Your Competition Isn’t Who You Think It Is

David Bergstein: Traditional accounting firms face an onslaught from self-styled advisors, coaches, and business managers.

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With Steven Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals: Practical Guidance for Today’s Accounting Firms

The perfect storm of emerging technologies, a competitive shakeout in accounting, and COVID-fueled change is creating a new range of challenges for accounting firms, says CPA David Bergstein, long a force for innovation in the profession.

The good news is: There are more opportunities than challenges. But you need to move fast. The window of opportunity won’t last forever.

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“The world is changing,” says Bergstein, now an independent CPA and tech advisor, who was most recently the profession’s leading “cloud evangelist” for Intuit. “CPAs are leaning more and more into technology to do what I’ll call the back-office work. So advisory services are coming to the forefront.”

Pointedly, Bergstein notes that non-CPA firms are challenging the CPA business by taking advantage of the newest technologies and offering advisory services. “People are calling themselves business coaches, business managers, strategic advisors. There’s no licensure required to do that. What those people are doing is utilizing the technology to put the books together. They’re not offering audited financial statements.”

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3 Responses to “Your Competition Isn’t Who You Think It Is”

  1. Jeff Wilson

    Eventually, CPAs will figure out and be more aggressive and use our talents to spread out skills to other services that are not primarily Accounting Areas.

  2. david bergstein

    Thanks for the feedback and I don’t disagree with you comments. My experience has seen both sides. I have met CPA’s who call themselves business coaches and really understand it all and vice versa as you have stated. The point is you can call me Ray or Jay but you still have to deliver to be able to grow your business and obtain recommendations. The world is changing and categories of professional titles are becoming blurred based on the services offered.

  3. Frank Stitely

    I feel like I’ve personally met 4 million business coaches. Mostly they suck, but that doesn’t matter. Clients and potential clients don’t know that. They are competition for advisory services for small CPA firms. I like to ask to see their tax returns. I’ve had some coaches as clients. One earned a whopping $1,800 in his two years as a business coach – before expenses. I tell clients, “Do you want someone less successful than you giving you advice.”