Accounting Influencers Roundtable


Navigating Uncertainty: The Accountant’s Guide to Innovation

The Accounting Answers Podcast, hosted by Rob Brown, asks critical questions of the experts, leaders and influencers who shape the decision-making of accountants, CPAs and finance professionals. Today we ask:

What, if anything, will significantly change accounting in the next few years?

You’ll hear insightful and passionate answers from these 5 experts and influencers:

Karen Chalmers | interVal’s VP Marketing, helping firms grow revenue efficiently with AI

Kate Serpe | Former CAS leader and recovering accountant, current SIAP Partner Executive

Katie Thomas | Helping accountants stand out online and owner of Leaders Online

Ken Schmitt | Recruiter, Author, Podcast Host and Founder of TurningPoint Executive Search

Kevin Steel | Founder @ ClarendonFS: Fractional CFO & Strategy for B2B Service Companies

Tune into more on this daily show for short, sharp episodes that keep you informed of what’s happening in the accounting world and the whole ecosystem of consultants, organizations, vendors and advisors who serve them.

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Rob Brown:

Hi, I'm Rob brown and welcome you. Accounting finance professionals, tech enthusiasts to the accounting answers podcast. We've embarked on a captivating exploration of the future of accounting and its profound connection to the ever-changing technology ecosystem. I think for a moment, how access to the minds of a range of accounting experts, influencers, vendors, and leaders would keep you super informed about what's going on in this wonderful profession. You'd stay relevant and future focused. You'd make better strategic and career decisions. If you know what forces are in play and what factors are driving change. To unravel the complexities unenviable future of accounting. I've personally interviewed 111 leading accounting professionals, tech leaders, and industry influencers, each bring in their unique. Expertise and insights to the table and together we'll delve into the five critical questions that will shape the accounting world. Through the eyes and minds of people living their accounts in life. I'll talk into accountants every day. We'll talk about five critical topics that ignite in passionate debates and stimulate minds across the globe. We're mapping the transformative trajectory of the accounting profession and its symbiotic relationship with the technological revolution. We'll be asking about the next gen accountants, how far down the advisory line firms are. What's going to change the accounting world. What their software vendors and tech providers could do better to serve accountants. And what's coming up in the future. Let's get straight into the answers for today's topic. Today, we're focusing on the evolving accounting landscape and what's driving transformative changes in coming years. The rise of cloud-based accounting software, the growing adoption of artificial intelligence or AI. The increased emphasis on data analytics. These are just some of the forces in play. There are plenty more so have joined our experts and influencers. As we decipher the changes that lie ahead and our counselors can best prepare to thrive in a fast moving world. Let's hear it from current Charmaz intervals, VP of marketing, helping firms grow revenue efficiently with AI, leveraging advanced analytics to drive strategic marketing decisions and foster sustainable growth.

Karen Chalmers:

I think that there's more than just, adopting a I there's probably a bit of a rebranding of a I that's required as well, recognizing that it's had a bit of a difficult adoption, throughout the industry, but I think that it's going to be the thing that saves it. So if we adopt a I tools, how do we rebrand it within the industry and within firms as a whole to Address maybe some reservations that clients have for us using A. I. And you can tell clients that you're using tools that are better than everybody else. that's a one way that you can say, Hey, I'm using it, but it's making me a better accountant because of it. and you can rebrand yourself in your firm as a forward thinking future focused advanced. firm within the industry, so showcasing impressive tech stacks and rethinking what AI integrations can do for your firm and for your clients. I think it's going to be one way that the adoption of AI can be Put a little bit more gently.

Rob Brown:

Up, next is Kate SERP CPA, an expert in client advisory accounting solutions upon executive at Sage Intacct, helping the count invent leverage. The technology to drive, practice growth and innovation.

Kate Serpe:

I think there's a part of me that feels like we've been hearing about how AI and machine learning will change the accounting game, right? Literally, since I've been in the profession, which is over 10 years now, while we have seen little things here and there, whether it's improving, productivity with a good tech stack or processes and procedures, I think what's particularly different about right now in this moment and the next few years is that we're actually going to continue to see a significant decline in interest in this profession. and I think more people are going to keep seeking jobs in the tech space. And so I think that's going to be really interesting to watch, to see how the tech space works to push more into the accounting space, because the accounting space is going to need it. I just don't think people are going to be as interested in becoming an accountant anymore. The pay's not there. So hours aren't very pleasant for a lot of people. So I think it's going to be that decline in interest in the accounting profession and seeing how technology is going to creep into the accounting space.

Rob Brown:

John and the conversation is Katie Thomas, helping the accountant stand out online and the odor of leaders online, where she combines her expertise in digital marketing with a deep understanding of accounting to elevate freedom's online presence.

Katie Thomas:

I think the first thing is who is doing the work and where it's being done. We likely all know that accountants are leaving the industry, CPAs and accountants are retiring. There are less. accountants coming into college to become accountants. So overall, there are less accountants that are going to be available to work, which means that we're going to have to rely more on technology. I think that we're going to see an increase in offshore labor. The big firms have been doing this for a long time, and now we're seeing small firms catching on. We're also going to have to fix things like The working environments so that we can actually start to bring more people into the industry and give them what they want. Technology, of course, is going to be a big change. continues to advance. We have the increasing use of AI and machine learning. So that's really big. And I think that all of these together, it's just going to create a big change in our industry on a whole, but I think it's going to create a lot of important changes that people have likely wanted for years, but there just hasn't been a big enough pain to actually solve them, whereas now it's like, Hey, we have to change things and how. The work is getting done so that we can continue to be a profession in the future because small businesses and big businesses, they need us. And we can't just simply continue to do what we're doing now because it's not working.

Rob Brown:

And now insights from Ken Schmidt, recruiter, author podcast, host, founder of turning point executive search offering a wealth of knowledge and expertise in career development and talent acquisition within the accounting world.

Ken Schmitt:

Yeah, everybody is talking right now about AI, right? The two most used letters in any alphabet these days is AI, which is crazy. But there's a lot to be said about how that's going to have a ripple effect, throughout an organization, not just in the technicality of punching something into chat GPT. But understanding what does that mean, right? You're going to have to have a better understanding of how you can edit and understanding what the tone is of whatever that response comes back as right. And beyond that, I think also the technicality of what you offer is not going to be unimportant. But it's going to be a little bit less important than the advising that you're doing on behalf of your clients. And again, the collaboration there as well. I also think that, going forward, middle management is going to have a completely different role, right? And middle managers may be a little bit less prevalent if you will, because they're going to be less focused around the tactical day to day things that now any kind of AI or automation can do. And instead their role is going to be mentoring and developing and reviewing and supporting. Really, they are staff internally and then also advising up, into the higher levels of the organization advising about what trends are out there. So that strategic mindset is going to be extremely important, much more so than the tactical knowledge that they might have going into the role.

Rob Brown:

We now turn to Kevin steel, Foundry, Clarendon, Fs, fractional, CFO, and strategy for B to B service companies. ProVantage strategic financial leadership and insights. To help companies navigate growth and other challenges.

Kevin Steel:

I believe the biggest change to accounting in the next few years, no surprise, will be, uh, AI and automation, uh, which will definitely free up the back end work, so accountants will turn more into the reviewers of work, as opposed to the primary processors of work, and chat GPT, et cetera, will definitely help with technical and tax queries, allowing management to focus on higher level work, and by management, the senior management of the accounting firm. although tech and AI, are experiencing rapid improvements, I would say about 50 percent of accounting firms still don't leverage AI and technology as much as they possibly can. I believe this will change in future though, because the exponential increase in AI technology is going to basically take over society, in my opinion, and I think the uptake for the accounting firm, will be a lot higher in the next couple of years, and I expect that to spread into different sectors also.

Rob Brown:

So they have five great answers to the question. What, if anything will significantly change accounting in the next few years, every working day of the week, Monday through Friday, we give you the insights of five top influencers in the accounting world on this critical area of what is coming up. Change wise for accountants that's 25 valuable perspectives. Viewpoints and best thinking every week and with a fresh week comes the first question and more thoughts from the best influencers and leaders we can find in the accounting world. Thanks for listening to the accounting answers podcast and sharing this brand new show with your friends and colleagues. If you want to join the conversation. You can plug into our community of And check out our virtual speed networking events. These happen every few months for the north American region and the UK Europe region. These are great opportunities to raise your profile, build valuable connections and share your thoughts with influential peers. Until next time, this is your host, Rob brown, saying stay informed, stay relevant and stay connected.