Editor’s note: the next steps

Okey Chigbo, Editor of CPA Magazine, introduces the features in the March 2016 issue.

When Richard and Maurice McDonald started their Bar-B-Que restaurant in 1940, they could not have guessed that it would become a worldwide fast-food behemoth. But, as often happens, it was not the brothers who created today’s McDonald’s brand and took the company to its present heights. That credit goes to Ray Kroc, who offered to franchise the fast-food joints throughout the US and then bought out the brothers in 1961 for US$2.7 million. Hugely ambitious, Kroc pushed hard to make the chain a national institution. During his watch, McDonald’s went public in 1965, introduced famous ad campaigns such as "You deserve a break today," introduced Ronald McDonald, the Golden Arches, the Big Mac, the Egg McMuffin and other well-known staples of the multinational’s image.

In the first 15 years of this new millennium, virgin territories opened up for the hamburger giant. A McDonald’s can now be found in at least 121 middle-to-upper-income countries in the world. These include China, as well as seemingly unlikely places such as Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

But despite such phenomenal growth, all has not been nirvana for the Golden Arches. There’s been an explosion of competitors as well as a customer preference for fresher food that has made things difficult for a prepackager. "While McDonald’s was still making money, its rate of revenue growth had been deteriorating," writes Susan Smith in "A Lot on His Plate." It was clear someone new was needed to take the company to the next level. The company chose British-born Steve Easterbrook, former CEO of McDonald’s UK and president of McDonald’s Europe, and, at the time, global chief brand officer.

Easterbrook’s goal, according to the company, is "revitalizing McDonald’s as a modern, progressive burger company delivering a contemporary customer experience." This feature looks at the challenges facing the company as Easterbrook forges tools for the new century.

CPA Canada recently completed its compensation study for the profession. According to writer Robert Colapinto’s report ("The 2015 Compensation Survey") , the study "depicts a triple-legacy accounting profession swimming confidently ... in 2014." Colapinto notes that mean compensation for traditional and nontraditional roles rose 7%, and the median increase was 3%. "Although the profession is not experiencing double-digit percentage increases in salaries, its members enjoy excellent compensation and have taken on impressive roles in practice and a range of industry sectors." I don’t have to ask readers to read this feature with care. I am sure most will.