Roman Kepczyk, Xcentric – Most Recommended Consultant

Xcentric
Roman Kepczyk
xcentric.com

Roman Kepczyk

Roman Kepczyk

What is the most common technology mistake being made in the profession today and how can it be addressed? 

Minimally adopting a “paperless” technology/tool with management believing they are done after the initial install. We partner directly with 30 firms per year and often hear from firm management they have implemented digital technology solutions but have not received the benefits they expected. In many cases we find that the firm did a bare minimum or rushed installation and have not followed up with adequate training or re-evaluation of new system capabilities. Surprisingly often they are asking for features that either already existed in their application or have been added to it since they first implemented it. This is particularly true of digital workflow tools, practice management projects, portals, and scanning production processes. We suggest firms send the actual users/administrators of these applications to industry conferences with the express intent of learning about new features and existing capabilities as well as networking with other successful users.

What would you recommend firms do over the next two to three years to keep ahead of the game?

While I believe that firms can improve their tax and administrative processes significantly by optimizing the applications that are already available and applying “Lean” methodologies, I believe assurance services will be going through a significant transition towards the end of your three-year time frame. Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence/Cognitive Computing concepts are evolving rapidly towards financial/corporate adoption at a pace we have not seen since the Internet/World Wide Web transition. I believe Blockchain adoption will be driven by banks/lenders to retain their hold on financial transactions/commerce and that CPAs will have to adopt more advanced, real time tools integrating AI and Big Data Analysis if they want to continue to own the audit franchise and grow their consulting opportunities. We suggest all our firms assign the responsibility of monitoring assurance technologies to a technologically astute manager who would educate owners so the firm is not left out in the cold.

What questions should firms be asking themselves as they are implementing new technologies?

  1. How does this technology actually improve our internal production processes and the way we service clients? Firms should document new practices/processes, so team members can be taught and be held accountable to them as a firm standard, as well as communicating to firm members and clients why this technology or process serves them better.
  2. Do we have the right people involved in the evaluation, selection, and implementation of this application, tool and/or process? By this we mean you need to have end users and administrative personnel involved, as well as an implementation champion with a vested interest in a successful outcome. Also, having access to independent knowledge and validation through CPA firm association peers or hiring industry consultants specializing in the specific area reduces the risk of the firm making a bad or incomplete decision.