Leadership Learning / Education Management / Strategy Talent management

CGMA competency framework outlines the skills accountants need to succeed

The skills gap is real, and CPAs aren’t the only ones dealing with it.

Study after study show that many young professionals are largely unprepared to meet the challenges posed by a changing and complex world. The reason? There is a significant gap between the skills young professionals need to succeed and those they actually possess.

Those “success skills” include communication, leadership, collaboration, strategic thinking, anticipation, and problem-solving — skills that most young accountants aren’t being taught in college, but that are more important than ever in an era defined by changed and complexity.

Now, we have confirmation that the “skills gap” isn’t unique top CPAs. Every profession is dealing with it.

Just ask the folks behind the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation. They say global finance executives need many of the same skills that CPAs and other accounting professionals lack. They’ve released a competency framework that identifies key skills that accounting and finance pros need across four knowledge areas:

  • Technical skills: Financial accounting, cost accounting, business planning, management reporting, tax strategy and planning
  • Business skills: Strategy, process management, business relations, project management
  • Leadership skills: Team building, coaching and mentoring, driving performance, change management, and motivating and inspiring
  • People skills: Influence, negotiation, communication, collaboration, partnering

This is the future of business education. It’s less about technical competency and more about social acumen. And almost everyone is buying into it.

This isn’t just a professional-development issue, either. It’s about the future of your organization. Young professionals crave these social skills and will leave if they don't get them. The CGMA framework is nothing short of a "blueprint for retaining talent,” officials at the fall meeting of the AICPA Governing Council said.

This isn’t rocket science, people. The old cliche is as true today as it’s ever been: Some people ask, “What if I train my people and they leave?” A better question to ask yourself is this: “What if I don't train my people and they stay?” Give your team the skills they need to succeed and they’ll reward you with their loyalty. It’s the best investment you’ll ever make.

The folks at CGMA are learning that lesson quickly.

Are you?

Check out the CGMA competency framework in its entirety.

And while you’re at it, check out the Business Learning Institute’s roster of learning opportunities. The BLI offers a bit of everything young professionals say they need to succeed.

Are you providing it?


William D. Sheridan