Drew Andrews Featured in INSIDE Public Accounting Profile
Managing Partner and CEO of Whittlesey, Drew Andrews, was featured in INSIDE Public Accounting's latest edition of IPA Profile. Earlier this year, Whittlesey was named a Top 200 Firm and a Best of the Best Firm by IPA.
Here's an excerpt from the article. To read the full profile, please visit.
What is the single biggest challenge facing your firm right now?
It’s what everyone would tell you right now – talent. I’ve seen in our little microcosm of the world that people are retiring from the profession and there just aren’t a lot of young folks coming in to replace them. So it’s going to be an ongoing challenge and it’s going to make us approach things a little bit differently. I always like to look for the positives in bad situations, and COVID taught us that we don’t have to necessarily hire people that can drive to our offices. We’ve embraced that more and now we probably have 10 to 12 people who work outside of the areas where our offices are. It started with existing employees who had to move for one reason or another during the pandemic and we didn’t want to lose them. But once we saw how well it could work, we thought we could start looking for new people outside of our geography as well. And it has positives and negatives, but we’re working it out.
Where do you expect to be focusing most of your attention in the next two to three years?
We’ll be focusing on automation and the use of artificial intelligence. I think that’s what younger people coming in are going to want to see and I think that’s what’s going to attract them to the profession and make them want to stay. As much as I hear people of my generation complain about this generation, I think of it as a cycle – the older generation was complaining about us when we came in back then too. I think young people these days are just talented in different ways and motivated by different things than we were, so we need to make sure we’re not just trying to make them us – that would be a failure. We have to adapt to where they are. That’s why automation is going to be huge, and firms are going to have to keep growing to be able to spread those technology costs around. The firms that aren’t on top of this are going to fall behind.
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