the future of the accounting industry

Caleb Newquist, Editor in Chief at Sift Media US, which runs industry leading websites such as AccountingWEB and GoingConcern knows the future of the accounting industry.
That’s a bold statement…you’ll have to listen and judge for yourself…
On this episode of the Growing Your Firm Podcast by Jetpack Workflow Software, David Cristello and Caleb Newquist cover:

  • The Future of the Accounting Industry
  • How succession planning is changing the industry
  • Future opportunities in the industry
  • and much more! Click below to listen to the full interview


Click Below to Listen to the Interview

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Caleb Newquist, editor at Sift Media which runs Accountingweb and GoingConcern (two of the top accounting sites on the web), was a CPA for 6 years. After awhile, he started writing about his experiences. This led to him hooking up with a media company and GoingConcern was born in 2009.

He realized young accountants didn’t have a place for conversations about their firm, work, etc. Because, historically, let’s be honest, the accounting industry hasn’t always had the best reputation for being ‘exciting’ and ‘engaging.’ In other words, firms are keyed in on work and not as much employee engagement.

They’ve had their own style, but it’s gone well.

Go check out GoingConcern. It’s light-hearted, covers relevant topics, and geared towards younger, up-and-coming CPAs.

The future of the accounting industry is the young accountants. In this day-and-age, young accountants are flippant. They move from one job to the next looking for fulfillment.

Young people like to see a firm open to taking a risk.

Caleb discussed one firm he’s highlighted where the company posted interesting social media pictures highlighting what a ‘tax season’ day looks like. Employees would pose with a shark, and it was hilarious.

That’s what’s missing from an accounting firm these days. Something where your firm sticks out. How many firms do you see doing social media?!
If you take risks with your company, you build trust. If you build trust, they will stay with you forever.

DAVID’S TIP: A way to get your team to immediately trust you…keep everyone in the loop. Don’t sit in your ivory tower. Let everyone know what’s going on throughout all levels. That brings fulfillment when a young team member feels their work matters.


Caleb sees what trends develop in the industry through his media company. One major issue he sees … many firms don’t have clear succession plans. As CPA owners get older, they are looking for a way to cash-out.

Caleb’s seen an uptick in mergers and acquisitions. He expects to see more. Some partners may not even retire. This will create a widening gap in the age of the workforce which could exacerbate some of the issues mentioned before.

Another common trend he’s seeing is the value pricing vs. billing debate. Majority of firms, Caleb says, still run on the billing systems. But, as more clients need consulting than straight tax and bookkeeping, value pricing will be the law of the land. Younger clients won’t want to hire CPAs for ‘hourly’ work. They want to only pay a known price.


As these issues bubble up, the accounting industry continues to grow. Even with more accountants entering the industry, job postings continue to pop up.Holding onto talent plus finding talent has become the issue. As we mentioned before, younger employees will have no shame peeking around at other opportunities if they feel another firm will fulfill them more (and pay more…).


Firms will need to enter the media frenzy online. Rich media (videos, blogs, infographics) continue to grow, especially with younger generations. No more can you firm be a plain-old HTML set up from the 90’s. Now’s the time to experiment with blog posts, videos., social media. Write content for your clients they find useful or enjoyable. If you’re the owner, don’t try and do it yourself. Give one post per month to each team member. imagine for a firm of 25 people how much content you can produce!

Most push-back will come from ‘I don’t have time’ complainers. The more people you involve (especially the younger team members), the more value you will produce. Plus, the more ideas that will come to the surface.

DAVID’S TIP: Create something that will stand on its own. As in, if a prospect stumbles on it, they will remember it long after they click away. Don’t go for the cheap clicks.

The future of the accounting industry is moving fast as technology progresses, older CPAs retire, and younger accountants move into managerial roles. Your job, whether as an employee or partner is to see these trends and respond to them. Put down your day-to-day work and think long-term what’s going to happen. Caleb’s sites are a useful place to start.
Send Caleb an email: He begs ‘Please no press releases!!” He says those get deleted un-opened. Consider this your warning!

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