Lifelong Learning: Succeeding in Today’s Challenging Business Environment 


    I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.”
     – Abraham Lincoln

    In today’s shifting professional landscape, CPAs have to be nimble to keep their footing. Success in this business landscape requires strategic insight, innovation and agility. Continuing education and lifelong learning are crucial for CPAs who want to stay ahead of the curve, enhancing their competencies and integrating learning and working experiences.

    “If you’re not learning, you’re remaining stagnant at best,” said Kristine Hull, CPA, CGMA, and Director of Finance at Omaha Performing Arts. “A commitment to lifelong learning ensures that I am challenging myself and continuing to develop skills that will be useful in my career for many years to come.”

    Lifelong learning was identified as one of the core competencies in the CPA Horizons 2025 project. Specifically, research results found that:

    • New CPAs must have a broad knowledge of business and soft skills and not simply focus on technical accounting;
    • CPAs must further develop interpersonal skills to enhance relationships with colleagues, clients, businesses and employers; and
    • Real-time learning in the workplace will change the way CPAs learn and will help them adopt and adapt quickly and knowledgeably to ever-changing circumstances.

    “While I certainly use my technical skills when I review financials or forecast future results, having strong management and strategic skills are also critical,” said Ms. Hull. “My employees often encounter challenging situations, either with other internal departments or with external vendors, and they look to me to guide them through those conflicts.”
     
    In response to the changing needs in the area of business and industry, many CPAs like Ms. Hull have decided to obtain the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation. The designation underscores a commitment to and expertise in finance, operations, management and business strategy, and demonstrates how designation holders can support their CFOs to move business operations forward.

    Additionally, the tools, resources and support offered to CGMA designation holders help them stay ahead of the competition by enhancing their perspective and challenging their thinking.
    For example, a new benefit—free to CGMA designation holders—is Harvard ManageMentor. Designed to build skills with content that incorporates the latest thinking and proven practices from Harvard Business Publishing’s world-class experts, Harvard ManageMentor meets the demands of today’s high-performing organisations and leaders with a rich variety of relevant, practical content including videos, articles, tips and tools on 44 topics.

    “Having these kinds of resources helps me maintain my management skills,” said Ms. Hull. “Keeping up with my CPE allows me to hone and maintain my technical skills, and the resources available through my CGMA designation allow me to do the same for managerial skills—something you just can’t learn in a typical classroom situation.”

    Learn more about Harvard ManageMentor by watching this four-minute video and discover additional benefits available to CGMAs on CGMA.org.

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