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Edi Osborne, CSPM – 2015 Most Powerful Women in Accounting

Edi Osborne

Edi Osborne, CSPM

Mentor Plus

Click here to see the other honorees of the 2015
“Most Powerful Women in Accounting” awards.

What advice would you give to female college students about the opportunities for women in the accounting profession?

The sky’s the limit! There’s never been a time to design the career of your dreams. As the profession moves toward a multi-disciplined approach to serving clients, you have both a rock solid foundation as an accountant and the opportunity to expand your area of expertise in so many non-traditional areas such as advisory work, technology, financial services, etc.
What advice would you give accounting firms on things they could do to better retain and advance more qualified female staff?

I believe the profession needs to provide a more flexible path to partnership. One that allows for part-time leadership roles during a woman’s family focus years.
What is the name of one book that has been a great influence to you?

Getting Naked by Patrick Lencioni – this book provides a blueprint for how to have an authentic relationship with your clients.
In what ways do you participate in the professional community to change/improve the accounting profession?

My focus has been on writing for and speaking to the profession. My book, Firm Forward, has been downloaded for free by thousands of accountants all over the world with the hopes of shifting the accounting profession from a compliance driven service model to one that better serves the advisory service needs of their small business clients.
In what ways do you participate in your local community to help others?

I have a passion for working with women business owners whether it be one-on-one or through business incubators and/or CEO roundtables.
What changes do you foresee in the accounting profession of the near future (3-5 years)?

I believe the biggest shift is going to come in the type of services the profession has to offer. Technology is becoming seamless and invisible (as it should be) so the profession will have to find more visible ways to add value to their clients. Including, but no limited to, helping them improve the performance of their business. Specifically, by helping their clients develop business dashboards with a strategically relevant mix of financial and non-financial metrics.
How do you see yourself participating in shaping the future of the accounting profession?

I will continue to do what I’ve been doing for over 20 years; beating the drum for accountants to expand their skills in the area of advisory services. Firms that are doing this well are seeing tremendous gains in client and employee retention.

Describe one person who has been an important mentor to you and how that person helped shape the direction or focus of your professional life.

Jay Abraham taught me it is always better to be “interested” rather than be “interesting.” His simple message reminds me daily that it’s not about how much you know, but how much you care. The other great mentor I’d like to mention is Simon Sinek and his messaging around “Why.” Getting clear about my personal and professional “Why?” has helped me stay focused, say no to opportunities that don’t fit with my why, and attract others who have the same vision/why that I do.


Click here to see the other honorees of the 2015
“Most Powerful Women in Accounting” awards.