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Anticipation: The Missing Competency for CPAs April 29, 2015  /  by Tom Hood Posted in: Change / transformation, Leadership

The top challenges facing CPAs, finance and accounting professionals continue to be information overload; doing more with less; being reactive versus proactive; and not having enough time.

The APQC study of CFOs, A New CFO Priority: Talent Development with a Focus on Soft Skills says the No 1. reason that finance/accounting organizations are not delivering game-changing value to their organizations, when they desperately need it, is that the finance teams are “bogged down with transactional work” and they lack the requisite soft skills needed to analyze the business in the context of the fast-changing environment.

The No. 1 reason Small to Mid-sized business (SMBs) leave their CPAs is that they only provide “reactive services” according to a study by the Sleeter Group. That same study said the No. 1 service needed is proactive and strategic services in addition to the core compliance services that CPAs provide.

This is reinforced by issues raised in the 2015 CPA of the Future Study by CPA.COM that indicates only eight percent of CPAs feel they are “future ready”. “Future ready” is the ability to make sense of emerging trends and forecast what is coming to anticipate the impact of those trends on themselves, their employers and clients.

So how can we find time to dig out from under this intense day to day information overload, pick our heads up and learn how to “see around corners” for us our organizations and our clients?

Anticipation: The missing competency

The bottom-line is this – in order to thrive in this VUCA world (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) it is critical that we learn a new competency – how to accurately anticipate the future.

On May 4th, we hope to begin to answer this as we launch The Anticipatory Organization™: Accounting and Finance Edition in a strategic partnership with, Daniel Burrus, one of the world’s leading technology forecasters, innovation experts, and New York Times bestselling author. The Anticipatory Organization™ Model, created and developed by Daniel Burrus of Burrus Research, Inc., has changed how many of the world’s most successful businesses plan their future and accelerate growth.

Now, Daniel Burrus is bringing what he calls the greatest missing competency – the ability to anticipate change – to CPAs, CFOs, controllers and management accountants. This model represents a new way of thinking, planning, and acting – a paradigm shift that’s required in a world of accelerating change, competition, and uncertainty.

Accelerated Learning

Not only do we hope to help CPAs and Finance Professionals learn this new skill, but save them time while doing it.

The Anticipatory Organization™: Accounting and Finance Edition is a transformative, accelerated learning approach that starts with very short three to four minute single-concept videos supported by job aids and rapid application tools to help you apply these concepts immediately to your work. This new approach to bite-size learning has been proven to be more effective than traditional professional development programs.

In other words you will jump start your ability to anticipate and learn critical competencies like strategic thinking, external awareness, vision, continuous learning, innovation, creativity, problem solving, prioritization, business acumen, decisiveness, influencing/persuading, emotional intelligence, consensus building, collaboration, inspiration, risk management, and immediately apply it to your own situation at work.

Customized by and for CPAs, accounting and finance professionals

This exciting new approach has been customized with a customer co-creation group gathered by the Maryland Association of CPAs and the Business Learning Institute. The group representing CPAs in small to large firms, CFOs, Controllers, young professionals, and other segments across the profession came together in November, 2014 and worked with the Burrus team to gather examples that have been built into this special Accounting and Finance Edition.

On May 4th (in-person and via live webcast), we will reconvene this group with a special keynote by Dan Burrus and a panel of our co-creation group moderated by Daniel Hood, Editor-in-Chief of Accounting Today to discuss why anticipation is so important for CPAs, finance and accounting professionals in today’s fast changing world.

Details and registration are available here http://www.blionline.org/burrus

What do you think, is anticipation the missing competency that can make CPAs, finance and accounting professionals “future ready”?

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