Everyone is freaking out about automation. “These are our jobs!” we’re screaming. “Leave them alone!”

Good luck with that.

First, machines can do your job faster and more accurately that you ever will. Second, as Sage’s Ed Kless says, if your job can be replaced by a robot, your job probably sucks.

The reality is this: Sometimes, automation is a good thing. It creates a partnership of sorts with the machines. Letting the machines do the repetitive stuff that eats up our time frees us to do some truly value-added work for our clients.

That partnership is on the horizon.

To open the 2017 edition of the Digital CPA Conference in San Francisco, CPA.com President and CEO Erik Asgeirsson announced a new partnership with CaseWare, a global provider of audit and analytic software, “to create a new solution for CPAs that will make preparation, compilation and review engagements more dynamic, intelligent and efficient.”

That solution, called OnPoint, “will eliminate repetitive tasks and integrate information from AICPA technical guides, thus giving practitioners a powerful, all-in-one tool for serving clients,” CPA.com reports.

In other words, OnPoint will do the prep / comp / review grunt work and free up CPAs to provide value-added services that really matter.

“Technology is reshaping the accounting practice, and the next big area to be transformed by automation, artificial intelligence, and other innovation is audit and attest services,” said Asgeirsson. “(This solution is) geared toward the more than 20,000 firms that provide preparation, compilation, and review services. It uses dynamic checklists to structure and manage engagements and will help CPA firms deliver the highest level of service to clients.”

This is exactly what we’ve been looking for … a technological solution that will do the transactional stuff and let us focus on our relationships with our clients and our ability to help them make sense of a changing and complex world. Our clients don’t want us to crunch the numbers. They want us to interpret them — to tell the story behind the data and help them become more future-ready.

OnPoint is one important step in that direction.

Keep an eye on what organizations like CPA.com and CaseWare are doing. Their partnership might just be one of the keys that frees you to do the kind of future-focused work your clients are begging for.

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