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The #1 Thing I Learned at the CPA Practice Advisor Thought Leader Symposium

I spent the last two days in the CPA Practice Advisor’s Thought Leader Symposium in Kansas City. It is my ninth year being invited to this annual gathering of some of the Profession’s top ‘thought leaders’ since it started in 2011. Gail Perry, CPA, Editor-in-Chief of the magazine is the host and brains behind this event.

It is structured as a couple of days of conversations about the big issues facing the CPA Profession and incudes a few presentations by leading company’s serving the Profession. This year it was Intuit, ADP, and Zoho.

It is always insightful to get the insights and perspectives from this group of leading consultants and advisors in the Profession. This year the group prioritized our conversations around these top five issues:

  1. Partner compensation structures as impediments to change;
  2. Re-skilling, upskilling and adapting to environment of constant change;
  3. How far should we be going down the path of educating and informing CPAs about mega technology trends such as AI, blockchain, RPA, etc.?;
  4. Versatility vs Specialization (this is a corollary to Sleeter’s “Agility Trumps Ability”);
  5. With Baby Boomers leaving the full-time workforce but expecting to live another 20-30 years, what can we do to help give viability to this group within the profession?

As we discussed and debated these top issues, I found myself thinking about the past years since being invited to this group and it hit me.

My biggest insight and learning is one thing, one common denominator – LOVE!

Everyone of the ‘thought leaders’ and the host, Gail Perry and CPA Practice Advisor, and the sponsors all care deeply about the success of the Profession. They also care about and dare I say, love each other as colleagues and collaborators. Their passion and devotion to the Profession is palpable. I am honored to be among these giants in the Profession and grateful to Gail for convening this group. Thank you!

Love,

Tom Hood

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