BLI Leadership | Corporate Finance & Governance | Leadership / Management | Legislative / Regulatory | Training & CPE | XBRL

Top 5 technical and personal skills you need in 2009

DSC08535 When I start seeing the same thing showing up in many different unusual places and sources, I start to pay attention.

That was the case recently, when I experienced a convergence epiphany. Consider the following recap of my day yesterday.

I started the day at Stevenson University, where I met with Dean Shelton Rhodes, Ph.D., and the head of the Accounting Department, Dr. Vicki Doby, CPA. I was there to see their brand new School of Business and Leadership, and our conversation quickly turned to emerging technical skills like IFRS and XBRL and leadership skills like strategic and critical thinking.

Then we had a conference call with Financial Executives International (FEI) and its Baltimore Chapter leaders about our program at our upcoming Maryland Business and Accounting Expo on June 16-17, where FEI will join us as an associate sponsor. Turns out we were talking about the same topics -- IFRS, XBRL and personal leadership, communication and strategic thinking competencies.

Then I ended the day with a blog post from the Big Fat Finance Blog. IFRS, XBRL, IT risk, dealing with confrontation, communication, strategic thinking and GRC (governance, risk and compliance) are the top issues facing internal audit folks, according to Eric Krell's post on the Big Fat Finance Blog.

It seems the latest survey of global internal audit professionals by the Institute of Internal Auditors turned up many of the same skills we are seeing in the general finance function and the public practice (auditing) sides of our profession. These skills have consistently showed up in our surveys of managing partners, young professionals, and our corporate in-house training clients through our Business Learning Institute.

Here is what turned up in this latest survey of global internal auditors and what we are doing about it:

The top 5 general technical knowledge areas needed to improve:

  1. Assessment of IT risk
  2. International Financial Reporting Standards
  3. Extensibile Business Reporting Language (XBRL)
  4. Enterprise risk management
  5. Information security ISO 27000

The top 5 personal skills and capabilities needed to improve:

  1. Developing other board relationships
  2. Dealing with confrontation
  3. Persuasion, presentation and strategic thinking (three-way tie)
  4. Leadership, networking and time management (three-way tie)
  5. Developing Audit Committee relationships

You can download the full 2009 Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs Survey by Protiviti here.

Where can you go to network with the thought leaders and people actually working on and implementing these programs? Where can you go to learn these critical competencies?

Answer: The Maryland Business and Accounting Expo on June 16-17.

As we walked through the workshop agenda with our FEI partners, it turns out that like the old Italian tomato sauce commercial (remember Prego?), "It's in there." Almost every one of these critical technical knowledge skills and personal skills and capabilities will be covered during the Expo.

Our workshop agenda will focus on all of these topics (and more), taught by internationally recognized experts, thought leaders and authors for the very low price (if you are a MACPA member or a member of our many associate sponsors like FEI) of $250 for 16 hours of CPE! As Don McConnell, CPA (my former boss and mentor) and president of the Baltimore FEI Chapter said, "I think I need to send my whole team."

Our special track focused on large corporate / banking / public companies will feature recognized thought leaders like Bob Tarola (retired CFO of W.R. Grace), Ken Kelly of McCormick & Co., Bob Laux at Microsoft, Mike Willis of PWC, Eric E. Cohen of PWC -- CPAs covering XBRL, the future of assurance (continuous auditing), IFRS and enhanced business reporting.

We will also feature an entire leadership track over the two days that features our leadership and management curriculum based on 10 years of research and experience in both the large corporate and CPA firm markets. Critical skills like leadership, strategic thinking, communication, conflict management are all covered by our best instructors from our Business Learning Institute. Download MDBIZEXPO 2009 - NYPN (MDBIEXPO Workshop Agenda).

I hope to see you at the Expo, where you can network with these thought leaders and the leading solutions and services in these critical areas.