Not Taking Chances in Las Vegas

Jun 26, 2013

Jackie Christiansen and Luke Logan of Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk & Loyd, LLC were in Las Vegas last week learning more tricks of the trade and best practices. They attended the 2013 Practitioners Symposium and Tech+ Conference in Partnership with the Association for Accounting Marketing Summit at the Bellagio. This conference brings together those in accounting firms that manage IT, marketing and the practice. Jackie attended the track focused on marketing and client relationships, while Luke focused on the seminars that concentrated on technology and how it can help internally as well as making clients' lives easier. They also had the opportunity to network with colleagues and enjoy some of the events included in the conference. The picture to the left was taken at the AAM awards and dance party.

Continuing education is important in every career, so this conference is an especially important piece of Jackie and Luke's curriculum. Accountants take classes throughout the year to stay up to date on the latest tax and auditing practices, but there are not near as many opportunities for the marketing and IT professionals within the accounting field. This conference is put on by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) in order to bridge that gap and provide a venue for networking and idea sharing.

Luke with members of the IT group from SJHL's consortium at this conference last year.
Jackie and Luke also had the opportunity to have smaller meetings with other firms of similar size that they talk to on a regular basis. The marketing and IT groups each had a chance to present to the managing partner group about the value of the conference and the benefits their small group provides. They discussed the major themes and take-aways of the conference, as well as how they may be applicable for each firm. SJHL's Managing Partner Kyle Hawk met up with Jackie and Luke in Las Vegas to attend these meetings.

Luke attended the Tech+ portion of the conference last year and again this year. There are experts from consulting firms, vendors, as well as other CPA firms there to present. Luke said, "The AICPA Tech+ and Practitioners Summit in Las Vegas gives me a chance to meet and talk to accounting and tax software vendors and other users from CPA firms around the country. This contact allows me to keep apprised of new technology developments, current issues, and best practices directly related to CPA firms. I can then use this knowledge to improve internal firm processes and to better utilize our existing software to enable our employees and owners to efficiently provide exceptional service to our clients. When SJHL goes to Vegas, we make sure that what happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas!"

Jackie with members of her marketing group at the conference.
Jackie has been a member of AAM since joining the
firm in 2011, and the yearly conference is one of many resources they provide accounting marketers. She attended the conference two years ago before AAM combined efforts with the AICPA. She found it extremely valuable and was excited to get back. "The knowledge you gain and the relationships you build in the few days you spend with others in your field is invaluable! This year was the first time I attended with the practitioners and IT group and found that to be very enlightening. You learn all of these new strategies while getting perspective and input from your colleagues on implementation. These days IT and marketing go hand-in-hand, so it only makes sense that we would combine our resources at the conference. This particular conference allows us to work with our peers and find ways to continuously work better with our clients. Our team here at SJHL has a true passion for making our clients' lives easier, which is a common theme among the firms that attend this particular conference. And as Luke stated, we want to be sure what happens in Vegas doesn't stay there, so I want to shout it from the rooftop…also known as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!" stated Jackie.

Feel free to contact Jackie at or Luke at if you want to learn more. They can also be contacted at (620) 241-1826, or just tweet them!