What does 2024 have in store for finance and accounting professions? It would be nice if we knew for sure. Think how easy it would be to prioritize and ensure resources are being poured into the right areas. Unfortunately, that crystal ball doesn’t exist and all we can say with a level of certainty is that as the new year unfolds, it’s bound to throw some curveballs.
The key, then, to setting up your firm or organization for success is having the ability and maybe even more important, the mindset to change—sometimes on the fly—and spotting the opportunities. We’ve all heard the quote that nothing is certain expect for death and taxes. Well, it’s safe to say we can add change to that list.
Listen to what author and leadership trainer George Griffin had to say about mindset in our recent Rise & Stride podcast.
So, as we enter this new year, where is your mindset in that spectrum from enabler to inhibitor, especially in relation to change? Is a New Year’s resolution to inch closer to that enabler side in order? If you’re a leader, you’ll want to take note of something else that Griffin had to say in that podcast: “I believe the No. 1 predictor for organizations to be successful—it’s not the market conditions, it’s not capital venture that they may manage to raise, it’s not high profile investors. It’s really none of those. I believe it’s the mindset of the organization’s leaders.”
There’s that tone at the top again. If you want your firm or organization to be nimble and see the opportunities change brings, then they need to see that mindset lived out by their leaders. Just over the past few years we’ve seen dramatic shifts in the accounting and finance professions—from data science to analytics to artificial intelligence and other digital technology innovations—and we know more is coming. There are new skills to learn (ChatGPT anyone?), new ways to attract and retain talent to be developed, new methods of communication to use. And the list could go on.
As the role of CPA transforms, we can hold tight to our ways, maybe even think a particular change won’t be successful or we, as individuals, won’t be successful. Or we can move forward—even if we’re a little (or a lot) nervous or unsure of each step—but knowing that those efforts to spend time stretching into new experiences, not resisting them, will begin to transform your mindset.
And that, in turn, will provide the boost to continue stretching, which continues to move the mindset needle toward that enabler level.
Denise LeDuc Froemming, CPA, CAE, MBA is President & CEO of CalCPA and CalCPA Education Foundation.