In these disruptive times, one thing is certain: Change is inevitable. In this landscape, it has become increasingly important for CPA firms to know that they’re taking the steps necessary to future-proof their practices against the uncertainty of the future.
That’s precisely why Jeremy Senften, CPA, CGMA, COO at Rea & Associates and long-time alum of the Digital CPA Conference, sat down with Colette Sharbaugh, Director of Communications & PR at CPA.com, for a special LinkedIn Live. In just around 10 minutes, he shared three ways firms can prepare for the future:
- Stay ahead of emerging trends
Trends are just like the savviest accounting professional: They’re always evolving. But in order to truly future-proof your firm, you must be one step ahead of them. Senften says attending top industry conferences, such as Digital CPA, keep him well-informed on new and emerging technologies. In fact, he and his team implemented Robotics Process Automation (RPA) after hearing about it from both session speakers and peers at a previous DCPA conference. Senften recommends educating yourself on new technology solutions that can create efficiencies in your firm’s workflow and delivery of services.
Preparing your firm for the future also means anticipating your clients’ needs and the opportunity for new service lines. Senften said his firm had always offered some form of Client Advisory Services (CAS), but through the guidance provided at Digital CPA, the firm learned how to grow and refine this practice area.
- Watch what best-in-class firms are doing
It’s also important to keep tabs on what other firms are doing. Pay attention to your competitors, understand the industry benchmarks, and network with other professionals. Every business is different but when you have a true grasp on the differences and similarities between your firm and others in the same market, you can use that data to great effect. Further, by networking you can hear about practical strategies from your peers that are facing the same challenges as you and build long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships. Digital CPA has been a great help to Senften and hundreds of other accounting professionals by allowing them the means to connect, collaborate, and learn about topical industry updates that they won’t get anywhere else.
- Understand your top challenges – and how to address them
We all face challenges no matter how big, small, specialized, or experienced our firms are. However, Senften explains that it’s helpful to definitively identify those challenges before addressing them. These days, talent and technology challenges are top of mind for every firm. In order to address these challenges, Senften has benefited from the latest research, strategies, and tips that he’s gleaned from past Digital CPA conferences. The information gained during all the sessions, keynotes, and networking activities has made a significant difference in how he’s addressed these problems. In fact, his firm now has 5-6 employees attending each conference so that they all come back to the firm with different insights that can be immediately implemented into their firm.
It’s clear that the future will always be uncertain, but that doesn’t mean firms can’t prepare. Our Digital CPA 2021 conference, held onsite in Nashville Dec. 5-8 and live online, brings together industry experts and profession leaders to share the latest insights, trends and practical strategies to help you take the steps necessary to future-proof your firm and lead the way within the accounting profession. Register before Oct. 31 and automatically save $100 per person on top of group discounts.