Relevance gained? The value of your state CPA association
I recently returned from the N.E. CPA Conference in South Beach, Fla. This is an annual conference for state CPA society professional development / CPE teams to talk about trends in training, learn about issues facing the CPA profession and share best practices. Every time I attend one of these, I am always amazed at what I learn.
I was asked to moderate a panel discussion on what large CPA firms want from their state CPA societies. The panel included Karen McManus of Cherry, Bekaert & Holland, Les Mostow, CPA, of Reznick Group, and Karyn Gallen of Singer Lewak Greenbaum & Goldstein. Together, these firms represent almost 3,000 CPAs. The panelists were involved with their firms' training initiatives. and one -- Les Mostow -- had the distinction of being chair of the Maryland State Board of Public Accountancy (a voluntary regulatory position). The group was engaged as we had this critical conversation with these important segments of our membership.
Top five things firms need from state CPA associations
- Training resources like alerts on new standards and developments in the CPA profession.
- Advocates for the CPA profession -- proactive representation with state and federal legislators and regulators (state boards of accountancy). See our legislative blog.
- Volunteer opportunities for their young professionals and subject-matter experts -- connecting them to the profession.
- Thought-leadership opportunities for CPAs to be leaders in the profession by serving on boards and important task forces.
- Help with the "pipeline" of getting students interested in accounting through completion of the CPA exam.
Here at the MACPA, we like to think of this as "Connect - Protect - Achieve."
- Connect: We connect CPAs to each other and to the profession and the community through our communities, committees, chapters and volunteer activities.
- Protect: We protect and promote the CPA license through advocacy at the state and federal regulatory and legislative levels. We build and maintain the entire infrastructure that CPAs work on through things like entry-level requirements to the profession, the forms of practice (LLCs, LLPs, professional corporations), the practice privileges of the CPA license and the quality of practice through peer review and ethics. All of these are built and maintained by the government relations activities of the state CPA societies and the AICPA.
- Achieve: We help our members and their organizations achieve success through training and informing them of critical developments in their profession. Lifelong learning is one of the hallmarks of our profession and state CPA societies have led the way in continuing professional education since the 1970s, when CPE was made mandatory.
Don't take my word for it. Here is what our members are telling us in our town hall meetings:
- "You provide the resources that I would only have as one of the largest firms."
- "I feel confident that MACPA will stay on top of emerging issues and keep me informed."
- "Provides meaningful CPE in a large enough variety to assist accountants from all walks of accounting."
- "Continues to build a positive image for the profession in our community."
What do you think the relevance of your state CPA society is? How can we serve you even better?