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Workforce development impacts the entire profession, not just the pipeline

Written on Mar 16, 2023

By Jessica Salerno-Shumaker, OSCPA senior content manager  

Workforce development isn’t just about developing talent, it’s also about driving the accounting profession forward.  

“As we think about workforce development through the lens of the profession, we're really thinking about how we help prepare professionals or workers with the skills necessary for the types of jobs that they're encountering today, but more importantly, for the type of work that we know is going to be a huge part of the future,” said Scott Wiley, CAE, OSCPA president & CEO.  

Wiley was joined on the State of Business podcast by Tiffany Crosby, CPA, chief learning officer at OSCPA and Craig Marshall, CPA, assurance partner at EY and Board of Directors chair, to look at how workforce development has evolved over the years and how it impacts the profession now. This episode is the first in a series on workforce development where OSCPA will consider how it’s affecting the profession from a variety of angles, including HR, DEI, education and more.  

“We've always worked to attract talent to the pipeline,” Crosby said. “But there came a point where we realized that we also need to be equally focused on retention of that talent within the workforce, and also on the idea that the business environment is continually changing.”  

While there is a lot of attention on building the accounting pipeline, Crosby said there is also a critical need to upscale and reskill the current workforce. The rapidly changing business environment demands that professionals at all levels develop adaptable skills or risk becoming irrelevant.  

Workforce development is about much more than meeting CPE requirements, Marshall said. It’s an opportunity for reinvention and for companies to think about how they want to evolve their people and culture.  

“You can be more resilient in an ever-changing world; you can encourage constant learning by reinventing, you can maximize your value, and you can create excitement and a purpose,” Marshall said. 

Wiley noted that this conversation can be complex, but the workforce development conversation is one the profession needs to continue in order to remain competitive in today’s business environment.   

“Pipeline development is a part of this,” Wiley said. “But the broader focus is about ensuring that the profession has the talent it needs to meet the challenges and the opportunities of the future, to ensure that we are continuing to present this profession as America's and certainly Ohio's most trusted advisers.” 

Listen to the podcast episode, available now!

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