There's a great new software service for people wanting to build their own homes.
After answering a few simple questions like "how many reception rooms do you want?" and "will there be a utility room?" the user is presented with a design for a new house.
They can then drag and drop to change the arrangement of the rooms, resize any of the dimensions and position doors and other features to exactly where they want them. The software handles all of the technical issues in the background and prompts the user when they need to change something to make the overall scheme work properly.
When they are happy with the look and design of their new house, our home-builders can click a button to have the software automatically produce detailed plans for building regulations purposes and all of the associated paperwork. Another click allows them to submit the plans online to the local planning department for approval.
Now, unfortunately this software does not actually exist (yet); but if it did, do you think demand for the services of professional architects would decrease?
Do you think that the prices that architects can charge would go down overall? Can you envisage that the role of an architect might change; to being one where they add expert value to the software, rather than actually do the design and plans themselves?
If you are an accountant in practice the same technological and market forces are slowly coming to bear on you. Soon your clients will be able to do all of the year-end accounts compliance work for themselves, using new software services. You will no longer be the gatekeeper of the processes.
Are you prepared for work to disappear and for the prices you can charge to drop significantly? Are you positioning your firm to provide expert added-value instead?
You should be.