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Key Takeaways from the NABA National Convention and Expo

The National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) held its annual convention in Las Vegas from June 19-23. The multi-day event welcomed more than 2,000 members and 70 corporate partners from around the country for four days of professional development, networking, social engagement, and community service. Widely regarded as the leading forum for black accounting, finance, and business professionals, the NABA National Convention is an important opportunity to fulfill the organization’s mission of providing educational and development resources for its members and empowering the next generation of accounting and finance leaders. Riveron sponsored four employees to attend the convention and to participate in sessions relevant to their work. Here are their key takeaways from the convention:

  1. Transitioning from a technical expert to a financial leader: Technical expertise is a requirement for professional development and contributes to building credibility. Over time, however, building relationships and strategic thinking becomes even more critical to one’s career. Even in high-level individual contributor roles, selling ideas and influencing others are the competencies that define long-term career growth. According to Dr. Alan M. Patterson, founder of leadership consulting firm Mentorésaid, “individual contributors succeed because they apply their knowledge and expertise to achieve results. Leaders succeed because of their ability to create the conditions for others to succeed.”
  2. Leveraging big data and data analytics to optimize business performance: The use of big data and data analytics allows companies to more effectively manage large amounts of data. Using technology to identify patterns and correlations in big datasets can optimize business processes. Technology enables data to be processed in less time than with human calculations and eliminates errors. A cost benefit analysis should be performed to determine if the benefits realized from technology outweigh the costs of the software and to identify the employees or consultants that are needed to execute the work.
  3. Finding the leader within: The path to leadership is not defined but is created by each professional’s skillset and his or her desire to develop and cultivate relationships. Understanding the diverse professional experience of each colleague and hiring or training for any gaps fosters both an environment of connected thinking and drives solution-oriented practices. The ability to sustain positive influence over colleagues and clients and the intentional inclusivity of ideas, which enables each person on the team to succeed, are key traits that separate professionals from leaders.