Writer: Sara Suarez
2 min read June 2022— Technology keeps absorbing industries. Following COVID disruptions, the professional services industry has been nothing but revolutionized; the focus, priorities, and very nature of the industry has changed.
Increased resiliency, new streams of revenue and maximized profits — the use of technology is radically changing how companies operate. However, in professional services, the use of technology has become part of the service. Here is what local Philadelphia professional services firm leaders shared with Invest: about their experience with today’s wave of innovation. Their responses indicate technology is changing not just the way they communicate with clients or conduct their operations but their professions.
Barry Pelagatti Managing Partner Southeastern PA, RKL LLP
Every industry and every profession, including the accounting industry, is going to continue to get more complex and more technical because there’s just so much of an evolution. But, if we are talking to an individual that’s looking to build their career, there’s so much opportunity and ability to access the knowledge on the technical side. Technology is going to play an even more important role in the future, such as programming and embracing artificial intelligence and data analytics. All that’s critical. But I feel like a lot of that is learnable, and it’s teachable. However, the individuals who are going to thrive are the ones that excel at soft skills like communication and building relationships.
Marc Tepper Managing Shareholder Philadelphia Office Buchanan Ingersoll
Technology has forever changed how we work, and its greatest impact that emerged during the pandemic was in litigation. There was a lot of concern about taking depositions by video, and it unnerved many people. But it ultimately worked better than any of us would have thought. It was difficult because we couldn’t read body language the same way as when you are in person, but using Zoom, Teams and other virtual platforms gave us unparalleled efficiency and cost savings by not having to travel. Though we welcome people back into the office and normal traditional workflow, this type of digital interaction is here to stay, and we are better for it.
We will likely keep much of the new technology that has made us all more efficient even after returning to the office full-time. We went out of our way to engage employees across the entire firm to ensure we were doing as much as possible to strike the right balance in work-life, home life, collaboration, and overall administrative efficiency.
Chris Hegarty Principal CliftonLarsonAllen
CLA has made a significant commitment to digital, assembling an ever-expanding talented team to address challenges by using technology. We developed digital tools to help our internal teams develop better and more efficient ways to serve our clients. Then, we turned our attention to identifying client challenges that we could help solve using technology to mine and interpret their data.
For example, our college and university clients collect an extraordinary amount of data about their student populations. If we can help them mine and interpret their data to identify students at a higher risk of leaving school, they can connect with those students and modify the outcome. Increasing student retention rates is very impactful for these institutions.
Jeffrey Zudeck, Regional Managing Partner – MidAtlantic, Marcum LLP
The human capital component and connecting with people are two major ways the firm has leveraged the digital environment. With technology, we have access to a much larger pool of human capital, which expands our ability to attract talent. We anticipate that it will also support retention by enlarging our capacity to accommodate flexible, remote work arrangements – an area where Marcum has been an industry leader since long before the pandemic. We also figured out how to leverage technology to reach very large audiences of clients and others. Marcum has long been noted for our events programs and being forced online by the pandemic compelled us to reimagine the way we deliver content and connect with our clients. In 2021, Marcum held 142 webinars with over 15,000 participants nationally. That immediate access to the right people in our firm has been a big benefit for our clients.
In addition, we are leveraging our technology solutions capability to help our clients in their businesses as well. Through Marcum Technology, we offer a full range of technology solutions in the areas of Digital Advisory Services, Infrastructure Solutions & Services, Strategic IT Consulting, and Cybersecurity & Digital Forensics. This is actually becoming one of the fastest growing areas of our business.
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