As part of this year’s Top 100 Most Influential People survey, Accounting Today asked, “What one thing would you recommend accountants do to prepare for the future?”
The full responses of all the candidates are below. The full T100 list is available here.
Embrace digital transformation and new ways of collaborating with your clients and colleagues in a digital world. Your clients are already expecting this and if you’re left catching up it may already be too late.
— Karen Abramson, CEO, Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting
If anything, this year has proven that the future is uncertain. I recommend accountants adopt a flexible, agile and innovative mindset to pursuing their long-term goals and vision, as this will enable our profession to remain strategic while building the ability to pivot quickly in response to changing circumstances.
At RSM, we started 2020 with a plan. While we’ve remained focused on our long-term goals, we had to shift many things during the course of the year. Through the flexibility of our people and the foundational technology we put in place as part of our long-term plan, we were able to pivot quickly to remote work. And because of our people’s innovative mindsets, we have found new ways to serve our clients and provide value in difficult times. All the while, we have made decisions with our long-term strategy at the forefront to ensure we remain on the path to success as we respond to current challenges and opportunities.
The world is changing more rapidly than ever before and technological innovation that was already moving quickly is accelerating even faster due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be the most innovative and agile accountants who are grounded in a solid vision for the future that will be most successful in the long term. We have seen what is possible to accomplish virtually, and we anticipate this trend to continue.
— Joe Adams, managing partner and CEO, RSM US
Most people say accountants need to understand technology better, but I think accountants need to take the time to understand businesses and how transactions flow through the books and records of a business, and what that means in terms of analytics. We teach accountants the debits and the credits, but we don’t teach our young accountants how to look at an organization as a whole and at the nature of transactions to understand the true reality of what happened. This type of skill is what humans can better than machines, and will serve us well as we work with technology in the future.
The AICPA works really hard to promote the CPA as the “trusted business advisor,” and the accountants who are successful in that role do have a deep understanding of the client, the industry, and the mechanics of how the business works. However, not all accountants are able to truly bridge that skills gap.
Most auditors don’t deploy AI or other technologies in their work because they don’t know what they want it to do for them. They don’t know what information is captured by a business, and so they don’t understand how to use AI to leverage that information.
I see that lack of knowledge when I move clients from a balance sheet orientation for auditing to a data-driven perspective. It’s amazing how little the audit team, and even the audit partners, understand about the companies they’re auditing.
That lack of knowledge puts the public at risk. If we’re just auditing numbers and don’t know how they came together, we have no way to determine whether those numbers are a true reflection of reality.
One of the best ways to gain that understanding is through practical experience. Auditors who have spent time working in industry, either before they became auditors, or who leave auditing to work in industry and then return, have a much better idea of how the numbers come together.
But in today’s world, auditors who stay in public accounting can only get that depth of knowledge if they take the time to study it on their own. Our education system is focused on the pass rate for the CPA exam, and the result is that most degreed accountants have very little in the way of practical experience about how financial transactions flow through a company.
That’s why I suggest to firms that instead of spending the summer doing low margin filler work, they send their staff accountants out to do some work for a client, maybe at discounted rates or even for free. The practical experience they get is incredibly valuable.
— Al Anderson, founder and president, Accountability Plus
The future has just hit us today, forcing digitization of everything. Preparation is so 2019, now it’s time to act. Quickly reach out to peer, and pressure vendors to put you in touch with real peers applying their tech successfully to cut through what is hype versus real.
— Solon Angel, founder, MindBridge AI
Obtain an MBA is something other than accounting.
— August Aquila, CEO, Aquila Global Advisors LLC
I’m confident that manual tax compliance will inevitably become obsolete as our society becomes even more reliant on digital processes. With that being said, my biggest recommendation for accountants as they prepare for the future is to embrace and begin to leverage technology.
At the rate tax compliance is changing, only technology can match or exceed the rate of change, keeping accountants ahead of the next curve. Technology will evolve the profession into one that is inherently focused on driving value through efficiency and accuracy to clients. It will also allow accountants to develop new, innovative ways to help their clients grow and scale their businesses by creating a foundation for compliance that transforms tax from a regulatory hurdle to business accelerant. At the end of the day, globalization, a growing digital economy, and increasing complexity in the regulatory and tax environments are three key reasons for accountants to embrace technology to assist the profession as our world continues to evolve.
— Liz Armbruester, SVP, global compliance operations, Avalara
Key in preparing for the future is continuing to advance and rethink your business strategies and services based on the continued acceleration in capabilities. The key is to not just focus on the new technology capability but to focus on how you leverage it to advance your business.
— Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO, CPA.com
I said it last year and I’ll say it again – the best way to prepare for the future is to invest in it. This means cultivating and mentoring the next generation of firm leaders. This means empowering them to lead now, vs. refusing to let them do so until they don’t have anyone to look to for guidance. This means rewarding the investment they’re making in your firm, so that one day they’ll be proud for it to be their firm. As our CEO says, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
— Kim Austin, business development manager, national accounts, Intuit
Businesses during this crisis need to determine initiatives to be addressed that will best serve their employees, customers, stakeholders, and partners. With so many companies unable to afford their rent payments in the months ahead, there are important financial and operational decisions to make in terms of lease arrangements. Businesses will ultimately need to make difficult choices throughout and beyond the pandemic about which leases are truly necessary. Careful consideration and thoughtful conversations need to be held for organizations to emerge on the other side.
— George Azih, founder and CEO, LeaseQuery
Never stop learning, and unlearning. Leaders are readers. Read outside of your profession, and don’t be afraid to challenge the orthodoxies of your profession. And to the young accountants I would emphasize that below the age of 40-45 are your peak innovation years.
— Ron Baker, founder, VeraSage Institute
Evolve. The CPA profession is changing, and professionals must change with it lest they be swept away in the flood. This means not only embracing new technologies but new mindsets. The firms of today are more forward-thinking and people-oriented than before, which means those that are successful will be the ones that embrace employee wellness, corporate sustainability and a diverse, inclusive workforce. A 21st century firm literally cannot afford a 20th century mindset. Those that fail to adapt will soon find themselves losing both staff and clients to those who did. CPAs must take bold and deliberate steps into the future.
— Joanne Barry, executive director and CEO, New York State Society of CPAs
I would recommend that they adapt to the changing world and realize that “the new normal” will keep changing. It will no longer be about office culture, but about the work and getting it done wherever you are. Technology will continually change and as professionals we must continually learn and relearn to be able to provide answers and advice to our clients. It is not about delivering the tax return or financial statements. It is about helping our client increase their wealth or equity in their businesses or personal life. People come to CPAs to help them become more liquid, solvent, and profitable. They can go to anyone to get forms completed.
— David Bergstein, chief innovation officer, Bergstein CPA
Be lifelong learners. Understand the general business trends of why companies are being sold, purchased or have emerged from “nowhere.” Accounting and tax support the movement and decision-making being utilized in business and understanding the trends can help in knowing how the profession must grow and change.
— Michael Bernard, chief tax officer, transaction tax, Vertex
Be open to change and embrace the unexpected. As Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher once said, “Change is the only constant in life.” Being comfortable with change, having an open mind and seeking opportunities to advance the profession will be crucial as we discover what’s next for both our industry and for business.
— Wayne Berson, CEO, BDO USA LLP
Be vigilant about what is going on around you. Pay attention to trends that are likely to impact your practice negatively. Don’t just sit back and watch, do something about it.
— Chandra Bhansali, co-founder, AccountantsWorld
Remember that any organization is only as good as the capacity of employees to learn and apply. Now more than ever, investment in talent has unmatched ROI potential.
— Sharada Bhansali, co-founder, AccountantsWorld
Accountants of the future need to have a grasp of technology and artificial intelligence to meet the requirements of the public. Although there have been setbacks, crypto currencies such as Bitcoin are not going away. Consumers expect CPAs to be experts on most things financial. In addition to technology, accountants of the future will have to develop more diverse skills as advisory services continue to grow.
— Ken Bishop, president and CEO, NASBA
Embrace technology and change. Change is going to be a constant and will be driven by technology. Accountants need to be continuous learners.
— Joel Black, chair, GASB
Commit to life-long learning. Whether you read books, subscribe to podcasts or get outside your own four walls to participate in peer networking groups, you must continue to learn in order to remain relevant in a rapidly changing world.
— Jim Boomer, CEO, Boomer Consulting Inc.
Culture is a strategic advantage. A diverse culture that accepts change, learns rapidly and listens to the clients will thrive. Clients want and need a team approach.This can only happen with great leadership, a shared vision and a plan.
— L. Gary Boomer, founder, visionary & strategist, Boomer Consulting Inc.
Think about the past year and how quickly we were all forced to change. I would recommend that accountants embrace the idea of change within their practices (ie: migration to advisory) and not wait for another pandemic to force the issue!
— Jim Bourke, Managing director of advisory services, WithumSmith+Brown
Both trust within society and solutions to society’s most important problems will be in short supply in the future. But that’s precisely where accountants can help.
To be ready and relevant will take new knowledge and synthesis of experience — all faster — as we together keep a high level of quality in our work. We will need to rethink some traditional norms. For example, digitally savvy staff may need to mentor those who are not as digitally fit so that no individual is left behind and can be positioned to contribute going forward.
— Wes Bricker, vice chair and US & Mexico assurance leader, PwC US
As a non-CPA very involved with the profession for a long time, I will say this. Stop looking backward. Stop looking backward in the work you do for your clients and companies and stop looking backward when it comes to how firms are run, how value is delivered, and how staff are trained and developed.
There is still a lot of tweaking where there should be an overhaul. And, now is the time. As the French oil executive Pierre Wack said “It is precisely in these contexts – not in stable times – that the real opportunities lie to gain competitive advantage through strategy.”
— Jennifer Briggs, president & CEO, Indiana CPA Society
I know I have probably said this before and will continue to say it, but accountants need to shift for their clients. The days of in person tax preparation is gone. People aren’t going to risk their health to have their tax return done. I have always believed that tax prep is business and that your clients aren’t really your friends, they are your customers.
— Dawn Brolin, president, Powerful Accounting Inc.
Go outside your comfort zone, because it won’t always be uncomfortable, and it will always be valuable.
— Noah Buxton, director and practice lead, blockchain & digital assets, Armanino LLP
I would like to be able to respond by saying the answer is as simple as embrace change. But in a world forever changed by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is difficult to pinpoint a single thing those in the profession must do to prepare for the future as we navigate a much more dynamic risk environment, with volatility on all fronts, social and political. We must be prepared to function in a world that is moving at warp speed toward a future vision drastically changed in the course of several months. I believe we prepare by getting these six things right in the decade ahead. In the wake of COVID-19, we must demonstrate resilience. We must be a beacon for emerging risks, particularly in the areas of data ethics, AI governance, and sustainability. Thirdly, it will be paramount to recruit and retain game-changing talent. The path forward also requires that we be champions for strong governance and promoters of the sort of innovation that leads to greater efficiencies and impact. And finally, we must be prolific in telling the story of the value we bring to our organizations and in service of the public interest.
If we get these things right, then I think we will have good reason to be optimistic about the future of the profession. I find further cause for optimism in the annual feature published in Internal Auditor magazine which profiles 15 Emerging Leaders. This year, as in years past, I am amazed at how tech-savvy and, indeed, tech-fearless this new generation of leaders is. We would do well to take a cue from them.
— Richard Chambers, president and CEO, Institute of Internal Auditors
Understand the opportunities presented by the latest technologies (Blockchain, AI, ML, continuous audit, data analytics, etc.) and adopt a mindset of continuous learning. The opportunity to apply and add-value around each of these technologies is boundless! Change and adaptation are not optional – they are a daily necessity! Solid English/communication skills are essential as well!
— David Cieslak, EVP, chief cloud officer, RKL eSolutions LLC
More and more accountants will need to have deeper experience and expertise in extracting data, assessing the integrity of that data and evaluating relevant information from disparate, as well as integrated, emerging technologies and systems. They will need to be able to assess the efficacy of enabling technologies. These skills will support greater judgement and decision-making capabilities needed to perform all types of services for entities in a highly complex and changing environment.
The skills CPAs need to succeed – a mix of technical, business, leadership, digital and people skills – are critical in today’s changing world. We must commit to constant learning, unlearning and relearning to remain relevant. However, learning new skills doesn’t require us to completely abandon our foundations. Ethics, integrity and professionalism underpin everything this profession does and have never been more relevant. No matter what the future holds, one thing is certain: we will need to commit to lifelong learning.
— Sue Coffey, EVP, public practice, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants
Embrace technology. One thing the pandemic has taught us is that we need to be flexible and embrace change. Many of us continue to work in remote environments and I think it has emphasized how technology can improve how and where we work and provide us with the tools (and flexibility) to be more efficient and productive.
— Susan Cosper, Board member, Financial Accounting Standards Board
Embrace and commit to action, those technology enablers to drive demand and deliver services.
— Gale Crosley, president and founder, Crosely+Co.
Develop a solid strategy and a written plan for change that addresses new technology and the next generation of people entering the workforce – both at their firms and related to their clients. You would be amazed by how many firms don’t have any kind of formal, written plan to address this critical need. More importantly once the plan is in place then execute and review results on a regular ongoing basis, then repeat every year forever.
— Kevin Cumley, senior director, Sage Intacct Accountants Program, Sage
To prepare for the future, accountants must begin to think outside traditional roles. The essential skill sets that all professional accountants have – monitoring risks, measuring impacts, planning for future events, advising on business decisions – are well-suited for current and future challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this all the more apparent. I encourage accountants to find new ways to deploy their skills in areas such as data governance, cybersecurity, change management, and sustainability.
— Kevin Dancey, CEO, International Federation of Accountants
Learn to be a more effective business advisor. Technology will shrink the amount of routine work many accountants do today, but there will always be a need for accountants who can provide business insights to their clients and help them make sense of the immense amount of data that is available today. Work to make your knowledge and advice indispensable to your clients. It’s the best way to remain relevant.
— Ted Dickman, CEO, governing board chair, BKD CPAs & Advisors
Keep learning from the past and current environments. Keep evolving by continuing to invest in your own development.
— Sarah Dobek, president and founder, Inovautus Consulting
Lean into the unknown, with a growth mindset. Let go of having to “get it right,” and give yourself permission to experiment and fail. This is how we learn and innovate. I don’t think there’s ever a clear, straight path forward. So, we must make it up as we go, step by step, and learn from our mistakes along the way.
— Sarah Elliott, co-founder & principal, Intend2Lead LLC
Embrace adaptability and a willingness to change.
— Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, executive director – finance thought leadership, cloud business group, Oracle
I think they must increase their understanding of information technology and data analytics. Also, understanding the influence of artificial intelligence as we move further into a more virtual environment.
— Alvin Fennell III, vice president, underwriting and business development, Aon
While there are technological advances that make certain aspects of our profession easier, it is important to not forget the human factor. The ability to be able to speak with our clients so that they will understand what the numbers mean is equally as important. Additionally, and we have seen this during 2020 due to the pandemic, the ability to video conference with clients and the ability to securely send documents via e-mail are more important than ever.
— Neil Fishman, president, National Conference of CPA Practitioners
Build your network, leverage mentors, and think globally. With the growth of the digital economy, companies from small to large are now doing business across the world. Now it’s more important than ever to understand financial and tax impacts of doing business in multiple jurisdictions including those outside of the US.
— Lisa Fitzpatrick, president, Bloomberg Tax & Accounting
Stay on top of your clients’ emerging challenges and make sure they know you’ve got the expertise to help them. Your survival in today’s brutal marketplace will depend on it.
— Lee Frederiksen, managing partner, Hinge
We must become more of a change agent – we need to be a louder voice when it comes to D&I. The recent spotlight on social injustice has taught us that we all need to be a part of making change happen.
— Herschel Frierson, chairman of the board of directors, National Association of Black Accountants
Now, more than ever before, you have to create genuine connections with others. The future is about knowing the people you interact with at work and humanizing what they’ve been through during the stay-at-home orders. Spouses have been furloughed. Kids are being homeschooled. Parents and grandparents are more at risk. The easiest way to create these connections and to humanize ourselves is to continue to connect our outside-of-work interests with our accounting career interests.
— John Garrett, senior financial analyst, Clarian Health Partners
Learn a new skill. Get more information about emerging technologies and trends. Adapt and be agile and flexible.
— Tracey Golden, Chair, AICPA and Association of International Certified Professional Accountants
I acquired The Growth Partnership to continue to promote CPA firms investing in themselves through high end leadership programs and bringing them outsourced marketing resources to allow them to expand without needing the capital to do so….
— Julio Gonzalez, CEO, Engineered Tax Services, The Growth Partnership and ABLE
For years, we’ve been encouraging accountants to embrace technology, and overwhelmingly they have. We’ve seen accountants embrace everything from Windows to the Cloud to mobile to apps, and now automation, AI. These technologies are a resource for accountants — helping them eliminate time spent on tedious tasks, like manual data entry or solving for missing data so they can spend more time providing the strategic counsel their clients need to survive and thrive in 2020 and beyond.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated behavioral and structural changes that will remain with us beyond this global crisis. The hastened shift to the virtual world and a rocket-like rise in online engagement in commerce are requiring small businesses to pivot in real time. Accountants should continue to embrace new technologies that will enable them to focus on providing strategic counsel to their clients by letting automation, AI and machine learning perform the tedious tasks.
— Sasan Goodarzi, CEO, Intuit
The next generation of accountants will likely work in an environment where financial and non-financial information will be interwoven. To be prepared for the future, accountants should pay close attention to the growing demand for environmental, social and governance (ESG) information and practices among both investors and business leaders.
The human aspect of the business, especially relationship building, will become increasingly important in this age of transformation and technological innovation as it really is the foundation of the industry. New technologies will also enable auditors to focus more on innovation and strategy, and less on the more mundane aspects that previously demanded their energy and attention, so these skills will be more important than ever in this profession.
Investors, employees, and business leaders alike recognize that a company’s value is not driven only by financial information. In fact, a recent World Economic Forum survey shows that 86 percent of executives believe reporting on a set of universal ESG disclosures is important and would be useful for capital markets and the economy.
Particularly in a post-COVID-19 economy, organizations are considering broader stakeholders’ interest, redefining business objectives and looking to regain and rebuild investors’ confidence in view of changing expectations and uncertainties.
Today, the combined impacts of climate change, COVID-19 and economic inequality contribute to the urgency for this change, and accountants play an integral role in helping businesses to embrace long-term, sustainable value creation; prioritize the needs of their people and planet; and drive the proliferation of broad-based economic prosperity.
— Kelly Grier, U.S. chair and managing partner and Americas managing partner, EY
Invest in planning and the development of your people including how to serve clients and how to develop business as trusted advisor. Listen to your people at ALL levels for ideas so they can be part of the solution.
— Angie Grissom, owner, chief relationship officer, The Rainmaker Companies
If you do nothing else, it’s absolutely critical to read and review content from diverse perspectives – including those you disagree with – and seek to understand those diverse perspectives. There are elements of truth in the views of others that will help you gain a better understanding of the world we live in and how to prepare for the future, including how to help those we serve through our profession to thrive.
— Thomas Groskopf, technical director, AICPA Center for Plain English Accounting; assurance service line leader, Barnes, Dennig & Co.
Traditional accounting was developed in a world where tangible assets comprised most of the market valuation of companies. In today’s economy, market valuations are increasingly driven by off-balance-sheet intangible assets and companies face an unprecedented array of risks. This creates the need for an expanded accounting language to communicate what yesterday’s performance means for tomorrow’s prospects. I encourage accountants to verse themselves in this expanded accounting language of sustainability disclosure.
— Janine Guillot, CEO, SASB
Learn more about sustainability and what it means for the businesses you are involved with. Business is evolving in response to shifting capital market pressures, capital flows, and regulation. Accountants should be at the center of these changes, not standing on the outside looking in.
— Jeffrey Hales, chair, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board
Start by committing some time each week to your future. Learn how to be more #FutureReady – anticipatory, agile, and adaptive. COVID has accelerated all of the trends that were accelerating before COVID, especially technology – e-commerce, cloud, remote work, and AI in many cases by years! The faster things come the further ahead we have to look.
— Tom Hood, CEO, Maryland Association of CPAs & Business Learning Institute
I’m tempted to say create a viable long-term working virtual strategy, but I think it’s even more important for firms to develop deeper relationships with their clients and “centers of influence.” I have personally seen the firms that have strong relationships with their top clients not only survive, but flourish over the past 7 months. As our profession continues to move from compliance to advisory, these deep relationships will be even more important!
— Charles Hylan, managing director, The Growth Partnership
I recommend practitioners and firms of all sizes prioritize strategy sessions at least once or twice a year to align their business, technology, innovation and service lines. Talking to clients beforehand is critical to have more perspectives, and include team members from all departments and at a range of levels to ensure you have diversity of thought – this will lead to a more creative session and new opportunities identified. The world is moving far too fast to not have frequent strategic assessments.
— Kacee Johnson, strategic advisor, CPA.com
Be prepared to learn continuously. Change will be the only constant of your career.
— Randy Johnston, CEO and founder, EVP, NMGI and K2 Enterprises
Learn as much as you can from your mentors, but be willing to embrace continuous change.
— Richard Jones, chair, FASB
Be intellectually curious! Always be learning. Remember that luck is the intersection of opportunity and preparation. Be prepared and willing to stretch out of your comfort zone. Every amazing career opportunity I have had is because someone encouraged me — and I pushed myself — to step toward the unknown. I have been fortunate to have sponsors who encouraged me to stretch into roles I never would have seen for myself. If you don’t have a sponsor, cultivate one! Opportunities abound in our profession — never let “the way we used to do things” get in the way of reinventing the future.
— Kathryn Kaminsky, vice chair, US and Mexico Tax Leader, PwC
Develop, implement and constantly refine a virtual / digital strategy for their practices.
— Edward Karl, vice president, tax policy and advocacy, AICPA
Promote use of digital tools and collaboration with clients now so it becomes the new normal for data collection, engagement inquiry, delivery, and signature. This will allow the rote/administrative components to be optimized and client interactions to be focused on advisory assistance instead of processing busy work.
— Roman Kepczyk, director, firm technology strategy, Right Networks
Develop greater ability to work and learn remotely.
— Sidney Kess, senior consultant, Citrin Cooperman; of counsel, Kostelanetz & Fink
I recommend keeping an open mind for new ways of doing business; read publications that highlight what is happening in the accounting profession, attend conferences with progressive and anticipatory sessions, and voice your perspectives to the larger accounting community by participating in committees and events.
— Elizabeth Pittelkow Kittner, VP of finance and HR, International Legal Technology Association
Read or listen to books and podcasts outside of the norm and try to incorporate ideas from them into one’s business thinking.
— Ed Kless, senior director of partner development and strategy, Sage
As digital transformation continues to accelerate, ongoing skill building, intellectual curiosity, and the ability to move fast and adapt quickly are crucial.
— Paul Knopp, U.S. Chair and CEO, KPMG LLP
It’s a brave new world and they need to get on board with it. Being trusted advisors won’t win the day anymore. It’s time to become an impact player and become the client’s most valuable advisor.
— Allan Koltin, CEO, Koltin Consulting Group Inc.
I’m talking to many firms about three things:
1. Get into the new client accounting service. This isn’t your Mom and Dad’s client accounting—it’s way different, and the pandemic has made it even more necessary to focus on an industry vertical, build out a standardized tech stack, and create reports and dashboards to provide a better service. Smaller firms have figured this out way faster than larger firms with legacy bookkeeping departments.
2. Update your technology and the way your people work. Throw away the desktops and invest in laptops. Smash the internal network and server and push everything up to the cloud.
3. Update your governance to allow new partners to come in easily. The old pyramid scheme has to go. As firms get bigger, they need to think about corporate structure over the “one partner=one vote” mentality, probably at about the $15M-$20M firm size. How many of our clients over $15M have a CEO who does that part-time for the business?
— Mark Koziel, president & CEO, Allinial Global
Embrace the new reality and determine how you can leverage it to solve some of your biggest challenges. The new remote reality can positively influence everything from recruiting to retention, succession planning, growth and more, if you allow it to!
— Art Kuesel, president and founder, Kuesel Consulting Inc.
Embrace the feeling of being uncomfortable. The rate of change is accelerating so fast that those who embrace getting more comfortable when they are out of their comfort zone, will thrive. My favorite quote is, “a comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” (unknown) Embrace exploration and questions ahead of easy answers. Embrace the hard to bring the new.
— Brian Kush, principal and co-founder, Intend2Lead LLC
Now more than ever during the pandemic, accountants need to be trusted advisors for their clients and part of that means identifying which of their processes should be automated to ease pain points. Incorporating automation and solving challenges for clients is a significant growth opportunity for accountants, especially as we all continue to work remotely.
— René Lacerte, CEO and founder, Bill.com
Diversify your clients across apps, banks, and technology stacks.
— David Leary, director of accounting & bookkeeping evangelism, Melio
They need to work on adding value beyond compliance. While compliance revenue will always be the largest piece of the revenue mix, they need to start consulting to attract the premium compliance client. Otherwise, they will be in a battle for the race to the lowest compliance fee.
— Bob Lewis, president, The Visionary Group
Invest in themselves. They should double down on the traditional accounting skills like critical thinking, communication (written and verbal), and professional skepticism while building news skills that equip them to succeed as the accounting profession evolves.
As technological advances, it’s reshaping the profession. Data analytics is the most important new skill auditors need. This includes understanding how to obtain the data, then wrangle, organize, and analyze the data for patterns.
— Julie Bell Lindsay, executive director, CAQ
Spend significantly more time on the technology that is going to impact the profession, their firms and their own jobs.
— Taylor Macdonald, SVP, channel sales, Sage Intacct
Commit yourself to continuous learning. What you knew yesterday will not help you survive or contribute value tomorrow. Digital intelligence and agility will be essential. AI will replace more fundamental services and the human intellect will need to evolve and climb the analytic ladder in order to remain a valued interface to the emerging digital-first business world.
— Janice Maiman, EVP, communications, PR and content, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants
Think tactically rather than strategically and be prepared to further embrace technology. You don’t have to know how to code, run .sql queries, or design an API, but you should certainly know enough about technology to understand its importance in modern tax compliance. Whether you serve a global manufacturer, national retailer or online business, tax compliance is growing more complicated every day. The rules and regulations shift frequently. When you consider solutions for compliance challenges, don’t just look at the problem in front of you but think about the challenges yet to come. That’s the only way to keep your companies safe from risk in an increasingly global connected world.
— Charles Maniace, vice president, regulatory analysis & design, Sovos
Continually look over the horizon for opportunity and take the actions needed now to prepare for it.
— Jason Marx, president & CEO, Tax & Accounting North America, Wolters Kluwer
Stop living in 1991 (the year the IRS released e-file). Embrace technology or hire someone that does. In reality the vast majority of firms are behind on efficiency and will fail to keep up.
— Liz Mason, CEO & founder, High Rock Accounting
Pursue Continuing Education and read multiple industry periodicals.
— Chuck McCabe, president & founder, The Income Tax School
Continue to develop an attitude of flexibility, and prepare to be more nimble in how your firm operates and reacts to continued changes, whether economic, social, or public health related. Look to pacesetter firms for best practices in areas like cloud adoption and results-only work environments, and consider being truly open to some of these new ideas, with an eye toward providing the best possible service to clients, as well as hiring and retaining the best talent.
— Scott McFarlane, co-founder & CEO, Avalara
If you haven’t begun your journey to the cloud, start today! If you’ve already made progress on this journey, continue pushing forward with it. The introduction of new technologies and innovation spikes during times of disruption, as industries map new ways of doing things.
— Jim McGinnis, EVP/GM, professional market segment, Tax and Accounting North America, Wolters Kluwer
More than ever, all of us in the profession must retool our skills to ensure we are capable to truly bring insight, advice and relevance to businesses. Our technical skills must expand with technology and regulatory changes (which are more rapid today) but clients and employers want our intellectual and practical insights as the search for answers elevates.
— Barry Melancon, president and CEO, AICPA; CEO, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants
1 thing? How about a dozen?
I would recommend expanding areas of personal interest to detect trends by paying attention to and noticing and trying to understand new and innovative activities outside present comfort levels and spheres of association and interest.
— Ed Mendlowitz, emeritus partner, WithumSmith+Brown
Embrace newer technologies that empower and enable the accounting profession (e.g., machine learning, AI, RPA, Blockchain, prescriptive analytics) in order to enhance their competencies and move higher up the value chain in their organizations as a strategic business advisor.
— Brad Monterio, chief learning officer and VP of member competency and
learning, California Association of CPAs
Automation (AI)! It’s already here. Take the new buzz in tech around GPT-3 which is an autocomplete tool (it’s a text-generation API). It doesn’t just finish your sentences, it also writes entire paragraphs or essays for you. It’s essentially omniscient. You give it a topic and it spits back a passage. It learns over time, tracking not just what it thinks your topic is about, but how you talk about that topic. GPT-3 bots have been used to automatically generate a cover letter from a job description and a resume. In accounting and finance its been used to generate income statements and balance sheets.
As Chief Accounting Officer of Reputation.com, I’m very focused on automating routine and manual processes, managing technology, data analytics and ultimately evolving the Accounting and Finance functions, freeing up our time to focus on more strategic issues.
The virtual month-end close is now a reality. But this also brings up new internal control risks and compliance issues. This has accelerated the trajectory of automation and transformation projects – implementing AI into routine processes, new software integrations into ERP systems and even completely changing ERP systems. Accountants will be tasked with being more strategic. Instead of focusing on historical results, CPAs will be tasked with using that data to predict trends and ultimate help drive a company’s go-to-market strategy.
Also, as Chair of the National Society of Black CPAs we are ensuring that our members get this automation tooling. We have partnered with the Gies School of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign to offer a Data Analytics certificate. These courses are designed to help professionals develop a business analytical mindset and prepare them to use data analytic programming languages like Python and R.
— Shannon Nash, chair, National Society of Black CPAs
Find your passion early in your career. Find the niche or the industry or the work that makes you super excited to get out of bed. Because knowledge simply isn’t enough anymore. Credibility isn’t enough to win and retain the best clients – they are really looking for trusted advisors who leave, breathe and think their industry all day. And it’s hard to fake it. Encourage your young people – staff, seniors, etc. – to do the same. The earlier in a career that someone can find their “thing” the more likely they are to pursue business that excites them which leads to retention as well. I am a firm believer that BD should be a way to choose your own destiny – it shouldn’t feel like “work” when you are pursuing business that you LOVE.
— Adelaide Ness, chief learning officer, The Rainmaker Companies
Learn finance skills in addition to accounting. Finance and accounting have always overlapped a bit, and they are blending more and more as the manual work in both professions is automated. On the accounting side, that means getting comfortable with projecting the financial statements into the future with forecasts. Learn how to do driver-based financial modeling. Acquire the necessary Excel skills and explore technology that is allowing us to do forecasting and budgeting faster without spreadsheets. If you can bridge the gap between finance and accounting, you’ll be indispensable.
— Blake Oliver, director of marketing, Jirav
Learn as much as you can about automation and evolving your firm’s business model. As private equity money comes into the space and begins to buy and evolve firms, those who chose not to evolve will most surely be left behind. The equity firms have the cash to invest to update both the technology and business models of these new acquired firms for the long term. Something old school firm owners have failed to do in the past.
— Jody Padar, vice president of strategy, Botkeeper
Accountants must accelerate their adoption of technology. What was a 5 year plan needs to be a 5 month plan. COVID has acted as a catalyst to put more pressure than ever before on not only tech adoption but tech centricity. Firms need to build their team, practice, and offering around tech rather than just add tech to their firm. With virtualization, cloud, automation, labor shortage, and increased competition – delivering high touch, fast and efficient accounting is the only way a firm can position itself to thrive, let alone survive in today’s world. I also recommend firms don’t try to transform on their own with their existing staff, but rather bring in specialized people, teams, or consultants to help take them through the transition. COVID has made the future of an accounting firm very binary – either you are tech centric and thriving or you are behind the tech curve and suffering. I don’t know of many firms that have the luxury of being in the middle and just doing business as usual.
— Enrico Palmerino, founder & CEO, Botkeeper
Accountants have to perforce deal with numbers, day in day out. It is easy for accountants to fall into the mindset trap to “think in numbers.” Accounting is NOT a services business; it is a knowledge and wisdom profession. You owe it to unlock and leverage your professional knowledge and wisdom for your clients’ benefits and, in turn, for their staff, families, and others. Hence, you need to be very focused on building and nurturing relationships with your clients.
Your client relationships are your most precious assets in your practice. To build meaningful client relationships, you need to master your understanding of human behavior. You can become a “business and value builder” for your clients only when you invest in building better relationships. No amount of time and money you invest in learning human behavior can be considered as a cost. It is the best investment you can make into making your practice, and life, successful and fulfilling. So, my recommendation to accountants to prepare for the future is this:
You need the mastery of numbers that will “keep” you in “practice.” You’d want to have a command of relationship skills and business building acumen that will help you “leap” into “profitably progressing business” and deliver you truly fulfilling success.
— Hitendra Patil, director of practice development, AccountantsWorld
Never stop learning, growing, improving (sorry – I guess that’s three things – I’d pick learning above the others).
— Gail Perry, editor-in-chief, CPA Practice Advisor; owner, Gail Perry CPA
I recommend that accountants accept not only telecommuting but tele-business, including virtual communications and virtual networking. Cloud-based operations will be more prevalent than any past office process.
— Carl Peterson, VP – small firm interests, AICPA
The population cohorts have gotten smaller when compared to baby boomers. There will be tremendous competition for new employees.
— Scott Peterson, VP, U.S. tax policy and government relations, Avalara
Broad-based knowledge in as many areas as possible within accounting, but more importantly across other financial disciplines like tax accounting and reporting. In addition, skills in technology enabling solutions. In the tax area, tax technologists are highly sought after – a blend of tax subject matter knowledge, combined with tools and data analytics to improve efficiencies and scalability.
— Bernadette Pinamont, vice president, tax research, Vertex Inc.
We are living in extraordinary times where technology is revolutionizing the profession. The COVID-19 crisis demonstrated that the firms that were ahead of the curve on technology were the firms that were more easily able to not only weather the changes, but thrive as a result. Increasingly, technology will render traditional compliance-focused activities to become more automated, more commoditized and less valuable. I would advise accountants to look at and listen to their clients, evaluate the skills and expertise they can bring to those clients, and begin to pivot from compliance-focused activities to planning and advisory activities. This requires a mindset of embracing change — change in technologies and change in business model. The CPA’s role as the trusted advisor has more value today than ever before, and that will only keep growing as the profession evolves. Those are the jobs that robots can never replace.
— Amy Pitter, president & CEO, Massachusetts Society of CPAs
Accountants need to embrace technology and innovation, but never stop sharpening personal professional judgement through experience and development. It’s two sides of the same coin, and accountants have to focus on both sides at once. At Grant Thornton, we have implemented diverse skills hiring models and transformed our learning program to center on the digital experience. We are increasing the digital fluency of our professionals, from new hires to partners, with digital tools and practices playing an integral part of our work. At the same time, we never forget that quality has to be at the core of everything we do. And our focus is paying off: For the past three years in a row, Grant Thornton’s PCAOB quality-inspection results have been among the top two reported for large US accounting firms.
— Bradley Preber, CEO, Grant Thornton LLP
Maintain a flexible, open mindset – one that embraces change as an opportunity to grow and innovate.
— Anthony Pugliese, president and CEO, California Association of CPAs
Every firm needs to make sure they have a long-term plan for providing the best possible leadership in their firm. I find that too often when firms are planning for partner succession, they have not considered the specific succession of the Managing Partner.
— Terrence Putney, CEO, Transition Advisors LLC
Client accounting services (CAS) has grown in importance over the years. In today’s COVID-19 world, it’s an even faster growing service line that can transform practices. CAS is the bridge into advisory and it’s something firms should evaluate as an important service line to add to their practice. From the firms we’ve worked with, we’ve seen it can drive immense connection with the client, creating stronger loyalty and greater efficiencies for the tax return practice, in addition to other benefits.
As the country continues through recovery, small businesses will be looking for help on where their business stands, what forecast scenarios look like or how they can get access to government funds. It’s never been a more pressing time for small businesses to need this service and support from their accounting partner.
What excites me about CAS is that firms can easily scale the level of CAS services down to mom and pop small businesses. When business owners are confident about their operations, they’ll help the small business economy grow by creating new jobs. We truly have the opportunity to grow the small business economy in the US and help change the game for these businesses.
— Ben Richmond, U.S. country manager, Xero
One very big thing: look outside the accounting profession for ideas, inspiration, and role models. Our profession tends to be very myopic—much to our detriment. It’s said: your competitors will not look like you and this is certainly playing itself out. If we keep navel gazing, we’ll never even see them coming, much less outstrategize those who can and likely will make us irrelevant.
— Michelle Golden River, President, Fore LLC
Let go of the things you cannot control. Control only the things that you should control and get out of your own way.
— Richard Roppa-Roberts, founder, Quasar Cowboy
Move to a proactive model of serving clients. As trusted advisors we have to anticipate the needs of our clients and offer the services required for clients’ success—before they have to ask.
— Darren Root, GM, Rootworks LLC
Sorry, it’s not possible to name any of these four as more important than the other.
a. Adapt to a Covid-19 and post-Covid environment. Learn how to develop people without constant face-to-face contact. Develop skills in business development remotely. Learn how to establish and strengthen a firm’s culture, personality and comradery via Zoom sessions.
b. Understand that interpersonal and communication skills will always be more important than technical skills in determining career advancement and success, regardless if it’s in public accounting or other businesses. Caveat: Do not misinterpret this statement as meaning that technical accounting and tax skills and technology skills are unimportant. Interpersonal and communication skills have never been easy to acquire but in a Covid environment, the degree of difficulty has risen exponentially.
c. Become as proficient as possible with all the new areas of technology like artificial intelligence, Blockchain, data analytics, machine learning and other areas that I am not smart enough to name. In my mentoring of accounting majors at universities, I am seeing many of them double majoring in accounting and data analytics. The world will be their oyster for these students.
d. Over the next 5-10 years, technology will gradually reduce the market for compliance services. These will need to be replaced by new services such as consulting.
— Marc Rosenberg, president, The Rosenberg Associates
I would strongly encourage them to approach challenges with an open mind continue to embrace the changes that began with recent advances in digital technology and have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Approaching their work with this mindset will set them up for success as the profession continues to change and evolve.
— Charlotte Rushton, president, Tax & Accounting Professionals, Thomson Reuters
Accountants across all levels, regardless of tenure, should work to understand how technology is shaping the profession, as well the demands of our clients. Work to identify ways in which tech can better solve our problems and how we can use data to deliver greater insights. Take the time to upskill yourself and your teams so that you can best take advantage of the tools available to you — because when you invest in digitally upskilling yourself, you can then get the most out of what you have at your fingertips.
— Tim Ryan, chair and senior partner, PwC US
Listen, collaborate, and learn from others. Participate in the standard-setting process and be heard.
— Hillary Salo, technical director and chair of emerging issues task force, FASB
Transition their operations to the cloud and focus on security. Hire or appoint an internal technologist that can research, vet, and help the firm implement and adopt change and new technology. Make sure that person is well-versed in change management theory.
— Heather Satterley, CPA, Satterley Training & Consulting
Don’t think twice about investing in the future.
— Gary Shamis, CEO, Winding River Consulting
I recommend that accountants adopt a more well-rounded view of stakeholder needs and opportunities that transcend economics and include personal development and well-being. I urge accounting firms to embrace the disruptions that technology and virtual working are activating and have courage to rethink how value is created through the talent and technical expertise that is unique to the accounting profession.
— Russell Shapiro, member, department chair – transactional group, executive committee member, Levenfeld Pearlstein LLC
If I had to pick one thing, it would be to embrace new ideas and ways of performing and defining accounting functions. At the Illinois CPA Society, we have two phases that we live by: “The best reason to change is because you haven’t” and “If it isn’t broke, break it”. That mindset will be key to surviving and thriving in the futures.
— Todd Shapiro, president and CEO, Illinois CPA Society
Revisit everything that they do through the lens of “do we really need to do this?” and if yes, “if I was starting to do this now, would I approach it differently?”.
— Donny Shimamoto, managing director, IntrapriseTechKnowlogies LLC
Be curious and open-minded about new ways of operating, whether that’s changing technology, billing methods, service offerings or staffing models.
— Lisa Simpson, director, firm services, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants
Embrace technology, stay on top of trends and always be recruiting for talent.
— Joel Sinkin, president, Transition Advisors LLC
It is always difficult to boil down advice for the future into one data point, but if I had to do so, it would be this. To prepare to succeed and thrive in the future, especially as one as uncertain as the one we are all currently facing, the profession will need to accept, embrace, and maximize changing trends.
The trends will change over time, the tools will change over time, and the profession will evolve as well; that is a great thing. CPAs have, time and again, proven capable of evolving, changing, and adapting to fast moving business conditions – to keep doing so, a headset of innovation and change acceptance will be important than ever.
— Sean Stein Smith, assistant professor, City University of New York, Lehman College
Be agile, ruthlessly, agile. What you thought would take you two or three years, you accomplished in two or three days. You went to the cloud, adopted virtual work habits, and swooped in to rescue clients with services that hadn’t existed before, like PPP and EIDL.
— Rick Telberg, CEO and founder, CPA Trendlines Research
Accountants at all levels need to embrace technology, which has proven to be a necessity during events like the COVID-19 pandemic. It not only changed the way we conduct meetings but how we look at staffing, employee retention and business growth. Whether it’s a new way to reach clients virtually, connect with staff and colleagues or conduct an audit, being open to new ways to do one’s job helps to ensure success in the profession. Accountants need to continue to focus on how technology can assist them in becoming the best trusted advisor they can be for their clients and organizations.
— Ralph Thomas, CEO and executive director, New Jersey Society of CPAs
I would recommend that accountants and finance professionals think more critically about their own role in a workforce reshaped by AI and automation, as well as the likely increase of “black swan” events like COVID-19 that demand new ideas around risk management and mitigation. We have the ability to be key decision-makers and shapers of policy within our organizations – if we’re willing to get out of the “what we are doing is fine” mentality and into the business partner/strategic leader frame of mind requiring change in upskilling outside our comfort zones (e.g., data science).
— Jeff Thomson, president and CEO, Institute of Management Accountants
Businesses today are faced with several emerging forces—the pandemic, challenging economic conditions, and a greater focus on social justice issues. When converged, these societal challenges have evolved the ways in which all organizations strategize and operate. Moving forward, accountants will have to continue to embrace disruption, innovation, and new technologies to be able to effectively deliver high-quality work amidst constant change. I would recommend that accountants invest more time and skill-building in becoming “tech savvy” by proactively educating themselves on disruptive technologies that are impacting the future of the business and the accounting profession, while also emphasizing digitization at every turn. There are still manual processes with every client, but with purposeful evolution, digitizing over time can lead to repeatability, scalability, and consistency—all crucial elements of delivering the highest quality work to our clients.
— Joe Ucuzoglu, CEO, Deloitte US
The digital age of global compliance requires a new breed of indirect tax professionals that not only have a background in both finance and tax, but also in technology and transactional processes. By working closely with peers in IT and business owners of transactional domains, tax and finance professionals can properly meet the (near) real-time reporting requirements set forth by tax administrators around the globe as they continue to digitize tax enforcement.
— Christiaan Van Der Valk, VP, strategy, Sovos
Understand and embrace technology developments as technology is driving every aspect of our lives today. The impacts of technology over the past several years has been astounding, and I believe the impacts of technology on the future will be even more remarkable. Understanding technology advancements and making sure we appropriately incorporate the advantages technology brings to the accounting profession will be essential – while at the same time understanding the new challenges technology advancements produce for the accounting profession will be just as crucial.
— David Vaudt, former chairman, Governmental Accounting Standards Board
Not overwork and achieve the right balance. There are too many accountants getting burned out, working too many hours, and not feeling empowered to speak up to their supervisors on how they are feeling. As a leader during this time, it is extremely important to be proactively reaching out to your staff individually and creating a safe place for them to tell you how they are feeling, what demands they have in their personal lives, and how well they are dealing with new processes and technology. Even if people are hanging on right now, you want them to want to stay after this crisis is over because of how well they were treated. You want them to feel that they were treated fairly, given the resources they needed to be successful, and were seen. Mental health needs to be a top priority, as the happier your staff is, the more productive they will be. Productive doesn’t necessarily mean more hours, it means utilizing technology efficiently and creating an environment where stress is not at the core. Instead people need to be given the freedom to do the things they need to do to release stress without being frowned upon in order to create more fulfillment personally and in the workplace.
— Amy Vetter, CEO, The B3 Method Institute
Stop ignoring the future. The challenges we face today are exceptionally worse than a year ago and yet most firms haven’t made positive changes to combat these issues. Ignoring the future will never be a path to success.
— Garrett Wagner, CEO/founder, C3 Evolution Group, C3 Advisory, C3 Financial
I can imagine a time where accounting firms are operating almost like managed service providers — they’ll be looking after a stack of software for businesses, charging a monthly fee and doing advisory on top of that. That’s where I see the future. If you’re an accountant or bookkeeper, you’ll have to determine how you can become a business coach and bring yourself out of the basics of accounting. We know that accountants and bookkeepers are the most trusted source of advice for small businesses. When working alongside clients through a “do it together” approach, accounting professionals play a critical role in being a sounding board for business owners and help them make well-considered financial decisions.
I encourage accountants to find ways to become tech-savvy business coaches. Small businesses are one of the most under-coached segments in business and now more than ever, they need the advice and guidance from a trusted partner like an accountant or bookkeeper. Building on that, a close colleague of mine says 2020 became 2025. Technology adoption and implementation that normally would occur over five years, is happening in one. Those with operations in the cloud are faring significantly better than those working off desktop spreadsheets or making due with paper invoicing and receipts. There is an imperative need for complete, accurate, real-time information and in an era of disruption, digital matters.
— Tony Ward, president, Xero Americas, Xero
Commit to developing yourself and others. Firms, jobs, careers will come and go. The one constant is yourself and preparing yourself for whatever changes may come your way as well as sharing whatever gifts you have to help those around you grow.
— Cari Weston, director – tax practice & ethics, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants
Take fewer clients and have more fun each day, stop counting hours and start reaching towards the things that really matter. Build the business of your dreams and then help your clients do the same. The right clients will be drawn to you.
— Geni Whitehouse, countess of communication, Brotemarkle Davis & Co.; Solve Services; Even A Nerd Can be Heard
You must consistently teach yourself new skills simply to remain relevant in the industry. I suggest going big with it — diving deep into new technologies, management, leadership and presentation skills is how you will really get ahead in the long run. For example, I would immediately learn how to become an ERP systems administrator — preferably NetSuite as these solutions are critical for accessing the information accountants need to complete essential tasks such as closing the books. I would find a mentor to help learn how to manage and lead. I would join Toastmasters to improve presentation skills. If you dedicate a few hours each week to this your career will be materially impacted.
— Mike Whitmire, co-founder, FloQast
Immerse yourself in education,then planning and then take action around a new business model.That business model has to include new talent, processes, technology and growth initiates. Leaders have to make it happen with a collaborative team or get the heck out of the way!
— Sandra Wiley, president, Boomer Consulting Inc.
Take a class on unconscious bias.
— Jennifer Wilson, co-founder and partner, ConvergenceCoaching LLC
Embrace advisory in a systematic way throughout their practices and then, over time, fold compliance and record keeping under the advisory services they offer. In other words, change the paradigm from traditional services with a layer of advisory, to an advisory practice that happens to also perform tax, compliance and record keeping. Thought leadership has been challenging the profession in this way for years. With hyper-commodification and the onset of highly disruptive automation technologies, embracing advisory has become a matter of extreme urgency for the profession.
— Joe Woodard, CEO, Woodard
Accountants are going to have to be more tech savvy. This includes not only having the skills to use technology in our day-to-day work, but also better understanding the technology landscape in general. We need to understand the technology systems available, how they capture and use data, and how these tools expose our firms and clients to new opportunities and new risks.
— Candace Wright, chair, Private Company Council
Spend 30-60 minutes every morning scouring the latest developments and thought leadership in your technical field. Over time, that knowledge base becomes so internalized that applying what you’ve learned to your clients’ future business needs becomes second nature.
— Jamie Yesnowitz, principal, state and local tax, Washington national tax office, Grant Thornton
My advice to accountants is to be flexible. If nothing else, this year has taught us the importance of flexibility. Accountants need to think outside the box, be creative and adjust to the changing environment. So much is possible if you look around and see what is needed.
— Diane Yetter, president and founder, Yetter Consulting Services & Sales Tax Institute
I would recommend accountants focus on their continued education. First, they should concentrate on their learning and then learn to teach courses themselves. Accountants are continuously required to educate themselves to maintain their licenses. Still, they should have a desire for life-long learning that drives them to seek out courses that will be beneficial to the growth of their person, practice, and clients. Some of their friends and clients are finding new paths themselves. They’re going to need help growing their business. Look for the opportunities. We all are educators in our own right and owe it to ourselves and our clientele to share it.
— Scott Zarret, president, CPAacademy.org
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