Our name is the Maryland Association of CPAs, but you know what? The events that impact our profession aren’t confined to Maryland. The people who are transforming our profession aren’t all Maryland residents. To help our members grow in a changing and complex world, we need to attend events from coast to coast. We need to build relationships with smart people everywhere.

And so we do. We’ve made a conscious effort to connect with the people who are doing groundbreaking work and changing our profession. They’re building the CPA profession of the future, and we firmly believe our members need to know who they are.

Today, those people include the folks at Xero.

They’ve been pushing the edge of the accounting envelope for a while now. I attended Xero’s first U.S.-based conference two years ago in San Francisco, where mind-numbing ideas like these were bouncing off the walls:

  • “Small business is social business — people talking to people.”
  • “The days of CPAs as scorekeepers are over.”
  • “Our biggest challenge going forward is transforming the profession.”
  • “The old profession is dying fast. Accountants today must provide solutions, not information.”

Xero is clearly speaking our language. That’s why I’m going back to Xerocon … and this time, I’m not going alone. The MACPA and the Business Learning Institute have a couple of key spots on the 2015 Xerocon agenda.

  • Rebekah Brown, the MACPA’s manager of membership development and engagement, and Jacqueline Reyes, an MACPA student member and a recent graduate of the University of Maryland, will lead a discussion about how to engage the next generation in the workplace. They will help attendees calculate the different levels of ROI for employee engagement and learn how to best connect with next-gen employees.
     
  • I’ll follow with a look at the services and skills CPAs will need to succeed going forward. Business owners want their CPAs to be more than mere number-crunchers; they want them to be risk managers, succession planners, technologists and futurists — and none of that is covered on the CPA exam. The most important skill we’ll have going forward is the ability to learn new skills. We’ll take a closer look at some of those skills.

Mostly, though, we’ll be collecting stories about the future of the profession and sharing them with you. That’s what we do. And why? Because the important stuff doesn’t happen in Maryland alone. It’s happening everywhere.

Keep an eye on Xero, folks. They’re not focused on accounting. They’re focused on the future of accounting.

The difference is huge.

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