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Moore or Less: Betting On Your Future

MOORE-or-Less-Graphic.jpgOver the past 12-18 months, we’ve all heard and read about what accounting firms need to be doing to prepare themselves, and their clients, for the coming digital disruption and transformation.  There has been much written about how technology is driving change and transformation within our profession, not to mention the industries and environments of clients.  Although there is much more to be learned, now is the time to be placing bets.  Wayne Gretzky, arguably the greatest hockey player of all time, famously said, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

The essence of this statement is not about getting every shot or opportunity right, rather it is about being well prepared and positioned to take advantage of the shots that may come your way.  This requires planning, preparation, and some luck, but even more than that it requires a willingness to take some risks and place some bets in anticipation of what you think the future will look like.

Whether it is the promise of blockchain, the allure of cryptocurrency, the power of data analytics, the trend toward consulting and advisory from compliance, or the shift from cost-based pricing to value pricing, firms need to accept that partner pool profits need to be used to make some of the bets.  As with any other entrepreneurial business, there are times to be investing and times for harvesting – now is the time for investing!

The level and breadth of each bet will depend on your firm size, client segmentation, existing talent pool, and cultural readiness to accept the notion that this is not something to be stopped or endured, rather embraced and understood, yet one thing is true – the bets need to be placed! 

Some may require investment and review of existing processes to leverage emerging technologies, like the MSNA Audit Pilot Program with Inflo.  In fact, preparing your audit process and team for the future may require multiple pilots and could include some failed efforts along the way.  Still others may require less hard investment, but more time and attention.  This could be the establishment of an internal committee charged with keeping current with developments and use cases (i.e. pursuing an investment in blockchain technology).  Although some members are already pursuing this because clients are seeking it, others may not have the same client segment.  However, developing a deepening understanding and awareness may be a smart alternative to doing nothing.

Over the next several months, we will be sharing perspectives on the bets member firms are making as they seek to ensure that their organization is able to anticipate what the future looks like in a number of areas and how best to capitalize for their own firms, their clients, and their talent.  These preparations position them to be in front of the net and ready for the next shot on goal!