Inspire 2023: The spark that’s lighting the future

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Last Updated December 13, 2023

A photo of a full room of attendees at the Inspire 2023 conference, with the words “Rightworks Inspire” laying over the image.


As you know, a lot has changed this year. Rootworks and Right Networks went through a major rebranding this past October—becoming Rightworks. It’s been an exciting (and a bit nerve-wracking) time for us. But that’s why we were so excited to see our Rightworks Academy community at the Inspire 2023 conference.

Inspire proved to me that what Darren Root, our Academy team and our incredible members have built over the last several years is as strong as ever. And I’m honored to lead the Academy forward into the future of modern accounting. So, let’s talk about what we learned at the conference—and about what made Inspire more special than ever this year.

Lesson 1: AI is here for your firm’s benefit

A photo of Paul Roetzer speaking during his keynote session at the Inspire 2023 conference.
Paul Roetzer, founder and CEO of Marketing AI Institute, speaks to attendees about AI during his keynote session.

It isn’t breaking news that artificial intelligence (AI) is here—and it’s here to stay. But we’ve seen that accounting firms are hesitant to use it, thinking it would replace people. I can assure you that it’s humans plus AI, not just AI. One of our keynote speakers, Paul Roetzer, really drove the point home that AI is here now, and there are tools and strategies that firms need to be thinking about using in their practices.

Take Spark, which we launched at the Inspire 2023 conference. It’s our AI-powered chatbot built specifically for accounting firms. Whether you need help with social media, fixing accounting-related problems or getting feedback, Spark is designed to help you do just that. You can even sign up for free and start using it—right now.

Lesson 2: Strategic packaging for advisory services is essential 

A group of nearly 100 people sit around tables during a session at the Inspire 2023 conference.
Rightworks Academy members gather for a workshop session at the Inspire 2023 conference.

Your firm is full of valuable knowledge. But chances are, you’re giving it away to your clients for free. To help with this common problem, we held a workshop during Inspire (complete with workbooks!). During this session, we guided firms in determining how to strategically price and package their advisory services. 

Since advisory services are an open book, we encouraged firms to go from being reactive to being proactive with what they offer. Firms know their clients best, and with strategic packaging in place, they can help them move forward much more efficiently. 

Lesson 3: Implementation is hard; we can help with that 

A group of five people made up of Rightworks employees and Academy members stand together.
Academy membership helps keep firms accountable when it comes to implementing changes.

One of the things I love most about Inspire, other than getting to see our members, is seeing everyone leave feeling excited, energized and inspired to make valuable changes in their firms. The thing is, though, implementing those changes can prove challenging at times. And that’s where things can run off the rails a bit. 

That’s why Academy membership is so important. We’re the silent partner that helps the firm move forward. We hold firms—and their staff—accountable, but they’re never alone because there’s a whole team of people (aka the Academy team) who want to see them succeed and are ready to help them every step of the way.  

If you’re already an Academy member, dive into our resources and online library. If you’re not a member yet, consider becoming one today so we can help you fulfill your ambitions for your firm, too. 

Lesson 4: The only constant is change 

Darren Root and Joel Hughes sit on a stage during their Inspire 2023 conference session.
Darren Root and Joel Hughes discuss the future of the accounting profession at the Inspire 2023 conference.

We all know that the accounting profession is changing. And everyone was anxious to hear about what to expect in the future. So much so, that Darren Root and Joel Hughes’ fireside chat was standing room only. They talked about their vision for the profession and how tools and the right technologies are going to affect people. Managing a hybrid team securely and efficiently is a high priority.  

Over the last several years, we’ve seen firms get very app-happy. Some firms run upwards of 20 or 30 separate apps, all with different logins. Simplifying and securing your tech stack with intelligent cloud products like Rightworks OneSpace is a simple way to help firms manage their staff and their applications in one place. 

The Academy’s mission remains the same 

While the only constant in life is change, the mission of Rightworks Academy has stayed the same. We’re here to help firms build businesses that support the lives they want to live—and give them freedom back in their lives.  

We may have rebranded from Rootworks to Academy, but we’re still here. We’re the same. We’ve just built a bigger and better table. And we invite you to pull up a chair. 

If you’d like to join us at future events and be inspired to build the firm you’ve always wanted, become a Rightworks Academy member today! 

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