Conference Goers Headed to the Cloud

By Adrienne Gonzalez

This year's Digital CPA: 2012 CPA2Biz Cloud User Conference – the first of its kind – gathered nearly 400 accounting professionals in Washington, DC, for three days to discuss the changing landscape of the profession ushered in by exciting new technologies and how practitioners can more efficiently serve clients by making the most of these tools.
Sixty-four sessions were offered in three tracks: technology, hands-on training, and practice development. Conference attendees were treated to case studies that highlighted the benefits of Cloud-based accounting services and given tips on expanding their practice using technology tools. Training was conducted by conference partners, Intacct, XCM, Paychex, and
In his Thursday morning keynote, AICPA president and CEO Barry Melancon stressed the importance of next-generation technologies and how they are changing the way CPAs serve their clients for the better. "When we talk about the firm of the future, technology will be an essential component in extending the CPA's traditional role as trusted business advisor," he said.
The conference also featured a keynote presentation by tech consultant Geoffrey Moore, author of the best-selling business book Crossing the Chasm. In his talk, Moore stressed the Darwinian dynamic of a changing profession as more practitioners move from inefficient paper processes to highly efficient Cloud-based operations. One benefit of this change, he said, is having a "single source of truth" accessible to anyone at any time. 
"Digital disruption is changing the competitive landscape for businesses," Moore said. "These trends are not going to reverse, so CPA firms must have a strategy in place to guide their clients through this transformation."
Moore also contributed research to a white paper released by CPA2Biz at the conference entitled "Accounting Services: Harness the Power of the Cloud." The paper discusses many of the same trends and transformational potential Moore addressed in his keynote, and it offers accounting firms seeking to take advantage of new technologies a road map to evolve their practice.
According to a recent survey released by the AICPA at Digital CPA, an overwhelming majority of CPAs say they have a role to play in technology adoption by their clients, and almost 40 percent see themselves as catalysts for innovation. A mere 17 percent say they play a minimal role or no role in helping clients embrace Cloud, mobile, and other emerging technologies. The survey – which polled 624 AICPA members representing a mix of small to large public accounting firms – also found that 11 percent of CPA firms already operate completely in the Cloud.
Moore stated there is no going back – these technologies are here to stay, they are continually improving, and they should be embraced by practitioners large and small. Preparing solid strategies for adopting technology, and providing insight and guidance to clients embracing emerging technologies that will improve the way they do business, are huge opportunities for CPAs to stay ahead of the game and to further solidify their reputation as trusted business advisors.
Related articles:

You may like these other stories...

Teresa Taylor, former COO of the multibillion dollar telecommunications giant Qwest, remembers the exact moment she stopped chasing the work-life balance myth.When Taylor's eldest son Jack was in second grade he invited...
Event Date: September 10, 2014, 2 pm ETTransfer your knowledge and experience to prepare your team for the challenges and opportunities of an accounting career.  Kristen Rampe will share you can have a significant...
Regulatory compliance, risk management and cost-cutting are the big heartburn issues for finance execs in the C-suite. Yet financial planning and analysis—a key antacid—is insufficient.That's just one of the...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Sep 9
In this session we'll discuss the types of technologies and their uses in a small accounting firm office.
Sep 10
Transfer your knowledge and experience to prepare your team for the challenges and opportunities of an accounting career.
Sep 11
This webcast will include discussions of commonly-applicable Clarified Auditing Standards for audits of non-public, non-governmental entities.
Sep 26
In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards. A dashboard condenses large amounts of data into a compact space, yet enables the end user to easily drill down into details when warranted.