Nearly four out of five CPAs in public accounting believe they will play a key role in preparing clients for complex challenges in the coming decade, but recognize they must understand and embrace emerging innovations to do so, according to research commissioned by CPA.com.
The business environment for CPAs and their clients will be characterized by “unprecedented, massive and highly accelerated change” through 2025, according to the CPA of the Future Study, released during the Digital CPA Conference. Future CPAs will need to be agile and farsighted, and 80% of study participants agree that their role will change substantially over the next decade, with more emphasis on consultative business development, risk management and advisory services.
“When we talk about Digital CPAs, we’re talking about the CPA of the future,” says Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com. “Using technology, embracing specialization, advancing their role as trusted advisor – these are strategies that leading firms are already employing with great success and that the profession as a whole must adopt to thrive in the coming decade.”
Among other findings of the study:
- Less is more – 70% of respondents think government regulation is holding back business productivity and growth
- A growing talent gap? Some 80% of CPA firms have concerns about recruitment to meet future needs
- The future is now – An overwhelming majority (90%) of CPA firms believe the digital future is rapidly approaching
- Planning for disruption – Smart machines, the rise of artificial intelligence and mobile connectivity may offer new risks and opportunities