Capstone Marketing Blog, Change

Is your firm’s time machine going backwards?

Daniel Burrus, considered one of the world’s leading technology forecasters and business strategists and author of six books including Flash Foresight:  How to See the Invisible and Do the Impossible, was the opening speaker at the 2012 CCH User Conference held this week in my new hometown of San Diego.

Given the rapidly changing world in which we work Burrus challenged us to look into the future to determine those hard trends (those that will happen whether we want it or not) and soft trends (those trends over which we have control) that will impact our business.  Then, he encouraged us to use flash foresight – the ability to trigger a burst of accurate insight about the future – and to use it to produce a new and radically different way of doing things.

With the predicted staff shortage – for every two Baby Boomers that will retire there is only one Generation Xer to take his place – it’s important for CPAs to consider how their firms are perceived by their employees.  After all, how do you attract and retain the best and the brightest when they consider your firm going into a time machine backwards?

Here are 10 ideas to ensure that your firm’s time machine is going forward, that when your current and prospective employees enter your firm it is perceived as progressive and technologically-savvy.  And, this is the way to attract and retain the best and the brightest.

  • Many firms have four generations working together. What are you doing to  combine their talents?
  • Consider Skyping with clients for greater connection.
  • Currently, there are 70,000 pages of government regulations. How is your firm utilizing technology to manage this information and your staff’s access to it?  Hard technology trend: the cloud isn’t getting full.
  • Increase your connectivity with clients through social media.  Get your younger staff involved with this.
  • What industries are converging on your clients? CPAs should know this and clients will pay more for this information.
  • Consider creating internal, secure Facebook pages and Twitter hashtags to share best practices and answers to challenges.
  • Create mobile and 3-D websites.
  • Consider how mobile devices can change the way you train your people.
  • Give people the ability to do what they currently can’t do and give them a way to do it even though they don’t know how or that they needed it.
  • Begin mentoring immediately.
Capstone Marketing Blog, Change

Cloud, Mobile Top Technologies Driving Change

Cloud and mobile top the list of emerging technologies transforming the tax and accounting profession, according to the 2012 CCH Technology Survey, an independent nationwide survey of more than 400 accounting professionals, conducted by ORC International for CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business.

Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting CEO Kevin Robert discussed the findings in a keynote address to more than 1,200 professionals at the CCH Connections User Conference in San Diego.

“We’re now at a point where all the benefits that have been talked about from emerging technologies are here – firms using these technologies today are seeing tremendous benefits in productivity and the value they can deliver to clients,” said Robert.

According to professionals surveyed, improved client service is the driving force behind their adoption of these emerging technologies, along with improved productivity and profitability. Firms also report that they still face challenges in leveraging technology effectively, despite its importance to their success. Specifically, survey findings include:

  • The majority of firms (64 percent) said that when making decisions to invest in new technology, their top consideration is if it will enhance client service;
  • Improved client service is also the top benefit firms say they realize from supporting a mobile workforce, and leveraging social media;
  • In addition to cloud and mobile, social media and Big Data are emerging technologies the majority of firms identified as having a future impact on the profession; and
  • Two-thirds of firms say leveraging technology is important to their success; yet 87 percent report they can do it more effectively; and fewer than 15 percent were very confident in their ability to understand and manage emerging technologies.

To download the survey white paper, CCH Technology Survey – Technology in Accounting: Then, Now and Next, visit