Anticipating change, innovating business

Learn how the power of anticipation can help you plan for the future and become a better financial leader.

There is a lot of buzz about the value of prediction lately, particularly for business and technology. And it makes sense: using a futuristic lens for strategic planning can help professionals be better prepared for shifts in the market and increase their company’s potential for growth. For CPAs, it’s also about being a trusted partner and financial leader with foresight. Those that anticipate change are poised to not only see the future, but shape it too.


Anticipation is a way of thinking that drives innovation and prioritizes proactive problem-solving and decision-making. And as a skill, it is only increasing in demand among business and accounting professionals.

As businesses grow more complex, strategy formulation must become more sophisticated and analytical to capitalize on resources and industry leadership.

Daniel Burrus, a well-known expert on business and tech forecasting, agrees: “Our biggest problem isn’t legacy systems, it’s legacy thinking.” He encourages CPAs to see anticipatory thinking as a new but vital core competency, one that better equips them with the mindset needed to develop future business models and take advantage of game-changing opportunities.


Momentum for the anticipatory CPA is growing and in tune with larger economic patterns and government investment, from a National Research Council Canada study about the impact of knowledge management on public interest to Forbes’ enthusiastic embrace of trends that fuel global business.

CPAs who are interested in developing the skill of anticipation have a variety of options, including:

  • continuous learning, ideally in comprehensive courses and programs that take a stakeholder-driven approach to strategic planning and proactive leadership
  • joining tech-oriented online communities or attend in-person events where they can learn from peers and exchange ideas about prediction and forecasting
  • demonstrating the value of anticipation to clients with future-focused business solutions that capitalize on emerging trends to deliver more agile financial services

Think of the anticipatory CPA as a new breed of professional accountant. When you’re operating as an anticipatory CPA, you not only bring up-to-date skills and business knowledge to the table, but strong leadership, reliable financial acumen and the ability to integrate ideas and data that go beyond the numbers.

Learn how to identify future trends and their impact on your clients or organization with these professional development opportunities:

The Anticipatory Organization: Accounting and Finance Edition
Elearning | Business Learning Institute | Designed by Daniel Burrus

An accelerated program that teaches CPAs and other business professionals about anticipatory thinking and forecasting. The curriculum features four modules with rapid application exercises and case studies to encourage learning by doing, with an exclusive focus on training for accounting and finance executives.

Conference for Audit Committees
December 6-7, 2016 | Toronto, ON | Sheraton Centre

This year’s keynote address is called “Leveraging a New World of Opportunity,” by Yvette Montero Salvatico and Frank Spencer, partners at Kedge Futures, a strategic foresight consultancy. With two decades of experience in the corporate world, both Salvatico and Spencer are uniquely positioned to advise on global innovation, digital disruption and what the future holds for complex organizations.