Friday, November 13 @ 10:20 AM
James C. Bourke is a Partner, Member of the Board of Directors and Management Committee at WithumSmith+Brown, is Director of Firm Technology and Managing Director of Advisory Services. Jim has been a frequent speaker around the globe to many Accounting Societies and International Accounting and Trade Associations, the AICPA, CIMA, State Societies of CPAs, Industry Technology Organizations, Incubators, Accelerators and others on topics specifically related to various accounting, technology, practice management and advisory services topics.
In Jim’s role as Managing Director of Advisory Services, Jim heads-up the Firm’s SOC, cloud solutions, business advisory, BPO, cybersecurity, data analytics, info-security and transactional services initiatives for the firm.
He is Past President for the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants and past Board and Council Member for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Jim has been continually named by Accounting Today as one of the Top 100 Most Influential people in the Accounting profession and has been named by The CPA Technology Advisor as a Top Thought Leader in Public Accounting Technology year after year.
About the Presentation
Mr. Bourke describes his topic: Technology and its use are constantly changing, and the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly played a big role in that transformation. Regardless, there’s a silver lining for accountants. Many accountants did not miss a beat—they had already been scaling the use of technology to conduct their own businesses and better service clients. Now they’re wondering if they’ll ever go back to the office. Accounting professionals have also been able to take advantage of new opportunities to derive revenue from the PPP applications, associated forgiveness documentation, as well as helping their clients deploy technology. “It’s part of everything we do now; we’re on Microsoft Teams and Zoom all day long. The ‘new normal’ is that there’s little reason to return to our physical offices.”
“Technology is a global language. I spend a lot of time in London, and also speak at conferences in Sydney and Dubai. Everyone there knows and speaks about Microsoft Office 365, Teams and Zoom—these technologies comprise our universal language, regardless of where we’re from. We’re in a profession that consists of tax, audit and advisory services. Clearly tax and audit regulations are different everywhere; however, when it comes to technology and advisory services, we all do the same thing. Software applications and generating revenue by providing advice do not have geographic boundaries.”
“I’ll be tailoring my presentation to the smaller firms. Technology used to be a differentiator, but the cloud has leveled the playing field. A sole practitioner can have the same technology as the largest firms on the planet. The challenge with COVID-19 work at home orders was replicating that technology environment at home. Regarding new technologies yet to be adapted, like artificial intelligence and machine learning, we as professionals, need to embrace them. If these technologies can help with automating and checking manual tasks, we can spend more time interpreting the data and advising our clients—high value services. Lastly, I’ll be addressing security and the challenges of a remote work environment. The silver lining here is that it represents another opportunity for revenue. In fact, cybersecurity is the fastest growing practice in my firm and also allows us to hire a more diverse workforce. What does the future hold? Yes, we’ll definitely be going back to our offices in a limited capacity. We do need human interaction, just not at the same level as in the past.”