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Transforming the Accounting Profession to Improve the World

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Donny C. Shimamoto, CPA.CITP, CGMA

I originally started this blog 6 years ago to start building my personal brand and to help promote the mindset change that was needed to make our world a better place. I thought that by taking a broad approach to promoting the values and philosophies that I could inspire the next generation of business professionals to enact change in the world.

 

However, in the last 6 years, I haven’t seen a lot of change. Perhaps because I’m now over 40 and have been exposed to more of the happenings in the upper echelons of the CPA profession, I realized that such a naïve approach to change will not work. There are too many organizational (inside CPA firms and inside the AICPA), political (inside CPA firms and a lot inside the AICPA), economical (mainly inside CPA firms), and social/diversity issues that result in a strong inertia against change.

From Inspiring Change to Driving Innovation

Last year, I wrote a post about leaving accounting laggards behind and instead of focusing on those that “get it” and helping them to be more successful. Today, I have decided that this will be my focus going forward. Instead of “inspiring change”, I am going to shift my firm’s direction to only work with accountants (either in public practice or industry) and accounting organizations (CPA firms, finance departments, or internal audit shops) to drive innovation and transform the way they are impacting their organizations…and the world.

It was really my LinkedIn motto “Improving the world, one accountant at a time…” that inspired me to make this change in approach. A lot of people have commented on that motto: how it really resonated with them (ok, most of them were also accountants), and how it explained why I dedicate so much of my time to the profession via speaking and volunteer committee services.

Transformation Through Accountants and Auditors

All of the past issues—from the Enron scandal, to the banking failures, to now the actions taken by President Trump (BTW, I’m an Independent)—made me realize that big business and Wall Street are not going fix the problem on their own.  They are a HUGE part of the problem. Correcting those problems will require significant changes from within…changes in ethics and accountability…the enacting of better governance and internal controls…changes that can be driven best by accountants and internal auditors working in those organizations.

Additionally, the AICPA seems to be primarily focused on the top 100 firms (some would even say just the top 30 firms) and big businesses…again mostly Wall Street focused. Much of the CGMA program is also focused on big business, and the recent merger with CIMA will force the new Association to focus on larger, international issues…leaving small firms and small businesses further neglected.

So, I’m committing myself to work with small businesses and the middle market; those served by the CPA firms outside of the top 100. By not just teaching, but by actually working with the controllers from industry, and the accountants within the CPA firms providing services to said organizations. I help transform the accountant and auditors’ roles from compliance to advisory. This in turn will help to drive innovation and transformation within the organizations that we work for, and be a grass-roots movement of the SMB world driving the improvements we so greatly need in society.

Outsourced Chief Innovation Officer

In the last 60 days, my firm, IntrapriseTechKnowlogies won outsourced Chief Innovation Officer contracts with several CPA firms and the Houston CPA Society; validation of the readiness of the accounting profession for this transformational change.

In this role, I will be looking not just at their technology, but also at their service delivery models, service methodologies, and human capital development initiatives to ensure a holistic and comprehensive approach to their organizational development. I will be driving improvements by bringing in innovative technologies and techniques while guiding their transformation to the “modern accountant”.

If you would like to be a part of this transformational time in the accounting profession, I invite you to contact me and let’s figure out how you can become part of the movement to transform the accounting profession and more importantly, improve the world that we live in!

 

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