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open­ing us to a never-end­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to add value and cre­ate a real im­pact for our cus­tomers. I can’t wait! Are you ready to make the rad­i­cal changes to your prac­tice that you will need to so that you can max­i­mize the op­por­tu­nity?

Krom: All of these items are go­ing to have a ma­jor im­pact on ac­count­ing in 2019 and be­yond. But we can’t just look in­ter­nally. These ar­eas are go­ing to be im­pact­ing our clients; we have to raise our heads and look out­side as our clients change, we can­not af­ford to be left in the dust. We have to be ahead of our clients in or­der to be trusted ad­vi­sors and part­ners.

What one piece of ad­vice would you give firms go­ing into next year?

Pit­telkow-kit­tner:

Take a risk and try some­thing new re­lat­ing to one of the trends be­ing talked about in our pro­fes­sion, such as value billing or start­ing a new busi­ness line (e.g., cy­ber­se­cu­rity). We work in an en­vi­ron­ment where it is riskier to not take risks. Be a firm that proac­tively changes by mak­ing ed­u­cated strate­gic moves based on re­searched trends. Talk to peo­ple who are study­ing the trends, learn about them, and seek con­sul­tants who can help you im­ple­ment a new tech­nol­ogy or process. As you are im­ple­ment­ing them, tell your clients how you are keep­ing up with the trends.

Krom: 2019 is the year of build­ing the flex­i­bil­ity in your firm to cre­ate the abil­ity to be nim­ble. The need to pivot in ad­vance of changes needs to be built into the struc­ture of your firm. If you don’t have a cul­ture in your or­ga­ni­za­tion to change quickly and of­ten, you need to look at your in­fra­struc­ture and en­vi­ron­ment and make those mod­i­fi­ca­tions in 2019 so that you can.

Wag­ner: Change. It is as sim­ple as that. For any firm, re­gard­less of size, that wants to have a suc­cess­ful 2019, they need to em­brace the no­tion of change and take at least one proac­tive step to im­prove the vi­sion, tech­nol­ogy and peo­ple at the firm. This could be a small, over­due step, like fi­nally be­com­ing a truly pa­per­less firm, or a larger step, like adopt­ing an AI so­lu­tion to im­prove their au­dit efficienci­es. Change is not easy or com­fort­able; un­for­tu­nately as a pro­fes­sion we are run­ning out of time to con­tinue to put off change.

Sup­kis Cheek: If you are only look­ing at cur­rent tech­nol­ogy op­tions for your clients or in-house en­gage­ment ef­fi­ciency, you’re al­ready be­hind.

Briggs: In­stead of, or in ad­di­tion to, a part­ner/man­age­ment re­treat, have your new­est staff hold their own re­treat. Do

C they know the busi­ness or the cus­tomers/

M clients the way you do? No. But do they have a fresh per­spec­tive that could pro­vide fu­ture-fo­cused ideas? Ab­so­lutely.

CM Have them present their thoughts or rec­om­men­da­tions to the man­age­ment team and then work to­gether to see where to get started. This pro­vides a growth op­por­tu­nity for staff as well — if they feel more in­vested they might even stick around longer.

Oh, and a bonus piece of ad­vice that’s likely con­tro­ver­sial — se­nior man­age­ment should call in sick un­ex­pect­edly once in a while and let some­one else cover their client meet­ing or the fi­nan­cials pre­sen­ta­tion, etc. Prac­tice, prac­tice, prac­tice — give ev­ery­one chances to prac­tice the skills they need for the fu­ture. There’s just no sub­sti­tute for do­ing it.

Padar: Dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion is here. Are you open to its pos­si­bil­i­ties, or will you stick your head in the sand and whine? The fu­ture looks bright.

AT

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