Director of Profess- ional Develop- ment & Commun- ity, CPA.com
The first time I was asked to be a mentor, a wave of honor and panic washed over me. Someone wanted my input on their career path and success; I was humbled they would ask me. Then, the anxiety of, what does a good mentor do, set in.
Over the course of my career, there were a number of people I would say served as mentors to me, and all had very different styles and approaches; some more effective than others. As the mentee, I owned what I got out of it, and sadly I did not leverage those opportunities to the max because I wasn’t sure what was too much to ask of a mentor.
Recently, I was at the Digital CPA Conference and the speakers shared excellent information that helps the mentor and mentee have better expectations and have a fruitful relationship:
You are not there to answer questions; you are there to ask them.
It will get uncomfortable
As we venture into 2017, set a goal to establish mentoring relationships, be it formal and informal ones. If you need help finding a mentor or mentee, AICPA is piloting a program; check out the process – all are welcome. A good mentor is a coach, not an advisor. Be the best coach and be an attentive student.
What was the best attribute of one of your mentors?
VP of Marketing, Paychex
When you become an accountant, you add a fifth season to your year. Nestled between winter and spring is tax season, a busy and often stressful time when accounting professionals need all the resources they can get to stay on top of critical payroll, tax, and HR issues that could impact their clients.
Paychex knows that acting as clients’ most trusted advisors during tax season and year-round can come with immense pressure; that’s why we’re offering a helping hand in the form of easily accessible, informative tools and resources built specifically for CPAs’ unique needs.
Here’s a rundown of helpful tax season resources from Paychex:
For more information on the resources Paychex can provide you and your firm visit www.paychex.com/accounting-professionals.
Andy Childs is the vice president of Marketing at Paychex, a leading provider of human capital management solutions for payroll, HR, retirement, and insurance services.
President & CEO, CPA.com
Earlier this month, we held our annual AICPA/CPA.com Executive Roundtable, a gathering of accounting technology executives, thought leaders and CPA firm partners. More than three dozen vendors packed our boardroom to talk about their software and solutions, and how these innovations can serve accountants and their clients.
It was a very impressive group, one that provided a good indicator of the change coming to the profession. As AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon said during his presentation, you probably won’t recognize what accounting firms will be doing within a decade.
Some themes emerged during the two-day event. Here’s a few of my takeaways:
What are your thoughts? I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation at AICPA ENGAGE, our Digital CPA Conference and other events this year.
Software Engineer- ing & IT, RoseRyan
Consultants who are great at what they do have the skills required and the experience to match what their clients need, and they have a whole bunch of other must-have abilities that don’t quite fit on the résumé. The following traits are just some the attributes that turn a “good” consultant into a great, in-demand consultant:
Consultants who have these seven habits are a special group (we call ours the dream team). They’re experts in their field who are willing to do anything they can for the client. They have above-and-beyond attitudes. And they are all about follow-through, professionalism and thoughtful, quality work.
Matt Lentzner heads IT at RoseRyan, an award-winning consulting firm of finance and accounting aces in Silicon Valley who expertly guide companies forward in any stage of their business lifecycle. He joined RoseRyan in 2005 and serves on the firm’s management team. RoseRyan tackles short- and long-term assignments for clients, from the startup needing an interim CFO and scalable infrastructure to the large enterprise managing tricky transactions and complex compliance issues.
Director of Profess- ional Develop- ment & Commun- ity, CPA.com
More times than I can count lately, I have heard “that is something from a sci-fi movie,” regarding consumer technology. Mark Zuckerberg has programmed his house to automate as soon as he arrives. Does this make anyone else think of the opening credits of the Jetsons when George arrives home? (I just aged myself perhaps.) So what does this all mean for our business life?
A year ago I wrote, “Do I have to think about that?” If we look at what was referenced here, that is what Zuckerberg did; he automated to a level few of us would get to, but look where we are. Did you get an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot for Christmas? If so you are probably still figuring out all you can do with it. We bought one for my 70-year-old dad; he can now say “living room lights on” and voilà! No tripping over a cat in the dark reaching for the light. Families can fill up the grocery shopping list using Alexa instead of yelling at dad to remember to add “x” to the list. It enhances our ability to collaborate and communicate. Accounting Today recently wrote about a company in England that is now going to use “Alexa” technology in accounting apps for accountants and their clients. What is next?
Sixteen years ago, many accounting professionals didn’t think paperless was possible, and now we have artificial intelligence (AI) in our offices. Deloitte is using it to extract information from complex documents, KPMG is using it for audits. Expensify has built in an artificial intelligence assistant called Concierge. Mac computers have it built into the operating system. (As we can see this is not just for the largest firms.) Daniel Burrus teaches us to ask, is the use of AI a hard trend or soft trend. A hard trend is defined as a trend that is a future fact, we know it will continue to develop, like we know band width will continue to improve. I would say AI is a hard trend; more technology is leveraging AI to support us and functioning well within the tools.
The question for you is, where do you see it helping your daily activities? Are you communicating those suggestions to your software providers, or are you in a position to build an app? Are your clients considering this advancement and how it impacts their industry? We are leaving the realm of sci-fi and entering a state of expectation and anticipation! I am excited to see how this all continues to develop. What are you excited to see next?