Twenty young professionals are ready to lead the CPA profession into a changing and complex world after completing the Business Learning Institute’s 2016 Leadership Academy.
Held from Aug. 24-26 in Towson, Md., the annual Leadership Academy teaches high-potential CPAs the finer points of strategic thinking, strengths-based leadership, and how to engage their networks. Now in its sixth year, the program is designed to help attendees determine what steps they need to take to climb the leadership ladder based on new learning and current realities.
“Nearly 10,000 baby boomers retire every day, but based on the talent we saw in our Leadership Academy classroom, the future of the CPA profession is in good hands,” said Tom Hood, CPA, CITP, CGMA, president and CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs and the Business Learning Institute. “These next-gen leaders are excited to be leading the transition and transformation of our profession for the future. They are ready to be positive and inspirational leaders capable of mobilizing people to accomplish great things.”
Using their “Insights to Action” (or i2A) strategic thinking system, Hood and fellow facilitator Gretchen Pisano taught attendees how to develop their executive presence based on their personal and professional strengths, how to tap into the strengths of their teams to drive growth in their organizations, and how to engage their teams in creating a shared strategy. The interactive i2A system pulls out the best thinking of each Leadership Academy attendee and makes it visible to the entire team, thus increasing collaboration and driving consensus.
“Leadership Academy graduates can immediately start working more effectively with groups,” Hood said. “They can manage inside and outside their organizations, and they have a strong sense of what their strengths are and how they can bring those strengths to others.”
Challenges and opportunities
Using the i2A system, attendees also identified what they believe are the seven current and future trends that are having the greatest impact on accounting and finance professionals:
- Remote workforces
- Artificial intelligence
- The presidential election
- Social media
- Globalization / convergence of international standards
- Cloud accounting / data security
- The need for proactive advisors
The group also identified the profession’s key challenges and turned them into four high-leverage opportunities. Attendees believe these opportunities will be keys for the CPA profession of tomorrow:
- Expand value-added services.
- Leverage technology for efficiency and insight.
- Become a talent magnet.
- Build the bridge for succession planning.
The group plans to reconvene later this year to create a whitepaper that outlines specific steps for how the profession can address some the trends that are impacting the profession.
Graduates of the Business Learning Institute’s 2016 Leadership Academy are:
- Brianne Baccaro-Norris, Weyrich, Cronin & Sorra
- Megan Baker, McLean, Koehler, Sparks and Hammond
- Erica Beaumont, Arthur Bell CPAs
- Lee Brody, CohnReznick
- Shawn Burman, McLean, Koehler, Sparks and Hammond
- Michael Derbin, Arthur Bell CPAs
- Kelly DeRose, Gary R. Bozel & Associates
- Jason Friedman, Arthur Bell CPAs
- Alina Korsak, Melanson Heath
- Megan Lindenmeyer, Gary R. Bozel & Associates
- Erinn Madden, Berman Goldman & Ribakow
- Edith Orenstein, Maryland Association of CPAs
- Kevin Pyzik, Mister, Burton & French
- Paige Sawicki, Maryland Association of CPAs
- Greg Scherer, Weyrich, Cronin & Sorra
- Christie Stravino, Arthur Bell CPAs
- Shanda Swann, Aronson
- Andrew Venters, Novotny, Larash & Venters
- Daniel Weimer, Arthur Bell CPAs
- Susanne Wolfe, Arthur Bell CPAs