The prediction is an old one: accounting professionals need to be embracing change and transform our role with clients. We need to go from providing compliance services and move to the so-called ‘trusted advisor' role. The thing is, it's no longer a prediction.
Transformation must happen now, since the technology that is driving the Accounting Profession Disruption has arrived and is taking root quickly. In fact, many clients are grabbing hold of automation faster than some of us are!
Not good if we want them to come to us for advice.
Now is the time for us to push past our comfort zones and start embracing change. To help with that, here are five ways to navigate the path from compliance to advisory in the face of automation and thinking machines.
5 Steps to Embracing Change Now
1. See what's not working
Are there points of friction between you and your clients? These are areas where you get hung up on trying to provide the compliance services that are time consuming and of little value in the eyes of your clients who don't really understand what's involved (and don't care, either).
Go ahead and let all these pain points aggravate you! They will fuel your desire to move on to the next step.
2. Become curious about what's possible
This is were you use your imagination to think about “what if…” to remove the friction points with your clients mentioned above. Think about what specifically would you like automated. What would smooth out the rough spots and save you (and your clients) time? Can you envision automation of repetitive or mundane tasks?
Now bring your thoughts to Google or your favorite app marketplace and have a look. The solution might already exist! Is it an app? Is it a better workflow? Why not set aside 15 minutes and go on a search adventure!
(I've personally found some fantastic solutions simply by typing what I was curious about into Google to see if anyone else has had the same idea.)
3. Feel the fear and do it anyway
Yes, the title to the classic book by Susan Jeffers is a key mindset for any accounting pro who is determined to be among those who are embracing change to make the prosperous leap from compliance to advisory services.
It's been said that once we stretch our comfort zone, even a little, it won't return to it's original proportions. That's a very good thing! Times have changed and we need to stretch to stay valuable to (and employed by) our clients.
It really only takes the willingness to be uncomfortable for a little while to reap the rewards of growth and achievement.
4. Get in the habit of making small changes
Though it may be trite, ‘by the inch, it's a cinch' is a great mantra to adopt on a daily basis when it comes to trying new ways of doing what you've been doing the same old way for years. Focusing on new, more efficient habits can even become addictive, once you start seeing results!
Over time, these small changes lead to more efficient execution of the mundane work. The time savings then opens the door to stepping up to embracing change that leads to more effectively services. That is, proactively serving your clients' most important needs with premium level advisory services.
5. leave your ego at the door
Truly embracing change is a decision. One that requires a bit of humility in the package. It means that you won't always be right. You'll make mistakes. But that's okay! Seeing what works in the trenches (and what doesn't) is where the real learning happens.
It's another mindset shift that isn't common in our profession. But you're not a common accounting professional then, are you?
If you're willing to actually do what it takes to fully explore what it really means to embody the role of trusted advisor… when you truly are embracing change to provide what your clients need most – advice and support that results in financial confidence and growth – then you will have transformed into an accounting professional that will reap far more than survival.
You will be positioned to thrive and navigate any future changes that continue to reinvent our profession.
If you're wondering what specific changes were predicted by those who have seen our era and beyond, and compare them to where you are right now, then you'll want to take the next step to explore the Expert Interviews.
This program asks the tough questions of 15 thought leaders who have seen it all. You can use their timeless wisdom and objective insights to more easily navigate these rapidly changing times to gain an almost unfair advantage over your competitors.