The AICPA’s December 2019 Digital CPA Conference (DCPA) was a pleasure to attend — so many open-minded professionals representing different industries, having unique backgrounds and bringing positive mindsets. The DCPA is the leading conference for practitioners curious about technology and its impact on the accounting landscape.
The Pacific Northwest was an ideal setting to not only embrace existing technological advancements, but also to incubate and inspire new progress and innovations. As I’ve reflected on my experience at the DCPA, three particular concepts continue to resonate.
1. Challenge of Achieving Simplicity via Complexity
A commonality among attendees was the pressure to provide services, whether a CPA in public accounting or within an industry, more efficiently and in more sophisticated ways than ever before. Yet, there is also pressure for these increasingly complex solutions, often in the form of new technologies, to be user-friendly and simplistic. Not only can the products themselves be complex, but so can the selection process. It seems there are potential solutions for all of our problems, even those we didn’t know we had. At a time when we are demanding products to do more with less, there is of course a challenge for the provider to design a comfortable end-user experience. However, the end-user must also challenge themselves as they are interacting with these new products. If we would like for an analysis to be performed more thoroughly and quickly than ever before, we should inherently expect we will have to teach ourselves some new tricks.
2. Ongoing Importance of Diversity and Inclusion
The event provided some amazing speaker presentations and small-group discussions that highlighted how embracing diversity and inclusion directly contributes to positive change and innovation. Appreciating each other’s differences allows us to most effectively maximize the different skillsets within our organizations. And striving to create a culture that encourages stakeholders to propose new, creative and at times even unorthodox solutions is as important now as it ever has been. Although success rates aren’t going to be 100%, encouragement to think outside of the proverbial box is inherently a part of the formula for meaningful change. Creating this sort of environment is a day-to-day mindset. Be curious about a coworker’s background or hobby, even if it’s something that you would’ve sprinted away from as a child (or walked from, if, you know, gym class wasn’t exactly your thing). Get to know the people on your team and watch the creativity soar!
3. Perpetual Innovation
“The age of innovation is now.” This statement standing alone is misleading. Yes, although we are clearly in an age of innovation at this moment, we also have been for several years and will continue to be for years to come. Don’t feel like you’ve missed the train on innovation — any day is a good day to jump on.
This type of motivational energy was a constant force at the DCPA. Open-mindedness, striving to challenge ourselves, and hunger for positive change were themes constantly on display. I left the conference with many points of improvement to take back with me, and I am thankful to be a part of a firm that embraces the challenge of finding sustainable solutions for both its employees and our clients.
Contact Kevin Malloy at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss this topic further.
Cohen & Company is not rendering legal, accounting or other professional advice. Information contained in this post is considered accurate as of the date of publishing. Any action taken based on information in this blog should be taken only after a detailed review of the specific facts, circumstances and current law.