Core Competencies 

From CPA Vision Project Final Report: 

Core Competencies: A unique combination of human skills knowledge, and technology that provides value and results to the user.  Enhancing our core competencies is key to sustaining a competitive and differential advantage in the marketplace.

Communications and Leadership Skills: Able to give and exchange information within meaningful context and with appropriate delivery and interpersonal skills.  Able to influence, inspire, and motivate others to achieve results.

CPAs will develop the ability to actively listen and gain understanding of explicit and implied needs of customers, clients and employers. CPAs ask targeted questions to strategically probe for valuable information.  CPAs help others to discover meaning and opportunities in a wide variety of information sources. CPAs express innovative and insightful information and advice in a clear and easily understood manner. CPAs leverage and share knowledge and contacts for the mutual benefit of clients, employers, and colleagues. CPAs will develop a broad range of techniques including facilitation, teamwork, and “people skills” far beyond traditional written and oral skills to enhance the delivery and effectiveness of new products and services.

Strategic and Critical Thinking Skills: Able to link data, knowledge, and insight together to provide quality advice for strategic decision-making.

CPAs will expand their ability to gather data from a wide variety of sources and increasingly provide valuable, strategic interpretations for decision-making. Without jeopardizing the broader public interest, CPAs will find the real meaning behind financial and non-financial information and design criteria to evaluate performance in a variety of business areas. CPAs use strategic and critical thinking skills to pinpoint untapped areas of financial growth, opportunity, and success. CPAs will refine and enhance traditional planning to include new techniques such as visioning, scenario planning, and environmental scanning to keep the focus on the desired results.

Focus on the Customer, Client & Market: Able to anticipate and meet the changing needs of clients, employers, customers, and markets better than competitors.

CPAs actively and continuously pursue knowledge of current and emerging market trends. CPAs actively and effectively market their professional talents and abilities. CPAs understand how to maneuver in the competitive environment, can identify strategic directions, and mobilize resources to capitalize on opportunities. CPAs focus on identifying the “right questions” to target the needs of the client, customer, or employer.

Interpretation of Converging Information: Able to interpret and provide a broader context using financial and non-financial information.

CPAs will continuously draw information from a wide variety of sources, financial and non-financial. CPAs make use of tangible and intangible information to provide interpretations that are timely and of value. CPAs will increasingly utilize a systems approach, including formal and informal networks, to gain information and provide interpretations and insights for decision-making. CPAs will develop methodologies to measure and value intangibles of the knowledge age, such as intellectual capital.

Technologically Adept: Able to utilize and leverage technology in ways that add value to clients, customers and employers.

CPAs will awaken to the countless ways that technology is reshaping, refocusing, and redesigning our lifestyles, working methods and techniques, educational experiences, communication skills and  applications, and the practices and processes of the finance, economic and business world. CPAs will continue to cultivate a working and strategic knowledge of current and emerging technologies. CPAs appropriately utilize technology to efficiently enhance the interface between people, procedures, structures, and systems. CPAs become facilitators of change through the ability to identify, select, and maximize the use of technological developments, not only through automation of manual processes, but also through new ways of working. CPAs utilize technology, not for technology sake, but when it can be leveraged to enhance performance and produce measurable results. CPAs will determine optimum methods to enhance these skills, either through in-house training, hiring new employees, continuing education programs, or strategic alliances to enable themselves to integrate these services.

The world has changed since 1998, do these core competencies still apply today to the CPA profession?  Will they apply in the future?  To weigh in, view these videosshare your insights and voice your thoughts in the discussion forums.


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