Accounting & Audit
Jennifer Wilson – 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
2022 Most Powerful Women in Accounting
Co-founder and Partner
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 loss of talent and the risk to sustainability that it poses for our profession. Our profession needs a branding make over that can only be successful when we change critical aspects of the business model in both public accounting firms and finance departments. We must move away from a focus on time worked, dues paying, “traditional” roles, and hierarchical structures and toward truly flexible, enjoyable, inclusive, and collaborative environments.
Young people are voting with their feet – by not pursuing an accounting degree, choosing to work in the accounting profession out of school and by leaving the profession. They don’t realize what an incredible profession it is – how rewarding the work with clients and employers can be, how many opportunities there are for innovation, automation and collaboration, and what smart, loving people are here now. Instead, the sad stories told on Reddit, Fishbowl, Going Concern and Glassdoor drown out the major entrepreneurial opportunities that exists by being in this profession. Most of these stories tie directly to business model changes we can and should make. Those resisting these changes are hanging on to their own comfort zones, but they must step out generously and drive these changes NOW. Our profession’s future is at stake.
What one thing would you recommend accountants do to prepare for the future?
Develop your leadership abilities in areas like self-awareness, communication skills, conflict management, networking, people development and time management — while you are building your technical skills. Both leadership and technical skills are equally important in leading the profession forward.
What one skill or experience would you recommend that young women getting started in the accounting profession master?
Learn to share your ideas with confidence and in a way that compels others to act! For those young women who may not love speaking up in a group setting or sharing ideas with superiors, find a mentor who can help you get out of your head and practice strategies for speaking up regularly. For those who may already speak their minds, learn to share your ideas with finesse, bring external referential support material (statistics, success stories) to help your audience accept your ideas, and share how your ideas for change will bring new possibility for the future.
Read more about the 2022 Most Powerful Women in Accounting Winners.