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this, not only do they need to have technical capabilities, but they must demonstrate these abilities in a way that makes sense to business owners. That requires solid business acumen, indus- try knowledge and communication skills. When you couple these soſter skills with great technical competence, that’s when you start to differentiate one business adviser from another.” “When you look at what accountants are doing these days,


it’s not just about putting numbers into a spreadsheet and inter- preting them, but about figuring out the strategic impact of those figures and the direction in which an organization needs to move,” says Liza Worthington, chair of the CPA profession’s Interprovincial Practical Experience Committee, which devel- ops standards and implementation guidelines for the CPA


practical experience requirements. “We’ve taken the best of three legacy programs to develop a well-rounded business leader with a strong accounting background.” In developing the CPA Professional Education Program


(PEP), Worthington says, the profession consulted employers of all sizes via focus groups and interviews on what they’re looking for in today’s workforce. “[Employers said] candidates need to have both excellent technical skills and the professional compe- tencies to lead, make decisions and act ethically,” she says. They noted that candidates must also have excellent oral and written communication skills, in addition to the ability to self-manage, lead others and work effectively in teams. Sandy Hilton, director of professional education at CPA


JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 | CPA MAGAZINE | XX JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 | CPA MAGAZINE | 41


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