Oct 14th 2011
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By AccountingWEB Staff
In conjunction with its first anniversary celebration, the innovative THRIVEal +CPA Network group will host the Firm of the Future Symposium, presented by experts Ron Baker and Ed Kless. The event is set for October 28 and 29 and will be held at Brains on Fire in Greenville, South Carolina.
The idea of the symposium, says THRIVEal founder and CPA firm owner, Jason Blumer, is to encourage accountants to really think about the basics: Who are my clients? What services do I want to offer? How can I help my clients grow? The answers to these kinds of questions can lead accountants in new directions – away from traditional business processes and toward a more collaborative partnership with clients.
Baker and Kless will share their expertise on transforming old-fashioned tax shops into "professional knowledge firms." Attendees should be prepared to throw out what doesn't work and start considering new ways to approach their jobs.
Blumer and Greg Kyte, who host THRIVEcast, will record a live podcast to mark the one-year anniversary of THRIVEal +CPA Network, which is described as a place where "cloud people build community, collaborate, focus on technology, and innovate for the future of the CPA industry."
Blumer says, "Technology is forcing change in the industry, and the Network is bringing younger professionals together to share resources, swap ideas (members sign confidentiality agreements), and drive the change that's inevitable."
The focus of the Network and Baker and Kless' message are a natural match. Baker, founder of VeraSage Institute, speaks frequently to professional services firms about eliminating time sheets, killing the billable hour, and focusing instead of value pricing. Kless, a senior fellow at VeraSage and Director of Partner Development and Recruitment at Sage Software, is also a frequent presenter.
According to Blumer, pricing is just one aspect of running an innovative business, but it's an area where accountants can get stuck in the "it's always been done this way" mindset. CPAs typically bill a client by multiplying the number of hours spent on a project by the billing rate. "There's no time code for innovation," he says. "Firms make big mistakes billing by the hour instead of by the real value they bring to their clients."
"I hope people are challenged in their firm, and there are some ready to move into their own firm . . . [the symposium] will give them a foundation to build a firm in their own way," says Blumer.
Register for the event at THRIVEal.com.