Bridging the Gap

Strengthening the Connection between Current and Emerging Leaders in the CPA Profession

Among the biggest challenges accounting firms face today is that of passing the torch from today’s established leaders, who are beginning to look toward retirement, to the emerging leaders who will lead firms into the future. This has always been a task fraught with difficulty, but for a multitude of reasons, many firms are now struggling more than they expected in their trek toward transition. There are questions between both sides of current and emerging leaders that contribute to the struggle:

  • Do current leaders resist letting go of control?
  • Are current leaders willing to make changes in their firms that will keep them competitive and sustainable to attract the next generation of leaders (and clients!)?
  • Does the next generation of potential leaders have interest in leadership?
  • Is there a lack of innate talent or acquired ability evident in the young professionals of today, or do we simply not have the luxury of time to gain the experience and knowledge our future leaders need to meet today’s transition requirements?
  • In a profession that offers so much opportunity and is experiencing so much growth, how can moving smoothly from today to tomorrow be as difficult as it currently seems?

In this book, the members of the CPA Consultants’ Alliance examine this disconnect from a variety of angles. Each chapter represents the contribution of a particular expert who serves the accounting profession in a niche. Through their work, these thought leaders are intimately familiar with the profession as well as the challenge of bridging the gap between one generation of leaders and the next, and have devised various approaches to resolve it. Each chapter offers analysis and ideas that reflect the nuances of their respective specialties, which include cultural shifts firms should be considering, marketing and growth strategies, human resources and leadership development and technology and process improvement considerations.