What is the secret to success in the future?
How do you prepare for the future when you don't know what is going to happen five minutes from now?
The AICPA and state CPA societies collaborated and crowdsourced the future of the CPA profession over the past year and recently released the CPA Horizons 2025 Report, which outlines the process and conclusions. This report was unanimously adopted by the governing AICPA Council at its fall 2011 meeting.
MACPA past Chair Kimberly Ellison-Taylor served on the Advisory Panel and was front and center on a panel at Council to discuss the findings and the work. The group took the results and synthesized them into the final report, which was discussed and updated with the comments of more than 300 council members. The comments were added and the report published overnight for the vote on Wednesday morning. That is crowdsourcing at its best.
The process involved more than 5,600 participants via the web, 1,000 in intense grassroots future forums (500 nationally across eight cities and 600 in Maryland), focus groups, interviews with regulators, and the final input of the AICPA Council. All told, those efforts generated 75,000 comments.
Here are some of the insights in the report, "Embracing the Future" (page 45):
- It is a small world after all: Every business must become a global business.
- The future is here: Embracing the future now will ensure our viability in the long run.
- Change is inevitable: Technology is changing the way we work, and the change will continue.
- Generations are working side by side: Baby Boomers are not retiring (soon) and Millennials are bringing a new set of skills and ideals into the workplace.
What we must do:
- Be open to change: Embrace, don't fear the future.
- Be nimble: Adapt traditional services and establish new ones to take advantage of change.
- Be collaborative: Work with each other and with the global community to shape and execute the standards and services that will emerge over the next decade.
- Be forward-thinking: Assess and evaluate the current and future environments and plan accordingly.
Download your copy of the CPA Horizons 2025 report here.
If you are in or near Maryland, stop by one of our townhall meetings (4 hours of free CPE) and hear about the latest results.
- MACPA's CPA Horizons Project: See the top trends to watch and an actual report from the Future Forums.
- See a series of videos from CPAs, students, educators, young professionals about their experiences in the future forums.
- How about holding a future forum for your firm or organization? Click here.
- CPA Horizons 2025 website, full of great resources and research from leading futurists from the AICPA.
- Prior posts from CPA Success here and here.
- Pictures from the Future Forums.