With new technologies poised to redefine the world of finance, one of the most important skills accounting and finance professionals can own today is future-readiness — the ability to be aware, predictive of, and adaptive to emerging trends and technological innovations.

The Maryland Association of CPAs and its learning and innovation center, the Business Learning Institute, are bringing that skill to the masses.

The organizations have released a pair of e-books that will help accounting and finance professionals become more future-ready.

The e-books describe “five strategic and practical steps that anyone can do to become a future-ready CPA or finance professional,” said Tom Hood, CPA, CEO of the MACPA and the BLI. “The guidance applies to every role in any firm or organization. These five steps, applied through the lens of your particular expertise and experience, are what can help you anticipate change and prepare for it. It’s a new set of eyes and a new set of tools that only you can bring alive in your context of where you are professionally.”

Those tools couldn’t come at a better time.

Art Bilger, a venture capitalist and expert at the Wharton School of Business, says technological advances will help eliminate 47 percent of the jobs in all developed nations in the next 25 years — that’s blue-collar and white-collar jobs. Moreover, says The Economist, “no government is prepared” for that level of job loss.

Other studies aren’t quite that alarmist, predicting

that more jobs will be significantly altered than eliminated. Still, that change will be extreme. A McKinsey Global Institute study predicts that at least 30 percent of the activities in 60 percent of all occupations can be automated over the next decade, from welders to gardeners to CEOs.

One way or another — complete automation or partial — our jobs are about to change.

“How will the disruptive forces of technology and automation affect your organization and career? This is the most important thing for CPAs and finance professionals to pay attention to right now,” said Hood. “Forces of change aren’t something that we can or should fight. We’re not going to slow down change. We’re not going to make technology obsolete. What we can do is be ready for it. We can put ourselves in a place where the future helps us, not hurts us. That’s what being a future-ready finance professional is all about. Don’t fight change; leverage it, for the benefit of your career and organization.”

The e-books can be downloaded for free from the Business Learning Institute’s website. They are accompanied by an online quiz that will gauge readers’ future-readiness and provide access to additional resources that can help them become even more future-ready.

Download the whitepapers here:

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