Change / transformation Learning / Education Personal development Talent management

Top 7 Skills for CPAs, Finance and Accounting Professionals in the Age of Machines

What are the top skills needed by CPAs, Finance and Accounting Professionals in an age of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Big Data, and exponential change?


We have been researching these skills with the leading experts and best-selling authors in the world including the Institute for the Future, World Economic Forum, CPA Horizons 2025, The Second Machine Age, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Then we gathered empirical evidence from thousands of CPAs, finance and accounting professionals across the world in interactive surveys and our work with leading talent and learning professionals to synthesize these skills into the top eight competencies for the future.

They are as follows:

  1. Communications
  2. Leadership
  3. Strategic and critical thinking and Synthesizing intelligence to insight
  4. Anticipating and serving evolving needs
  5. Integration and collaboration
  6. Tech-savvy and data analytics
  7. Functional and domain expertise

This research is supported by the work of global futurist and best-selling author, Daniel Burrus whose work with the top global companies in the world reinforced our research and clarified how this anticipation competency can be learned and applied in accounting and finance.


Anticipation - The Missing Competency

We believe the most important or fundamental competency is anticipation (anticipating and serving evolving needs). This competency positions the accounting and finance professional to be future ready - aware, predictive and adaptive of emerging trends and issues. Using this newfound skill can help them identify disruptions, problems, and opportunities. This will be an exciting transformation as CPA’s move into higher-level advisory and business development services that require dedicated consultative and strategic thinking for their organizations and clients. This led to the development of the Anticipatory Organization: Accounting and Finance Edition ( with Daniel Burrus.

Podcast with Accounting Today Editor, Daniel Hood -  Are you Ready for the Skills Revolution?

Through our work, at the Business Learning Institute ( we have assembled the best thought leaders and instructors to develop courses that can elevate and accelerate the development of a 'future ready' curriculum for CPA firms, corporate finance and accounting teams, nonprofits and government organizations. Give us a call to learn more or visit us on the web at


Thomas Hood