Explorer As the fog begins to lift in the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2008 (and 2009 and 2010), many CPAs are asking what comes next?

What is out there over the horizon? What are the trends and issues that will have an impact on the CPA Profession as a whole? Our organizations, firms, clients?

The AICPA has an answer – to involve YOU!

What if we crowd-sourced the answers to all of us? That is what CPA Horizons 2025 is really about. Fifteen (15) minutes of your time about the next fifteen (15) years. A combination of high tech surveys, high touch, randomly selected members for in-person future forums, and focus groups at major events, getting to the answer of what is our vision for the CPA Profession in 2025.

One of my career highlights was I was being a volunteer on the first CPA Vision Project, circa 1998 where we worked on a future vision for the year 2011. Without much help from technology, we got almost 3,500 CPAs in future forums all over the US along with students, regulators, and thought leaders to help come up with a Vision, Purpose, Core Values, Core Competencies, and Core Services. The Top five issues facing CPAs came out as follows:

  • The future success of the CPA profession relies a great deal upon public perceptions of CPAs' abilities and roles
  • CPAs must become market driven and not dependent upon regulations to keep them in business
  • The market demands less audit and accounting and more value-adding consulting services
  • Specialization is critical for the future of the CPA profession
  • The marketplace demands that CPAs be conversant in global business practices and strategies

Hmmm, sounds like these are still pretty relevant…

Well it is 2011 and time to renew and refocus that vision.

The AICPA has put together some great resources to get us thinking about the future. Start by scanning the research and background assembled from their work with several “futurists” and published reports about the world in 2025. The Global Forces video put together by the AICPA video team is a must see (about 8 minutes)!. Then take the survey and join the conversation to help create the vision for the Profession in 2025.

What I really like about this is that it can be used to inform your own vision and strategic planning activities. In fact we used this as a background with our own Board Planning back in January, 2011 and again with our volunteers at our Maryland CPA summit on June 2nd. We use it to develop a “line of sight” to the long-term vision of the Profession and the MACPA. We will also be holding in-person future forums all around the state to talk about the future together. I hope you can join us (and of course it qualifies for four (4) hours fo free CPE!).

You can see highlights of our session when we “tested” this out with the AICPA incoming chair, Paul Stahlin, a member of the original CPA Vision team from our summit last year.

I still remember the words of futurist, Watts Wacker when he was talking about vision at our centennial in 2001, “If you don't have a vision for your organization, or yourself, you will just get stuck in somebody else's vision.”

What's your take on the original vision?

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