Organizational Development | Training & CPE

Our next challenge: Turning talent into leadership

CrystalFor years, an apparent staff shortage has left everyone in the profession praying for more CPAs, and now it looks as though we’re on the verge of having those prayers answered.

According to the AICPA, more than 64,000 students graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting in the 2006-07 school year. That’s the largest number of graduates in the 36 years the AICPA has been tracking this kind of data.

Now the question is, how do we take advantage of all of this new talent? How do we turn them into leaders not only for firms and companies, but for the profession as well?

Kirsten Owings has some ideas. She's the senior human resources manager at the Timonium office of Clifton Gunderson, and she says the next generation of CPAs is thirsty for knowledge. Giving them that knowledge -- as well as a healthy dose of leadership training and mentoring -- just might ensure a bright future for everyone.

"They want so much information," Owings says of new accounting grads, "and if we can give it to them, that's only going to help position us for the future and help them grow as leaders."

I spoke with Owings on the phone recently about how she thinks the profession can make the most of this influx of new talent. Listen to what she has to say in this CPA Spotlight podcast.

If you'd prefer, you can read a transcript of our conversation.

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What are you doing to groom your new CPAs for leadership positions in your organization ... and in the profession?


Bill Sheridan