Leadership - questionsOur friends over at Financial Executives International recently shared this list from FEI's CEO, Marie Hollein

  1. Controlling the U.S. deficit
  2. Tax reform
  3. Health care uncertainty
  4. Dodd-Frank Act implementation and revision
  5. Employer-provided retirement plans
  6. XBRL
  7. Convergence of U.S. GAAP and IFRS
  8. Private company accounting

Last August, the MACPA had a group of CFOs and controllers in for a roundtable on what was keeping them up at night and came up with this list:

  1. Communicating effectively (new tools vs. face-to-face)
  2. Talent / training / succession planning
  3. Economic environment
  4. Generational / work-life balance
  5. Supply chain / rising costs
  6. Strategic planning in uncertainty
  7. Financial literacy about business
  8. Increasing government regulations
  9. IT security / privacy
  10. Multi-tasking and increasing workload

Then there's the latest top trends to watch in 2012 from the CPA Horizons Future Forum process. And here are the lists from 2009 and 2008 from our CFO roundtables.

What I find interesting is that the current list from FEI is focused purely on the business finance and economics issues, whereas our group of CFOs (and the CPA Horizons 2025 research) included much more of the general business, talent, and leadership issues. 

We have been gathering resources for CPAs in the form of training, articles, and podcasts to help them deal with these major issues. Here is a page with each major future trends and links to resources. We also have plenty of programs available for almost all of these topics, either in our conferences and public seminars or available to your firm or organization through our Customized Learning Team

Here is our “future trends” resource center. Click on each trend link to see all of our resources for you.

The other interesting insight I take away from all of this is the change from 2009 (in the thick of the recession) from the other years. Three of the seven issues — layoffs, capital spending cuts, and access to credit) — have disappeared. Does that mean we are seeing bright posts on the horizon?

Here are upcoming events just for our Business & Industry members:

  • Don't miss our special town hall / professional issues update for our business and industry members on March 21 in Timonium (free to MACPA members). Register here.
  • Our Business and Industry Conference will be held on April 20 at Turf Valley in Ellicott City. Register here.
  • The MACPA's CPA Summit features lots of programming around these big issues. It will be held on June 12 at the BWI Hilton in Linthicum, Md. Get details here.
  • Leadership development with our 2012 Leadership Academy is scheduled for May 7-9.

What do you think? Are the big issues of leadership, generations, talent, and communication bigger than the more technical economic issues and why or why not? 

See the top 5 skills of the post-recession leader.

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