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What We’re Reading – 7/12/2017

July 12, 2017By Elise MayArticle, Blog

This week’s recommended reading on networking, management, and innovation. 

 

Learn from a seasoned veteran of the business world on his vision of management: 

https://www.accountingtoday.com/opinion/the-art-and-philosophy-of-leadership-and-management

 

Do you cringe when you hear the word “networking”? For many people, networking can be intimidating and stressful. Here are six ways you can network if you don’t like talking to strangers: 

https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/how-to-network-if-you-dont-like-talking-to-strangers/

 

Drew Houston, co-founder and CEO of Dropbox, shares the challenges and opportunities he’s been faced with, as well as career advice for entrepreneurs. 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2017/05/23/drew-houston-why-the-most-successful-entrepreneurs-solve-big-problems/#66bcdadb7acd

 

Those who came before us often can lead us the way forward. Here are some lessons from history’s greatest innovators: 

https://medium.freecodecamp.org/lessons-from-historys-great-innovators-that-you-should-never-forget-4d5e432adcde

 

What We’re Reading – 6/28/2017

June 28, 2017By Elise MayArticle, Blog

This week’s recommended reading on retention, management, and development.

 

Why are some of your best employees packing their bags and leaving? These warning signs might just help you keep your most valued workers.

http://rh-us.mediaroom.com/2017-05-17-Are-Employers-Missing-Retention-Red-Flags

 

Giving an employee critical feedback is never fun. It’s part of the job, but doesn’t have to be negative. Learn how to constructively give feedback to your low-performing employees with these 4 tips:

https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/heres-how-good-managers-give-bad-employees-feedback.html

 

An increase in training programs and employee development is imminent, according to the American Insitute of CPAs. Indiana CPAs and beyond, what are you doing to develop your own employees?

http://www.cgma.org/magazine/2017/may/employee-development-and-training-201716652.html

 

At the CPA Center of Excellence®, we help CPAs and service professionals stay ahead of change and innovation. Look for our recommended reads on topics like critical thinking and non-technical skills, the future of work, innovation, talent management, leadership, and the changing role of the CPA each Wednesday.

 

 

 

 

What We’re Reading – 6/21/2017

June 21, 2017By Elise MayArticle, Blog

This week’s recommended reading on job recruitment, technology, engagement, and innovation. 

 

Technology is constantly evolving the accounting industry. Here is a list of trends for firm leaders to keep an eye on. CPAs, how will these trends affect you and your organizations? 

http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/news/2017/jun/technology-trends-for-accounting-firm-leaders-201716749.html

 

Do you feel appreciated and respected at work? If you have your doubts, here are three signs to look for in your company to see if they truly value you as an employee. 

http://fortune.com/2015/10/22/signs-company-values-employees/?xid=soc_socialflow_facebook_FORTUNE

 

 Read on to discover why John Graham, professor at Duke Universy’s Fuqua School, shares and addresses this issue. This primary issue faced by CFOs and companies might surprise you. 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-cfos-are-feeling-1497838320

 

Innovation doesn’t always mean discovering or creating the “next big thing.” Instead, it is sometimes the smaller, lesser discoveries that really lead to a company’s success. As CPAs, how can we recognize this type of innovation? 

https://www.strategy-business.com/blog/Bad-Innovation-Is-Just-What-Your-Company-Needs?gko=cc371&utm_source=itw&utm_medium=20170620&utm_campaign=resp

 

According to this article from Deloitt University Press, the workforce of tomorrow needs two primary things: engagement and passion. Read on to learn more about why these traits are important and how you focus on fostering them in your own organizations today.   

https://dupress.deloitte.com/dup-us-en/topics/talent/future-workforce-engagement-in-the-workplace.html?id=us:2em:3na:dup2725:awa:dup:061317&sfid=0031400002Y8aGdAAJ

 

At the CPA Center of Excellence®, we help CPAs and service professionals stay ahead of change and innovation. Look for our recommended reads on topics like critical thinking and non-technical skills, the future of work, innovation, talent management, leadership, and the changing role of the CPA each Wednesday.

 

What We’re Reading – 6/14/2017

June 14, 2017By Elise MayArticle, Blog

This week’s recommended reading on change, employee management, and continuing professional education. 

 

Change is a constant in today’s accounting industry. CPAs, how will these four trends driving change in the industry affect you?

https://www.accountingtoday.com/news/the-four-trends-driving-accounting-today?brief=00000158-6edb-da3c-af5a-ffff76ed0000

 

Learn in this interview from FEI Daily how finance executives are handling the banking revolution in speed and satisfaction of customer expectations. 

The Three Things Financial Execs Can Learn from the Banking Revolution: A Q&A With Grant Thornton’s Simon Moss, Part 1

 

Why are your employees giving you their two-week notice and leaving? This article from CGMA Magazine explains why, and offers five tips you can do to reduce employee turnover in your company. 

http://www.cgma.org/magazine/2017/jun/how-to-reduce-employee-turnover.html?linkId=38609579

 

Similar to the CPA Center of Excellence’s support of competency-based professional development for CPAs, The International Accounting Education Standards Board has proposed a revision that moves away from traditional credit-hours based learning. Learn more here: 

https://www.accountingtoday.com/news/proposed-international-standard-focuses-on-learning-outcomes-for-accountants

 

At the CPA Center of Excellence®, we help CPAs and service professionals stay ahead of change and innovation. Look for our recommended reads on topics like critical thinking and non-technical skills, the future of work, innovation, talent management, leadership, and the changing role of the CPA each Wednesday.

What We’re Reading – 6/7/2017

June 7, 2017By Elise MayArticle, Blog

This week’s recommended reading on leadership and productivity. 

 

CPAs, how have you managed conflict within your company? Learn how three CEO’s displayed incredible leadership to their employees in the midst of conflict:

https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/these-3-emails-from-the-ceos-of-starbucks-microsoft-and-amazon-teach-extraordi.html?cid=sf01001&sr_share=twitter

 

“Silences creates accountability for a response.” Sometimes, the best way to let voices be heard is to silence your own:

https://www.inc.com/lee-colan/how-silence-speaks-louder-than-words.html?cid=sf01001&sr_share=twitter

 

Everyone knows the drag of long, fruitless meetings. Read on to learn the secrets to running more productive meetings. As CPAs, how have you incorporated these methods into your own meetings?

https://www.fastcompany.com/40423133/seven-ceos-secrets-for-running-more-productive-meetings?utm_content=buffer8f82b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

At the CPA Center of Excellence®, we help CPAs and service professionals stay ahead of change and innovation. Look for our recommended reads on topics like critical thinking and non-technical skills, the future of work, innovation, talent management, leadership, and the changing role of the CPA each Wednesday.

Learning With Style: Custom-Fit Education That Suits You

June 5, 2017By Jenny Norris, CPA, CGMABlog, Learning and Career Development

So, I was given an article from Harvard Business Review and asked to blog about it. When I normally write a blog post, it’s usually related to something I’m working on or a topic I pick that I have an interest in. I wasn’t sure how to write about a topic just given to me and make it feel like it was something I had a real feeling about. Of course, the Society and the CPA Center of Excellence® have been focused on new learning methods and approaches, so I was intrigued when I saw the subject.

I figured it made sense to start by actually reading the article. It is titled How Learning and Development are Becoming More Agile. So at first I started thinking great, a buzz word article about a buzz word topic. Well, I started reading, and found some interesting points in the article.

The first good take away for me was the comment that “the future of learning is three ‘justs’:  just enough, just-in-time and just-for-me.” That rang true to me. I don’t know about other CPAs, but I find it so tough to sit in a classroom for eight hours to listen to an instructor talk one topic. Most classes like that are not interactive, and are more for general knowledge and not always the specific knowledge that I am looking for. We all have specialized roles in our organizations, whether in industry or public accounting … wouldn’t it be great if we had the ability to get more specialized knowledge that is suited to our individual roles?

Another interesting point from the article was that “team-based learning is providing more benefits.” That makes sense. Why not put a diverse group of people together to work on a case study or assignment? Every person in the group brings a different skill or perspective to the group. The group can learn from each other and learn to work together at the same time.  It’s a subtle way to provide more meaningful learning through interactions with others. We just had an assignment here at INCPAS to work together on a project with a group of members of staff from all different departments. It was a great experience because we all brought different knowledge and viewpoints to the table and everyone hopefully gained additional knowledge from hearing the different perspectives of our fellow staff members.

A final good point from the article was that “life-long learning is a critical element of the workplace” and that young workers seem to get that point better than the rest of us. Part of that is probably due to how they are being taught compared to how those of us who aren’t considered young workers were taught.  There are so many more options available for learning now; we didn’t have MOOCs or other online courses available when I went to school.

Technology has facilitated so many more options in the delivery of learning and development that it makes it easier to get learning when it’s convenient to you on topics you want to learn about. Now if only we could do the same with our professional development and create more of a three ‘justs’ model for CPAs so we could learn just enough, just-in-time and just for me. Fortunately we are headed in that direction with the movement toward competency-based education for CPAs in Indiana and other professionals.

We are confronting the future of learning at the CPA Center of Excellence, and I see the benefits. What are your thoughts?

What We’re Reading – 5/31/2017

May 31, 2017By Elise MayArticle, Blog

This week’s recommended reading on leadership, entrepreneurship, and technology. 

The 2016 Capital Trends study has identified five things your company can do right now to foster new leadership. As CPAs, how can you implement these tactics to nurture your workplace’s future leaders? 

http://deloitte.wsj.com/cmo/2017/05/25/5-ways-to-nurture-developing-leaders

According to the Harvard Business School, there are several reasons why having an openness to new experiences gives you a more entrepreneurial spirit than your peers.

https://www.inc.com/scott-mautz/harvard-research-says-this-1-thing-distinguishes-entrepreneurial-leaders-from-co.html

New developments in informatics applications are poised to forever change the way risk management is done. Read on to learn how “R.I.S.K.” is making this change and how it might affect YOUR company.

https://medium.com/@TGRCBB/meet-r-i-s-k-why-your-next-chief-risk-officer-will-be-a-smart-robot-5b91e5f840b1

At the CPA Center of Excellence®, we help CPAs and service professionals stay ahead of change and innovation. Look for our recommended reads on topics like critical thinking and non-technical skills, the future of work, innovation, talent management, leadership, and the changing role of the CPA each Wednesday.

 

Understanding and Valuing Experience

May 29, 2017By Gary Bolinger, CAEBlog, Learning and Career Development

If I knew then …

Well. Have you ever said that? If I knew then … what I know now. Or even if you didn’t say it, maybe you thought it. Of course you have! We all do!

That’s life. We all learn from experience. Once you learn to ride a bike, you never seem to forget. You may get a bit rusty, but you really never forget. It’s like playing a musical instrument, you don’t forget. You lose your “chops” but you still know “how.” But actually doing the how part is what’s difficult. I speak from experience on that one. As a long time drummer who still understands the rudiments, but with execution that is now iffy at best.

Experience is a great thing. As we go through our day, we should keep in mind a very important aspect of “experience” — that is, it isn’t just reserved for “old people.” Age is not the determining factor. I am surrounded by younger people who have all kinds of experience that I don’t have. Maybe they have traveled somewhere that I am planning to visit and they can give me some tips. Those tips are valuable because I don’t have that experience. I don’t know which sights to see or restaurants that are the best.

Or they may have some technology skill that I need to be more aware of. Young people today become proficient using technology at very early ages. By the time they hit college or the workforce, they are ready for anything. And they also seem better at adapting as technology changes because they have grown up with it and have that familiarity where updates and changes don’t phase them.

On the other hand, more “mature” people simply have more experiences. Now that is a factor of age.  Some experiences I have had, I didn’t learn from. Why? I just didn’t understand the potential value of that experience. I do think that as you mature you do understand the value of experience more and more. With a toddler, new experiences are just part of growing. They learn to walk, to talk and to communicate — slowly at first and then more effectively. But they aren’t thinking about the value of the experiences as they acquire those skills.

No matter how you look at it, experience is valuable. Incredibly valuable. What experience is most valuable to you? Have you had some experiences that you didn’t learn from? If so, are you now able to understand what you might have failed to learn and how to take advantage of those opportunities?

The problem is, we don’t understand the value of experience until we have it. So, I encourage you to take advantage of every opportunity you have to gain experience. Especially the new ones.

What We’re Reading – 5/24/2017

May 24, 2017By Elise MayBlog

This week’s recommended reading and listening on leadership, ethics, innovation, and persuasion. 

 

Innovation is one of many keys to success in any business, but its potential rests on how much that business is willing to embrace it. How much does your company value innovation? 

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/294126

 

In this interview, Kim Scott, New York Times bestselling author of Radical Candor, discusses how to be a more honest leader. This podcast is hosted by author and future of work thought leader Jacob Morgan. 

How Radical Candor Can Make You A Better Leader at Work and in Life

 

Innovative workplace practices, such as flat hierarchies and virtual workspaces, are giving these CPAs cutting edge new ways to get the job done.

http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/issues/2017/may/innovative-cpa-firms.html

 

Captain Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger is now known across the world as a hero for his incredible water landing on the Hudson River back in 2009. His actions are a case study in quick thinking and problem solving under pressure. This podcast explores his thinking process and examines how we can all benefit from having a similar mindset. 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenbertoni/2017/05/16/captain-sully-sullenberger-on-how-to-thrive-under-extreme-pressure

 

History can be the future’s greatest teacher. Here are 4 lessons we can learned from some of history’s greatest innovators: 

https://medium.freecodecamp.com/lessons-from-historys-great-innovators-that-you-should-never-forget-4d5e432adcde

 

“If accounting and finance leaders have not considered ways to establish an ethical culture in their company and ensure the interests of all stakeholders are properly aligned, the opportunity is here and the time is now.” Here are several proven ways for accountants to instill ethics in their companies.

https://www.accountingtoday.com/opinion/proven-ways-for-accountants-to-instill-ethics-in-companies

 

According to a survey by EY, many companies’ workplace cultures fail to live up to ethical standards. This article highlights the findings of the survey. Are any of these findings relevant to your company?

http://www.cgma.org/magazine/2017/apr/supporting-ethical-behaviour-201716424.html

 

At the CPA Center of Excellence®, we help CPAs and service professionals stay ahead of change and innovation. Look for our recommended reads on topics like critical thinking and non-technical skills, the future of work, innovation, talent management, leadership, and the changing role of the CPA each Wednesday.

Every Aspect of Life is About Choices, and Workplaces Can Help

May 22, 2017By Jennifer Briggs, CAEBlog, Future of Work and Change Management

I get teased sometimes because I am not a fan of “women’s initiatives.” I always say that I AM a fan of “people initiatives” – ways to make work and life get along better. And I think the way to do this is different for different people at different times in their lives; not necessarily simply differentiated by gender. I know many people disagree with me, but I feel in small ways many well-meaning efforts to help women end up separating women into almost a different class of professional. I don’t mean you can’t highlight particular issues for women, but I think we need to be careful how we go about it. As an example, an idea I hear a lot is that we should all learn to “measure success differently.” This is usually in the context of “not everyone needs to be a partner or a CEO.” Which is fine. And completely true. Many fulfilling lives have been lived by people who were never partners or CEOs. But, when I hear this, it’s almost invariably used in relation to women. My thinking is simple – if this is good for women then it should be good for men as well. I think we all win when choices are open to those who need them and cultural norms allow for many options. (This culture bit is crucial.)

Last year, I asked a question at a conference of a professional I admire very much. This professional was describing the female CEO of a CPA firm as someone who has “lived work/life balance, raised a family, had a career and was very impressive.” That’s nice, right? Who doesn’t want to be considered very impressive? Awesome. But, the way the comment struck me was like this – “See, a woman can have it all! She did it. Isn’t it great?!” and so I asked about it. My question was – would you ever say “Joe is a great guy. He’s got three kids and a successful career. I don’t know how he does it. He’s really impressive.”? I never hear that. The response I received was thoughtful – he said statistically, the number of women in leadership roles in the CPA profession is not as high as it should be considering the number of women who enter the profession; he said citing examples is a good way to bring awareness to that issue.

I get that and appreciated his response. He made me consider my initial reaction. I couldn’t tell in the moment if I was alone on this or not. I was a little nervous about asking the question and not really paying attention to the audience reaction. But, people came up to me for next three days of the conference. They thanked me. They said I was brave. They fist-bumped me and they emailed me. Women with kids, women without kids, men with daughters, women older than me and younger me, and a couple of friends of mine who happen to be men who challenged my question. (I’m sure some women didn’t like it either, but they didn’t talk to me about it.) I was shocked. I didn’t think I was saying anything that others weren’t also thinking. It turns out that I wasn’t, but, I was the only one who said anything. I loved every conversation I had that week, especially with those who disagreed and provided other points of view. I loved the conversations because I think that’s how hard situations are figured out. Not by settling in and standing your ground no matter what, but by discussing what you think and hearing what others think. By understanding the unconscious-biases we all have and how to work through them instead of pretending they don’t exist.

Last year, during a one-week period I heard from three different young, male CPAs who were leaving three different public accounting firms because they wanted more time with their families. And just recently, the responses to a thread on vacations during busy season in the CPA Center of Excellence Open Forum makes me feel great that we are thinking and considering that there’s no single right way for everyone and that we can change how we think, or at least consider changing. Life, in every aspect is about choices. Our workplaces should make our choices about home life a little easier and the choices we make for our home lives (for women and men) should help enhance who we are in our careers.

What we say can make a difference in encouraging or discouraging someone – we should express our opinions, but we should also be open to hearing criticism. What do you think?