As we gear up for the MACPA’s annual CPA Summit on June 23, we thought this would be a perfect time to have a conversation about the future with some of the Summit’s most forward-thinking sponsorship partners.

We asked each of them to give us their thoughts on the trends that are impacting the profession, the changing role of CPAs, and how their relationships with CPAs might be changing as a result. We’ll be featuring their answers here over the next few days.

Joining the conversation today is Paul Younkins, founding principal and senior consultant at TriBridge Partners.

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1. We all know the trends that are impacting the profession today – social, mobile, the cloud. What are the next big trends that CPAs need to pay attention to?
CPAs need to pay attention to the increasing resistance of our culture to redundancy and paper. CPA firms need to be thinking about more effective ways to integrate with other data resources and tools so that clients don’t have to repeatedly (or year after year) answer the same questions. CPA firms that work with employers need to be thinking about ways they can bring value to cross-over regulations such as ACA compliance, retirement plan auditing / fiduciary services, and executive compensation programs that utilize tax deferred insurance or investment tools.

2. How will the role that CPAs play change as time moves forward?
CPA interconnectivity with clients will become even more real-time, so that as things change in our clients’ lives, the CPA firm is auto-updated through event management software and tools.

3. Is your relationship to the profession changing as a result?
Yes. Many CPA firms are not interested in the overhead or quality controls associated with bringing additional resources to clients. We have had to create easy, client-sensitive solutions that allow CPAs to partner with us to bolster their service offerings without distracting or detracting from the relationship – only augmenting it.

4. What’s the most important thing CPA Summit attendees need to know about your business?
That we, like them, need to innovate, and the only way to do so is to collaborate instead of making assumptions about what new resource will be embraced. Our business is going through the same changes, with more and more clients wanting online support, simplicity, low redundancy, effective communication. We all need to carve out a little time to convene with one another to build information and relationship bridges with one another so that the small and mid-size firms can continue to compete.

 
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