Why you should send top talent to the AICPA’s E.D.G.E. Conference

Tom Hood, CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs explains why sending your top talent and emerging leaders to the AICPA EDGE Conference is an excellent investment in the future of your company.

2015 is the year Millennials will overtake the Baby Boomer generation in the workplace. This is what I often refer to as the “shift change.”  However, this time the incoming shift of Millennials will need new tools and skills as they step into roles that used to belong to Baby Boomers. Add succession planning and a lack of leadership bench strength and you have a perfect storm of changing trends. For these reasons, the E.D.G.E. Conference was created in 2011, to provide a conference and networking event by and for young professionals to equip them with vital “success skills” needed.

The acronym E.D.G.E. stands for Evolve – Distinguish – Grow – Engage and was crafted by graduates of the wildly successful AICPA Leadership Academy  specifically for the millennial or Gen-Y cohort. E.D.G.E. is also unique in that many sessions are taught by young leaders and graduates of past leadership academies. The energy and enthusiasm at the event is contagious. I should know, as I have attended as a presenter and know many of these emerging young leaders.

One attendee, Jim Shellenberger, CPA, Senior Manager at McKonley and Asbury in Harrisburg, PA summed it up his experience, "“E.D.G.E. is unlike any other professional conference I have attended. While most accounting conferences have technical content as the focus, E.D.G.E. puts the focus on the development of an individual’s leadership and interpersonal skills, which, sadly, are the skills that many practitioners never receive specific training for but are expected to use in their day-to-day roles. For me, the greatest part of E.D.G.E. is two-fold. First is the information and knowledge sharing amongst like-minded peers. The information shared is not only on traditional accounting and tax topics, but also emerging issues, trends, and efficiency ideas. Second are the relationships I have formed with fellow CPAs from around the country. Thanks to E.D.G.E., I have established contacts that I can reach out to for assistance, guidance, and most importantly, accountability, as I continue in my career."

This is the one conference you absolutely want your young professionals or emerging leaders to attend. I strongly encourage every employer send at least two young professionals and make sure you talk to them when they return to the office excited to share their experience. I guarantee you will be amazed.

A recent FastCompany magazine article cited that, "more than half of the hiring managers agreed that it was difficult to find and retain millennial labor.”  And another human capital survey cited career advancement and learning are the top two benefits young professionals prefer, even above cash. Hopefully this information is enough to justify sending some of your top talent to participate in the first and only national emerging leader’s conference in the CPA profession.

Still not convinced to send your top talent?  Here are a few articles from past conferences for more insight into the ROI: