Thinking about the Firm of the Future

By Don Meyer, CAE posted 07-24-2013 04:26 PM

Last week, I attended the 2013 Interchange Conference, a four-day gathering of state CPA Society and AICPA staff where we exhange ideas and hear from informative and interesting speakers.

One of the more compelling presentations was offered by the AICPA's PCPS staff. The topic was "CPA Firm Evolution - What's next on the road ahead?". The seminar asked several fundmental questions, including "How will the firm of the future be different from past generations or even now?" and "Can we analyze trends in public accounting technology, services, and the competitive landscape in order to anticipate a model for the firm of the future?".

Here are some of the key takeaways:


  • Concept of the Virtual Office is emerging more and more.
  • Progressive firms are successfully adapting traditional services using new technologies/cloud solutions.
  • Firms owners are concerned about security/privacy while young professionals don't have a notion of "privacy".
  • Firms are realizing the need to understand international issues, trends and regulations in order to advise clients.
  • Clients are now relying on CPAs to be their strategic partners and to provide more than core accounting services.
  • PCPS Top Issues Survey reveals that firms are poised for growth - Bringing in new clients was at the top.
  • PCPS Top Issues Survey shows and indication that competition for talent is heating up.
  • The next generation of leaders are working their way up but firms owners are concerned they don't have the entrepreneurial spirit needed to run a firm.
See more insights at "CPA Firm Evolution - What's next on the road ahead?" or by visiting the PCPS section of the AICPA's website.

So, how can we get CPAs thinking about a future firm prototype?