2018 Industry Conference

Johnston, Reidun 2014.jpgWritten by Reidun Johnston, CPA, MSCPA BING Member

I was asked to write a blog, which I have never done. I am not a creative narrator nor am I what is considered to be an exquisite writer. I am an accountant after all. I prefer numbers to words. I honestly have not read a lot of blogs either, as I just don’t have the time. I have important things to do, and time is precious to us all. One of the important things I do make time for though is the MSCPA Industry Conference. 2018 will be the eighth conference the MSCPA has hosted just for practitioners in private industry. And since we all love numbers, I thought I would share a few. During the past seven conferences, there have been a total of 647 people in attendance, we welcomed 117 speakers, and held 122 sessions specifically designed to address the interests, concerns, and opportunities that we in the private industry face every day. So, whether you are one of the 647 people that have attended in the past and are contemplating participating again, or if you have never attended and are thinking this is the year YOU should make time for this wonderful learning and networking opportunity, I hope you will join us March 21-22, 2018 as we kick off another fantastic event.

Still on the fence? Still debating if you should attend? In keeping with the tradition of excellent topics and speakers, this year’s conference will include favorite Tommy Stephens with technology updates, the ever-popular Book Club, an economics update, Industry_Conference_Graphic_150_new.jpgcyber security risks, implementing lean accounting to the accounting department, a FASB update, and leadership and employee engagement skills. We have experts coming in from all over the U.S. to give us the most current and relevant information available.

Now that I am sure I have convinced you that this is something you cannot miss, I look forward to meeting all of you Helena in 2018.

Register Today!

 

Will the CPA of the future look like George Jetson?

by Allen Lloyd, Executive Director at the Montana Society of CPAs

We keep hearing about automation coming to revolutionize the accounting profession and which will in turn, make many accounting jobs disappear.   This made me think about an old friend, George Jetson.  While many episodes revolved around the troubles at Spacely Space Sprockets, George typically only worked an hour a day twice a week.  I don’t think any of us would complain about that schedule.  His main responsibility was to turn the Referential Universal Digital Indexer (R.U.D.I.) on and off.

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When can we expect to live in this wonderful new world?  Unfortunately, not before tax season and probably not before many of us retire.  This doesn’t mean we won’t get to reap some of the benefits of automation.  The Big 4 firms have technology that can do most of the work a typical entry level person does today, this will filter down to all firms probably in the next 5 years.  Similar technology is being developed to automate much of the work accountants do in business and industry, government, and non-profit.

Initially automation is going to make our lives easier as our workloads shift from routine tasks to higher level work.  The bank reconciliation may be automated, but someone still needs to translate the financial statements to help make business decisions.  We will also have to monitor the automations to make sure they are working correctly.  The days of software not doing things the way it should are far from over.

At a recent accounting educators meeting professors from across Montana talked about the importance of learning the fundamentals of accounting.  These skills will be just as valuable in the future as they are today.  It will continue to be critical for CPAs to understanding how activity impacts financial statements.

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One of the issues with automating entry level work is figuring out how we develop recent college graduates into experienced staff?  When computers can do all but the most complicated tax returns how will people learn to complete these returns?

Automation won’t do everything we will still need to manage people, hopefully better than Mr. Spacely.

Change is coming and MSCPA wants to work with you to help shape the future.  Leave a comment below or email me your thoughts about the future.  We are here to facilitate your conversation and help you adapt to working one hour a day twice a week… someday.stat1stat2