BLI Leadership | Business Strategy | Corporate Finance & Governance

Top Five Issues Facing CFOs and Management Accountants

What are the top five issues facing Maryland CFOs, controllers and management accountants? What is their outlook on their businesses? On Maryland's economy? On the U.S. economy? How future-ready are they?

These questions were answered by more than 100 CPAs, CFOs, controllers, and management accountants at the Maryland Association of CPAs’ Professional Issues Update / town hall meeting for members in business and industry, held on March 20 in Towson, Md.

Those in attendance responded to interactive survey questions via the MACPA’s interactive conference-participation app, powered by

The group was comprised predominately of CFOs, controllers, and management accountants with 23.6 years of experience. Forty-four percent have the CGMA (Chartered Global Management Accountant) designation, 6 percent have the CITP (Certified Information Technology Professional) designation, 3 percent have the IIA (Institute of Internal Auditors) designation, and 3 percent have the CMA (Certified Management Accountant) designation. Forty-four percent have other designations as well. Eighty percent work in business, industry, and non-profit areas of Maryland.

What's on the mind of Maryland CPAs, CFOs, Controllers and management accountants in 2015 from Tom Hood, CPA,CITP,CGMA

Only 6 percent identify themselves as “future-ready” — defined as the capacity to be aware, predictive, and adaptive of emerging challenges, technology innovations, and trends and changes in business, population, and social environment. Forty-eight percent say they are “getting stuck in the day-to-day” and 46 percent say they are spending more time on future and strategic work. Fifty-six percent say they spend less than half of their time on traditional accounting and financial reporting functions.

Regarding economic issues,  54 percent are very optimistic or somewhat optimistic about their businesses’ economic outlook, while 45 percent  are optimistic about Maryland’s economic outlook. Only 35 percent are optimistic about the U.S. economy, citing health care, government debt, and an uncertain regulatory climate as major issues.

The top five Issues they identified are:

  1. Information overload
  2. Doing more with less
  3. Being reactive vs. proactive
  4. Managing change
  5. Managing technology

Three upcoming events for CFOs, controllers, CGMAs, and managegemt accountants:

  • On April 17, the MACPA is proud to sponsor the Baltimore Business Journal's CFO Best in Finance Awards at the Baltimore Hilton. We have arranged for a discount for MACPA members (use code MACPA2015). Get further information and register here.
  • On May 4, the MACPA and the Business Learning Institute will be hosting world-renowned technology forecaster, innovation expert, and New York Times best-selling author Daniel Burrus to talk about how CPAs, CFOs, controllers, and management accountants can be more future-ready by learning how to be anticipatory. In today’s business landscape, Burrus calls anticipation “the most important missing competency.” For more information, visit
  • May 7 is the MACPA's annual Business and Industry Conference at Turf Valley in Ellicott City, Md. This full-day program is designed to "help CPAs become strategic advisors for their organizations." Register here.

We hope to see you there!