CPAs in business, industry cautiously optimistic about economy

Survey3Twenty-four percent of CPAs in business and industry said we are on our way out of the recession, while 66 percent said we still have a long way to go in a poll at yesterday's MACPA Professional Issues Update.

More than 120 CPAs from business, industry, government and non-profits were represented at yesterday's session, held at the Shepherd Pratt Conference Center in Towson, Md.

I wasn't sure what the mood would be as our members started to arrive, but there were a lot of smiles and laughter. The group consisted primarily of CFOs, controllers and managers in companies, government and non-profits.

I was told, "It was like a therapy session" as many of our participants could share "war stories" with other CFOs and CPAs in leadership roles.

We also got to share our latest campaign to offer resources and support to help our members weather the storm. The group applauded our six-point plan:

  1. Twenty-four hours of free CPE included in your membership. That's an $800 value!
  2. The MACPA's new Career Center.
  3. Our Economic Resource Center.
  4. Shared-service purchasing programs; see our Business Solutions Page. Office supplies, printing, Web conferencing and other services that can save you and your firm or company real money!
  5. The Maryland Business and Accounting EXPO -- two days, 16 hours of CPE, 100 exhibitors, all for $250.
  6. Promoting and protecting the CPA license -- protecting your investment in the CPA license through our advocacy efforts. (See our blog, Legislative Insider, for the latest updates.)

Many members said they were surprised how proactive we were, how much we were working on that they did not know about, and that they felt we "had their backs" while they were busy taking care of their organizations. They valued our advocacy and efforts to protect and promote their CPA license the most (and loved the 24 hours of free CPE).

There was a lot if discussion about CPA licensing, IFRS, XBRL and, of course, the economy. We ended the session with a summary of high-leverage opportunities and tips on how to harness these winds of change to position your organization (and yourself) for the recovery.

They asked for more updates on the economy throughout the year, and we have added these to all of our major events. (Dr. Anirban Basu will be at our Business and Industry Conference on May 15; he also will moderate a panel that includes Chad Moutray, chief economist of the U.S. Small Business Administration, at our Maryland Business and Accounting Expo, on June 16-17.)

Another highlight was the conversation about the workforce and generations. There were a lot of comments about our self-guided learning for CPAs to cross the digital divide with our free social media tutorial at www.cpalearning2.com.

As promised, here is the presentation on SlideShare, which can be downloaded.

MACPA PIU - Spring 2009 View more presentations from Tom Hood.

Here are a couple of articles and resources we referenced: