S2E23 – Jennifer Elder | What, So What, Now What: How Accountants of the (Near) Future Will Add Value
CPA Practice Advisor named Jennifer one of the Top 25 Women in Accounting in 2018. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants named her a Woman to Watch in 2015. She has been awarded Outstanding Educator by the American Institute of CPAs five times. And in 2018, Jennifer earned the designation of Certified Speaking Professional, making her one of only 10 people worldwide who hold both the CPA and CSP designations (but maybe I can push that number from 10 to 11 in 2019).
Becoming a Future-Ready CFO & Accountant
In the past, the role of the CFO was primarily looking in the rear-view mirror at the historical financial statements and reporting it to the other people in the car. This tells you where you have been, but it doesn’t necessarily tell you where you’re going. “And there’s too much change, too much risk out there. The CFO now has to shift that perspective and look forward. They have to start to be able to look into the crystal ball, see what’s coming down the pike.”
Future-ready CFOs, and future-ready accountants in general, have to think about what’s going on in the world and how it might affect your organization, which means you want to be looking at trends. What are the trends in the world at large? What are the trends in your industry?
In the accounting and finance world right now, the trend everybody’s looking at and talking about is technology. How are things like artificial intelligence going to change everything?
When Jennifer teaches classes on the skills of the future and presentation skills, she breaks it down into five words you need to focus on to really add value to your organization: what, so what, and now what.
The what is data. The so what is why should they care? If we’re talking about the what, we’re just presenting the data that we think somebody needs to get, but we have to think about it from our client’s perspective. “Step out of your own head, get into the head of your audience, and think about what’s important to them.”
Now what, then, is the action that’s going to help your client move forward.
Change Your Mindset is now being distributed on C-Suite Radio. You can find Change Your Mindset and many other outstanding business podcasts on C-Suite Radio by going to www.c-suiteradio.com.
- Learn more at http://sustainablecfo.com/
- Check out jenniferelder.com
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferhelder
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/sustainablecfo
Change Your Mindset is produced by Podcast Masters
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