Accounting & Auditing | Business Strategy | Future Ready | Leadership / Management | MACPA Events | Talent | Technology

Top Issues from AICPA Major Firms Group

What are the Top Issues from the Top 100 Firms? Twice a year the AICPA hosts the Top 100 CPA Firms in the US, aka the Major Firms Group. It is a chance for the AICPA to convene this group and share the latest trends and issues facing the Profession and get feedback. This slide shows the latest survey from the AICPA PCPS presented at the meeting. MACPA's own, Lexy Kessler, Chair of AICPA PCPS and partner at Aronson helped shape the agenda.

[caption id="attachment_574216" align="alignleft" width="362"] AICPA Major Firms Group Top Issues[/caption]

The Top 5 Current Issues for firms 21+ are:

  1. Finding Qualified Staff;
  2. Retaining Qualified Staff;
  3. Managing Work/Life Balance initiatives;
  4. Owner / Partner Accountability;
  5. A Tie - Seasonality and Workload Compression & Managing Privacy & Cyber-security Risks.


The Top 5 Issues with Biggest Impact in Next 5 Years for firms 21+ are:

  1. Staffing;
  2. Emerging Technologies;
  3. Changing Client Needs;
  4. Competition;
  5. Mergers/Consolidations

Interesting to see Work/Life balance and Partner Unity/Accountability rise on current issues. We are seeing the same trends in our research. Emerging Technologies in the next 5 years?

We are seeing three years based on the exponential pace of technology and increased adoption by CPA Firms of all sizes. Our research with a leading global futurist, Daniel Burrus shows the latest technologies impacting firms and companies are:

  1. Advanced Cloud - this enables most of the other technologies;
  2. Artificial Intelligence in Auditing, Tax, and Finance - There are at currently three major players, Mindbridge AI, Thomson-Reuters - Inflo, and AICPA Dynamic Audit Solution (DAS) ;
  3. Virtualization of processes and services (RPA - Robotic Process Automation);
  4. Big Data and Data Analytics;
  5. Adaptive & Predictive Cybersecurity Systems

As Dan Burrus likes to say, "If it can be done, it will be done and if you don't do it, someone, else will!" 

We think of it as what is your RONI? Risk of Not Investing.

However a word of caution about just adopting one of these technologies. The latest issue of Harvard Business Review features an article on the AI-Powered Organization and makes the point,

“Technology isn’t the biggest challenge, Culture is! …At most businesses that aren’t born digital, traditional mindsets and ways of working run counter to those needed for AI (and these emerging technologies).”

That is why we see our Anticipatory Organization, a learning and transformation accelerator, playing a critical role in elevating and accelerating the mindset and culture in firms we are working with. Hear about "Anticipation" in action in our interview with Joey Havens at HORNE.

And don't miss our CPA #FutureReady Summit and AI in Auditing Conference on December 3-4, 2019 in Towson, Maryland where you will see how firms are dealing with these top issues.

Some more resources:

Resources to learn more about AI in Auditing Journal of Accountancy - How we successfully implemented AI in audit

CPA.COM Podcast - Samantha Bowling: Bringing Artificial Intelligence to Life Within a Small Firm

MACPA-BLI FutureProof podcast # 40. MindBridge: A.I. for Small Firms | with Samantha Bowling

Resources to learn about RPA - Robotic Process Automation Where Bookkeeping Meets AI

Pathways to Growth A CPA with a ‘New Vision’ feat. MACPA Member, Jody Padar


Tom Hood