Change isn’t always easy, but it happens regardless of our intent. We grow older. Families diverge and branch off as children leave the nest to build their own lives. Economies ebb and flow. Consumer tastes fluctuate, causing some businesses to become obsolete while creating room for new ones. And, of course, changes in technology seem to occur so frequently that, just as we’re getting used to one system, it’s time to start learning a new one.
Whether interpersonal, business or technological, many of the changes we face are foreseeable and, therefore, can be planned for. The more challenging ones are those that only a few see early enough to take full advantage of. Such entrepreneurs include the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, the early dot-commers, the inventors of social networking sites, and the businessmen and women in every community who see opportunities for growth and success through change. The key is having the acumen to identify the potentials before they exist and then having the prowess to take action and become one of the first to market with the new product, service or other offering.
In the field of professional accounting, the concept of creativity is often looked at as a vice. After all, forms of creative accounting were the downfall of Enron, WorldCom and other corporations. But there is room for creativity in professional public accounting, and leadership demands it. More than just the cliché of thinking out of the box, leaders in the profession are identifying the technologies and developing new workflows that help their firms operate more efficiently, while offering greater client service and even new practice offerings. By reinventing their practices into more successful, productive and profitable entities, and by helping their clients do the same by looking into the future for opportunities to benefit from change, these professionals are helping to shape the firm of tomorrow.
The CPA Technology Advisor’s 40 Under 40 program recognizes professionals who are actively engaged in making tax and accounting practices stronger and better prepared for changes to come, whether in their own practices or through their roles with the vendors who serve the profession. While not all are technology revolutionaries, they all share the common traits of leadership that is revealed through their dedication to client service, strong ethical conviction, desire to help educate their peers, and their adoption or work in development of technologies that help firms grow. The CPA Technology Advisor’s 40 Under 40 Honorees are nominated by their peers or other individuals working in and around the tax and accounting profession. Let’s meet the class of 2010.