From the April/May 2009 Issue Change is all around us — a new president, a changing banking system, and an onslaught of new tax codes represent only a few of the notable changes that have occurred over the past year. In line with this theme, even The CPA Technology Advisor is changing. This is the first edition of 2009, and my first column as the new Executive Editor. So allow me to provide you with a little background. I’m the managing partner of Root & Associates, a small CPA firm in Bloomington, Indiana, where, like you, I practice tax and accounting every day. I am also the CEO of RootWorks, LLC, which offers consulting and training services to accounting firms all over the country. So as you can see, I am aware firsthand of how accounting firms operate and the needs of the accounting and tax professional. It is my goal to ensure that The CPA Technology Advisor continues to provide timely, helpful information. As such, we will continue to offer detailed product reviews and feature articles on topics relevant to running your practice. In my column, My Perspective, I offer a fresh, experienced outlook on a variety of topics; for example, how to balance life and work and many other common issues that face the profession. As stated above, “Change is upon us.” And the reality is that our profession will continue to change at a rapid pace. Internet technologies, SaaS and other advanced innovations have drastically altered the way accountants do business — supporting automated, paperless workflows that drive efficiency to all-time highs. A word of advice: Embrace these changes or be left behind. Just consider the needs and expectations of today’s clients — information at their fingertips and immediate response. Technology can get you there, allowing real-time collaboration — and all in a digital environment. To remain competitive, firms must be engaged. They must remain up to date on technology and best practices, while also effectively managing operations. Sound overwhelming? The good news is that support and information are readily available. Software reviews, webcasts, whitepapers, and articles are accessible in mass among trade websites and professional tax and accounting associations. Many vendors also provide training and seminars on the very topics this column addresses. What you don’t want to do is go it alone. If you are operating in a silo, you may fall desperately behind. Reach out; the help is there. I have had the opportunity to speak with many CEOs and other thoughtleaders, and I’m here to tell you that they get it! They truly understand the challenges accounting and tax professionals face, and they are creating technology and applications that answer real needs in the profession. Many of these products and services are designed with the accounting and tax professional in mind — helping you to better manage workflow and accelerate efficiency in order to enjoy true life-work balance. Don’t be left behind. Embrace change and harness the power of technology. As the leader of a technology-driven firm, I am passionate about helping accounting and tax professionals identify systems and best practices to improve productivity and profitability in their own practices. When I started my career years ago, one of the first acronyms I learned was SALY (Same As Last Year). I’m here to tell you, SALY doesn’t live here anymore. So gear up and get ready for an exciting year! We have a great lineup of columnists, many familiar faces and a few new ones. I also know of many new product developments coming your way. And based on what I’ve seen and heard, vendors have definitely been listening to your needs. It is my personal and professional goal to keep you informed all year long, so stay tuned and don’t hesitate to contact me with your thoughts, concerns and questions. -------------------------------------- Darren is the Executive Editor of The CPA Technology Advisor. He remains in public practice as the principal of Root & Associates, LLC, in Bloomington, Indiana, and is president of his consulting practice, RootWorks. He serves on the Board of the AICPA’s CITP Credentials Committee and is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Indiana CPA Society. He speaks at dozens of professional organizations each year and frequently serves as a guest lecturer at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.