you to meet other professionals. Even though I didn't like being a subject of the Ask the Experts last night I got thrown on stage last night. But I like that idea of having all the speakers on a stage at the end of the night to have like lightning rounds of questions. I thought that was really cool. So I think more conferences should do that.

Randy Crabtree: [00:46:39] Hey guys, I'm going to pass you on to L-listen.

Alison: [00:46:41] Hello, accounting friends. I really don't have much to say. I will say that it's beautiful here in sunny San Diego. And I would say a lot of the conversations that are going on here at the conference are echoing conversations that I see and hear in our small, informal groups. It's nice to connect with colleagues.

Sarah Harris: [00:47:00] Hello, Sarah Harris here. I was following the technology track and I was a little disappointed that they weren't more technology focused. They didn't have a Twitter handle ready for us. And there were a few things like that that were missing. I think they could expand on next time and do a better job to make this a more beneficial conference for everybody.

Kristen Keats: [00:47:21] Okay. So there we have it. Thanks, guys. I'll give you more updates as we get them. Hey, Blake and David Kirsten, again, your roving cloud accounting podcast recorder here in San Diego, lovely San Diego at the Accounting Today Firm Growth Forum. So I've got Jeff and Nigel here with their thoughts. I'll give you my thoughts real quick on this. Last this last day, Sessions was actually the best ones. I thought these were very relevant to the profession. They talked about succession planning. They talked about technology. Joe Woodard did a whole demonstration on with Chatgpt. That was really super cool. So I was very happy. But I'm going to hand you over to Jeff and he's going to give you his thoughts.

Jeff: [00:48:00] Awesome. Yeah, I think the best day probably was the final day. I thought the best part of the conference was about the PE and just succession planning and that most firms don't have any succession planning and that's becoming more a bigger deal for us as we continue to see people age out of the partnership brackets. So great ideas from the entire panel about what we can do about succession planning, very creative ideas about practice management. So great, great practice management, succession planning session for the last day. And now the Naokata great.

Nayo Carter-Gray: [00:48:37] Funny thing here is I'm actually attending two conferences. I'm attending the Accounting Today Future Forum. First, I can't even talk firm growth form and paspa, but I. Decided to come here on the last day to soak up some of this information here because it seems to be very future focused. So like we're talking about things which are going to look like in ten years. Who is really thinking about that? I know I am now. So to think about succession planning and to think about, you know, adding that new technology to your firms, how chat GPT going to impact it. Are you talking to your staff about these things and bringing them into the conversation? Where do they want to be in three, four, five years? So all of those things are very relevant to our profession and we have just probably not had the time or the energy to think about it. So today has been very impactful for me in that way. I wish you were here, but you all are somewhere else next time. Oh, Italy. So jealous. But we miss you. But this event was great. So I hope we get to do this again next year. Handing it back over to my girl.

Kristen Keats: [00:49:49] Hey, Blake and David. Okay, This is my last coming at you from Accounting Today, San Diego, 2023. I've got Dan Hood here. He put on this whole event. It's been really awesome. So I'm going to flip it over to him for his final thoughts for the day.

Randy Crabtree: [00:50:02] All right. Cheers. Just a couple of things I would tell you. There's been a lot of great talk around all the different topics you'd expect staffing and all and CAS and technology and all those sorts of things. But I want to take a step back and say that one of my favorite things about it is I think the big lesson is the fact that conversations among accountants are incredibly important. Accountants talking to each other, sharing information. They're one of the few professions that I know of that really does that on a regular basis, shares things that maybe they shouldn't, but they're great about it. And there's so much to learn from every other firm in the profession. Having those conversations is tremendous. We saw a lot of that here. We were very happy on it. The other thing I would say is sort of a follow on from that is contact and talking with software vendors. They're eager to to work with accountants. They always have been. Well, not always, but for a long time they've been there more so than ever. They really want to work closely with accountants and they really want to serve them well. And accountants can learn a lot from them. And the more connections and conversations there are there, the better. So those would be my two big takeaways. But thanks for listening.

Kristen Keats: [00:50:53] So this is Peace Out from San Diego. I hope you guys are having a wonderful time in Italy without us.

Alison: [00:50:58] But we'll hopefully catch you.

Kristen Keats: [00:51:00] At the Accounting Today Summit next year.

Blake Oliver: [00:51:05] All right. Thank you so much, Chris and Keats, for that roving report from the Accounting Today conference.

David Leary: [00:51:11] If we get only roving reporters, we don't have to go to the conferences anymore.

Blake Oliver: [00:51:15] Well, but that's.

David Leary: [00:51:16] The fun part, right? I know. I want to go. I love the connections are the thing. It's so important.

Blake Oliver: [00:51:21] We got a couple of reviews and we haven't had any in a while, so you got those handy. David.

David Leary: [00:51:28] We should read them. I'm going to jump in. Do you want to? We got a five star review and a three star review. Which one do you want first?

Blake Oliver: [00:51:34] Um.

David Leary: [00:51:35] I think I would do the five star first because then we star positions us into chat. Okay, let's do it. All right, So the five star review, this is on Apple Podcasts. This is from Bee Hollows. A must listen to exclamation point, exclamation point, exclamation point. A great update on current happenings in accounting. I recommend this podcast to my whole team. Exclamation point.

Blake Oliver: [00:51:57] Thank you so much.

David Leary: [00:51:58] That's a great, great review. And now let's.

Blake Oliver: [00:52:00] Hear the critique.

David Leary: [00:52:01] The critique. And I don't even know if this is a critique. I think it's it feels like somebody tried to send us a message and this is the easiest way to do it. So they give us a nice, fair three star review. It says chat slash I, I get that the chat I think is cool, but only to an extent. If you guys are talking about it. You could pass the CPA, it could one day do some accountants jobs or also the I doing scripts for video saving companies money for videos. This is taking away jobs from people in the future. As someone who wants to get into the accounting field, this is making me wonder if I should I should with you guys saying I could take over jobs in the future. So this person, this is Cheer Girl five 102. She's wondering if there's all this I like like, should she even be an accountant? Like, what's the point? She's kind of. That's. That's the vibe I'm getting from this.

Blake Oliver: [00:52:51] I feel like every time we talk about AI or GPT, we have to remind people that if you are thinking about this stuff, if you are paying attention to it, if you are using it, you're going to be fine. I'm really, really confident you're going to have a better time with AI than without it. It's the people who don't embrace it that are going to have trouble. Think about all the people who didn't learn how to use word in Excel and they got phased out of the job market. But the people who did are more productive. And that's that's going to be the case with AI, too. It's going to make our lives so much better. It already is.

David Leary: [00:53:32] An NPR interview, and the concept is that this is going to help save the middle class because the people that aren't going to benefit from Chatgpt is going to be the expert lawyer or the expert CPA, because it's just never going to have the same expertise as that expert. But the entry level CPA, the. Entry level accounting. The entry level lawyer just, you know, the average you know, even they're talking about even like tech support employees. Right. They're going to be able to use Chatgpt to augment their skill set to become more valuable as an employee, which means now you're more valuable. You can make more money. Yeah, right.

Blake Oliver: [00:54:05] Now, the the doomsday people are saying, oh, it's going to force us to do more work than ever. We're just going to get asked to do more and more and more. And I just don't I don't I think we will be asked to do more eventually. Like if everybody has access to AI all the time and you can just, you know, write a prompt and get a bunch of work done. Yeah, you're going to be expected to do more. But I feel like that won't all flow to the top. A lot of it will flow to us, the knowledge workers, and we will do more while working less. And that's going to be a win win for everyone. I'm already doing more. My joke in my Expensify session was that I wrote the title and I asked Chatgpt to write the session description and I gave it some direction and it wrote the session description. And that's what got selected as a session and expensive con. I saved myself an hour or two of work. Maybe not, maybe not two hours. But sometimes I could puzzle over a session description for a good long time, maybe 30 minutes, an hour to get it right. And it did it.

David Leary: [00:55:10] I did a presentation yesterday for an CFO accountant, and the title of the presentation is that you can't automate your processes until you document your processes. And some of it was like retrospectively looking at my own. Things like when you want to document a process or automate it, like staring at that blank page is just takes forever versus now in the webinar I did yesterday is I use Chatgpt to create steps for me and I would just paste those in a process street and then you just go through the refining task, you refine, you tweak, you refine and then you can automate stuff. But I didn't have to start from that blank slate and it really saved a lot of time because it would give if I wanted. How do you run payroll or give me the steps to run a payroll? I just paste that in and then I refine it to specifically my payroll. But the majority of the that getting started work can be done for you. Yeah. And that saves you time. Saves a.

Blake Oliver: [00:56:00] Ton. You can be a ten x engineer, you can be a ten x accountant, so don't be afraid of it. And the best thing you can do is start using it today. Sign up for Chatgpt, sign up for Bard, start using Bing in the new Microsoft Edge browser and that has GPT. You can sign up for that just start using it and start asking questions. If you're nervous, ask it how you can avoid becoming obsolete as an accountant using AI and it will give you answers. Probably better than I would.

David Leary: [00:56:30] Well, I can tell you this if you lose your job as an accountant, you probably won't be able to get a job at Wendy's. Oh, you see that Wendy's is going to they're working with Google Cloud and they're going to launch I it's called Wendy's fresh AI for their drive through windows.

Blake Oliver: [00:56:46] So you'll talk to Chatgpt or an AI version of that kind of thing. Yeah. To take your order. Yeah. But what a great use of technology. It'll be more accurate.

David Leary: [00:56:56] Well, what's more amazing about I was thinking about this is the scale, right? And Expensify talked a lot about this, this concept of scaling up right now, if there's 25 cars in the drive through, they can take 25 orders at the same time. Yeah, right. You don't have to. It's not a one person to one car ratio anymore. Now, obviously, how are you going to cook 25 hamburgers at the same time? But there's a lot of they're building these kitchens to do that now.

Blake Oliver: [00:57:20] Right. And if they know the orders, if they've got all the orders at once, then they can batch the production of these items. And yeah, it's better to have the information sooner. It's just it's just going to be it's going to be better. And the the real thing to remember is that there just aren't enough workers for all the jobs right now. And it's going to get worse and worse in the future. We have a global talent crunch coming. By 2030, there will be a shortage of something like 85 million white collar workers. Just that's just office type workers globally. And the only country in the world that will have a surplus is India. And the surplus is not going to be enough to cover world demand. So we have to figure out how to automate a lot of this stuff with AI. And actually, that brings me back to Italy, because one of the things I learned about Italy while I was there is that they have a very low birth rate. They are not producing enough Italians to replace the ones that are there. And so they've got this coming crisis of people on pensions, which are pretty generous and they have a pay as you go system. So it's the current workers that are supporting the retired people and they've got to figure out how to deal with that. And automation in office jobs is going to do a lot of it. So, you know, if you're calling to book an appointment at your doctor, it's probably going to be an AI that books the appointment. You know, not a person. It doesn't make sense. That person should be assisting with actual patients and and bringing them in and all that and not just doing administrative stuff. So yeah, I'm very optimistic.

David Leary: [00:58:58] So remember two episodes ago, I think two episodes, maybe one episode ago, we talked about how Chatgpt was set up to fail the CPA exam.

Blake Oliver: [00:59:06] We have to talk about this more in our next episode because we're out of time. We're out of time already. It's it's an hour. We're at the top of the hour or the end of the hour. So we'll tease this Well. So, I mean, the answer is like chat GPT four. Actually, it wasn't chat GPT, it was just GPT four via the API. Some researchers is doing a proper study found that it passed the CPA exam.

David Leary: [00:59:28] By giving it a little bit more, Not giving up to fail, I guess, right?

Blake Oliver: [00:59:33] Yeah. They gave it the right prompts and then they gave it a little bit of training ahead of the actual question. So like it, they primed it, okay, but they compared that to studying. So they basically gave it the equivalent of a chance to study and then they gave it the exam and it passed all four. And that's version four. So very soon I think we will be using chat agents in our firms and we will be talking to them as if they are interns and staff accountants, and they're going to be doing and assisting with a lot of the work that you would delegate to an intern or a staff accountant. And that's going to be so great because if you're a manager and you don't have enough staff, like that's the worst position to be in. And that's why a lot of people have been quitting because they just got too much work to do. So that's good news. And maybe I'm just in a good mood because I spent the last two weeks in Italy. That could be it, too.

David Leary: [01:00:29] I feel like surprised your energy level after the flight. I was pretty beat up after our flight home.

Blake Oliver: [01:00:34] Oh, yeah. I stayed up and did not go to sleep until last night like local time. And I slept for like 8.5 hours and I feel just great. But I also drank like half a pot of American coffee, which I haven't had in two weeks. And so I'm kind of jumping off the walls right now, which is it's fun. But yeah, I'm going to try to slow down. I'm going to try to work less and accomplish more and enjoy. The downtime. That's. That's what we all should do.

David Leary: [01:01:07] I agree. We have a three day weekend coming up. I'm looking for I to rest a little bit and get caught up on stuff.

Blake Oliver: [01:01:13] Well, thanks, everyone, for joining us. Don't forget, you can subscribe to us on YouTube. Get notified when we get live and hang out with us. You can also leave us a review. We really appreciate the reviews. They help us get pushed up in the Apple podcast listings so that more people discover us. And you can do that by going to Apple Podcasts. You can do it in.

David Leary: [01:01:36] On Podchaser Podchaser. Audible lets you write reviews now in Spotify Spotify.

Blake Oliver: [01:01:42] So write a review and we'll see it and we will read it on the air. And you can also send your emails, your voicemails. Send us a voice. Memo to at The Cloud Accounting Podcast at earmark cpcomm and earn free CPE for listening to episodes with the earmark app. Search for earmark CPE on the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. Download the app. You've already listened to this episode. Just find it on the app. Take a quick quiz and get your CPE certificate. If it's not there yet, it will be soon. We drop each course about a week after the episode airs, so sign up and come back and get your CPE. That's all I got this week, David.

David Leary: [01:02:31] That's it. There's always we can start doing a three hour show.

Blake Oliver: [01:02:34] There's so much stuff. We got a ton of stuff to talk about next week, so don't miss next week's episode. We're going to be catching up on all the news we missed. I mean, yeah, there's so much including we're talking about.

David Leary: [01:02:43] Earnings say this that time of the year when zeros Sage and into its earnings all overlap kind of so we could talk about what we see in the earnings reports.

Blake Oliver: [01:02:52] A scandal in Australia we've got yeah, more, more stuff. We've got more features that are being built into apps for AI, more stuff on the talent shortage and the 150 hours cannot wait.

David Leary: [01:03:06] Cpas eight point plan for the pipelines now a 12 point plan.

Blake Oliver: [01:03:09] That oh can't wait to hear what's.

David Leary: [01:03:11] New there adding a point every month is right now the current average.

Blake Oliver: [01:03:15] David see you here next week. Bye everyone. All right.

David Leary: [01:03:17] Bye, everybody.