I think I’m starting to terrorize the CPAs I’m trying to inspire.
For the past year, I’ve been speaking at accounting and finance events from coast to coast about the need to learn new skills to remain relevant in a disruptive, chaotic world. Parts of those presentations focus on the coming wave of automation — the ways in which technologies like artificial intelligence, cognitive-learning machines, and blockchain will master many of our profession’s number-crunching, transactional tasks and take humans out of the equation — and, yes, eliminate many jobs in the process.
My goal is to spur CPAs to embrace transformational learning as a way of ensuring their future relevance — to learn to do the things that machines can’t do so they’ll always be in demand. As Peter Sheahan says, “Humans should be doing work that only humans can do.”
Instead, I get comments like “Oh, sh*t” and “Time to retire.”
Obviously, I’m not getting my point across, so let me try again:
Automation is a good thing.
Let the machines crunch the numbers. You don’t want to be doing that work anyway. As Sage’s Ed Kless says, “If your job can be done by a robot, your job probably sucks.” When machines start doing that crap, you’ll be free to do work that’s really valuable — like interpreting the numbers and helping your clients become future-ready. That’s what they want you do, after all.
There’s a catch, of course, and it’s this: You’ll have to learn a boatload of new skills to do that.
What are those skills?
After cross-referencing all of the available research and expertise, MACPA and BLI chief Tom Hood has determined that future-ready accounting and finance professionals must be proficient in the following eight skills:
“Anything that can be automated will be automated,” said Hood. “Crunching the numbers is no longer good enough. Machines can do that faster and more accurately that we’ll ever be able to. Our future relevance depends on our ability to do the things the machines can’t do — to interpret the numbers, to tell the stories behind the numbers and make our clients future-ready at the same time. These skills will help us do that.
Many of those skills will be on display at the MACPA’s 2017 CPA Summit, scheduled for Dec. 13 in Columbia, Md. Among the thought leaders on hand will be:
And there will be SO much more. Check out the entire agenda and register to attend here.
The MACPA’s 2017 CPA Summit feature the following accounting and finance thought leaders and MACPA partners: