After Strong Year, CPA2Biz Takes Steps to Speed Adoption of Cloud-Based Accounting Services
Firms see value of web-based solutions, but need support with change management
Published October 23, 2012
AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. (Oct. 23, 2012) - Cloud and mobile technologies are creating new areas of growth for the accounting profession, and CPA2Biz continues to build on its role as a guiding force in that transformation, the company's chief executive said in a business update to the American Institute of CPAs' governing body.
As the technology subsidiary of the AICPA, CPA2Biz plays a key role in the profession's adoption of cloud-based solutions, president and CEO Erik Asgeirsson told the AICPA Council, which concludes its annual fall meeting today. More than 1,000 firms are currently powering their accounting services practices through CPA2Biz’s offerings.
During the past year, the company invested in a range of resources for firms looking to embrace digital technologies, he said, from offerings such as CPA.com Email Solutions and the highly regarded suite of Trusted Business Advisor Solutions to comprehensive workshops that deliver a playbook for reinventing accounting services in the cloud. It also deepened its expertise in mobile app development, launching such useful tools as the Journal of Accountancy News App for iPad, the CPA Exam Aid App, the AICPA eReader App, and a streamlined mobile version of the AICPA Store. Those apps collectively have been downloaded more than 25,000 times since the first was released this spring, Asgeirsson noted.
CPA2Biz also provided extensive thought leadership through conference keynotes, white papers and executive roundtables that offer insights on technology in the profession. This culminates next week at the Digital CPA: CPA2Biz 2012 Cloud Users Conference in Washington, D.C., a unique event that will showcase firm success stories and original research from CPA2Biz and bestselling business author Geoffrey Moore on the digital revolution transforming accounting.
“In the past year, we helped some of the most innovative firms as they took the profession in new directions on technology,” Asgeirsson said. “This year will be about making cloud-based solutions easier to adopt for all firms.”
Another area where CPA2Biz is having a significant impact is assisting firms with talent development, according to Asgeirsson. He cited a new AICPA white paper, The Evolution of CPA Firm Learning, which documents how high-performing practices invest more in professional education than their peers. The report, created in partnership with the consulting firm ConvergenceCoaching, found the following benefits accrued to organizations that made this commitment:
- Better client service through superior knowledge
- Team members motivated by firm investment in broader skill sets
- Opportunities to fast-track high performers
- Market differentiation through specialty credentials and certificate programs
- Career development mapping as a succession planning tool
“Public accounting is a knowledge profession and a people profession, and there is no more important function for growing firms than managing technical and leadership learning, training and skill development,” said Jennifer Lee Wilson, partner and co-founder of ConvergenceCoaching.
To support firms as they move in this direction, the AICPA and CPA2Biz have developed AICPA Navigator, a state-of-the-art learning management system for accounting professionals that combines the convenience and cost-effectiveness of high-quality, online self-study programs. More than 500,000 courses have been completed on AICPA Navigator since it was introduced last year. Firms that use this system can better track progress toward continuing professional education (CPE) requirements but, more importantly, can set clear career objective paths for practitioners, Asgeirsson said.
“Part of the role of a trusted business advisor is mastering change and developing new skills to serve clients,” Asgeirsson said. “Our learning management system simplifies those tasks and helps firms maximize their greatest resource – their employees.”