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Accounting & Finance Show LA Recap

July 31, 2018

After being pretty heads-down the past year due to building our new products, we came out in full force last week at the Accounting & Finance Show LA.

We were there to get the pulse on the future of accounting and to also talk with folks about our new CountingWorks and CountingWorks PRO services.

The LA show was held on July 25th – July 26th at the LA Convention Center and was the second of two shows organized by Terrapin (the first was held the prior week in New York City). The show offered over 100 hours of CPE credit for attendees and there were over 50 exhibitors, live demos and keynote speakers.

At the show, we were able to interview a few industry experts on their thoughts about the Future of Accounting.

These interviews included author of “The Radical CPA,” Jody Padar, CPA, strategic advisor, Gregory LaFollette and CPA and cloud accounting expert, Blake Oliver.

The show kicked off with a keynote from Jody Padar where she discussed the transformation of the traditional CPA model.

Here are some key takeaways:

The show continued with a keynote by Erik Asgeirsson, CEO of who talked about how tech is transforming the practice. He discusses how the cloud has fueled the growth of client accounting services and how automation and other technologies are accelerating the evolution of tax planning and audit practices.

As the day went on, we were able to get great one-on-one interviews with, Jody, Blake and Gregory. We wanted to get their thoughts on the future of accounting, the impact of technology on the accounting profession and how automation and artificial intelligence will shape and influence tax and accounting professionals as they continue on this journey.

We hosted a great interview with Jody and got her thoughts on these hot topics.

Here are key takeaways from the interview with Jody Padar:

In Jody’s keynote, she mentioned that “technology has almost become so important that it somewhat is more important than the client and the client relationship at this point.”

We thought that was a bold statement, so we asked her to clarify.

Jody said, “I think you need to have both, right? You need to have technology AND the client relationship. I think too many old school firms believe their relationship is the only thing that matters. And quite honestly in today’s day and age it isn’t because small business owners need help with this technology transformation and they want their CPA to lead them through it.”

When we asked her thoughts on whether or not accountants will or will not be completely replaced by AI, here’s how she responded:

“No. Accountants won’t be replaced by AI, but they will be interpreting data a lot differently than they do today and that’s where our value comes in, is really to help our small business owners understand the data.”

Jody also highlighted how small practice owners can use technology to their advantage to compete with larger firms.

You may view the full interview with Jody Padar here.

After a great chat with Jody, we interviewed Blake Oliver and asked him about his thoughts and opinions on tech and the accounting profession. Here are key takeaways from our interview with Blake Oliver, Senior Product Marketing Manager at FloQast.

With all of the changes happening in the accounting profession, we first asked Blake, “How should accountants prepare for changes in technology?”

“It depends on where they started,” he said, “If we’re talking about accountants that are still using desktop accounting technology then getting in the cloud now is really important. If they’ve already moved to cloud applications then the next level is about integrating with other applications and mastering the cloud accounting ecosystem.”

Blake also discussed the biggest threats and opportunities that technology brings to small accounting firms.

Threats: “The biggest threat to small firms is probably security breach. They just don’t have the resources or staff. So how do you prevent that? I would say using the best in-class providers who are going to the security for you. And that’s important, it’s one of the reasons you need to have your data in the cloud.”

Opportunities: “I would say it’s basically that the profession is moving so slowly that if you get ahead in the profession there is a huge opportunity gap that you can take advantage of as a small firm.”

It was definitely great to get insights and tips from industry experts on these hot topics that are surrounding the accounting industry.

We also spoke with Gregory LaFollette, CPA, CITP, CGMA, Strategic Advisor at

Earlier, Jody Padar, had told us that “technology could possibly be more important than the customer relationship.” So, we asked Greg about his thoughts on this statement. We definitely were not prepared for his response!

“That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard! There is nothing more important than customer relationships. There is nothing more important than that. And technology does amazing things to help make those relationships better than in the past.”

It was definitely great to get insights and tips from industry experts on these hot topics that are surrounding the accounting industry.

The Accounting & Finance Show LA was a success. It was a great day of networking, brainstorming, interviewing and building relationships with thought leaders in the industry. On top of meeting and interviewing speakers and keynote speakers, we were able to chat with CPA Practice Advisor, Accounting Today, and many other experts in the tax and accounting space.

Catch the full recap here.

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CountingWorks PRO Staff

Our marketing experts have years of experience helping independent tax and accounting professionals get the most out of their practices. Our proven methods have helped tens of thousands succeed. Follow us on @countingwkspro to get updated year round.

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