No one attends a professional conference to remain the same, this is a given. The tone we gathered from conversations and sessions during the first full day of Accountex USA 2016 was about making the right incremental changes at your firm or practice to properly prepare for the new year, and even beyond.
Granted, there is a lot of uncertainty in business in general going into this new year, given the recent election results in all branches of government. But though these may not have been on the agenda during this year’s event (formerly named SleeterCon), the idea of change and, more specifically, what improvements should be made in practices next year, were certainly of interest.
Moreover, discussions about cloud and apps are now turning to terms such as machine learning and blockchain, and relevance over retirement.
In fact, we took some time to have a video chat with thought leaders and accountants, and asked them specifically about the one change accounting professionals should be making in the coming year. Answers varied from communication to embracing new technology, given increased competition, client expectations, and, of course, remaining relevant.
Below are conversations we had with Doug Sleeter, founder of Sleeter Group; Geni Whitehouse, CPA and countess of communication at Brotemarkle, Davis & Co.; Amanda Aguillard, Xero Ambassador and owner of Aguillard Accounting; and Jennifer Warawa, executive vice president, product marketing at Sage, about what exactly accounting professionals should be looking to change or improve on in 2017.