Forget CPE, You Need an FPE

Business hand holding hot chart in crystal ballAn executive whose entire job is to predict future?

By Hitendra Patil

Do you want to know the future of accounting?

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Business Insider recently published a post stating Ford has an executive whose entire job is to predict the future.

Being a futurist is not an imagination job. It requires one to understand trends and help formulate future strategies, planning and processes. At CPATrendlines, we, along with several recognized thought leaders who have been contributing trend-spotting articles, have been intent on helping the accounting profession confidently move forward into the future by uncovering actionable insights about future trends.

Ford’s “Future Prediction Executive” shared some intriguing thoughts on what to look for when trying to predict the future. We went into our research data and feelers from our contributing authors to bring you a take on what crucial questions the accounting profession’s “Future Prediction Executive” (FPE) will try to answer:

  1. What are the trends that reflect aspirations of the younger generation?
  2. Social media technologies have put people into the habit of sharing their stories. The boundaries between work and home life are blurring because of these technologies and habits. What stories do your clients and staff share about their experience with your firm’s services?
  3. People don't want more stuff – they want better stuff. Uberization is about making processes easier, more convenient and better. What will your firm do to provide better experience to clients and staff?
  4. The new generation believes (more strongly) that life is to be experienced. Hence time becomes more important. How will you deliver faster outcomes that people can consume anytime, anywhere?
  5. Meeting needs is not enough. How will your firm anticipate needs?
  6. Aging population is a macro trend. How will accounting move to integrate itself into later stages of the human life cycle?
  7. Mobility is the new definition of freedom. How will your firm liberate its staff and clients from “location”? Access to information (via web) is so yesterday now. How will you provide your clients mobile access to your accounting and tax knowledge and wisdom? How will you provide location-independent, tech-driven yet human, inspirational, interactive, learning and teamwork experience to your staff?
  8. As technologies become more artificially intelligent and more able to “connect more dots” in a complex regulatory world, how will you explain the real value your firm delivers?

The job of a futurist does not stop at understanding

  • emerging technology developments,
  • application of new technologies to the accounting profession,
  • how the clients’ business world is changing,
  • commercial risks associated with new initiatives,
  • regulatory changes,
  • political thought process and
  • the resultant comprehensive view of the future.

From all these complexities, the FPE actually defines future actions that improve the lives of people – be they clients or staff – by helping them achieve their true potential.

Visionaries, thought leaders, firm owners, customer-evangelists, aspiring accountants, inspired staff – we are calling all of you to share your own mind in your role as an FPE, even if you are not specifically designated as one.