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Accounting & Audit

CPA Innovation Summit Series Kicks Off with Free, Future-Focused Keynote

As businesses around the world reckon with the challenges posed by COVID-19, one thing is clear: There is no going back to normal. Instead, our charge is to reinvent an entirely new economic reality – our “next normal.”


As businesses around the world reckon with the challenges posed by COVID-19, one thing is clear: There is no going back to normal. Instead, our charge is to reinvent an entirely new economic reality – our “next normal.”

That’s the theme of this year’s CPA Innovation Summit, one of the Maryland Association of CPAs’ signature annual events.

It’s also the MACPA’s challenge in redesigning the influential event to better fit within the context of a virtual world.

Traditionally a day-long live conference that focuses on the future of the profession, this year’s CPA Innovation Summit has been reimagined as a virtual series of 18 live webcasts that will begin this week, run through October and November, and culminate with three impactful panel discussions on Dec. 15.

A free keynote to kick off the series

The series will open with a power-packed — and free — virtual keynote on Oct. 2. Titled “Anticipate and Reimagine What’s Next,” the hour-long keynote will feature Daniel Burrus, a world-renowned futurist and best-selling author of The Anticipatory Organization, and MACPA President and CEO Tom Hood, who will join forces to discuss the acceleration of digital transformation and the key trends we can anticipate as we head into 2021.

“It’s been said that 2020 is the new 2025,” Hood said. “Daniel Burrus tells us that the Hard Trends that were shaping the future before COVID-19 have now been accelerated by five years — and in some cases 10 years — in just five months. This represents enormous new opportunities for accounting and finance professionals to dramatically elevate their relevance and accelerate growth in the months and years ahead.”

“With all that’s happened — with all that’s still happening — many CPAs and finance and accounting professionals are busier than ever,” Burrus added. “Now is the time to go beyond trying to keep up and use the certainty that comes from the Hard Trends that are shaping the future to have the confidence to make bold moves.

“We are entering uncharted territory,” Hood continued. “A new world is upon us. Those who conquer it will be those who reimagine, redefine, and reinvent not only themselves and their businesses, but what it means to live and work in a post-pandemic world.”

During the Oct. 2 keynote, Burrus and Hood will examine the latest Hard Trends that are impacting the profession, as well as new research from Burrus Research, McKinsey & Company, Gartner, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and the Business Learning Institute. They will also offer lessons on how accounting and finance professionals can anticipate future trends, seize new opportunities, and avoid being disrupted.

Those attending the keynote will be able to chat live with Burrus and Hood and help identify the accelerating trends and opportunities — in essence, crowdsourcing the opportunities with the highest potential impact for the profession.

Everyone who attends the keynote will receive a whitepaper that contains the results of those conversations.

20 hours of CPE will deliver key future-ready skills

Using those conversations as a foundation for the rest of the event, the 2020 CPA Innovation Summit will continue with 17 more live webcasts that will provide attendees with important tools and knowledge in critical areas like cloud accounting systems, human resources, risk management, A.I. automation, and more. Participants will leave each session with practical, actionable takeaways that they can start implementing immediately.

“In a world shaken by a global pandemic, economic unrest and societal injustice, CPAs remain one of the professions the public can still believe in,” Hood said. “They play a pivotal role in the social and economic heartbeat of this nation, and it’s imperative we develop anticipation, agility, and adaptability – the future-proof skills that will see CPAs and their clients through the economic storm.”

The series will culminate on Dec. 15 with three panels of leading CPAs who will discuss what they see coming in the months and years following the pandemic. The panels will be moderated by the editors of Accounting Today and CPA Practice Advisor.

The CPA Innovation Summit series is worth up to 20 credits of CPE. For a complete agenda and further details, visit