It seems that we have been doing that for a while now in Indiana. Knowledge management and the competency-based approach has required a lot of “rethinking.” Maybe you saw the recent article in Accounting Today (November 24, 2014) titled CPA Firms Need to Rethink Themselves.

The author talks about CPA value and where that comes from. His conclusion appears to be that value is generated through knowledge. He even asserts that “CPA firms aren’Sharet professional services firms – they’re professional knowledge firms.”

Well, we could have told him that. That is what we have been diligently working on for the past few years.

And there’s more. Value isn’t generated from billable time but rather about “quality of insights.” But the author doesn’t expand on how “quality of insight” is created. Is it magic? Are you just supposed to tell your CEO or client that you’re a CPA and, as a result, your insight is of high quality? That probably won’t work.

The quality of that insight is determined by your ability to think critically, make decisions, solve problems, anticipate evolving needs, and provide the leadership to add value to the employer or client.  Value is the result of a predetermined, preferred outcome.

Of course, none of this possible unless your organization has committed to processes to effectively manage knowledge within the organization. Ask critically … how do we acquire, develop, store and distribute knowledge throughout our organization? How do we intend to create value through achieving the preferred outcomes? It is a complex human resource process.

The CPA Center of Excellence® is dedicated to equipping you and the entire CPA profession with the resources and tools to deliver value through effective knowledge management.