Accounting & Audit
Carla McCall, CPA, CGMA – 2022 Most Powerful Women in Accounting
As new generations of accounting professionals aspire to leadership roles in the profession, it is inspiring to look to those who have attained those ranks ahead of them. The AICPA and CPA Practice Advisor partner each year to honor ...
Jun. 08, 2022
Carla McCall, CPA, CGMA
2022 Most Powerful Women in Accounting
TRAITS OF AWARD WINNERS
- She has been the driving force to create a culture of excellence, innovation, and inclusion. If she is a vendor, she has helped to develop the technologies and solutions that will empower organizations to be more productive and profitable.
- She is one of the top leaders in the accounting profession and her leadership has had a demonstrable effect upon the accomplishments of the organization with which she is associated.
- She is a mentor, sponsor, and a role model, someone who stands out in her ability to encourage and help those around her thrive and flourish.
- The work she does is influential and is having a positive impact on the accounting profession as a whole.
What do you feel is the most important issue facing the accounting profession today?
The declining pipeline of talent remains the most undeniable issue facing the profession. I think it was Barry Melancon who recently quoted that enrollment in accounting degree programs was down 10% from 2019 to 2021. However, I take a problem-solving approach to meeting challenges and believe the best ideas come in response to an important problem and thrive under constraints. The industry’s technological transformation offers some solutions to talent shortages. We can increase efficiencies and speed to insight, reduce costs, and improve process quality with the right tools in place and with more diverse talent sets behind the tools.
What one thing would you recommend accountants do to prepare for the future?
Accountants must keep an external view and remain focused on the industry’s technological transformation. This is the premise behind the AICPA’s CPA Evolution initiative. The skills and competencies needed to practice accounting are rapidly changing. We need to think differently about the skill sets we hire for, and where we hire. Accountants with an innovative mindset will be best prepared for the future of the profession. We need to encourage all accountants to pursue CPE that focuses on process automation, data analytics, and training on leveraging AI-infused tools.
What one skill or experience would you recommend that young women getting started in the accounting profession master?
Theoretically, men and women in 2022 are starting their careers on a level playing field, No? Regardless of gender, accounting professionals need to master their EQ (aka emotional quotient or emotional intelligence). We are in the relationship and trust business. I love to see professionals with backgrounds in customer service. It tells me they have experience thinking on their feet when client facing. In this profession, we must be confident, strong communicators and control the full spectrum of our emotions to effectively build rapport to become our clients’ trusted advisor and confidant. I highly suggest reading Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and practicing the strategies, and be liberal with asking for feedback.
We are also training our young professionals at AAFCPAs to achieve more career self-reliance. We provide training on advocating for themselves and the career path they want based on what they truly enjoy. There is a saying, “if you truly enjoy what you do you will never work a day in your life.” There is some truth to that as your profession becomes a part of your life and you work hard to find the right balance. We coach them to ask for clear guidelines on career path and to get the intentional experiences they need to promote themselves.
Read more about the 2022 Most Powerful Women in Accounting Winners.