Wouldn’t it be nice to know the future? Some of you may remember the Magic 8 Ball toy, where you would ask it a yes or no question, then turn it over to see your answer that would range from “It is certain” to “Don’t count on it” to “Ask again later.”
While the Magic 8 Ball is all for fun, it does represent something instinctual in us: There are times we wish we had a device that could really tell us or at least provide a clue as to what the future holds.
Who—or what—could have predicted we’d all be walking around with computers in our pockets, enabling us to work from almost anywhere. Or driving cars we plug in, like we do a lamp. Or we’d have a CPA profession that’s moved well-beyond spreadsheets and tracking debits and credits.
While the future is one part uncertain, perhaps scary to some, it’s also one part potential. As is most often the case, it all depends on how you look at it.
We all like our routines and processes. They make us feel comfortable and in control. Moving forward, though, often means tweaking or perhaps even abandoning those routines. Not because they were bad or wrong. They likely served us well—for a time.
Being visionary or future-focused is thinking about those routines and process in light of what’s ahead, anticipating opportunities and obstacles and planning accordingly. It’s keeping up to date with changes and developments, as well as responding to key trends.
We’ve certainly seen this in the CPA profession. Gone are the days of earning an accounting degree and building a career exclusively doing tax work. The profession has morphed to offer career paths in IT consulting, artificial intelligence, forensics, cyber security, cryptocurrency and various other areas.
And with that has come CPA Evolution and efforts to redesign the CPA Exam to take these professional changes into account and ensure future CPAs are prepared for today’s opportunities—and tomorrow’s that we don’t even know about—and that CPAs continue to be strategic advisors that support businesses and communities to thrive.
Being future-focused is also something we look to instill at CalCPA. Along with undergoing a major brand and website refresh, we’re taking a whole new look and approach to our strategic plan. Stay tuned for details on these and other initiatives we’re working on that will allow us to best serve our members and customers.
So, Magic 8 Ball, is the best time to change and plan for change before it’s necessary?
“It is certain.”
Denise LeDuc Froemming, CPA, CAE, MBA is President & CEO of CalCPA and CalCPA Education Foundation.