If you are taking the CPA exam in the near future, you may want to listen to this interview with Mike Decker, the VP of Examinations at the AICPA. Mike leads the team of 62 people that write, administer and grade the exam.
Harvard Business Review named the data scientist the sexiest job of the 21st century. This job requires significant computing and statistical skills.
With the rise of analytics and artificial intelligence, these skills are needed, but even more critical are individuals that have excellent business acumen.
These individuals can fill the role of translator. Not in the traditional language sense, but translate business requirements for the technical individuals.
” translators play a critical role in bridging the technical expertise of data engineers and data scientists with the operational expertise of marketing, supply chain, manufacturing, risk, and other frontline managers. In their role, translators help ensure that the deep insights generated through sophisticated analytics translate into impact at scale in an organization. “
For more on these roles, see the article at: https://hbr.org/2018/02/you-dont-have-to-be-a-data-scientist-to-fill-this-must-have-analytics-role?
At the recent AICPA conference, much of the discussion focused on what skills the accountant of the future would possess. There are two major changes happening in public accounting — technological disruption and a move to more advisory services.
These two changes require more diverse skills than ever before. Many of the skills are beyond the traditional CPA.
One of the primary skills that will be needed in the future is the ability to continuously learn.
“There will be a need to learn, unlearn and relearn… it’s the thought of futuristic literacy moving forward–not to read and write but the ability to unlearn so you can relearn, and the general awareness of all these activities for everyone. If you’re trusted advisors, you need to know the implications of these shifts–of both the wide knowledge and capabilities for a narrow knowledge.”
With these changes, the certifications will need to evolve. Possibly different types of certifications will be needed beyond the CPA.
To see the remaining summary of the conference, go to
In my opinion, as students start to focus on graduation, certification needs to be a focus. No matter the certification — CPA, CMA, CFE, or CISA, those initials will matter and could be a difference maker.
The field of management accounting is constantly changing. The IMA helps provide the right tools for its professionals to keep up to date.
The organization released a new Statement on Management Accounting that looks at its new Competency Framework. The updates include skills that professionals need to be up to date in the digital age.
You can find the full report here: https://www.imanet.org/insights-and-trends/the-future-of-management-accounting/ima-management-accounting-competency-framework?ssopc=1
Think you are new to analytics? You may have a start. Most of us in business, and especially accounting are quite adept in Excel. This makes the tool a perfect place to start. You cannot use the largest data sets, but with new Excel tools such as PowerPivot, that is constantly increasing.
Analyzing data in Excel helps you learn the process of determining which questions can be answered from the data and using an analytics technique to summarize. If you can do a Pivot Table in Excel, you are on the road to learning more about analytics.
For more information, see this article from Computerworld: https://www.computerworld.com/article/3315737/use-microsoft-excel-to-learn-about-data-analytics.html
There is no doubt that emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and robotic process automation are going to change the skills needed in the workplace.
A recent global report by McKinsey Global Institute showed that women may be more affected than men by automation. A summary of their findings:
- Women and men face a similar scale of potential job losses and gains, but in different areas.
- Women’s jobs may be more prone to partial automation than being entirely displaced by automation.
- Between 40 million and 160 million women globally may need to transition between occupations.
- Women will need to be skilled, mobile and tech savvy to adapt.
“If women make these transitions, they could be on the path to more productive, better-paid work.” If not, they could be left behind.
Get a full copy of the report at: https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/gender-equality/the-future-of-women-at-work-transitions-in-the-age-of-automation
At the SAP Sapphire 2019 conference, Kerry Brown, VP of workplace adoption spoke on the technological changes affecting the workplace. He believes that “AI has the capability to impact and replace jobs in any workplace.”
Brown outlined 5 ways employees can “stretch” themselves from the disruption in the workforce.