Everyone’s talking about how accounting firms need to transform for the future. In fact, the CCH Connections: User Conference 2018 Annual Survey Report takes a deep dive into this topic. The whitepaper, Technology Hype or Reality: What Firms Really Need to Know to Thrive in a World of Change, outlines the technology variables that affect firms’ success. One thing is clear, innovative accounting firms are more confident in their ability to achieve growth and profitability.
As a follow-up to the whitepaper, Accounting Today hosted a webinar, Transforming Your Tax Practice, in which Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting product line manager Samantha Grovenstein-Deal discussed technology and innovation with Jeremy Allen of innovative firm Randy K. Jentzsch & Co. Their hour-long discussion touched on a number of topics related to technology, culture and the future of innovative accounting firms.
Plan for a virtual office
The first key ingredient for innovative accounting firms is to implement a technology infrastructure that allows for remote work. According to Allen, the firm was able to retain key staff and attract new employees because of the flexible work environment. Although the firm maintains a brick-and-mortar presence, remote work has made a big difference in keeping the firm on the cutting edge. As a result, cloud-based software gives the firm an advantage over more traditional firms.
Rethink the role of the accountant
The firm as implemented several technologies to help transform the role of its staff. Scan and Autoflow software removes the burden of data entry from the accountant. Instead, staff are encouraged to take a more pro-active role in client service. This approach helps the firm overcome commoditization and fee pressure because its staff can offer more valuable service than simple tax return preparation.
Put your data to use
Finally, innovative accounting firms are finding ways to make productive use of the data generated by and stored in their systems. At Randy K. Jentzsch & Co., that includes being an early adopter of the new CCH Axcess iQ predictive analytics tool. This innovative software helps firms identify clients that may be affected by recent tax legislation. Through innovative tools like this, the firm has been able to achieve high growth. While the accounting profession overall faces a large culture shift, Randy K. Jentzsch & Co. has certainly found success.