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    Accounting 4.0: Don’t become Blockbuster Video

    Jeff Haskett, CEO of Clarus R+D, and Kevin Dehner, CPA at Clark Schaefer Hackett, authored this article for Accounting Today.

    Remember strolling through the aisles of Blockbuster Video to find just the right movie on Friday night? At its peak, Blockbuster owned over 9,000 video-rental stores throughout the United States and had 65 million customers. Today, aside from the lone Blockbuster storefront in Bend, Oregon, Blockbuster has essentially disappeared. Why?

    With Netflix nipping at its heels, Blockbuster was well aware of the future trend of streaming video. However, it underestimated how quickly the future would come. Once it decided to prioritize the change, it was too late. As people have begun to talk about “Accounting 4.0,” the change in our industry is now.

    Accounting 4.0

    As a result of increasing technology and automation, accounting firms are finding themselves at a crossroads where they will need to shift their primary focus from compliance to a more balanced approach including value-based consulting services.

    Compliance work will always be needed, but the question is who will provide it? As this work gets more commoditized and automated with technology, firms are already feeling competitive pressure from new tech-forward services offered online. To use the Blockbuster reference, people didn’t stop watching movies; they just shifted to a new delivery model when they struggled to see the value in the old one.

    Accounting 4.0 offers a more comprehensive and holistic approach to accounting. It connects physical with digital and allows for better collaboration and access between CPAs and their clients. Accounting 4.0 empowers firms to better control and understand clients, leverage data to boost productivity, improve processes and drive growth. Let’s embrace it as the opportunity that it is.

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