Change. Progress. Evolution. Opportunity.

There is a lot going on in business and the profession. Whether you think about what is happening on the other side of the world and how it is affecting our economy, the ever present effects of regulation on the profession, a changing workforce in terms of age, gender, diversity and the requisite skills to be successful today, or evolving customer and client expectations, there is a lot going on!

CPA Horizons 2025 ReportHow do we manage all of that?  What do we focus on and how do we prepare? In fact, how do we know what to prepare for?  It isn’t very easy.

Well, we might take a lesson from one speaker at our May 2012 Leadership Cabinet / Emerging Leaders Alliance meeting. McKenzie Scot Lewis suggested, quite effectively, that we need to understand the past, recognize the present and imagine the future.

Understanding the past can entail things like: How did the profession come to be? What services did the profession seek to provide based on the skills of CPAs? What historic events in business (like maybe Enron) created a new environment and how did the profession react? What steps were taken to ensure the future success of the profession?

Recognizing the present means acknowledging what is happening today, and adapting as necessary. Focus on being flexible, dynamic and agile. In other words, be ready for midcourse corrections at a moment’s notice.

Imagining the future requires awareness and sensitivity to what is happening in the environment, and what future opportunities for you and the profession are based on that activity.

Has your success and the success of the profession been the result of something like luck? Maybe just being in the right place at the right time? Hardly. A Roman philosopher in mid 1st century A.D. said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”  We all know that. Or we should.

When an opportunity presents itself, we must be ready. There are emerging opportunities for you as an individual CPA and for the profession as a whole. The CPA Horizons 2025 Report provides a high level view of what the future might hold. We need to be careful that we don’t miss the opportunities that we are best suited for.

During the 2012 Professional Issues Updates, we will review some of those opportunities. And hopefully provide some insight on how to be prepared. If you’re “lucky” you just might find an opportunity that suits you really well.