The chief executives of the American Institute of CPAs and CPA2Biz mapped out how technology will affect the accounting profession and ultimately evolve them into being a digital CPA, taking a firm stance that is change is about client service and not just tools.
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This was the primary theme of the opening keynote address by CPA2Biz president and CEO Erik Asgeirsson and AICPA president and CEO Barry Melancon at the Digital CPA conference in National Harbor, Md.
Asgeirsson opened the conference by noting that the profession is either actively adopting new technology such as cloud and mobile to run their practice and better serve their clients or they are evaluating, but ultimately "change is happening."
"There is a lot of momentum to become a digital CPA and the key to adoption is getting the whole team involved," said Asgeirsson. "It's all about serving your clients better, with think things like outsourced accounting, virtual CFO services, and business intelligence services are where firms need to go."
He also noted that CPA2Biz released a new white paper authored by Geoffrey Moore, which explores the business shifts going on inside of firms and how technology is playing a key role.
Melancon described how the profession is evolving, stating that it is going to be younger, more virtual, more mobile, and more global due predominantly to use of technology. He also touted how the AICPA and CPA2Biz are trying to help firms navigate the changes affecting the industry.
"We are trying to create a better environment so you can deal with the complexities of change and be a better trusted advisor," said Melancon. "We talk a lot about the cloud because we believe that it creates efficiencies for your clients and greater potential for increased gross margins for your firm."
He admitted that there will be some firms that the pace of change will cause some succession planning discussions for those who feel forced in a direction they do not want to go.