Get to know the speakers

Dan Hood, Editor in Chief of Accounting Today asked industry experts, L. Gary Boomer, Allan Kolltin, and Gary Shamis (pictured below) a few questions in advance of the four-part webinar series. See what these industry veterans had to say:

ACT 2020 - 3 Speakers
From L. Gary Boomer:
1.
What’s the biggest mistake accounting firms are making during the pandemic?
During a crisis people tend to isolate or innovate. Too many firms are isolating rather than innovating and adding more value to their clients. Now is the time to create rather than capture value.
2.
What has surprised you most about how accountants have responded to the coronavirus?
The speed at which firms were able to employee a remote workforce ... there is no going back to making everyone be in the office because of partner preference. This will have positive and negative implications for the firm (e.g. RE leases and commuting time and expense).
3.
How will firms be different when the pandemic is over?
Technology will continue to play an increasing role, as the tools and processes in Cloudlandia are different than those in the physical world. This provides great opportunities well beyond Zoom meetings.
From Allan Koltin:
1.
What’s the one piece of advice you’re giving to all the firms you talk to now?
It’s a simple one….”A recession is a terrible thing to waste.” This is the time to deal with the sacred cows and underperforming partners, associates, practice areas, etc. that are often “protected” in normal times.
2.
How will firms be different when the pandemic is over?
I think there will be some firms that come out much stronger and some that come out much weaker. It almost feels like some firms are “doubling down” on marketing opportunities and strategic investments and others are hunkered down billing hours on compliance work and assuming the profession we once knew will eventually come back as is. That ship has sailed and it will be a much tougher road ahead for these firms that didn’t use this opportunity to truly help their clients with their business problems and challenges.
3.
Is there a silver lining to the pandemic?
The silver lining to the pandemic is that the acceptance of remote workforce was reduced from 5-10 years down to 5-10 weeks! I also believe this pandemic has created more client and associate “intimacy” than we may have previously had – more “asking and caring” about each other’s families and personal issues.
From Gary Shamis:
1.
What’s the biggest mistake accounting firms are making during the pandemic?
The biggest mistake firms are making is not getting ready for the new normal of public accounting. All accounting practices are going to move to a partial if not total virtual practice. Firms are not ready for this. It sounds easy but it is really an enormous change.
2.
What’s the biggest opportunity for accounting firms right now?
The biggest opportunity is to implement a virtual practice. Firms that get there will position themselves to be very successful in the years to come. The firms that don’t will likely not survive.
3.
What’s the one thing firms need to do now to position themselves for post-pandemic success?
Firms need to develop and execute a strategy to become a virtual practice. Don’t think you can do it without help.