Company to Watch in 2024: How Wipfli’s Digital Transformation Will Allow the Company to ‘Evolve the Way We Work’

In 2024, Wipfli will introduce tech like a new client hub, a new finance and people management system, along with refreshed marketing and sales platforms

Written by Taylor Rose
Published on Feb. 29, 2024
Company to Watch in 2024: How Wipfli’s Digital Transformation Will Allow the Company to ‘Evolve the Way We Work’
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In a time when AI can drive a car, companies are making inflatable habitats for humans to live in space, and scientists predict that 3D printing human organs is right around the corner, it might seem strange to say that a lot of companies have a hard time with digital transformation. 

Digital transformation is far easier said than done. Only 30 percent of digital transformation efforts succeed, according to Wipfli. And if any company knows how digital transformation actually shakes out, it’s Wipfli. 

Wipfli is an advisory and accounting firm with a hand in everything from manufacturing to healthcare. By 2030, the company will join the ranks of 0.8 percent of US businesses that are over 100 years old. Part of what has contributed to the longevity of the business is Wipfli’s commitment to asking customers what they expect to see in the future. Wipfli gathers this information into annual reports, like the 2024 “state of rural healthcare” report or the 2024 report on banking and credit unions, amongst many others. These reports often show how different industries adopt new kinds of technology and at what pace. 

“Too many organizations chalk up transformation failures to technology,” Billy Collins, a senior manager, noted in a Wipfli blog. “It might not be the technology, though — it might be that you need to look at your people, processes and then technology.” 

Wipfli also has a business arm known as Wipfli Digital that offers things like cybersecurity and strategic AI services to customers. In 2024, Wipfli plans to undergo an internal digital transformation leveraging the expertise of Wipfli Digital. 

Wipfli is following its advice when it comes to implementing new tech — the company is taking a holistic approach to digital transformation that started with careful strategy and roadmapping. Built In spoke with Wipfli Growth Partner Brian Blaha about how he expects the tech changes to impact customers and what the company is looking for in new talent to support the process. 

 

What can people expect from Wipfli’s digital transformation in 2024?

Brian Blaha
Wipfli Growth Partner • Wipfli

We expect to continue to grow across the measures most important to our business and industry, including hiring more professionals, expanding our service offering, adding more clients in our areas of focus and innovating how we help organizations solve problems. With over 3,000 associates and nearly 300 partners and principals serving approximately 60,000 clients, we are a leader in our industry with considerable momentum entering the new year,

Leveraging our commitment to technology areas, we intend to build on digital strategy and transformation across financial systems, enterprise platforms such as Dynamics, Salesforce and data management. Supporting these efforts, we’re going to continue to strengthen our marketing capabilities, leveraging our Wipfli Digital brand, as we expand our presence nationally and focus on recruiting people with diverse backgrounds who want to grow with us.

 

That’s a lot of changes to take on. Does any one initiative feel representative of your road map for the coming year? 

For me, it’s not just one initiative but the continued transformation underway at Wipfli. A big part of our transformation is centered on significant investments in technology — affectionately called the “Big Three” internally. 

We are investing in a client hub, which will be the centerpiece of how we interact with clients, a new finance and people management system and reconstituting our marketing and sales platforms. These technology systems will allow us to evolve how we work, leveraging technology to automate or reduce processing tasks to allow for more time to spend advising and consulting with clients to help them grow and thrive.  

 

What is your role in making this initiative a success?

I am privileged to be a part of the steering committees for these large initiatives and lead the transformation of our sales and marketing initiatives. To provide vision and oversight to these large projects requires me to be curious about what is possible and understand best practices in our industry and, more importantly, outside our industry. 

A big part of this effort includes attracting talent with the skill sets necessary to support these large-scale projects.  

 

“A big part of this effort includes attracting talent with the skill sets necessary to support these large-scale projects.”

 

What are you looking for in new associates who want to be part of these large-scale projects? 

From an external client service perspective, we are leveraging our internal and client service learnings with these new technologies to serve clients in new and exciting ways. We’re seeing advancements in our clients’ workflow and processes to help them run their business more efficiently and effectively. Exploring these innovations is part of a culture that rewards ideas and promotes collaboration among new employees and veterans alike. 

To support our client work, we are looking for new associates who want to learn and grow with us. In fact, you can’t not learn at Wipfli. We’re committed to providing ongoing training and ensuring our recruits are given opportunities to not only build on their skill sets but also share their views on how to solve our clients’ problems. 

Our road map to success requires that our teams work together and maintain an openness to new technologies and ways of doing things. We’re looking for people who value this approach and want to participate in our firm’s success. 

 

Read More People First: How Balance, Connection and Growth Power ‘The Wipfli Way’

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by Shutterstock and listed companies.

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