September 16, 2016

Look, Ma, No Hands!

Look, Ma, No Hands!

Today will go down in the calendar as one of the most momentous days of 2016. Yes, it is the day that proves we, here at Marcum, have lived to tell another tale about surviving the September 15 tax filing deadline. But it is also the day that the iPhone “hits puberty,” as the New York Times put it. The long-awaited debut of the iPhone 7 is finally here.

Ok, so maybe it’s not the biggest thing happening in your personal world, but even if you’re a die-hard android fan (up until the recall of the Galaxy 7), you have to admit that every time Apple ups the game, the rest of the world stops turning for a minute to see what new features (or eliminations) are now going to rule the universe.

The big thing with the iPhone 7 is the wireless headset, which everyone seems to be saying will revolutionize the way everyone listens to music (AirPods, anyone?). It’s also supposed to have significantly greater speed, a better camera, longer battery life and water resistance. So I guess once the world starts turning again, we can expect it will spin faster.

Every time Apple or a major innovator in any other industry introduces a technology that advances the way we live or the way we operate our businesses, I think back to when accounting firms first realized we would have to become paperless. Being typical accountants, we were loath to let go of our green bar ledgers and accordion folders.

Today, technology is at the epicenter of our business. Marcum’s technology department is now more than twice as large as the whole Firm was when I became managing partner in 1990. Our IT team of 45 is responsible for the system that facilitates our business while ferociously protecting our clients’ information. The way we communicate (this blog, for instance, and of course, that necessary evil, email) is also technology-dependent. We now embrace technology so completely that Marcum actually offers two specialized technology services to our clients. Our IT Risk & Assurance Services Practice group advises clients on minimizing and managing their cybersecurity exposure. And Marcum Technology LLC, our affiliate in the Marcum Group, provides a full range of data and network services as an integrated solutions vendor (ISV).

It’s 180 degrees from our days with calculators and erasers. And it reminds me that just because you can’t always see change coming or visualize how it’s going to play out, doesn’t mean change is inherently bad. Scary? Yes (sometimes). Bad? Not necessarily. Change usually ends up being what enables companies to survive into the future and to continue thriving. It keeps us from being complacent and keeps us moving from “good” to “better.”

The honest truth is, I don’t know if the iPhone 7 is going to turn out to be the next best thing since sliced bread. Maybe it’ll have kinks (poor Samsung!). But I can tell you this: I’m going to get one and be forced to abandon my current headphones. But chances are, all the bells and whistles that come with it will become my new normal in no time.

Then I’ll just have to wait it out for the iPhone 8.