[IMGCAP(1)]The profession is changing quickly—which was overtly evident at this year’s AICPA Practitioners Symposium and Tech+ Conference in Las Vegas. The "Cool Kids" have definitely made an impact by continually encouraging firms to embrace change while also educating the profession as a whole.

Today, it’s pretty clear that we (the Cool Kids) have emerged as an important, collective voice because we are out in front demonstrating how to use new technologies, work from the cloud, and be free from traditional modes of working. There was a new and exciting energy flowing—energy created by the most forward-thinking and forward-feeling leaders.

The best and the brightest leaders were out in droves at Tech+—speaking about the "new firm" and what that looks like in terms of technology, workflow, and most importantly, culture! It was refreshing to get out from under the same-old-same-old and instead hear from today’s younger, progressive CPAs like W. Michael Hsu of DeepSky Accounting who was there representing his virtual outsourced accounting firm. Michael explained how he uses social media to fuel his practice.

Bernie Lietz of Corbett Duncan and Hubley presented with Ron Baker on his firms transition to value pricing and the removal of timesheets. Bernie explained how to address the rogue timesheets and get everyone on board. Bernie’s firm has more than 60 employees and is happy with their transition to this new firm culture.

On a fun side note, in addition to high-energy attendees and innovative sessions and topics this year, the conference also sported extreme go-kart racing (check out the videos here). I have no doubt that just as new-age ideas are replacing traditional firm concepts, new forms of socializing will replace golf. Last year it was trampoline dodge ball, this year go karts, and next year…who knows.

I am most excited about the fact that the AICPA has embraced the new generation of accounting professionals—giving us a strong voice and influence at the Tech+ conference. The AICPA recognizes that the new breed of accountant is here and has embraced us, helping us spread the word to the masses.

The profession is and will continue to change. Organizations like the AICPA see this and want to help, which I could not be more thrilled about. Take a moment to research what new-age CPA firm leaders are doing and why it’s so important to business survival. While you are at it, be open to new ways of socializing. Golf is a classic, but today's CPAs are demanding more extreme experiences. What can you bring to the progressive table?

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