Asgeirsson Cites Momentum of Change in Assurance, Client Accounting and Tax Planning
SEATTLE (Dec. 11, 2019) – Artificial intelligence and other transformative technologies have ushered the accounting profession into an age of innovation, and the momentum of change continues to build, the chief executive of CPA.com said in a morning keynote at the Digital CPA Conference.
“While technology is enabling these changes, CPA firms must align their business strategies and skills and training to succeed,” said Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com, the technology subsidiary of the American Institute of CPAs. CPA.com is uniquely positioned to help as major changes come to assurance and tax practices, just as they already have transformed client accounting services over the past decade, he said.
With the help of several panelists from leading firms and solutions companies, Asgeirsson gave an overview of changes in the three core accounting practice areas and discussed the role CPA.com is playing in each.
Significant advances are being made in client accounting, thanks to both the automation of accounting inputs, such as expense management data, and the increasing sophistication of post-accounting analytics, Asgeirsson said. Along those lines, CPA.com today announced an expansion of its expense management program with Expensify to include a smart business card., which automatically verifies receipts, does reconciliations and allows real-time reporting.
“Every dumb card creates work for you with every swipe,” said David Barrett, founder and CEO of Expensify. “A smart card is about doing all that work for you. It knows what to do after that swipe.”
The AICPA and CPA.com, with their technology partner CaseWare and leading CPA firms, continue to build out the Dynamic Audit Solution initiative, which is developing a transformational audit methodology and a state-of-the-art technology platform to evolve the audit of the future, Asgeirsson said. On Tuesday, the AICPA and CPA.com announced an expansion of their OnPoint A&A Suite, with two new applications available now – OnPoint Collaborate and OnPoint AnalyticsAI – and a module for employee benefit plan audits coming in spring 2020.
The do-it-yourself tax preparation market shed some three million users in the United States last year, as more filers recognized the value that CPAs and other professional preparers bring to a field of growing complexity, Asgeirsson said. For the first time this year, for example, the IRS added a question about financial interests in virtual currency to its Form 1040 Schedule 1 and stepped up enforcement efforts in this area.
To help CPAs in this category, CPA.com earlier this week announced plans to roll out a crypto asset tax tool for professionals with Lukka, a crypto asset software and data solutions provider. The alliance with Lukka stemmed from a broader examination of the impact of blockchain on the profession by CPA.com over the past 18 months, Asgeirsson said.
“We’re doing this because we feel like it’s an important category, and this is a starting point for firms,” he said.
Asgeirsson also gave an update on the AICPA and CPA.com’s rollout of the .CPA top-level domain, which will allow CPAs to connect with their clients online with increased trust and security. Early registrations for the restricted domain, only available to licensed CPA firms or individual CPAs, will begin next year, with general availability in the latter half of the year. CPAs can sign up for updates about the registration process at https://domains.cpa.
CPA.com brings innovative solutions to the accounting profession, either in partnership with leading providers or directly through its own development. The company has established itself as a thought leader on emerging technologies and as the trusted business advisor to practitioners in the United States, with a growing global focus.
Our company’s core mission is to drive the transformation of practice areas, advance the technology ecosystem for the profession, and lead technology research and innovation efforts for practitioners.
A subsidiary of the American Institute of CPAs, the company is also part of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the world’s most influential organization representing the profession. For more information, visit CPA.com.