Brian C. Friedman, CPA, CITP
Northeast Division Sales Manager
Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting
Aside from the accounting websites, which blog/website do you consider a must-read?
Harvard Business Review, Sales Caffeine
In what ways have you contributed to your firm/company to make it better?
Throughout my career, I have been able to challenge the status quo and identify areas where we can enhance our client offerings. I strive to create an atmosphere for learning and coaching clients and associates on how to run their business more efficiently. Whenever possible, I employ a cross-functional approach focused on growing our business and driving towards exceeding our clients’ expectations.
In what ways do you participate in the professional community to change/improve the accounting profession?
I invest my time and energy in growing future leaders. For three years I have been the Sales sponsor of CCH’s Emerging Leader program at our CCH Connections User Conference. Each year we select those individuals nominated by their firms as rising stars to participate in our Business Acumen Program. This program has proven to be a tremendous success with those participating and very well received by accounting firms around the country. Additionally, over the years, I have hosted a number of professional user groups to help firms improve their use of technology. Most recently I facilitated a session of 40 accounting firms which included roundtable discussions, keynote speakers, and technology improvements.
In what ways do you participate in your local community to help others?
I participate in a number of charitable and philanthropic events to help those less fortunate and in need. Last year, I was personally involved with Delete Blood Cancer by becoming a bone marrow donor. As a family we have assisted local foundations aimed at providing backpacks filled with school supplies so every student has a fair chance to succeed despite their economic circumstances.
What changes do you foresee in the accounting profession of the near future (3-5 years)?
I expect to see continued cloud migration by firms of all sizes. This will enable firms to focus more on their core expertise and less on having to worry about IT infrastructure. In addition, tools that allow firms to become more productive and efficient by reducing redundant tasks and duplicative work will help to drive increases in profit margins.
How do you see yourself participating in shaping the future of the accounting profession?
I keep my finger on the pulse on the current state of the industry as well as future trends by meeting with accounting firms on a regular basis. I actively bring my findings back to my organization to ensure our products and services are pushing the envelope. My goal is to anticipate our clients’ needs now and in the future.
What is your career philosophy?
I believe in challenging myself and empowering others to reach their full potential by being resourceful, encouraging teamwork, being an active listener and bringing valuable insight to those with whom we engage.
Describe one person who has been an important mentor to you and how that person helped change your life.
My mentor has challenged me to expand my thought process around decision making and how it impacts not only those immediately surrounding me but to look at it from an organizational perspective. My mentor did not always provide me with answers, however encouraged me to arrive at my own conclusions. This gave me the confidence to be a stronger leader.