We are excited to announce The Sound of Automation, a monthly podcast series brought to you by Clayton & McKervey.
Before we start releasing the main episodes for this podcast, we wanted to give a little background about why a CPA firm would want to host a podcast focusing on industrial automation.
When Clayton & McKervey opened in the mid-1950s, we were a staff of a couple dozen people providing general tax and accounting services, mostly supporting the automotive supply industry.
Fast forward to 2021, we have over 75 people on staff with a focus on entrepreneurs and closely held growth-driven companies. However, we’re really known as business advisors offering help to our clients in any way possible – and now specifically in the industrial automation industry.
We get that some people might be scratching their heads at why a CPA firm would be focusing on industrial automation. And producing a podcast about it? The truth is, it made too much sense not to.
Being involved in the business community, Clayton & McKervey has had the pleasure of working with a Michigan-based organization called Automation Alley for almost 20 years. Automation Alley is a World Economic Forum Advanced Manufacturing Hub (AMHUB) and a nonprofit Industry 4.0 knowledge center with a global outlook and a regional focus.
About five years ago, we had the pleasure of attending a national industrial automation conference produced by the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA), and were able to meet with companies from all over the industry. One thing that became apparent very quickly: there were so many companies that were growing and didn’t know how to keep up with their growth.
This realization also coincided with the newfound focus of Industry 4.0. This is what Forbes has to say about this new industrial revolution:
“We’re in the midst of a significant transformation regarding the way we produce products thanks to the digitization of manufacturing. This transition is so compelling that it is being called Industry 4.0 to represent the fourth revolution that has occurred in manufacturing. […] The fourth industrial revolution will take what was started in the third with the adoption of computers and automation and enhance it with smart and autonomous systems fueled by data and machine learning. A combination of cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things and the Internet of Systems make Industry 4.0 possible and the smart factory a reality”
And you still might be asking, “What does any of this have to do with a CPA firm?”
After attending a number of these conferences, we realized that so many companies in this industry needed an accounting firm that could be looked at as a trusted advisor.
Right away, we were aware that the Research and Experimentation (R&E) tax credit, commonly referred to as the R&D credit, is a key way to help businesses continue their growth. The R&D credit is a tax credit that has almost always been handled by specialty firms working with Fortune 500 companies.
After learning more about the industrial automation segment, we realized that it is filled with small to mid-sized companies that need more of a personal touch. They needed a CPA firm that understands both their normal tax and accounting numbers, as well as the R&D credit.
With that in mind, Clayton & McKervey set out to be a one-stop-shop for the industrial automation industry.
We realized we can offer a lot of different things. We’re not just doing compliance tax and accounting. On top of being able to handle R&D credits, we offer transaction services to help companies looking to buy or sell all or some of their business.
Another big trend we’ve seen is succession planning. We’re seeing a lot of industrial automation companies with engineers that started their businesses 20 or 30 years ago who are now trying to hand it off to a second generation.
It’s always been our goal to help businesses navigate their industry and internal processes. With all of these trends and data available to us, we had the idea of starting a podcast. This is just another avenue where we can get that information out.
We’ve been writing blogs and publishing articles on this topic for quite some time, but we understand how busy people are these days. With this new series, you can download the podcast right to your phone or laptop and listen to it while you’re driving out to a client or on your way home.
Episodes will generally be about 30 minutes long and each will focus on one topic or industry segment, such as:
- Remote Working
- Scheduling + Billable Time
- Succession Planning and Transition
- Digital Transformation
- Tax Credits
- Analytics and KPIs
- Fraud/Internal Audit
- The Value of Networking
- And Much More!
As a Detroit-based company with many Michigan clients, we’re also going to focus on what industrial automation means to this automotive hub: How has it been changing the industry? How does industrial automation impact different types of businesses? How can Clayton & McKervey educate small to mid-sized companies about changing the dynamic of their manufacturing?
People have a fear that automation is going to take away jobs, but it’s just going to change the way we do jobs. Our goal with this series is to generate momentum in this space from a financial and business management standpoint.
Our hope is you take at least one piece of information that you can apply to your business moving forward.
We thrive on finding the opportunities and solutions you deserve.