December 4, 2017

AGM 2017 – San Francisco – Business session report


The celebration of our 25th anniversary was a truly special event, and needed a very special place !
The vibrant and dynamic city of San Francisco was definitely the perfect setting as our venue, since it reflects in many ways what INAA stands for: It is truly global, very business-oriented and always forward-thinking.
INAA members, guests and observers could enjoy that outstanding place. It was just great to meet in such an exceptional atmosphere, where we could exchange ideas, develop new projects or discuss professional issues during a really friendly and sociable get-together.
In addition, the presentations given in the business sessions were really interesting, and were regarded as both informative and engaging by our delegates.

Not less than 48 delegates, 20 guests and several potential members attended this meeting !

We had the chance to be invited at the Autodesk Gallery ( for the business session's kickoff.
Our chairman, Shariq Contractor, presented INAA to the potential members. Take a look at the video or download the presentation here !

Thanks to the programme committee, all guests, delegates and potential members listened to very interesting presentations. See a short summary below, and the videos of each presentation, allowing you to see them as if you were here !

Alice Labs : from an attic in Holland to Silicon Valley

Elmer Bol (Elmbo B.V.)

Download the presentation here


Elmer Bol is an emerging technology executive and entrepreneur who works closely with corporations and early stage technology entrepreneurs to successfully launch new products and technologies. After having spent the last 15 years bringing innovative solutions to market and launching several new software products, Elmer has learnt many of the business, product and technology strategies that lead to successful new software product launches.
As co-founder and CEO of his own software technology start-up, Elmer successfully built up the company in the span of three years from the early stages to the acquisition by the leading computer aided design software company Autodesk. He subsequently led the development and launch of several products and technologies that are now used by millions of people worldwide. Currently Elmer has left Autodesk and is in the process of launching his next venture.
Elmer holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from The Hague University and a master degree in business administration from Webster University.


The presentation tells the story of the bootstrapped small Dutch software startup Alice Labs that managed to get the attention of one of the largest computer aided design software companies in Silicon Valley called Autodesk and the subsequent path to getting acquired.

Influencing with Ideas and Insights

Robert Croston (Rain Group)

Download the presentation here


Drawing from a twenty-five-year consulting career in business development, strategic account management, marketing, brand development, and executive coaching, Bob passionately tackles complex challenges on behalf of RAIN Group clients worldwide.
As a Principal Consultant, Bob provides strategic insight on sales efficiency, sales performance, strategic account management, and brand development. Bob has been on the forefront of practicing an integrated approach to revenue generation that closely aligns the sales, marketing, and account management functions of an organization.
Prior to RAIN Group, Bob built, managed, and then successfully sold Forte Croston, growing the consulting firm from nothing to a multimillion-dollar leader over his tenure as Managing Partner. Instrumental to the firm’s success was his development of a proprietary brand process, Corporate Introspection™. This process is noted for developing organizational consensus and pragmatic implementation plans to accelerate strategic planning and development initiatives.
Bob also spent over a decade with McCann-Erickson, the world’s largest advertising agency. There, he gained extensive sales, account management, and marketing experience. At McCann, Bob received the Truth Well Told award for outstanding performance and was appointed to the agency’s Pulse Committee.
Bob is well-published and has consulted for noteworthy brands such as Abbott, Bank of America, BEA Systems, BMO, Equifax, Fidelity Investments, Foxconn, General Motors, Hitachi, Harvard Business School, Master Card, Transamerica, NetApp, Progress Software, Securitas, and the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Bob was a multi-sport athlete at Hartwick College and studied marketing and brand development at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a competitive mountain and road bicyclist, plays ice hockey, and enjoys just about every water- or snow-based activity.


Most accounting and consulting professionals don’t enter their careers thinking they will eventually find themselves in a business development role.
But the reality is that to grow your professional services business, all of the firm’s partners and professionals must be involved in, and successful with, business development.
RAIN Group will introduce you to the business development strategies and skills that make for successful rainmaking. This workshop is designed to help professionals with the foundations of successful business development and will include a series of exercises to get all involved.
The workshop will be centered on the RAIN Selling methodology and teach participants how to:
Leverage ideas and insights that influence the client’s agenda and inspire action
Lead masterful business development conversations from the first introduction, to winning the client, to expanding the account.
Ask the right questions to uncover the full set of clients needs and desires.
Balance service delivery and business development time.

How Accountants Can Build an Accountable Society, a historical view / A paradox of riches : economic dynamism in an Age of decline and instability

Jacob Soll, professor of History and Accounting, USC

Download the presentation here. / Part 2

Biography :

Author of three books including, The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations (2014), Jacob Soll is a professor of history, and winner of the prestigious MacArthur “Genius” Grant, who seeks not only to do pathbreaking research and erudition, but also to contribute to major public and economic policy issues including financial and political policy reform and accounting standards via his books, his work with government, journalism and lectures.
His latest book, The Reckoning, is available on Amazon. See the New York Times, Politico, the New Republic, Salon, the Boston Globe, Bloomberg, NPR, the Chronicle of Higher Education for his articles.

Summary :

Part 1 : In his talk, professor Soll shows how Golden Age Holland (1500-1800) invented the idea of modern financial and political accountability. Through accounting expertise, technical necessity, politics, culture and art, the Dutch invented a culture in which financial actors used double-entry and audits in order to create a society where citizens and shareholders could expect accountability and open books from their administrators. This trust was at the basis of modern democracy and of creating the modern stock market and publicly-traded firms—phenomena that go together. Professor Soll will discuss why we need accountants to help build an accountable society again, today.

Part 2 : In an attempt to understand the current US economy and its outlook, Jacob Soll will share with us the views of the political and business leaders he works with and analyse the paradox of an economic dynamism in an age of decline and instability.

Company introductions

On Friday, during the business session, ASB Group, our new member in PolandSlovakia and Czech Republic made an company introduction. Download their presentations or see the video below !

Download the presentation here

Share this post
Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
    Scroll to Top