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In this Issue: December 2015

In this month's issue, our focus is on “the state of the profession” with regard to both CPA firms and individual professionals—the management of a practice, the recruitment and retention of new talent, the pursuit of business opportunities and career goals. The accounting profession, like many others, is facing a host of challenges, from a difficult economic climate to a changing technology paradigm to a demographic transition. But with these challenges come opportunities for growth and reinvention that nimble firms and adaptable individuals will be able to capitalize upon.

The results of the first annual NYSSCPA–Rosenberg Survey point to a profession that is being disrupted by new technologies, staff shortages, turnover, and succession problems. Expert observers suggest that technology will continue to reshape practice and merger activity will continue at its brisk pace. Firms should also focus on their people—finding talented individuals, building their skills, and developing them into future leaders.

Cultivating diversity within the accounting profession has been a challenge for decades. In “Addressing the Challenges of Diversity in the Profession,” authors Helen Gabre, Dale Flesher, and Frank Ross have studied the issue and identified several determinant factors—gender differences, exam affordability, occupational incentives, role models, and employers' support—that are crucial in addressing as the profession seeks to make its members more representative of society as a whole.

The transformation of the profession is felt not just in public accounting firms but anywhere that CPAs practice. In “So You Want to Be a CFO?,” authors Tim M. Lindquist and Alexandra Rausch examine the changing role of CFOs in large enterprises. CPAs looking to succeed in these positions cannot just rely on financial acumen; they must also bring a broader range of soft skills to the table as they increasingly serve as strategic business advisors. And, in “A Profile of Key Tax Personnel in Corporate America,” author Kim Honaker focuses on gender issues on the corporate tax track. Here, too, women CPAs—as well as men, for that matter—must have a broader set of technical, communication, and relationship-building skills than ever before in order to succeed.

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