Knowledge Center

Welcome to the Center for Accounting Transformation's Knowledge Center.

We are here to #improvetheworld by providing the inspiration, knowledge, and tools to enable more mindful and holistic decision making.

A message from our founder, Donny Shimamoto, CPA-CITP, CGMA

My name is Donny and I’m the Inspiration Architect for the Center. I created the Center because I found that there were a lot of “thought leaders” telling accountants they needed to change, but there were hardly any showing them HOW to change. Thus, in the Center, we focus not just on WHAT changes are needed, but HOW to enact those changes.

Our Higher Standard of Knowledge

Knowledge is a fundamental tenet at the Center. We constantly strive to validate what we know and discover what we do not. In turn, we share that knowledge to foster growth and professional development. Many thought leaders base what they think they know on experiences and anecdotal evidence of what should be done. While not invalid, this approach is subject to confirmation bias and the limits of a person's education and experience.

At the Center, we hold ourself to a higher standard. We have our hypotheses and we conduct research to better understand the concepts and issues, and we use data to substantiate our positions. We partner with academic researchers who are trained in scientific research methods to ensure our findings are scientifically valid and also that the impact of personal biases are minimized.

Leveraging the Wisdom of the Crowd

During my presentations, I often present my position or interpretation of an issue or change, but then I will ask the audience to tell me what they think through polling. This allows us to test our research against the wisdom of everyday people who are actually dealing with the issues or being impacted by the changes, and helps us identify trends by region, area of practice, or other demographic segments, and refine our recommendation for implementation.

Localizing Recommendations

Sometimes, we learn our findings don't apply as originally described in a particular area. For example, I was speaking about diversity in Oklahoma and North Dakota. Both states have predominantly white racial populations. Racial diversity wasn’t really reasonable for them, especially for local businesses that involved physical work. That prompted us to start talking about diversity in a much broader way.  A lot of research on the benefits of diversity focuses on diversity of thought and perspective. These can be accomplished without being racially diverse, but it requires a different approach since these factors aren’t as visible. It requires more effort to localize recommendations, and sometimes we have to gather more data to determine if the global findings are actually relevant locally. We also partner with local practitioners to help analyze and localize recommendations.

Identifying Root Causes and Needs

The diversity example above is also a good example of how we strive to also identify root causes or root needs, rather than focusing on symptoms or surface issues. Applying techniques like the Five Whys from Six Sigma, we try to ensure that we are solving problems at their root rather than just addressing symptoms.

As we know from medicine, just addressing symptoms only provides temporary or superficial relief, but the symptoms will return. However, if you address the root cause of a health issue, then you will have healed the person and provided lasting relief. Our goal is to address the root causes of issues in organizations, provide lasting relief, and enable organizations to continue on their transformation journeys unhindered.

Everyone Can Advance Our Research Efforts

There are many ways that you can support our research:

  • Participate in surveys and focus groups to gather and interpret data.
  • Attend courses and participate in the polls or course surveys to help validate findings or be part of the wisdom of the crowd.
  • If you have the ability to reach an audience, become a Research Ally and help to promote our research to others. You can also become an Education Ally and help promote Center courses to others.
  • Apply to be part of the Working Groups to craft research studies or analyze results to identify recommendations.
  • Help fund research that is meaningful to you and amplify your brand awareness via either sponsorship or contribution to the Center research fund.

If you aren’t sure what is the best path for you, or if you have an idea for a different way that you can contribute to our research efforts, please contact me at donnys@hq.improvetheworld.net.

I look forward to having you join our efforts to #improvetheworld and #enabletransformation.

Donny C. Shimamoto, CPA, CITP, CGMA

Learn more about our active, completed, and upcoming research projects