Accounting Influencers Roundtable


Key Drivers of Change in Accounting with Gary Shamis

Interview with Gary Shamis, a former top 40 US accounting firm managing partner who sold to BDO in 2015. He is now CEO of Winding River Consulting.

Episode 125. In today’s interview, “The Drivers of Change in Accounting with Gary Shamis.”

Gary Shamis is a former top 40 US accounting firm managing partner who sold to BDO in 2015. He is now CEO of Winding River Consulting, a high-level strategy consulting for the Restaurant, CPA, and professional services industries. Amongst many other accounting accolades, Gary won EY Entrepreneur of the Year and is a Top Ten Managing Partner Elite (Accounting Today) where he was called the “very model of the modern managing partner. He was awarded Most Admired Peer (INSIDE Public Accounting) and has more than a dozen appearances on the Most Influential list (Accounting Today). He has served within the ranks of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is co-author of How to Manage Your Accounting Practice: Taking Your Firm from Chaos to Consensus.

Key takeaways from this episode include:

◆ what have been the biggest changes in the accounting profession over recent years

◆ why many accounting firms should be proud at how quickly they managed to adapt to the pandemic – almost overnight

◆ the challenges for accounting practices in dealing with the culture of remote working and the pace of technology

◆ how the private equity money and appetite for mergers and acquisitions is changing the accounting landscape

◆ the lessons accounting leaders can learn from history with private equity and the changing priorities of big companies

◆ how the majority accounting firms are now ‘boomer owned and millennial compromised’ in their make up

◆ how generation shifts in accountancy practices are driving consolidation and changes in business models

◆ explaining the difference in mentality with baby boomers and younger generations with live first, work second

◆ a warning to equity partners in accounting firms on how they must set up their firm so millennials will pay for their exit

◆ an example of how succession plans in accounting firms can collapse overnight

◆ the problems coming up for many accountancy firms with their business model and succession planning

◆ the number one thing that attracts private equity money in the accounting sector

◆ the potential phasing out of managing partners and the evolution of the c-suite in accounting firms

◆ the concept of non-accountants and non-CPAs running large accounting practices

◆ the increasing importance of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in accounting, and how many firms are getting it wrong

◆ where professional accounting associations and institutes are falling short in pushing for a stronger DEI agenda

◆ examples of what accounting firms must do with DEI to attract more and better talent

◆ how the pace of M&A activity and PE interest is only going to increase in accounting

◆ the kind of accounting firms that will do really well in the future

You can connect with Gary here:

Check out this related interview: “Accounting Firm Leadership Priorities: Gary Shamis”


The Accounting Influencers Podcast is a daily radio-style show with four segments coming out every Monday which are repeated on the other 4 weekdays as standalone episodes, plus a bonus ‘from the client’s perspective’ episode on Saturdays. On Sundays, listeners get a short min trailer for the coming week’s episodes.

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