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What do CFOs think about hiring, the economy, and the future?

PhotoMore than 200 Maryland CFOs, controllers, and CPAs in government and non-profits attended our first Professional Issues Update for 2012 in Timonium.

They had a lot to say about our economy, government and the general state of the state.

Insights on the economy and hiring outlook

On the economy, only 6 percent said the economic downturn is over, while 44 percent saw some improvement. Forty-three percent said there is still a long way to go, and 7 percent said there is "danger ahead."

Then we referenced an Accountingweb piece on the state of finance and accounting and asked for their outlook on hiring. They responded with 67 percent planning to keep staffing levels the same, 20 percent planning to increase staffing, and 13 percent planning to decrease staff size.

There is continued concern about government deficits at both the federal and state levels, and lots of discussion about the increasing compliance burden facing businesses of all sizes. We cited the recent Small Business Administration study on compliance that shows a cost to small businesses (less than 20) of $10,500 per person, just for federal laws and regulations. And that was in 2008, before Dodd-Frank!

Information overload and keeping up with the fast pace of change was a major theme. 

Insights about the latest trends facing CFOs and the CPA profession:

From the Twitter stream came these comments:

The five qualities of extraordinary leaders:

  1. Sight: Ability to see emerging patterns and shift perspective when necessary.
  2. Insight: Ability to think strategically and critically to gain insights.
  3. Create: Seek high leverage opportunities that build on your strengths.
  4. Communicate: Ability to make your thinking visible to others and the ability to collaborate inside and outside your organization.
  5. Inspire: Ability to mobilize support and engage others involved in doing the work to join you in action.

Here is our presentation.

MACPA Spring 2012 Professional Issues Update for Biz/Industry CPAs
View more presentations from Tom Hood
We also talked about our Business Learning Institute as the center for "success skill" development and showed some clips of recent programs:
MACPA's upcoming events for CFOs, contollers, and CPAs in business, industry, government and education:
Business and Industry Conference: April 20 at the Turf Valley Conference Center in Ellicott City. Get details and register here.
MACPA Leadership Academy:  May 7-9 in Timonium. Get details and apply here.
MACPA Innovation Summit: June 27 at Martin’s West in Woodlawn. Get details and register here.
MACPA Employee Benefit Conference: May 8 at the Sheraton Columbia. Get details and register here.
Ocean City Beach Retreat: Sun, surf and CPE! July 3, 5 and 6 at the Clarion Hotel in Ocean City. Get details and register here.

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