What can you imagine being different in the future that will have the biggest impact on your career, your organization and the CPA profession? What issues do you think will be confronting your organization and the CPA profession in 2025? How will the world at large and your place in it be different in that future? What can the CPA profession (and you) do now to prepare to deal with that world of the future?
These are difficult questions to answer, but they are worth considering if you want to prepare for tomorrow. I recently got to spend some time along with about 45 TSCPA and AICPA members who gathered at a forum in Dallas to do this kind of thinking about the future for the CPA profession. The program is called CPA Horizons 2025. It is an extension of the AICPA Vision project started more than 15 years ago. I was joined at the program by Donna Wesling (Austin), our incoming Chairman, Fred Timmons (San Antonio), our Chairman-elect and Michael Brown (Waco), Chair of the TSCPA Young CPAs and Emerging Professionals Committee.
We, along with the other CPAs gathered, spent about three hours discussing various forces/issues that could affect the future of the profession. These included things like: political and regulatory issues, economic issues, sociological issues and technology. We ended up with a long list of issues and then, through a voting process, narrowed that list down to what the group felt were the “Top Six” that could affect the CPA profession over the next decade or more. The Top Six for our forum included:
- A growing scarcity of resources
- Redistribution of wealth
- Decentralization of the workforce/workplace
- A move to IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards)
- Growing cultural diversity
- An aging population
These types of forums are being replicated by AICPA in eight cities around the country over the upcoming weeks. So there will be other Top Six lists generated by other groups of CPAs. I am sure in some cases they will identify some of the same issues we did, but my guess is they will also come up with issues we did not.
Now here is the great news. You don’t have to go to a live forum to participate in this process and provide your input. If you are interested, you can do that by going to the AICPA website (www.aicpa.org) and completing a survey that the CPA Horizons 2025 project team has developed. Hopefully, thousands of members/CPAs will add their input to this process, and eventually the collective thoughts of a large number of members will be used to develop a new vision for the CPA profession to carry it to 2025.
The late management guru, Peter Drucker, was fond of saying “the best way to predict the future is to create it.” There is no guarantee that we can do that with absolute accuracy, but CPA Horizons 2025 certainly gives us our best shot.