Today's CPA | Summer 2018
Reaching Your Summit
Navigate the constantly changing professional landscape and conquer the unknown.
ICPAS President & CEO
I once told my boss, “I need to know what I don’t know, that I’ll
need to know, before I know I need to know it.” That sounds crazy,
but I’m guessing many of you have felt or feel the same way. Despite
having amazing resources and digital assistants like Alexa, Cortana,
Google, Siri, and more at our fingertips, figuring out what you need
to know (not just what you want to know) is harder than ever.
Whether you’re in public accounting, corporate finance, consulting,
or advising, the knowledge you need to not only survive in
your job but to thrive in your job, is changing by the minute.
You’re dealing with constant changes to accounting standards and
tax acts, and new technologies like data analytics, robotic process
automation, blockchain, cybersecurity, and more. Leading your
clients and organizations through these changes is as critical as the
changes themselves. How is one to keep up? Most importantly,
keep looking forward.
I’m an avid downhill skier, and I love skiing in the trees. To do
it safely and successfully (at least most of the time), you need
highly developed skills, the foresight to always be looking three
to four trees ahead, and the readiness to change course at a
moment’s notice. Succeeding in the world of accounting and
finance is no different.
Developing skills in data analytics, blockchain, and cybersecurity,
for instance, is no longer optional or limited to professionals in
large firms and mega-corporations. I was talking to a partner in a
mid-sized firm who told me that while he still has clients that prefer
paper and pencil, he also has clients who expect him to be tech
savvy. Another seasoned mid-sized firm partner recently asked for
resources to begin incorporating artificial intelligence and robotic
process automation into his audit practice.
The competencies to be successful accounting and finance professionals
in our future are not limited to technology, though. They
also encompass technical, business, people, and leadership skills,
which are becoming more interconnected in our digital world.
The Illinois CPA Society is committed to helping you acquire the
skills and knowledge to build these competencies and be future-ready.
In addition to in-depth updates on standards updates and
changes in tax laws, we have developed Academies of Learning in
business development and data analytics, and we’ll add programs
on cybersecurity and blockchain soon enough. Our upcoming,
all-new ICPAS SUMMIT18
(formerly The Midwest Accounting and
Finance Showcase) will also immerse you in hands-on, interactive
learning on many of the topics mentioned above — and more.
Together, we’ll navigate the constantly-changing landscape ahead,
making turns when necessary, and conquering the unknown. Just
like skiing in the trees is for me, we will never be finished. Once
we’re down the mountain, we’ll go right back up to do it all over
again. That’s what life-long learning is all about — that’s what pursuing
a passion is all about.