View the courses offered at Scaling New Heights 2017

Our lead coaching program, Woodard Institute, provides education, systems, and tools to equip small business advisors to better manage their practices, extend value to their clients, develop specializations, grow their practices, and increase profitability. We offer an interactive peer-to-peer coaching community to guide you in your journey to the next version of your practice and the next version of yourself as a professional.

There are multiple programs and multiple education tracks to help you achieve your personal and professional goals. Programs within the Institute include on-demand video training, peer led collaboration groups, facilitated case studies, best practice guidelines, hands-on learning systems, and cutting edge technology. The Woodard Institute is based on the foundation of common practice and professional growth, it all begins with a professional development journey.

Tier 1 of the Institute includes about 100 hours of study and focuses on professional development and practice development skills, giving you and the other leaders within your firm the foundational tools you need to thrive as a practice.

Tier 2 of the Institute includes about 100 hours of study. Institute members select one of three practice acceleration goals in the areas of 1) Automated Client Accounting Services, 2) Management Consulting, or 3) Operational Consulting.

The third tier of the Institute involves intensive field applications of the principles learned in Tiers 1 and 2, where members deploy the best practices, processes and systems from the Institute with their clients and report back to Institute coaches with feedback and measurements.

Professional Development Courses

Your path with the Institute begins with extensive professional and personal planning, strategies, and practice development topics. This includes highly interactive virtual coaching and mentoring within team environments, conducting individual exercises, participating in group exercises. These courses also include field exercises with your clients and extensive reading plans. We encourage all Institute members to begin their Institute experience with these foundational courses.

The Institute journey begins with extensive professional and practice development topics, including about 100 hours of highly interactive virtual coaching sessions, extensive and strategic reading plans, individual exercises, group exercises with other Institute members, and field exploration. Members emerge from this phase with a marketing plan, a one-year and five-year business plan, a refined and focused branding strategy and honed professional skills, and cutting edge leadership abilities.

  • The Gateway Course
  • Your Firm: 2.0
  • Surge: Organically Scale Your Bookkeeping/Accounting Practice
  • Accountant-Friendly Selling: Maximizing Client Relationships
  • Increase Your Clients Profitability by 50% in Four Weeks

We encourage all Institute members to begin tier one of their Institute journey with “The Gateway Course,” a session designed by and presented by Joe Woodard. If the Gateway Course is not available or if another course in the Institute is more pertinent to your practice, you can back fill the Gateway course at any point during your Tier 1 learning.

Scroll down for a complete list of available Tier 1 courses.



Integrated cloud technologies are automating much of the bookkeeping process, and firms who embrace these technologies and deploy them intentionally are able to scale faster and reach higher levels of productivity than firms still taking a data entry approach.

Members who select this career booster will receive proven, field tested and perfected methods for automating and managing the client accounting service workflow. Members who select this career booster will also receive foundational management consulting and financial analysis skills to move beyond the bookkeeping to embrace a higher, more impactful trusted advisor role with their clients.


The accounting profession is bigger and bolder than just recording keeping, compliance, and assurance services. As important (and foundational) as these services are to the accounting profession, they do not directly contribute to small business success and they, alone, do not allow accounting professionals to assume the much-needed role of trusted advisor to their clients.

This career acceleration path of Woodard Institute equips accounting professionals to provide strategy consulting, operational/organizational guidance, change leadership, business development coaching, human resource planning…and more.


Many accounting solutions like QuickBooks Enterprise extend beyond the accounting department to include warehouse management, field support (e.g. estimates and change orders), light sales support, and operational report design. Many accounting professionals dive even deeper into operational consulting by supporting one or more products that integrate with the accounting solution. The skills necessary to deploy operational systems are much different than those required to implement accounting solutions, especially for larger organizations with complex workflows.

This career acceleration path provides accounting professionals with the systems, processes, best practices and project management skills they need to expand beyond simple implementations of QuickBooks and to mangage complex, multi-phase operational review, systems analysis and solution deployment.



Personal Planning and Development (previously “Gateway”)

Conducted in cooperation with Accountex
Pre-Conference Workshop, November 15, 2016 8:00AM – 3:30PM

Course Description
Joe Woodard leads accountants through an examination of who they are as professionals, including intense personal exercises each attendee will take throughout the day. Joe then guides accountants through an exploration of their professional vision, the “brand” they want to communicate as an extension of this vision, and the way accountants present, or fail to present, that brand to their communities (local and online).

  • Discover Your Personal and Professional Vision, Mission and Purpose
  • More Effectively Build Online Communities by Re-Working Social Media, Website and Professional Profiles around an Established and Authentic Personal and Professional Brand
  • Determine Your Inherent Personality Type and Leadership Style
  • Hone Your Leadership Skills. During this segment we will cover:
    • Four common leadership styles and the strengths and weakness of each style
    • Practical methods for synergizing disparate and disjointed team goals
    • The reasons team meetings are ineffective and proven ways to effect change
    • The three characteristics of every great leader
  • Apply Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People for the Role of the Accounting Professional

November 15, 2016

This one day course covers almost all of the educational material of the full Gateway Course, but with streamlined peer to peer interaction, at home tasks, field applications and individual exercises.

Though the course is streamlined, attendees who attend all sessions and read all materials earn course credit and meet the prerequisites for additional courses within the Woodard Institute.

Save $100 on your conference registration using the Woodard Association Discount code WRD2016.

PD 101 – Personal Planning and Development (previously “Gateway”)

Professional Impact: Engineering the Next Version of Yourself

Course Description

This course is the foundation and the starting point for building professional competencies and business skills that will enhance your value to your clients and position your business for greater success. This course will help you answer the following key questions:

  • Who am I and why am I here? “Soul” searching for the small business advisor.
  • What is my purpose? Creating Vision, Mission and Purpose statements for your practice.
  • What is the secret to managing client relationships at the individual level?
  • What is the secret to managing client relationships at the organizational level?
  • How can client consulting skills and strategies be used to build my business?
  • How can I turn course learnings into effective habits?

Required reading for this course includes:

  • What Color is Your Parachute? 2015: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers – by Richard N. Bolles
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age – by Dale Carnegie & Associates
  • The Synergist: How to Lead Your Team to Predictable Success – by Les McKeown
  • Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding the Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty – by Patrick Lencioni
  • The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – by Steven R. Covey

*Registration does not include cost of books.

This course will be offered twice a day;
Option A: from 10 am – 12 noon ET

& Option B: from 5 pm – 7 pm.

June 20 & 22, 2017
June 27 & 29, 2017
July 11 & 13, 2017
July 18 & 20, 2017

Note: Please register for the time that you most likely will attend as there are a limited number of seats available per session. We strongly recommend attending the same session each time in order to get to know your classmates as the course is highly interactive; however, if you need to move back and forth between session times within the same day, you are able too.

PD 102 – Building a Successful Team (previously “Your Firm 2.0”)

Practice Impact: Engineering the Next Version of Your Firm

Course Description

During the course, each Institute member will take a detailed look at the direction, operations, processes, team interaction and vision of his or her firm. We will address some of the technologies involved in the transition to the next version of your firm, but technology is just one of the key pieces.

This course will quickly take you beyond the technology and will challenge you to position your firm as something radically distinctive, highly scalable, and truly profitable.

After attending this course, the real “fun” begins, as you significantly strengthen your firm’s value proposition with your clients and as you either launch or increase the value-driven advisory services you offer.

In short, this course will give you the tools you need to embrace a radically different approach to managing your client relationships, as well as establishing teams and team resources to scale to what will probably be an increasing load and a broadened nature of client work.

Required reading for this course includes:

  • The Intentional Accountant - by M. Darren Root, CPA
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team - by Patrick Lencioni
  • The E-Myth for Accountants – by Michael Gerber and M. Darren Root, CPA
  • The Firm of the Future: A Guide for Accountants, Lawyers, and Other Professional Services – by Paul Dunn and Ronald J. Baker

*Registration does not include cost of books.

This course will be offered twice a day;
Option A: from 10 am – 12 noon ET

& Option B: from 5 pm – 7 pm.

August 8 & 10, 2017
August 15 & 17, 2017
August 22 & 24, 2017
August 29 & 31, 2017

Note: Please register for the time that you most likely will attend as there are a limited number of seats available per session. We strongly recommend attending the same session each time in order to get to know your classmates as the course is highly interactive; however, if you need to move back and forth between session times within the same day, you are able too.

PD 103 – Personal Results Strategies

Productivity Impact: Engineering a More Efficient Personal Process

Course Description

Have you ever complained that there are just not enough hours in the day? Just the process of managing a to-do list can take a big bite out of your day. Then there is the challenge of keeping a balance between work and personal time.

This course provides insight and specific training on tools, techniques and strategies for managing time, resources, commitments and priorities. As we all know, there is not a single answer to this challenge. There is no panacea. There are many ways you can make small adjustments that can have a big outcome. The exact combination is unique to each individual, but understanding important productivity principles, and the tools that support those principles, can make all the difference.

We will explore specific work, personal scenarios, specific tools, and techniques that can improve your organization, make it easier to get the job done and streamline the way you work. At the same time, it is important to make each client feel like they are a top priority and that they are always connected to you. This is a real challenge because we know that true multi-threading means that you have to give each task your undivided attention in order to get the best results, and yet you need to be responsive to a continuous flow of new demands and opportunities. It’s daunting, but there are ways to achieve balance and enjoy your professional journey. Join us for this invigorating and practical course.

PD 104 – Sales and Marketing for Professional Services

Marketing and Sales Impact: Engineering the Clientele You Want

Course Description

First, it is important to know that sales and marketing are two very different disciplines. Blurring the line can lead to very confusing results for you and your prospective clients. Even more important is the fact that sales and marketing processes continue even after you have established a client relationship. We all know that professional accountants and business advisors tend to avoid sales and marketing and often make it one of their lowest priorities – until they realize that they desperately need more business. Getting this process right, on an ongoing basis, can give your business more predictability and more stability.

This course is designed to help professional advisors understand and get comfortable with sales and marketing activities as a routine part of doing business. Creating standardized processes with pre-scheduled actions using proven tools and techniques makes sales and marketing foundational to growing and managing a business. We will focus on specific actions and the metrics associated with those actions that will help you manage your business with a clear understanding of ROI (return on investment) and a way to understand where you need to make adjustments that will maximize your results.

Sales and marketing is both an art and a science. This course will help you put both parts together with a high degree of certainty and confidence.

PD 105 – Business Development Strategies

Long Term Impact: Engineering Lasting Results through Business and Marketing Plans

Course Description
Business development is a layer of plans and actions that sit on top of a well managed sales and marketing program. This is the aspect of business building that is more strategic in nature and looks at the various ways that you can take advantage of market trends and the constantly changing world of competition, global markets, technology, and economic conditions to achieve your long-term goals.

This course is the capstone of the five course series, bringing together your personal goals and the big picture realities of the market. This course provides the context for planning and helps you think through career and business plans that ultimately determine how you can cash in on your investment of time and energy over the years. The focus of the prior four courses is more about building value for clients and making that process work smoothly and efficiently. This course turns the thought process around and asks: “how can my business create value for me?”

It is crucial to “start with the end in mind” and to have a clear understanding of the multiple paths that can lead to a desired end game. This course puts all the pieces from the prior courses together to build a winning formula for the solo professional as well as the advisory firm that plans to add staff and become a larger business. Understanding the trade-offs and alternatives is essential to making the long-term journey have meaning and a framework for making decisions with intention and purpose.


Continuing Education

Institute members emerge from the Professional Development Courses refined, focused, and with sharpened professional skills, ready to continue transforming themselves and their practices by following the various paths; Business Coaching, Operational Consulting and Automated Client Accounting Services.

What They’re Saying

  • I signed up for the course, mainly because I met Joe at Connect 2014 and had a very good discussion on training and the direction of firms in the future. After taking the Gateway Course, I feel it makes you look at yourself, your firm, and your associates to determine just what you see for the future of your firm. It further forces you to decide what direction you want to take your firm. This could be to the next level, or remain doing what you are. Either way you will feel more confident with your decision, which if nothing else should let you sleep better at night. I can't wait for the next course to begin.

  • The Gateway Course has made me look at our practice and take a hard look at our vision, mission, and purpose as well as taking a hard look at myself.  I am finally doing all my media profiles.  I now have someone holding me accountable.

    Jeanne Reiser
  • The Gateway Course directly fits to my goal to re-evaluate and restructure my business. Now I have specific steps I can apply. Thanks!

    Joan Shumaker
  • The course changed me for the better in so many ways. It made me stop and analyze subjects that I have never considered before. It made me look very deep within myself to look at the good and the bad aspects. The best thing is that there are ways to improve those bad traits. The course was life changing me for. Thank you Joe.

  • With the Woodard Institute's Gateway Course, I have been able to develop my vision for my company, to learn more about myself and my leadership style, to manage staff better, and best of all to learn how to manage my clients. I got so much more out of the course than I expected. Joe Woodard shared powerful content to make us better ProAdvisors and better people. I highly recommend this course. It is a game-changer.

  • This class was what I needed to gain a better understanding of what my clients are perceiving as my job vs. their job.  I think clients sometimes believe that we are analyzing their products and services when we are looking at data after the fact.

  • Dawn Fotopulos provides a simple, easy to follow method of analyzing financial statements that can very quickly produce more profits for our clients.  I used her method of explaining financial statements as explained in Accounting for the Numberphobic with one of my clients whose eyes would glaze over when I talked numbers.  All of a sudden his eyes lit up and he “got it!”  It changed his outlook, and he was able to see how small changes produce big results!  I highly recommend “Increasing Profits 50% in Four Weeks” to all serious ProAdvisors.

  • The best investment I ever made in turning my practice away from tax prep.  Dawn provided all the tools, laser-focused education, real-world case studies, support & encouragement – everything you need to start increasing your client’s profits by 50% in four weeks, even conversation starters and leading questions.

    BA Jones
  • This course is the gold standard for mastering the delivery of a high quality profit improvement service to clients. There’s nothing else like it in the marketplace. The instruction and the material are at the level we’re come to expect from Woodard. If you care about improving your clients’ profitability and their loyalty to you, take this course.

    Jim Beddow
  • Your organization is highly valuable to me. When I engage with Woodard I not only learn, I also get motivated to do new things...and I get the structure I need to follow through.

    Judy Borland