MACPA Major Firms Identify Top Technology Trends and Skills for the Future

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Earlier this week we gathered about twenty of the managing partners of Maryland's largest CPA firms to hear an update on the major issues facing the Profession. Wayne Berson, long-time MACPA member and CEO of BDO, the nation's sixth largest CPA Firm, provided an update from the AICPA's Major Firms meeting of the Top 100 firms.

It is no surprise that the major theme was the increasing rate of change happening in the Profession. From standards and regulatory changes to the advent of cognitive computing and artificial intelligence coming to auditing (see AI is coming faster than you may think).

While some say, we have seen change before, most agreed that the size, scale, and speed of change are different this time and the word 'transformation' of the profession versus incremental change was a major topic of discussion.

The presentations from Wayne and I covered these four major categories:

Technology - the major developments in technology and accounting are challenging us to rethink the future of the audit and adopt new technologies and explore fast growing practice areas like Client Accounting Services. Big Data and
Talent - if you automate, you must elevate the skills of your people. These exponential times require us to challenge what we learn and how we learn. You can see the top skills they identified in the report below.
Time
Transformation

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MACPA Major Firms Identify Top Technology Trends and Skills for the Future

  1. Maryland Major Firms Group March, 6, 2017
  2. Top Challenges 3 1.  Finding and retaining talent/ Succession planning 2.  Staff development 3.  Information overload ‒ changing standards and regs 4.  Pace of change and keeping up 5.  Engaging our people
  3. Top Skills Needed 4 1.  Strategic & CriFcal Thinking 2.  CommunicaFon 3.  Inspiring and MoFvaFng Others 4.  CollaboraFon and mobilizing consent 5.  InnovaFon and creaFvity 6.  AnFcipaFng & Serving Evolving Needs
  4. Top Technology Trends 5 1.  Big Data AnalyFcs 2.  AdapFve & predicFve cyber-security 3.  ArFficial intelligence, cogniFve compuFng in audit and tax 4.  VirtualizaFon and automaFon of processes and services 5.  Blockchains 6.  Mobile apps, smartphones, tablets for business 7.  Augmented and virtual reality applicaFons 8.  Internet of Things, 9.  Visual communicaFons 10. Social business applicaFons Source: 2017 Top technology Trends – Burrus Research
  5. #FutureReady! Is the capacity to be anticipatory (aware, predictive and adaptive) of emerging technology and trends in business, demographics, and the social environment impacting your organization and industry. Source: CPA.COM Insight into the CPA of the Future Study 2014 92% of CPAs Not #futureready
  6. Our insights… The responses from these surveys are consistent with our polls from across the AccounFng Profession including public company finance and accounFng, public accounFng, government and small – mid-size business and NFPs. They are also consistent with global competency research from Fortune 500 companies. One opportunity is to focus training and development on the criFcal skills parFcipants are idenFfying, especially in the area of ‘strategic thinking’ and ‘anFcipaFon (being aware, predicFve and adapFve of future trends and issues). These skills elevate and accelerate people’s ability to adapt to major changes in addiFon to finding creaFve and innovaFve ways to add value to the business. Our research consistently shows the need for finance and accounFng teams to add insights to the business. We now have several new training tools available to support individuals and most importantly groups in developing these skills.
  7. •  Anticipating, introducing and managing change; •  Building consensus and commitment; •  Inspiring others toward a challenging future vision; •  Leading across generations and mobilizing people around a shared purpose. The top four skills needed to navigate aVUCA world BLI Leadership Academy andThe Anticipatory Organization learning programs address these critical competencies and more. Source: Conference Board 2015 Ready-Now Leaders Report
  8. This led to our work with world renowned futurist and business advisor and best-selling author, Daniel Burrus of Burrus Research.We worked with Dan to add the context of the accounting and finance profession to his Anticipatory Organization learning system to create the Anticipatory Organization”Accounting and Finance edition. http://www.blionline.org/ao
  9. ANTICIPATION Strategic Thinking External Awareness Vision ConFnuous Learning InnovaFon CreaFvity Problem Solving PrioriFzaFon Business Acumen Decisiveness Influencing/Persuading EmoFonal Intelligence Consensus Building CollaboraFon InspiraFon Risk Management The competency of “anticipation” actually includes a number of competencies included in many of the top companies of today. Across these models, you'll see a common theme of "strategic thinking," "innovation" and "leading change." Many of these organizations build (and validate) fantastic competency models and know what they want people to do. The beauty of the Anticipatory Organization model is that it offers a clear process that makes highly-abstract leadership competencies attainable and trainable in a self-directed e-learning system featuring short single-concept videos with rapid application learning exercises. If an organization wants to make "strategic thinking" or "innovation" a core competency, we can provide clear, trainable activities that can be targeted to a wide range of learners (from individual contributors to senior leadership). We provide the bridge between the competency model and the desired observable behaviors. Anticipation –The Critical Competency
  10. •  16-20 hours of learning in bite size nano format •  100 pages of job aids and exercises
  11. 28 lessons – 4 modules – 1 hour/week •  Very short single-concept videos •  Rapid applicaFon exercises •  Visual job aids to reinforce learning
  12. E-learning versus Traditional Learning •  $30 increase in productivity for every $1 invested for 30X return •  18% increase in employee engagement •  Reduces learning time 25 to 60 percent •  Increases retention of learning dramatically •  Keeps them productive and able to self-pace around busy schedules
  13. "The Anticipatory Organization Learning System helps establish a mindset, a common language and eventually a culture of being anticipatory for our clients. By making this anticipatory skillset a core strength of our teams, it brings creative and new ideas that make us more valuable to our clients and it creates a game changer for our firm.” -  Joey Havens, CPA Executive Partner, HORNE LLP Top 50 CPA Firm
  14. AOAF recognized as 2016 Top learning Product “Everyone keeps telling accountants that they need to change their focus from the historic and the backward-looking, and to start being proactive and offering future-focused advice – but no one tells them how. The beauty of the Anticipatory Organization program is that it actually gives you a set of tools to harness the hard trends that are shaping the future, and use them to create new value for your firm and your clients.” -  Daniel Hood, Editor-in-Chief, Accounting Today
  15. Books These are among the resources that were discussed during the our “Future-Ready CPA” programs. The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts By Richard and Daniel Susskind www.susskind.com The Fourth Industrial Revolution By Klaus Schwab bit.ly/1qLrfzs Flash Foresight: How To See The Invisible And Do The Impossible By Daniel Burrus bit.ly/1SOn7FG The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress And Prosperity In A Time of Brilliant Technologies By Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee www.SecondMachineAge.com The Industries Of The Future By Alec Ross bit.ly/2fP8cnU The End of Accounting, and the Path Forward for Investors and Managers By Baruch Lev and Feng Gu amzn.to/2hvHs90
  16. Resources These are among the resources that were discussed during the our “Future-Ready CPA” programs. The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts By Richard and Daniel Susskind www.susskind.com What SMBs Want From Their Accountant From The Sleeter Group bit.ly/2fCsvkc Welcome to the Fast Future From CPA.com bit.ly/2gdHlBj The Fourth Industrial Revolution By Klaus Schwab bit.ly/1qLrfzs Flash Foresight: How To See The Invisible And Do The Impossible By Daniel Burrus bit.ly/1SOn7FG The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs To Computerization? By Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne bit.ly/1kre5T6
  17. What SMBs Want From Their Accountant From The Sleeter Group bit.ly/2fCsvkc Welcome to the Fast Future From CPA.com bit.ly/2gdHlBj The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs To Computerization? By Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne bit.ly/1kre5T6 CPA Horizons 2025 From the American Institute of CPAs bit.ly/1UEN1x2 Innovation Killers: How Financial Tools Destroy Your Capacity To Do New Things By Clayton Christensen, Stephen P. Kaufman and Willy Shih bit.ly/1JtBxfG Ready-Now Leaders: Meeting Tomorrow’s Business Challenges From DDI bit.ly/V05HQ6 Whitepapers These are among the resources that were discussed during the our “Future-Ready CPA” programs.
  18. If there is a conversation about the future of the profession, you're bound to hear Hood's name mentioned as one of the people leading the way. – Accounting Today Tom Hood, CPA, CITP, CGMA CPA Practice Adviser Accounting Hall of Fame Named the Second Most Influential in Accounting by Accounting Today Magazine 2013 - 2015 Top 150 Influencer by Linked-In Top 25 Influencers in Learning & HR - HR Examiner Top 25 Public Accounting Thought Leaders - CPA Practice Adviser Co-founder of the Business Learning Institute CEO Maryland Association of CPAs (MACPA) www.macpa.org Business Learning Institute (BLI) www.blionline.org http://www.linkedin.com/in/tomhood/
  19. www.blionline.org
  20. http://www.blionline.org

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