Episode #124: Interview with Gary and Jim Boomer

We were thrilled to interview Gary and Jim Boomer, the father/son team at the head of Boomer Consulting. Both are recognized as among the most influential people in the accounting profession.

Biographies

L. Gary Boomer is the Visionary & Strategist of Boomer Consulting, Inc., an organization that provides consulting services and peer communities to leading accounting firms. BCI's vision is to make you more successful and future ready. The areas of focus are: Planning, People and Processes with technology as the accelerator.

Jim Boomer is the CEO at Boomer Consulting, Inc.  He is a;so the director of the Boomer Technology Circles, The Producer Circle, The CIO Advantage and an expert on managing technology within an accounting firm.  He also serves as a strategic planning and technology consultant and firm adviser to CPA firms across the country.

Segment One Questions

Gary, how many years in a row have you made the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting list? (Gary: “It’s based on frequent flyer miles.”).

Tell us about your backgrounds?

Jim, you worked at Arthur Andersen. What was it like, during the Enron scandal, to think you were part of a firm with ethical lapses, especially from a leadership perspective?

Gary, you say the difference between the good and great firms is leadership. What does that mean to you?

Why aren’t CPA firms as focused as, say, Apple?

Segment Two Questions

Joe Woodard refers to Gary as the “pied piper of the top 100 firms.” What do you both think are the major trends, along with biggest challenges and opportunities facing the accounting profession?

Do you see a bold enough vision coming from CPA firm leaders? They love to talk about increasing realization by 4%, but is the vision inspiring?

We’ve been hearing for decades about how important it is for the CPA profession to move from compliance to advisory services. Do you see a lot of movement in advisory services within the larger firms?

If it’s about skill-set, tool-set and mind-set, will firms have to expand the labor pool from which they draw, and not just hire people with technical accounting education?

When you look at Top 100 firms’ revenue that comes from consulting, it’s usually higher than for the firms below the Top 100. Would you agree with that?

Segment Three Questions

What are the implications of Blockchain, triple entry accounting, and Bitcoin for the accounting profession?

With Amazon’s Echo (“Alexa”), can you see a day where someone could ask, “Hey, Alexa, what’s the name of the nearest CPA firm that can handle X?” Or even, Alexa answering a question that normally would be asked of the CPA?

Segment Four Questions

In specific firms, there are a lot of initiatives—from reforming annual performance appraisals, adopting knowledge management, cloud accounting, value pricing, etc.—that require change management. Do you see much innovation in management philosophy among the large firms?

What’s going on with Value Pricing within the Top 100 firms? Is the leadership really ready to embrace it?

Comment

Ed Kless

Ed Kless joined Sage in July of 2003 and is currently the senior director of partner development and strategy. He develops and delivers curriculum for Sage business partners on the art and practice of small business consulting. Courses include: Sage Consulting Academy, Business Strategy and Customer Experience Workshops. Ed is the author of The Soul of Enterprise: Dialogues on Business in the Knowledge Economy, a compendium of a few of the episodes of his VoiceAmerica talk-show The Soul of Enterprise: Business in the Knowledge Economy with Ron Baker, founder of the VeraSage Institute where Ed is also a senior fellow.