This blog is the fourth in a five part series adapted from the AICPA White Paper, Becoming the Firm of the Future, which is available here.
In his book Flash Foresight, Daniel Burrus points out the transformation that will take place due to extreme advances in processing power, digital storage and bandwidth. This hard trend (meaning it will happen, whether we believe it or not) threatens the economic engines of almost all CPA firms which rely heavily on the chargeable hour (time) as the driver of value. As things get faster and faster, we will have less and less value under this model.
What is the real relationship between time and value delivered? For years, many in the accounting profession and, notably to his credit, Ron Baker, have pointed out the disconnect between actual value delivered and time incurred. I’m afraid we do not have the luxury of continuing this debate. It is time to focus on outcomes, deliverables and their value to clients. In the future, time will be less and less of a factor in many of the things that CPAs do today. We must begin conversations with clients that help us understand what they value. It is time to prepare for this hard trend, not ignore it, fight it or continue to debate it.
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