Five Steps to Creating the CPA Firm of the Future

John Krautzel
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The face of accounting is changing, and the future of your CPA firm is closely connected to how you respond to those changes. Although accounting firms are expected to grow in importance in the future, new technology, modern work patterns and the expectations of millenials require flexibility and focus to achieve that growth. Follow these steps to grow a business that is ready to face the challenges of contemporary accounting.

Stay in Touch With Your Purpose and Passion

Central to moving into the future is keeping your accounting firm's focus in the right place. Every CPA firm needs a mission statement, and everyone who works for the company needs to be familiar with it. A strong common goal keeps passion for quality accounting high to retain the best employees and clients. New CPAs want a fun workplace with a strong shared passion for the profession. Sharing your passion is the best way to keep employees from moving on to a new positions or possibly out of the industry.

Attract the Best Talent

The top accounting talent of the future is not concerned with finding jobs. They spend their time working at things they love and exploring their passions. Attracting this new generation of CPAs requires a different strategy than the stodgy want ads of the past. Start by creating and sharing interesting digital content in the form research, stories and ideas. Get your name out there as an innovator in the field. When people start to talk about you, top talent will seek you out.

Grow Your Own Leadership

Accountants are retiring faster than they are being replaced, leaving some accounting firms with few accountants ready to tackle top leadership positions. Prepare your accounting firm for future leadership gaps by putting in place a strong leadership development program. Regularly identify your best leadership candidates, and have your top leaders mentor them to develop their potential. Make sure your managers and top leaders have the necessary training to help new leaders grow.

Show Support for New Work Modes

The workplace of the future includes more flexible work modes, such as flex time, working from home and job sharing. Do not just say you support these new modes. Show your support with your actions. Make sure each employee is valued. Do not let alternative work schedules limit growth in the job arena.

Embrace Value-Centered Business Models

The traditional accounting firm model that focuses on how many hours accountants work is rapidly becoming outdated. New technology is changing the way accounting is done, and new clients expect more for their money. Moving into the future, expect to see more accounting firms adopting a value pricing model that charges by the service and rewards employees for quality, not time on the job.

To move your accounting firm into the future, create a strong, passionate mission statement, and share that passion to attract the top accounting talent. Grow your own leadership to replace those lost in retirement, and support new work modes and business models. To become an accounting firm of the future, it is necessary to embrace the changes that come with new technology in the digital age.


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