Anticipation in action: Here’s what it looks like

CPAs are not prepared for the massive transformations the future will bring.

Just ask them.

They said as much in the 2014 CPA.com study “Welcome to the Fast Future: Insight Into the CPA of the Future.” The study found that new technologies, globalization, emerging innovations like the cloud and Big Data, and the growing importance of diversity are reshaping the profession before our very eyes — and that very few CPAs are ready to take advantage of these changes.

  • A mere 8 percent of CPAs say the profession is future-ready today.
  • Only 10 percent of CPA firms define themselves as innovative.
  • Four out of five CPAs say they need to better understand the impact that emerging technologies will have on their businesses.

Here’s the good news: A growing number of CPAs are have decided to do something about it.

Specifically, they’re learning the finer points of anticipation — what futurist and best-selling author Daniel Burrus calls the key missing competency in business today. Two firms — HORNE LLP and DeLeon & Stang — are educating their staffs via Burrus’ groundbreaking new online learning system “The Anticipatory Organization™: Accounting and Finance Edition,” which he developed in partnership with the Maryland Association of CPAs and the Business Learning Institute. Four other state CPA societies have also agreed to distribute the system to their members in an effort to increase the future-readiness of the profession.

The early reviews are outstanding.

“For us, it is about relevance,” writes Katherine Watts, partner in charge of Healthcare Services at HORNE. “In order for HORNE (or any other firm) to stay relevant to our clients, we must learn to anticipate change and help prepare for the opportunities before they arrive. … It also ensures that our firm will even become more relevant as a trusted business advisor to our clients.”

Allen DeLeon agrees.

“It starts with service to our clients,” DeLeon, founding partner of DeLeon & Stang, told Burrus in a recent interview. “The pace of change is very unsettling for our clients. They need someone to help them understand what to do in terms of running their business and how to make decisions. These are the kinds of things a CPA can help a business with. (The Anticipatory Organization is a) system for helping them understand what these future trends are going to mean for them. … If we can help our clients solve these types of problems, we help ourselves as well.”

The learning system is also changing the mindset of the firm’s employees. As an Anticipatory Organization, DeLeon said the firm’s goal now is to adopt a “future view” and help clients take advantage of the opportunities that change and disruption provide.”

“When our employees are talking to customers, they can be asking them these types of questions: What types of problems do you have? How can we solve them? That’s a real value-added service,” he said.

DeLeon offered more insights into The Anticipatory Organization during his recent interview with Burrus. Watch it here:

[youtube id=”vfB77mU_ggI”]

Learn more about The Anticipatory Organization here.


Get notified when we publish a new blog post.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

Update my browser now