According to an evaluation by MACPA from the CPA Horizons 2025 Project, five critical competencies for the future (after the core technical accounting / financial skills) were identified:
Leadership: The ability to develop and share insights and the aptitude to mobilize and inspire others to action. Leadership is about finding possibilities and developing people, utilizing their strengths, and shaping the future.
Communications: Able to give and exchange information with meaningful context and appropriate delivery and interpersonal skills. It includes the ability to make thinking visible to others in a way they can easily grasp.
Strategic thinking: A future-minded and flexible mindset that thinks critically and creatively. The ability to link data, knowledge and insights together to provide quality advice for strategic decision-making.
Collaboration and synthesis: Being effective at engaging others and working across boundaries to turn challenges into opportunities, including the ability to consider the whole picture (past, present, and future context) and create alternatives and options for the future.
Being tech savvy: Anticipating technology changes and how they can benefit others. Being adept at standardizing data for transparency, efficient exchange, and visualization.
While I agree that these skills will be valuable in 2025, I know they are critical today. Leadership, Communication, Strategic Thinking and Collaboration are not skills that magically emerge. They are developed through training and behavior modeling to creating a culture that supports and rewards staff who are technically smart accountants and have the soft skills needed to succeed.
Download the full report here.