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Episode 1: Mid-Career CPAs and the need to embrace technology

While new crops of CPAs are arriving at the profession with different mindsets and skills that coincide with the new paradigm shift, mid-career CPAs are developing a growth mindset and using opportunities to upskill.

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The updated competency map for CPAs aims to produce a new kind of professional accountant. The CPA of the future will be tech savvy and have a mindset that will embrace the systems and the hyper connectedness that increasingly interweaves through our modern world. There are many ways for a CPA to evolve with technology, but an infallible method to improve performance could be to integrate evergreen learning. This includes maintaining curiosity, possessing a thirst for knowledge and a commitment to continue to learn about the transformation of the profession.

David McGuffin speaks with Irene Wiecek, professor of accounting at the University of Toronto, and Andrew Morgan, Partner at EY, about how CPAs can adapt to an increasingly technological world—and in Andrew’s case—provide real life examples of using new tech to complete audits.

View transcript

In this episode

  • Irene describes the CPA of the future (1:32)
  • Not having a growth mindset is the real danger to CPAs (3:40)
  • How mid-career CPAs need to think about supporting staff to be curious (5:02)
  • How Andrew came up with the idea to use a drone to conduct audits (6:50)
  • Using the drone for warehouse audits (10:13)
  • How Andrew fosters an 'evergreen mindset' that stays curious about new approaches to traditional practices (16:15)
  • It will be critical for CPAs to have this innovator's mindset over the next decade (17:07)

Key takeaways

  • This first episode of the second season zeroes in on the need for CPAs to develop a growth mindset. Someone with a growth mindset loves to innovate; is quick to embrace new technologies; and seeks out new ways of doing traditional activities.
  • This growth mindset is especially important for mid-career CPAs as they begin rubbing shoulders with new entrants to the profession who have moved through the updated CPA Competency Map.
  • In this episode host David McGuffin speaks with Irene Wiecek. Irene is a professor of accounting at the University of Toronto and she was part of the team that created the new Competency Map.
  • Irene says CPAs of the future will “Get up every day thirsty to say, ‘What can I make better?’, ‘How can I improve performance today?’, and that to me is going to be the big change.’
  • That describes how Andrew Morgan approaches his role at EY. Andrew is a partner in charge of data analytics for the financial services audit practice. He’s also a member of EY's audit innovation lab.
  • Andrew speaks to David about the ways he has brought innovation to the audit process. Just one example, he now has a pilot’s license to fly drones over parking lots and through warehouses to conduct audits.
  • He tells David, “You always want to be curious about new technology and emerging methods. It keeps the audit interesting, keeps your professional life interesting, you don’t want to repeat the same procedures again and again for 30 or 40 years.’'

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the guest and do not necessarily reflect those of CPA Canada.