This past week we began our Professional Issues Updates / town hall tour with two special business and industry editions and almost 300 CFOs, controllers and CPAs working in business and industry, not-for-profits, and government. Using Conferences.io, we were able to engage the group and get lots of feedback about the biggest issues facing them, their economic outlook, and other key questions. 

The group average was 21 years as CPAs, yet we had all four generations in the workplace represented.

The top five challenges facing CFOs and controllers was a chance to validate our earlier ThinkTank session with a smaller group in November 2013 (see our post here). Here are the results of the vote from both town halls:

  1. Doing more with less.
  2. Being reactive versus proactive.
  3. Keeping up.
  4. Information overload.
  5. Work / life balance.

Yet despite these challenges, many were actively working on new initiatives like moving their organizations to the cloud (16 percent already there and 59 percent thinking about it or on the way) and implementing business intelligence and analytic systems (29 percent already have them and 26 percent are working on it). The other insights is the group is overall optimistic around their businesses and the Maryland economy (40 percent very optimistic and optimistic versus 22 percent pessimistic) and slightly over 50 percent were forecasting hiring this year.

CGMA – 33% of the attendees were already CGMA members. For more information about the CGMA follow this link. Ash Noah, CPA, CGMA, was a guest speaker at our first townhall and offered these links to CGMA reports referenced in his presentation below (CGMA Members only):

Here is our presentation: 

This is mega-slide deck so here are some navigation points:

We promised to provide links to upcoming programs of interest to our CFO / Controller and BIG CPA community:

Link to our slideshare with April-May-June programs

Business & Industry Conference, April 24 at Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City

Government & Not-For-Profit Conference, April 25 at University of Maryland University College

Quarterly Financial Leaders Series – Smarter Decision-Making, May 22, MACPA Towson Center, 8 a.m. – noon

2014 Innovation Summit, June 16 at Hyatt Regency Inner Harbor Hotel

CFO track at the Beach Retreat, July 2-5 at the Clarion Hotel, Ocean City

And finally, a link to the live conference call video we started with.

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