The Role of the CIO in Accounting Firms

Traditionally, a CPA can expect a fairly predictable career arc. However, that doesn’t mean there’s no room for a little career creativity. Tech-savvy CPAs have increasingly been finding success moving into IT roles, leading to the rise of the CIO in accounting firms.

At this year’s AICPA Engage conference in Las Vegas, Jody Padar and Liz Gold interviewed one such technology leader for their Let’s Get Radical podcast, which airs on VoiceAmerica. Their conversation with Barry Brown, CIO of Moore Stephens Tiller covered a number of topics. They talked about the shift from server-based technology to the cloud and the evolution from Technology Director to CIO in accounting firms.

The cloud is here

According to Brown, the cloud has been revolutionary for most accounting firms, especially during busy season. “When I started, we used to work 18 hours a day,” he explains. “Now, at six or seven o’clock in the evening, the offices are empty… I’ll log in at home and be able to see 30, 40, 50 people logged in working… It’s so much easier, better quality of life than what we used to do.”

The cloud has also allowed for a shift in they type of work the CIO in accounting firms can do. Instead of managing server maintenance and software updates, he can be more strategic. Brown explains, “It’s freed me up to be less of an engineer and more focusing on productivity and efficiency. How can we utilize the technology to increase our profitability and our efficiency at the firm?”

To hear more about how Moore Stephens Tiller has approached their move to cloud, listen to the whole interview below, and then download Jody’s latest whitepaper, “The New Firm Transformation: Technology, Growth and the Future.”


Aimee Hall

Product Marketing Manager at Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting

All stories by: Aimee Hall
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