Skip to main content

Are you holding on? When you look back, do you think you did well or could have done better? Everything you do today simply keeps you close to rapid change. Ask your future self if today’s self has positioned you adequately and responsibly. If you don’t like the answer, you have time to change it.

We live in a world where you can measure your heart rate, know the distance to the water hazard or green, or receive phone calls on a wristwatch that even Dick Tracy would envy. Your car’s glove compartment that was overflowing with maps and a few precious directions is now pretty empty, replaced by a GPS that talks to you and redirects you to avoid traffic delays. And your phone messages are transcribed and sent to you as text. Yet many accounting firms work with 20-year-old technology.

The rapid adoption of certain technologies when COVID started has lulled many companies into believing they have become cutting edge when all that has happened is that much of what these companies would have evolved over the next five years has been reduced to a 30 day period. It didn’t push you any further; it just got you started where you would normally go.

You need to take stock of where you are and where you are headed. The technology is there. Managing, training, and retaining staff takes work, but the methods are laid out (just read some of my previous columns to get started). Your customer service techniques should include effective and frequent communications that bring value to all interaction. If you can’t do it, the client’s next accountant will.

Today’s rapidly changing business climate will be classified as roughly “old school” tomorrow. You have a choice before you. Carry on as you are and bolster your old-school credentials, or take a look at reality and ask yourself how you’ll feel about old-school today tomorrow, then consider making some changes.

Do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] with your questions about practice management or assignments you may not be able to complete.

Edward Mendlowitz, CPA, is a partner at WithumSmith+Brown, PC, CPA. He is on Accounting Today’s list of the 100 most influential people. He is the author of 24 books, including “How to Review Tax Returns”, co-authored with Andrew D. Mendlowitz, and “Managing Your Tax Season, Third Edition”. He also writes a blog twice a week dealing with the issues customers have with www.partners-network.com with the Pay-Less-Tax Man Blog for the bottom line. He is an adjunct professor in Fairleigh Dickinson University’s MBA program and teaches end-user applications of financial statements. Art of Accounting is an ongoing series where he shares autobiographical experiences with advice he hopes his colleagues can adopt. He welcomes practice management questions and can be reached at (732) 743-4582 or [email protected].