How Top CPA Firms Are Adapting to Emerging Trends
From disruptive technology to generational shifts, those of us in the accounting profession know we are in the midst of major transformation. While some firms are unwilling to accept and adapt to the imminent change, many are tackling the challenge head on by incorporating the latest trends into the way they do business.
Boomer Consulting Inc. provides consulting services to hundreds of the highest-performing CPA firms across the country. From technology to management consulting, they are guiding firms in minimizing dangers, capturing opportunities, and optimizing strengths.
During a recent interview with the Kansas Society of CPAs, the company was asked about emerging trends.
“The biggest threat to the profession is an inability or unwillingness to change,” said Jim Boomer, CEO of Boomer Consulting. “There is much talk of compliance and transactional work becoming commoditized in the near future, and technologies are already in the market to make that happen. Yet, most firms simply haven’t felt enough pain to initiate meaningful change. Kodak and Blockbuster didn’t feel enough pain, until it was too late.”
With so many massive changes looming, forward-thinking firms are developing strategies to shift to a business advisory model, get comfortable with trends like blockchain technology, and find new ways to engage younger generations in the workforce. But, for the many firms out there that haven’t yet begun to incorporate these trends into the way they work, what advice does Boomer have?
“The best thing to do now is educate, educate, educate,” said Sandra Wiley, president of Boomer Consulting. “If you have not moved to the cloud yet, do it. If you are unsure what artificial intelligence (AI) really is and how it will affect your tax and audit compliance work, read about it. If you haven’t heard of blockchain or bitcoin, do yourself a favor and watch the TED Talks of futurists like Don Tapscott or Bettina Warburg. Then, surround yourself with a community of the smartest people you know to get a head start on making the new world of AI and blockchain not only understandable but an exciting new strategic direction for your firm.”
The fact is that as time marches on, these trends become more of a threat than an opportunity. That’s why it’s critical that accounting professionals take note and build these developments into their firm’s strategy – and capitalize on the opportunities they bring.
“Change will be forced upon the profession much faster than a lot of people think, so it’s best to be an initiator of change rather than a victim,” Boomer said. “Strong leadership and mindset are the keys to maintaining relevance and making your organization future-ready.”
Wiley agrees. “Change does not have to be scary; it can be your protective shield for an amazing future,” she said. “The choice is yours. Embrace it and be prepared; ignore it and fall behind.”
Is your firm future-ready?
Jon Baron is the managing director for the Professional Segment in the Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters. He joined Thomson Reuters in 1992. Prior to his promotion to managing director in 1998, Jon was vice president of development, responsible for the...