Rick Telberg is conducting a survey of CPAs about their thoughts on the future of the profession and what they see as some challenges and issues facing professionals. He shares a few early responses in a recent post:
“An increasing number of young people do not want to seriously work toward the accounting professional status of CPA.” I wonder if there was any evidence provided to back that up, because Rick isn’t sharing (yet). It did make me question why I’ve been reading so many articles about how exciting and even sexy being an accountant had become post Sarbanes-Oxley. Am I not sexy anymore?
Others cited the shortage of new talent coming on the scene, or the barrage of regulations and complexity as their top concerns as they look to the next decade and beyond. The talent thing will sort itself out in the long run, and the worst of it is probably past us. Regulations and complexity will reward those that go the extra mile to stay educated.
“CPA 2.0” and “Profession 2.0” are used to describe the ultimate direction of the profession by a final respondent, as he suggests that it will shift into more of an industry. “Systemization will be the buzz word for the next five years. CPAs will really begin to run their firms like a business.” I don’t agree.
There will be successful entrepreneurs that can take some aspects of the services provided by accounting firms today and “systemize” them, gaining efficiencies and making a tidy profit. But the profession will endure. In many respects it will thrive because of the opposite of systemization: By differentiating based on service, by pricing based on value, and by upholding the ethics and integrity required of a professional.
If you’re interested, take part in the survey.