We just completed the 2016 edition of the INCPAS Professional Issues Update (PIU). If you were there, thanks for attending! If you missed it, make sure a PIU is on your “to-do” list for 2017. Even after 17 years of these programs, it seems that there is never a lack of hot topics shaping the future of the CPA profession. Developments in technology, human resources and innovation seem to be top of mind for Indiana CPAs.

piu-2017If you are one of the more than 2,100 INCPAS members who took time from your busy schedule to be with us at the PIU near you, you know that we surveyed PIU participants after the program to get your thoughts on a variety of important topics. So you might have wondered, what did we collectively say? And more importantly, what did we learn?

We spent some time talking about the future, so we asked you about it. We learned that only 37% of our members think that the profession is “future ready.” While that number may be low in consideration of how fast things change today, it is significantly higher than the percentage from a CPA.com study from 2015. That research showed that only 8% of CPAs are “future ready.”

One participant commented “It is hard to know if the profession is future ready, just because we don’t know what the future is.” How true. But curiosity about the future is critical if you want to remain relevant in today’s fast changing world.

Here are some other key areas that we learned about:

Reporting. The world of reporting is changing. Stakeholders are looking for more and different kinds of information to better illustrate how organizations create and sustain value. One answer might be the integrated report. 76% of Indiana CPAs believe that the profession has opportunities to add additional value to employers, clients, bankers and investors through integrated reporting.

Learning. CPE MUST change with new developments in learning methodologies and technology. Changing the decades old CPE model for license renewal will be a monumental task. But, there seems to be a mandate. When asked “Should the Society continue to advocate to allow independent competency-based study as an option to Indiana CPAs in fulfilling their CPE requirements?” the answer was a resounding 83% yes, with another 15% undecided. We will continue our work on this front.

Innovation. It’s pretty hard to pick up any business publication today and NOT see that word in some context. Maybe it’s just a buzzword. Maybe it’s a new word meaning “progress” or “change.” Whatever it is, INCPAS members think it’s important. As evidence, 84% told us that innovation is important in their role or in their organization.

All of this (and more) was shared recently with the Leadership Cabinet and Emerging Leaders Alliance. Now the Society’s board of directors and staff management team will carefully consider what these results mean to future value-adding programs and services for INCPAS members. If you have thoughts on how the Society can best support your professional needs, do let us know.