Client Advisory Services (CAS) continues its rise as an engine of growth and revenue in the accounting profession, some firms are experiencing whiplash: As they move to launch new practices and evolve existing ones, their people are having a difficult time keeping up. The technology is ready, but their people are not prepared for the changes they must make to ensure success.
This challenge is not unique to CAS. Any organization that has undergone a transformation or launched new capabilities has likely encountered similar obstacles. Nor does this challenge necessarily reflect shortcomings on the part of CAS staffers, many of whom are quite capable of rising to meet the moment. Instead, the underlying problem is typically a lack of preparation on the part of firm and CAS leadership, who are often focused on specific aspects such as technology selection, implementation, and adoption. Meanwhile, the job of managing all the changes happening in the firm is pushed to the back burner, despite the fact that the ability to manage changes is a key indicator of success in any transformation.
A thoughtful approach to change management, informed by the lessons of pioneering firms that have successfully launched and expanded their CAS practices, can help firms avoid predictable challenges from the start. In this article, we’ll examine the most important change management activities firms should take to ensure the success of their CAS journeys, drawing directly from the experiences of successful leaders in the field. ere