Ep. 81 – Jerry L. Esselstein: How Professionals Can Prepare for the Changing Business Environment

Jerry L. Esselstein specializes in strategic planning, implementation strategies, personnel development, and performance measurement for private company owners, executives, and other senior management groups.


Jerry has an extensive leadership background, and our conversation focuses on the critical leadership skills needed in the modern business landscape. Although we are discussing the future of the accounting profession, you don’t need to be an accountant to enjoy this episode because this information applies to many professions and businesses.


How can professionals prepare for (and adapt to) the new and changing business environment?


  • Many professions, including CPAs, will have a much more limited scope. (i.e. CPAs will likely still be giving assurance based on historic performance, but who will be involved in forecasting, advising, growth?).


  • Technology such as machine learning and blockchain will do a lot of grunt work faster and better than any human will ever be able to – so a professional’s ability to do that grunt work will be less important than their ability to interpret information, apply standards, and think creatively; the skills of a trusted business advisor.


  • While there will always be a need for the “pure CPA,” our clients will require more than just a CPA and an attorney – they will need trusted specialists in many areas, and all of those specialists will need a holistic understanding of the client’s business.


  • Coaching, mentoring, and training need to be reintegrated into the professional education system. Competency-based education may not cut it.


  • “Self-interest is killing us right now, from the president all the way down to the staff at a CPA firm.” What’s in it for me? What do I get out of it? That’s cultural, and that didn’t happen overnight.





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