May 31, 2018

Ignite Your Summer!

May 31, 2018

Natasha Schamberger, CPA Ignite Your Summer!
By: Natasha Schamberger, CPA

Last week, my daughter’s school officially let out for the summer. For me, this is a monumental milestone that I look forward to each year. There’s nothing like seeing her eyes light up with eager anticipation of the fun summer activities our family has planned ahead. Her energy is contagious as she can hardly wait to get started on an epic summer to-do list filled with outside and pool time, snow cones and ice cream, a beach vacation and even a good ole drive-in movie or two. I, like my daughter, also live for summer and look forward to the freeing feeling of relief that comes with knowing we’re done with homework, soccer practice and other extracurricular activities that tend to fill already-short after-school evenings. I hope that while amidst busy times and full calendars, you are also feeling a sense of renewed energy as summer quickly approaches! 

Just as visions of summer fun can add a little pep in our step, setting our sights on the future vision of the accounting profession can prove to be a rejuvenating experience and valuable opportunity to add excitement to old routines. It is a transformational and captivating time in our accounting profession as we experience the exponential changes in technology that continually expand our everyday roles as CPAs and accounting professionals. These signals of change are no longer something of the future, they are real, and upon us. Specifically, during recent KSCPA Town Hall meetings on the topic, the top five trends Kansas CPAs feel will impact us over the next three years include Cybersecurity (71%); Automation of services (65%); Cloud Computing (63%); Big Data Analytics (57%) and Multi-Generational Workforce (55%). 

Aligning our skill-sets and mindsets with the new realities too often becomes the ‘sticking point’ for many professionals, especially as it relates to getting into the habit of letting go of what was and thinking about what can be possible. 

So, how can we best become ‘think-forward, act-now’ professionals who respond to the latest trends on the horizon, come up with new ideas and practices to think-forward, and then effectively implement them? How can we get into a routine of periodically stepping back from our daily work to look at emerging trends and evaluate their potential impacts so we can plan for the future? 

Making sense of it all and not being intimidated by the chaotic wealth of information thrown at us on the daily from our fast-paced world, doesn’t have to be an overpowering experience. Thinking strategically and assessing where we are… where we need to go… and then creating a plan for progress is essential. Continued progress is the key that will drive the transformation needed to lead our teams confidently into the future. Getting started and committing to focusing on a long-term and ongoing progress plan, will ideally equip you with a renewed sense of control, understanding and confidence in your ability to be proactively prepared to ride big waves of change. 

As many of you embark on strategic team planning sessions and firm retreats this summer, it presents the ideal forum for collaborative progressive deliberation. Consider including these questions as part of your discussions: 

  • What are the pertinent signals of change facing our organization and how will we prioritize the changes we need to respond to?
  • How will we equip our people with accelerated and continuous learning opportunities to acquire new skillsets needed?
  • How will we create a culture of curious learning and innovation?
  • How will we use technology to find new and better ways to create value, considering the future needs of the marketplace?
  • How will we implement technology that enables us to be as efficient as we possibly can?
  • What does our future look like if we ignore the trends and stick with a business as usual mindset?
  • How will we take advantage of these changes and adapt our traditional services and offer new ones? 

Just like the shine of excitement in the eyes of kids on summer break, there’s a twinkle in the eye of the KSCPA. With the creation of BLINK (the Business Leaders Insight Network of Kansas, Powered by the Kansas Society of CPAs), we’re connecting premier accounting and finance professionals around the state to make strides in understanding the latest advancements and how to best craft plans for progress. Watch for more to be released on this exclusive, innovative and collaborative network! 

We are also eager to have you join in on ‘Think-Forward, Act-Now’ discussions covering issues pertinent to your professional success, as well as your organization’s health, wealth & longevity. I encourage you, if you haven’t done so already, to sign up for our Think-Forward. Act-Now Leadership Summit on June 7th

Above all, I hope this summer you find a renewed energy and enthusiasm by seeking the sunshine, and realizing the fantastic possibilities in store for you – and your professional future. And don’t forget… take a break! Get outside! The sun isn’t going to soak up itself.

The Ignite blog is an official publication of the Kansas Society of CPAs.
Copyright 2018