As firms begin to plan for 2007-2008, they should be wary of relying on previous strategies for technology. Technology will remain an important tool as the accounting profession transforms; but remember, it must be employed with vision, leadership and strategy. Technology can't fix problems associated with poor leadership, management and the inability to attract quality people.The profession has been stuck in "me too" mode in terms of technology. Firms that differentiate themselves have invested significantly in end-user training and digital content management - including the use of client portals. They also have adequate IT support for end users, either from internal or external resources.

Many firms are examining and re-engineering their processes, along with making significant investments in time and money. Granted, they face obstacles, but most of these are cultural and personnel issues, not technology. As a result, the most progressive firms are beginning to take client service to the next level and moving ahead of the pack.

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