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40 Under 40 Honoree: Brian Steinert — 33

Product Manager, CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business, McPherson, KS

40 Under 40 Honoree: Brian Steinert — 33
Product Manager, CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business, McPherson, KS

EDUCATION: BA Accounting; BA Business Education — Bethany
FAMILY: Wife Casey; Children Mikaela (12), Nelson (10), Corbin
(8), Johanna (5)
HOBBIES & INTERESTS: playing with his children and attending
their events, running, hiking, skiing, mountain climbing, golfing, and just
about anything else that can be done outdoors

What’s the one piece of technology that MOST helps you get through
your normal workday?

“My BlackBerry — the Swiss army knife of a road warrior! It wakes
me up in the morning; gives me my daily agenda; reminds me of approaching meetings;
delivers important messages; allows me to stay in contact with coworkers, clients
and family; keeps me informed of world events; and entertains me as I travel.”

What will be the biggest change over the next five years in the ways
tax and accounting firms operate?

“The profession has been in the midst of major change for a number of
years now: less paper initiatives, new scanning technologies, product suites
providing more efficiency in workflow, implementation of new methodologies and
technology to address changes in audit standards, client portals becoming a
popular (and soon the norm) medium for exchanging documents and communication
with clients, etc. These will continue to impact the profession for years to
come as adoption increases and technologies continue to mature.

“But there is another change on the horizon that is beginning to attract
attention and will have just as much impact — the ‘changing of the
guard.’ The AICPA states that 75 percent of its membership will be eligible
to retire by the year 2020. To prepare for this change, partners of firms will
begin planning and executing succession plans to ensure the future viability
of the firms they worked so hard to build. Regardless of whether the main issue
is addressed through a firm merger or by passing the baton directly to the younger
generation, the average age of those in leadership positions will decrease.

“What does this mean? It means that the need and importance of knowledge
management, talent management and training will increase. Also, firm culture
will begin to mold to the ideals of those taking the reins. According to the
CCH Young Accounting Professionals Survey completed in 2006, this includes emphasis
on ethical leadership, work/life balance and family friendly policies, implementing
performance management systems. From a technology standpoint, this group values
comprehensive resources to get the job done, access to the latest technology
to aid productivity, and investing in leading tax/accounting software, so the
emphasis on the continued development and implementation of innovative technology
solutions will mean higher dependence upon and demand from technology vendors.”

What Brian’s peers had to say about him:
Brian brings strong practitioner experience and an intent focus on professionals’
needs to his role at CCH. As the product manager for ProSystem fx Engagement,
Brian led the effort to create and integrate an innovative new product, ProSystem
fx Knowledge Tools, with ProSystem fx Engagement to allow
firms to address the new risk assessment standards within their existing workflow.
Brian spent a considerable amount of time presenting to firms seeking to address
the standards and the need to comply. He educated firms through site visits,
focus group meetings, and conference presentations on the SAS 103 documentation
requirements and how to update their best practices to address the standard.
He also worked with clients to develop additional functionality in ProSystem
fx Engagement to help affected firms manage to the requirements while
improving efficiency.
Prior to joining CCH, Brian spent nine years in a large regional accounting
firm performing accounting, auditing, consulting, training and internal IT work.
After championing the paperless roll-out within his own firm, he spent much
of his time consulting with firms across the country and helped them develop
standard processes and procedures and roll-out their own paperless initiatives.

In his role as technology training director, he also consulted with firms
on the development of internal training programs and was a regular speaker at
Boomer Circle meetings and Learning Consortium conferences. He has been a guest
speaker at many conferences including The Advisory Board Quarterly Virtual Conference
Series, AICPA TECH+, Kansas Society of CPAs Technology Conference, CCH Annual
User Conference, High Tide Conference, etc., on the topics of implementing learning
management systems, developing internal training programs, standardizing firm
processes and procedures, implementing paperless in a CPA firm, Adobe tips and
tricks, and Advanced use of ProSystem fx Engagement.

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