We brought together 35 of Canada’s top accounting firm-partners to provide them with a first look at CIBC SmartBanking for Business and host a discussion around future-proofing their practice, technology adoption, and a variety of other top issues that keep them up at night. Here’s what we learned…
Staffing is the number one challenge facing firms
Half of the CPA partners in attendance listed staffing as the most critical issue facing their firm’s growth. It’s clear the amalgamation has had a massive impact on firms, as the removal of the CA designation has reduced the incentive for CPA candidates to pursue a career path in public accounting. A challenge that was a close second, is the emergence and impact of new technologies.
Firms are embracing cloud and AI, but not Blockchain or Big Data
Between cloud services, like Xero & Quickbooks, and artificial intelligence, almost all of the firms are seeing clearly how their practice is going to transform as a result of these new technologies. The same can’t be said of big data or blockchain. While CPAs are more educated on these new technologies than ever before, they are still not seeing the applicability of how it can impact their business in the day-to-day. It’s going to take an innovative technology company to leverage these technologies and figure out a way of seamlessly integrating it into the cloud ecosystem for more widespread adoption.
83 per cent of firms have a specific partner in charge of software implementation
What’s clear from these results is that if your firm isn’t investing in keeping a partner or group of partners up-to-date on new technologies being released every year, you’re going to fall behind. Several firms in attendance even went so far as to have a dedicated professional whose sole responsibility was helping clients adopt new technologies and training them on how to use it better (they were always a CPA, but did no traditional client work).
These are just 3 of the top insights we learned from the forum that we held, but there’s many more in the white-paper itself, which you can download here.
At the end of the evening, we sat down with renowned tax guru, Jamie Golombek to discuss the complicated tax system in Canada. Jamie is the Managing Director, Tax & Estate Planning at CIBC. You can to listen to this conversation and others like it and get some free verifiable CPD on LumiQ.