COVID-19 Is Teaching Accounting to Get ‘Comfortable With the Uncomfortable’

In the post-pandemic world, life at successful accounting firms will be very different from what it was just last year.

Partners will be more mentor than boss, engaging with staff in a more personal way than ever before. There will be a new emphasis on leadership and development. The consultative part of accounting will be center stage, as clients look for guidance and help in rebuilding their business. Technology adoption will be quicker and remote work will be an accepted practice.

Those predictions are the perspective of a group of accounting thought leaders interviewed by AccountingToday’s editor Danielle Lee.

“The pandemic is giving firms a reason to embrace change like never before,” Marc Rosenberg, president of The Rosenberg Associates, told Lee. “Why? Because they have (or will have) no choice. Life at CPA firms as we knew it pre-pandemic will never return. Normal is gone.”

With everyone working remotely, Angie Grissom, president of The Rainmaker Companies, said firm leaders are learning just how resilient their teams are. “A newfound confidence in the agility of teams will emerge,” she says.

The more progressive firms began embracing remote work long before anyone ever heard of COVID-19. Now the rest of the profession is discovering people can be as productive – or more – working remotely, which will lead to fewer hiring restrictions, says Jeff Phillips, CEO of Accountingfly.

“Some of your best people are not ever going to return to an office again, and I hope firms learn that’s OK,” he said. “If they learn that lesson, they’ll realize they can solve their own war for talent by quickly and easily hiring remote A-player talent based anywhere in the U.S.”

As the economy opens up and people return to work – millions already have – talent retention and training will be critical to firm success. Partners now “Need to be much more deliberate and planful about keeping in touch with staff, not only regarding their client work but their training, development and morale,” says Rosenberg.

Adds Sandra Wiley, president of Boomer Consulting, “As firms develop their strategies over the next few months, they should have a laser focus on talent retention and upskilling, process improvement, technology infrastructure, and new services for growth in the advisory area.”

Even the business model should be up for reconsideration, suggests Ron Baker, founder of the VeraSage Institute. “If you are still hourly billing, your firm is mired in a transactional relationship with your customers based upon inputs, and those are easy to sever when times are tough.”

More directly, Boomer Consulting’s L. Gary Boomer, says, “The existing business model does not meet the needs of most clients or firms. You should move to the subscription model in order to attract new business and retain existing clients. Value can be created through packaging and pricing.”

“Now is a great time to learn or change a habit,” he advised.

Summing up, Jody Padar, vice president of strategy at Botkeeper, declared, “We can’t go back to the way things were, so we need to get comfortable with the uncomfortableness we face.”

Photo by Dillon Shook on Unsplash

Resume Tricks for 2022
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Resume Tricks for 2022

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Kornelia Klukowska
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Kornelia Klukowska

When to Say Goodbye to a Candidate
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

When to Say Goodbye to a Candidate

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Allison Vogt
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Allison Vogt

Green Key Unlocked: The Growth of Professional Support
General Interest Green Key News Professional Support Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: The Growth of Professional Support

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brittany Leader
General Interest Green Key News Healthcare Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brittany Leader

Green Key Unlocked: FAQs of Working with a Recruiter
General Interest Green Key News Pharma Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: FAQs of Working with a Recruiter

Green Key Announces New Senior Partners
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Green Key Announces New Senior Partners

Green Key Against Gun Violence
General Interest Green Key News

Green Key Against Gun Violence

How to Support Mental Health in the Workplace
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

How to Support Mental Health in the Workplace

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Larry Goodman
General Interest Green Key News Pharma Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Larry Goodman

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Mike Glock
Accounting + Finance Financial Services General Interest Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Mike Glock

How to Make Your Candidate an Attractive Offer
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

How to Make Your Candidate an Attractive Offer

Tips for Recent Grads
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Tips for Recent Grads

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Patrick Friel
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Patrick Friel

Working Moms at GKR
General Interest Green Key News Healthcare Human Resources Pharma Professional Support Worklife

Working Moms at GKR

Green Key Resources Opens New Jersey Office
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Green Key Resources Opens New Jersey Office

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Tim Durkin
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Tim Durkin

Green Key Unlocked: Onboarding & Training in Agency Recruiting
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: Onboarding & Training in Agency Recruiting

How to Beat Work from Home Fatigue
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

How to Beat Work from Home Fatigue

Latest Blog Posts
View All Posts
Resume Tricks for 2022

Resume Tricks for 2022

To keep you on top of the resume trends, we've put together a comprehensive list of tricks and tips to...
Read More
#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Kornelia Klukowska

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Kornelia Klukowska

Coming directly from the accounting industry, Kornelia started her recruiting career six months ago and is already succeeding tremendously in...
Read More
When to Say Goodbye to a Candidate

When to Say Goodbye to a Candidate

As a recruiter, you will come across many talented and attentive individuals. However, there will always be candidates who display...
Read More