The Smoke Detector: #Innovation

By John Minnich posted 10-10-2017 15:31


I am extremely honored and excited having received an invitation from the Indiana CPA Society to emcee the 2018 CPA Celebration. It has and continues to be a privilege to be part of such a forward-thinking and innovative organization and group of colleagues. Having served five years on the Leadership Cabinet, I really hope to participate again in the very near future. Soon after joining LC, I participated on the educational foundation board of trustees and got involved with the Fusion Network writing articles on trends, new ideas, and innovation in the CPA profession. I also commenced as a discussion leader for continuing education.

Though I have been a member of INCPAS since 2004, LC really got me engaged. Reflecting back, I joined LC just as David Griffiths began advising the Society on sharing knowledge and, to quote the CPA Center of Excellence®, “reach beyond past expectations of technical knowledge to succeed in this new, global, technology-driven environment. We must cultivate our core competencies (“soft skills” or business skills like leadership, critical thinking and decision making) that transcend the profession and set us apart from colleagues, elevate us within our firms, and make us stand out to clients.” Over the years, LC/ELA along with the board and an amazing staff have led nationally recognized and progressive initiatives. The topics have proven thought provoking, very real, relevant, and applicable.

Talent_Development.jpgAs I put together this discussion, I wrote a few different articles with various revisions. Topics include competency-based education, further discussion of the changing role of the CPA, and innovation. In a future blog, I will converse about my experiences with experiential learning, backward design, flipped classrooms, gamification, micro-credentials, mobile learning, social media, and peer-to-peer learning (AICPA Future of Learning).

I recently revisited INCPAS 2025 and the Society’s innovation white paper entitled "CPA's Role in Leading Innovation." A key element of INCPAS 2025 was the expanded role of CPAs in business including a multi-disciplinary skill set and knowledge. “The changing role of the CPA will have challenges, too. Particularly for CPAs who don’t embrace this changing role. The CPAs who don’t seek to expand their skills risk becoming irrelevant.”

Why Innovation?

“Welcome to the Fast Future ... Insight into the CPA of the Future 2015 Study” conducted for by Dr. James Canton and the Institute of Global Futures centered on four primary future readiness metrics:

  1. Disruptive Technology and Innovation
  2. Talent and the Changing Workforce
  3. Globalization and the Marketplace
  4. The Changing Role of the CPA
Key findings of the study were:

  • Only 8% of CPAs think the profession is future ready today.
  • 10% of CPA firms view themselves as innovative; 82% recognize they need to better understand innovation.
  • 80% of CPAs indicated a need to better understand emerging technology trends.
  • 80% of CPAs have concerns about talent recruitment to meet future needs.
  • 78% of CPAs think they should prepare their clients for the complex challenges of the future marketplace.
  • Only 25% of CPAs recognize increased global competition is coming and that they need to be more aware of globalization’s impact on business.
  • 80% of CPAs think their role will change significantly in the future – the CPA of the future will offer more consultative business development, risk management and advisory services by 2025.
I have shared various stories on my journey and thank the Society for leading several important initiatives that impact our profession. It has really helped me think about my career as well as colleagues and students around me as I offer assistance. In future articles, I hope to share some more of my journey including community service, my time at Parkview Health, and continued professional development through Cornell University and the Indiana University School of Philanthropy. I also intend to capture some of the cultural change and new initiatives undergoing at Concordia. We have a supportive environment open to new ideas with an emphasis on professional development.

During my tenure with INCPAS, my career has and continues to proceed in an innovative way. I continue to approach change and growth as opportunities and look forward to the journey. If you have yet to consider getting involved with INCPAS, I strongly encourage you to do so. I assure you that supporting this organization is an investment well worth. Thank you, Gary Bolinger, for your impeccable leadership! I look forward to supporting Jennifer Briggs and her team in any way that I can as I have full faith in her.

“Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity, not a threat.” — Steve Jobs, Apple Co-founder