Last Updated on August 30, 2022 by Neil Patel Accel
An Interview with Occupier’s VP of Finance
Team Occupier is settling back in from ENGAGE 2022, one of the accounting and finance industry’s top events. CPAs, accounting firms, and finance teams gather to gain insights and expand your skill set in the profession’s most interconnected areas of focus.
As times and key trends continue to evolve, the way in which businesses evolve their strategies and equip their teams will determine their chance to flourish. At ENGAGE 2022, curated content shined a light on expert insights and advice that are crucial for future success.
We sat down with Lauren (Covell) Bahr, our VP of Finance at Occupier, to hear her takeaways from ENGAGE 2022.
Q: Was there anything shocking that you learned at ENGAGE 2022?
A: 75% of CPAs are expected to retire in ten years. Let that sink in. Not only is that statistic alone shocking, but the ripple effect it will create is mind-boggling. This statistic reveals just the tip of the iceberg of changes that are ahead of our industry and begins to paint a picture of what strategic planning businesses need to do to prepare for the future.
Q: Were there any trends or themes you noticed from the sessions and your conversations?
A: Absolutely! From my perspective, it was clear that individuals don’t want to be bean counters anymore. I was constantly inspired and awed by the growing desire professionals have to be aligned to a greater purpose.
This trend will be invigorating for accounting and finance teams alike. The energy that teammates will come to work with will be more influential to the business than ever before. Furthermore, this is a refreshing perspective for businesses. Business leaders will be supported by teams that want to evolve their processes, better position their company, and think of their role and day-to-day tasks within a bigger picture.
These conversations did leave me with a few questions:
- Are businesses ready to harness this energy in a positive and productive manner?
- What will happen to the organizations that dim the flame on accounting and finance professionals’ passion to have a greater purpose?
- How can businesses strategically prepare to be leading companies in creating a place for purpose-driven professionals to thrive?
Q: What is the biggest opportunity for accounting and finance professionals today?
A: With so many CPAs retiring within the next ten years, it’s crucial for finance teams to prepare to scale their teams and retain the employees they have. By leveraging modern technology, teams will solve the pain points of age-old problems (like tracking critical dates in spreadsheets) and level up to perform more sophisticated and fulfilling tasks.
Q: Is there anything else you learned at ENGAGE 2022 that you’d like to share?
A: As much as it pains me to share, most finance teams are rated as the least agile department in companies. Ouch! But, I believe this does not have to be the case. With a few strategic adjustments, finance teams can become the most agile team and be known as the hub of productivity, collaboration, and top-tier safeguarding processes.
Q: Do you have any insights to share with other accounting and finance professionals?
A: The future of finance is exciting! There is a huge opportunity for accounting and finance professionals to be the pulse of the organization, know where their business has been, and be an instrumental player in making the map of where their business is going.
ENGAGE 2022 Learnings
The most important takeaway from ENGAGE 2022 is the importance of staying informed on the leading trends and tools in the accounting and finance industry. Without knowledge or network, the ability to stay ahead of the curve and position your business for success becomes increasingly challenging.
As finance professionals are seeking more fulfilling tasks and preparing for workforce changes, we invite you to explore Occupier’s suite of solutions to efficiently manage your business’s lease accounting processes and compliance standards.