The overwhelming majority of CPAs say they have a role to play in
technology adoption for their clients, and almost 40 percent see
themselves as catalysts for innovation, according to a recent survey by
Institute of CPAs.
Only 17 percent of CPAs say they play a minimal role or no part in
helping clients embrace cloud, mobile and other emerging technologies
that can improve business decision-making, according to the survey,
released today at Digital
CPA: 2012 CPA2Biz Cloud User Conference. The event - hosted by CPA2Biz,
the technology subsidiary of the AICPA - showcases strategies for firms
looking to deliver accounting services and back office operations
through the cloud.
"We're at a defining moment in the accounting profession," said Erik
Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA2Biz. "It's now possible for
small- and medium-sized businesses to tap powerful technologies that
make them more productive and offer faster, better insight into
financial decision-making. But most of these companies need a tech-savvy
business advisor to help them take advantage of these opportunities, and
that's a role CPAs are uniquey qualified to fill."
Some 11 percent of CPA firms already operate completely in the cloud,
and so have a strong incentive for getting their clients to use digital
technologies, too, according to the survey, which polled 624 AICPA
members representing a mix of small to large public accounting firms
from Sept. 12-28. Another third use professional grade cloud solutions -
such as bill management, accounting or payroll applications, - in some
parts of their practice.
The biggest barriers to cloud adoption remain security concerns, change
management and skepticism about the technology's value proposition, the
survey found. Respondents were also asked to list the biggest benefits.
In order, they are:
1) The ability to work virtually or expand beyond current geographic
2) No worries about software updates, maintenance or troubleshooting
3) Better assurance of business continuity and disaster recovery
4) Productivity improvements
5) The ability to offer new service lines to clients
6) Better visibility into CPA firm and client finances
The first day of the Digital CPA conference features a discussion of the
economic outlook for small businesses by William Dunkelberg, chief
economist of the National Federation of Independent Business, as well as
post-election analysis by political commentator George Will. Tomorrow's
highlights include keynotes by Asgeirsson, AICPA President and CEO Barry
Melancon, CPA, CGMA, and Geoffrey A. Moore, business strategist and
bestselling author of "Crossing the Chasm." Moore will discuss original
research he conducted on the cloud and client accounting services. For
more information, visit digitalcpa.com.
CPA2Biz, a subsidiary of the American Institute of Certified Public
Accountants, provides best-in-class marketing and technology services to
support accounting professionals throughout the U.S. Its Trusted
Business Advisor solutions are web-based tools that enable small- and
mid-size accounting firms to build more collaborative and strategic
relationships with their business clients or employers. For more
information, visit www.cpa2biz.com,
the leading e-commerce site for the accounting profession.
About the AICPA
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is the
world's largest member association representing the accounting
profession, with nearly 386,000 members in 128 countries and a 125-year
heritage of serving the public interest. AICPA members represent many
areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice,
government, education and consulting.
The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing
standards for audits of private companies, nonprofit organizations,
federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform
CPA Examination and offers specialty credentials for CPAs who
concentrate on personal financial planning; fraud and forensics;
business valuation; and information technology. Through a joint venture
with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), it has
established the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA)
designation to elevate management accounting globally.
The AICPA maintains offices in New York, Washington, DC, Durham, NC, and
Media representatives are invited to visit the AICPA Press Center at aicpa.org/press.
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