CPA Practice Advisor - 24

THE LEADERSHIP ADVISOR

The Change We Can Control
IN THE ACCOUNTING world these days, we are inundated with news about change, innovation, disruption, or whatever else you want to call it. Terminology aside, the bottom line is
that our jobs our changing at an ever-increasing rate. We know that compliance accounting
could become completely automated in a few years, making an increasingly essential

AMY VETTER, CPA.CITP, CGMA

Mindful Technologist &
Keynote Speaker
@AmyVetterCPA

component of adding value to clients' lives. We hear that blockchain has the potential to
revolutionize whole swathes of accounting, from the audit process to double-entry
itself. Some people even suppose that there may come a time when accounting
"Everyone thinks

as we know it becomes obsolete.
The worst part? We're basically
powerless to control these changes.
Sure, we can prepare for incoming changes by watching what's
happening at Big Four firms and
watching the horizon for trends,
but attempting to stop technological
change is like trying to put out a
wildfire with a squirt gun. However, there is a type of change we
can control. When it comes to our
attitudes and behaviors, we have
tremendous agency over what the
future looks like. That's not to say
self-reflection and adaptation are
easy, far from it, but they're much
more malleable than the winds of
professional change.

A QUESTION OF
PERSPECTIVE
I recently sat down with Jeff Thomson, President and CEO of the Institute of Management Accountants,
for an episode of my Breaking
Beliefs podcast. We discussed the
nature of change in our profession
and how people often dwell on what
they can't control rather than what
they can. "As human beings, we
tend to sometimes make excuses
that change is not within our
control," he said. "There are environmental factors, there's robotics,
there's a family member who I can't

24

NOVEMBER 2019 ■

manage or control. I tend to think
that there's more under our control
than we can even imagine."
In other words, focusing on what
we can't change actively limits us
from controlling what we can.
When you engage in fool's errand
after fool's errand, it's easy to get
discouraged. After a while, you can
begin to think that you're powerless
to create any change whatsoever.
Only when we begin by first asking
ourselves what we have dominion
over, what we have the ability to
modify, that we can begin to reap
the rewards of attempting to evolve.

error. You have to be
willing to analyze
changes you make-
whether in terms of
systems, technology,
processes, or anything
else-and assess their
effectiveness. Otherwise,
you'll fall prey to what Thomson
calls "change for change's sake."
"It's important to keep the end in
mind," he said. If your changes
aren't demonstrably affecting your
organization for the better, then
they're just ceremonial. Real change
produces results.

STARTING FROM WITHIN

THE RIPPLE EFFECT

If you want to thrive in a futurefacing environment, the first thing
to work on is your attitude toward
innovation. Being obstinate in
the face of technological evolution makes embracing change
impossible. After all, nobody ever
improved by sticking their head in
the sand. You have to be willing to
learn new things all the time. There
is no point in your career when you
can sit back and say, "I've learned
enough." You may have been able to
get away with that attitude 50 years
ago, but it certainly won't fly today.
Embracing change involves
experimentation and trial-and-

When you begin to not only accept
but encourage innovation in your
workplace, it's easy for it to become
contagious-in a good way. "The
best leaders begin with an environment that embraces and rewards
change and innovation," says
Lynne Doughtie, the chairman
and CEO of KPMG US.

www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com

of changing the world,
but no one thinks of
changing himself."
~ Leo Tolstoy

There's nothing about good
accounting that works on a set-itand-forget-it methodology. That's
never been the case, and it will
never be the case. The nature of
our jobs can change all they like.
As long as we're willing to change
ourselves and our work habits
in kind, the future looks mighty
bright. ■


http://twitter.com/AmyVetterCPA http://www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com

CPA Practice Advisor

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CPA Practice Advisor

From the Editor: The Land of the Free
How to Get Started with Client Accounting Services
Crafting a Strategic CAS Plan
From the Trenches: Do Your Best Tax
2019 Product Review: Sales & Use Tax Systems
Marketing Your Firm: Marketing to the Home Care Nursing Industry
Marketing Your Firm: Your Bedside Manner: 3 Steps to Improve Client Trust
2019 Product Review: Hosting Service Providers
A Year in the Life of a Payroll Accountant: The Pros & Cons of Temp vs. Seasonal Workers
A Year in the Life of a Payroll Accountant: 6 Retirement Tips for Generation X
The ProAdvisor Spotlight: Newest Features in QuickBooks Online Advanced Speed Workflow
Guest Column: 7 Productivity Hacks for the Strategic CFO
The Staffing & HR Advisor: You May Be Overlooking Top Performers When Hiring
The Millennial Advisor: The Problem with Price
The Leadership Advisor: The Change We Can Control
AICPA News
Bridging the Gap: 3 Small Steps Toward Transformation
Special Feature: The Unseen Talent Pool
CPA Practice Advisor - 1
CPA Practice Advisor - 2
CPA Practice Advisor - 3
CPA Practice Advisor - From the Editor: The Land of the Free
CPA Practice Advisor - How to Get Started with Client Accounting Services
CPA Practice Advisor - Crafting a Strategic CAS Plan
CPA Practice Advisor - 7
CPA Practice Advisor - From the Trenches: Do Your Best Tax
CPA Practice Advisor - 9
CPA Practice Advisor - 2019 Product Review: Sales & Use Tax Systems
CPA Practice Advisor - 11
CPA Practice Advisor - 12
CPA Practice Advisor - 13
CPA Practice Advisor - Marketing Your Firm: Marketing to the Home Care Nursing Industry
CPA Practice Advisor - Marketing Your Firm: Your Bedside Manner: 3 Steps to Improve Client Trust
CPA Practice Advisor - 2019 Product Review: Hosting Service Providers
CPA Practice Advisor - 17
CPA Practice Advisor - A Year in the Life of a Payroll Accountant: The Pros & Cons of Temp vs. Seasonal Workers
CPA Practice Advisor - A Year in the Life of a Payroll Accountant: 6 Retirement Tips for Generation X
CPA Practice Advisor - The ProAdvisor Spotlight: Newest Features in QuickBooks Online Advanced Speed Workflow
CPA Practice Advisor - Guest Column: 7 Productivity Hacks for the Strategic CFO
CPA Practice Advisor - The Staffing & HR Advisor: You May Be Overlooking Top Performers When Hiring
CPA Practice Advisor - The Millennial Advisor: The Problem with Price
CPA Practice Advisor - The Leadership Advisor: The Change We Can Control
CPA Practice Advisor - AICPA News
CPA Practice Advisor - Bridging the Gap: 3 Small Steps Toward Transformation
CPA Practice Advisor - Special Feature: The Unseen Talent Pool
CPA Practice Advisor - 28
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