In this episode of Growing Your Firm, host David Cristello interviews Deneen Dias, Vice President of Growth and Strategic Partnerships at Botkeeper. Daneen shares her expertise in helping top firms undergo digital transformation and discusses the world of CAS (Client Accounting Services).

She also delves into the definition of CAS, where to start, and how to successfully implement and scale up CAS. Additionally, she explores the implications of AI in building CAS teams.

What you’ll learn

In this episode, you will learn about the world of Client Accounting Services (CAS) and how it has evolved with the introduction of technology, such as the cloud and AI. 

And you will learn about the shift in revenue generation for accounting firms, the trend of offering advisory services, and the importance of accountants as trusted advisors.

The episode also covers the different themes around: 


      • Financial advisory outsourcing

      • The journey of building a CAS team

      • The importance of hiring a leader and standardizing processes

      • The struggles of budget approval, 

      • The importance of investing in technology for scaling up advisory services

      • The lack of training in the industry

      • Impact of  incentives on technology adoption

    And more! 

    Guest Bio

    Deneen Dias is the Vice President of Growth and Strategic Partnerships at Botkeeper. She has spent over a decade at CPA.com helping top 100 firms with digital transformation. 

    Her extensive experience in the industry and her role at Botkeeper demonstrate her expertise and leadership in the field of growth and strategic partnerships. Deneen is dedicated to driving growth and fostering strategic partnerships to help businesses succeed in the digital age.

    Detailed Synopsis

    Advances in technology have led to a significant increase in the use of AI and learning models. The transcript highlights the advancements in computer-assisted systems (CAS) since around 2008, including chat GBT, open AI, and platforms like Google’s AI. 

    Deneen acknowledges the positive impact of AI and learning models on the profession, as they are now being widely utilized in various industries, including accounting firms.

    She also emphasizes that AI has the potential to uncover trends in data that may not be visible to the human eye. This is particularly valuable for accounting firms, as it enables them to provide more effective advisory services to their clients. 

    With the abundance of untapped data, AI-powered data analytics and predictive analytics can help firms analyze client data, identify trends, and offer valuable insights and advisory services. This shift towards a more analytical and advisory-focused approach is transforming the way work is done.

    Deneen also highlights how platforms like Netflix, Instagram, and Facebook are using different types of AI to personalize user experiences and keep users engaged. 

    In the accounting profession, AI is seen as a technology that is reshaping revenue generation, with the accounting side becoming the primary revenue generator and the advisory space being seen as the future.

    AI has the capability to analyze data and identify trends that may not be visible to the human eye. This is particularly valuable for firms in the accounting profession as it enables them to provide more effective advisory services to their clients. 

    Traditionally, firms have generated revenue primarily through tax and audit services. However, with the advent of technology and the ability to access client data in real-time, there has been a shift towards the accounting side becoming the main revenue generator and the fastest-growing area. 

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    The episode suggests that the future of the accounting profession lies in the advisory space, where AI can play a significant role. 

    By leveraging AI technology, firms can utilize the power of data analytics and predictive analytics to uncover trends and insights that can help clients make informed decisions. 

    This not only enhances the value of the services provided but also changes the way the work is done, making it more analytical and advisory-focused. AI is seen as a powerful tool that can bring the power of data to firms, enabling them to offer more valuable and impactful services to their clients.

    AI is revolutionizing the accounting profession by changing the role of accountants and automating various tasks. The episode highlights how AI technology, such as virtual assistants like Alexa, can provide financial information to customers upon request. For example, customers may be able to ask Alexa about their Q4 earnings, and the AI-powered assistant will provide them with the relevant information. This demonstrates how AI is transforming the way accountants interact with clients and deliver financial information.

    Additionally, the episode mentions that AI is also being integrated into audit processes. While audit revenue has been relatively stagnant, AI technology is expected to bring about significant changes in this area. 

    By leveraging AI, auditors can analyze vast amounts of data and identify trends that may have been overlooked by the human eye. This data-driven approach enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of audits, ultimately improving the quality of financial reporting.

    Overall, AI is seen as a powerful tool that accountants can utilize to leverage the power of data. 

    The availability of large amounts of data, combined with AI technology, enables accountants to perform data analytics and predictive analytics. This allows them to identify trends, patterns, and anomalies in client data, which can then be used to provide valuable insights and advisory services to clients. 

    AI is not replacing accountants but rather changing the way their work is done, making it more analytical and advisory-focused.


    [00:02:25] AI changing the accounting profession.

    [00:04:00] Expanding advisory services.

    [00:07:40] Shifting focus towards larger clients.

    [00:11:06] Standardizing processes and technology.

    [00:14:23] Lack of budget for new talent.

    [00:18:01] Upscaling talent in CAS.

    [00:22:33] AI impact in the industry.

    [00:24:39] Changing the way work is done.

    [00:28:43] AI in accounting.

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