An advertisement by a top-qualify national information publishing firm joined up with a prominent AICPA event to deliver an educational program designed to prepare CPA firms for imminent change. The bullet points describing the course content are:
- End-to-end, automated cloud-based tax preparation
- AI-enhanced, highly intuitive tax research
- A cloud-driven, Integrated Audit Approach that focuses on audit quality
- Analytical practice management that helps leaders visualize data and gain insights
- Artificial Intelligence to sort and identify clients for further communication and added services opportunities
It occurred to me that my small boutique practice is exactly the opposite! Even more, I have no reason to believe that any of these factors in the advertised program will positively affect me in my remaining career that might span two decades.
Despite the obvious shortcomings of human beings, real intelligence is valued more highly than artificial intelligence. Communication based on trusting relationship is valued more highly than automated communication based.
My tax and assurance service is customized for each client engagement. Service is based on real communication. Real intelligence developed through conversation is the basis for communications and additional service. Most clients rely on manual steps, still including paper (!), and many clients tell me that they distrust hosted web-based services. My clients are just beginning to embrace the basics of web-based financial management technology and will not take additional steps in that direction until forced to do so, most likely by government.
I conclude that in a world of rapidly evolving technology, increased difficulty reaching live experienced professional human beings, increased signs of stress and psychological overload there is a growing craving for deeper trusting professional relationships. I see great opportunity to excel in this void.