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The Anticipatory Accountant - How to Get Ahead and Stay Ahead - IFAC


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This presentation was done for the IFAC SMP (Small to Medium Practice Committee).

Recent research says that the business environment for CPAs and their clients will be characterized by “unprecedented, massive and highly accelerated change” through 2025. To thrive in this new age of hyper-change and growing uncertainty, it is now an imperative to learn a new competency—how to accurately anticipate the future. The key to success in this fast-changing environment is to commit to changing before you are being forced to. This session will offer insights into the changing dynamic of the CPA Profession. Tom covers the five key steps for accountants to be future-ready:
1) initiate change before you are disrupted;
2) go digital;
3) elevate skills - if you automate you must elevate;
4) protect the core and stimulate progress; and
5) enjoy the ride.

In a period of rapid change, such as the one we are all living in, those who are aware, predictive, and adaptive will lead the charge for success in the firms of tomorrow, and enjoy the ride.

Learning objectives:
- Understand the latest trends facing CPA firms and the accounting market
- Learn about the shifts in CPA Practices and the top challenges they are facing
- Identify opportunities to use this market knowledge to position your products and services

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The Anticipatory Accountant - How to Get Ahead and Stay Ahead - IFAC

  1. The Anticipatory Accountant How to Get Ahead and Stay Ahead Tom Hood, CPA, CITP, CGMA CEO Maryland Association of CPAs Business Learning Institute
  2. The # 1 Challenge
  3. Sleeter Group Survey 2014 The #1 Challenge! The #1 reason clients leave their CPA firm is that they did not get proactive advice only reactive (historical) services.
  4. Top Challenges 1.  Information overload 2.  Doing more with less 3.  Changing accounting and technology systems 4.  Not enough time 5.  Being reactive vs proactive 6.  Finding and retaining talent/ Succession planning
  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. “We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before.” Klaus Schwab onThe Fourth Industrial Revolution – World Economic Forum
  7. Borrowed from the US Army War College,VUCA was coined by Bob Johansen ofThe Institute for the Future to describe the rapidly changing and complex business environment since the Great Recession of 2008.
  8. Exponential Pace of Change
  9. Race Against the Machines? Source: Frey & Osborne –The Future of Employment – Oxford University
  10. “One interesting finding of the survey is that CPA firms, early majority or not, don’t really see a competitive threat from specific challengers.” – Erik Asgeirsson – CEO of CPA.COM
  11. You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf. – Jon Kabat-Zinn
  12. 5 Steps to be Future Ready 1. Initiate Change 2. Go Digital 3. Elevate Skills 4. Protect the Core 5. Enjoy the Ride
  13. If it can be done it will be done and if you don’t do it, someone else will. – Dan Burrus Initiate Change
  14. Start with Certainty Three HardTrends: 1. Government Regulation 2. Technology 3. Demographics
  15. Top Tech Trends Machine Learning,Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Blockchain, Big Data,Augmented Reality, Drones
  16. Go Digital - Create Capacity 1.  Maximize software & tools you have 2.  Use the latest and most efficient technologies 3.  Workflow & Process Efficiency 4.  Engage your people
  17. If you automate, you must elevate, (the skills of your team). - Mike Walsh futurist Elevate your skills
  18. Live Content Slide When playing as a slideshow, this slide will display live content Poll: What are the top skills you need for leadership? Pick 5
  19. Top Skills Needed for Accounting and Finance Professionals BLI Research in 2015 with over 1,000 responses from all segments of the CPA Profession identified these top skill needed to be successful in these rapidly changing times.This confirms and reinforces the research from the Conference Board, AICPA CPA Horizons 2025 report, Bersin, and Burrus Research.. 75% covered by theseTop 5 Skills
  20. Core values: •  Integrity •  Competence •  Lifelong learning •  Objectivity •  Commitment to excellence CPAs…Making sense of a changing and complex world CPAs are trusted advisors who help people and organizations shape their future. Combining insight with integrity… Protect the Core – Purpose & Values
  21. We are in the “Groan Zone” Enjoy the Ride – Learning and Innovation
  22. 5 Steps to be Future Ready 1. Initiate Change 2. Go Digital 3. Elevate Skills 4. Protect the Core 5. Enjoy the Ride
  23. Closing Thoughts For CPAs
  24. Rearview Mirror to Windshield View Past to Future Reactive to Proactive Insight to Action Future Ready CPAs are PROACTIVE!
  25. Disruption and RONI The gap is widening, faster! Source: Clayton Christensen, “Innovation Killers” We think this is trade-off
  26. Calendar -The No. 1 App Spend just one hour per week in the future…
  27. The Association CEO’s Perspective Never be afraid to seek inspiration from your past. - Bill Taylor, founder of FastCompany Magazine
  28. Connect ‒ Protect - Achieve
  29. Poll: What are the most valuable benefits of MACPA membership to you? 1.  Advocacy – ProtecKng my CPA license 2.  Helping my career – Learning 3.  Helping me stay future ready 4.  Future scout – Watching future trends 5.  ConnecKng and networking NEW! NEW!
  30. Protect!
  31. AccounKng firms conKnuing diversificaKon $50 billion 40 30 20 10 2010 $42 $9 $12 $19 Revenue split at top 100 accounting firms 2014 $54 $17 $15 $20 Advisory services 91% growth! now nearly one-third of revenue Tax 17% growth but now just over one-quarter of revenue Audit and accounting 6% growth now 37% of revenue — was 45% in 2010 Other
  32. MACPA Student Leadership Academy – June, 2015
  33. New CPAs Swearing-in Ceremony
  34. MACPA Leadership Academy – August, 2015
  35. ‘Future Ready’ means helping our member adapt faster
  36. HardTrends Three HardTrends: 1. Government Regulation 2. Technology 3. Demographics
  37. Constant learning! is THE only competitive advantage!
  38. Leading the naKon in learning innovaKon New CPE Rules EffecKve in MD March 31, 2015 Adopted by AICPA NASBA September, 2016.
  39. Our approach to learning Nano – Rapid ApplicaKon - Curriculum Blended – ILT – e-learning curriculum Nano – 10-minute learning, App for content curaKon and reading journals. CollaboraKon and engagement tools ThinkTank,, MBSN
  40. •  AnKcipaKon •  Strategic Thinking •  External Awareness •  Vision •  ConKnuous Learning •  InnovaKon •  CreaKvity •  Problem Solving •  PrioriKzaKon •  Business Acumen •  Decisiveness •  Influencing/ Persuading •  EmoKonal Intelligence •  Consensus Building •  CollaboraKon •  InspiraKon •  Risk Management •  CommunicaKon
  41. 28 lessons – 4 modules – 1 hour/week •  Very short single-concept videos (mini TED Talks) •  Rapid applicaKon exercises •  Visual job aids to reinforce learning Anticipatory Organization - designed to learn more in less time
  42. Tom’ Principles •  The learning curve is the earning curve •  Leaders are readers •  Your network is your net worth •  The collaboraKon curve > experience curve
  43. Tom’s Favorite Tools “Use the tools, don’t let the tools use you.” – Francine McKenna •  Twiler •  Linked-In •  Blog • •  Evernote • • • •  Kindle
  44. BLI & Future of Learning 1. Social Learning. 2. Mobile / nano 3. Competency-based learning 4. Collaborative 5. Cloud-based
  45. Questions
  46. 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 Person in Accounting by Accounting Today Magazine Top 150 Influencer by Linked-In Top 25 Influencers in Learning & HR by HR Examiner Top 25 Public Accounting Thought Leaders by CPA Practice Adviser Working on Learning Management with AICPA/CPA2Biz, Cloud Curriculum, Performance Management, Leadership & Generations CEO Maryland Association of CPAs (MACPA) Business Learning Institute (BLI)