Note: Our summer CPA IN Perspective magazine is digital — keep an eye out for new articles in our upcoming communications.
What's your main technology pain-point currently?
Erland Porter, CPA
“The most challenging technology issue for me currently is bandwidth. Although many companies have remedied their most significant issues since the pandemic began, I still find sites unable to keep up with the unprecedented demand online and via phone. The significant increases in website crashes, non-responsive chat services and elongated phone wait times have provided ample opportunities for me to practice patience.”
Barry K. Hall, CPA, CGMA
Kruggel Lawton CPAs
“First of all, I am very thankful for technology. Without the technology to work remotely, serving our clients over the last few months would not have been possible. Having said that, we continue to look for ways to improve the remote working experience for our staff and remote working productivity for the firm. We did a good job in reacting to the stay-at-home orders and keeping our team working from home. However, we also learned a lot and are revising our policies and protocols around remote work. A current pain point is that while we have moved some of our programs and software to the cloud, we still have several of our more robust programs that are server-based. We continue to look for ways to move these to cloud-based products.”
Jeremy E. Gallion, CPA
INCPAS Vice Chair
Ernst and Young, LLP
“We use tools at my firm to analyze and correlate large sets of data as part of our digital audit. In order to use the tools effectively, we have to get the data in a specific format and this can be a challenge due to the various systems clients use and how the data is pulled. We spend a significant amount of time working with our clients in the first year to figure out how to pull the data and get it in the correct format from the system. Once we figure it out, the process is repeatable and is much easier in subsequent quarters and years, but the first year can be painful.”
Carrie B. Minnich, CPA, Macct
INCPAS Vice Chair
Dulin, Ward & DeWald, Inc.
“The rapid change in technology is everywhere; it affects how we do business and our personal lives. To better serve our clients we need to stay up-to-date on these advancements and see them as opportunities as opposed to challenges. We need to leverage technology in doing the repetitive tasks so we can spend more time advising our clients and building relationships—the things that technology cannot do. So, we do all of this and then there’s an internet outage or a system crash. With so much reliance on technology, there’s a major pain point when the technology does not work. It’s not unusual that it happens. Nothing works 100 percent of the time but when it doesn’t, it disrupts everything.”
Diane L. Sturek, CPA-inactive, MAcc
INCPAS Vice Chair
Indiana University Kelley School of Business
“As a college professor who had never taught a course online prior to March 2020, I’ve certainly learned a lot in recent months about the many tools available to enable us to keep teaching and to help students keep learning outside a physical classroom. Technologies such as Zoom and learning management systems are essential to keeping me connected to my students. Although these technologies allow us to communicate virtually, it is a challenge to replicate the collaboration and subsequent benefit to learning that occurs in the physical classroom. I am learning about new ways to use these and other technologies to help students connect to each other in the virtual classroom. I have heard from my colleagues in practice—both at the staff and partner level—that they are facing a similar challenge in the work environment.”