by Tom Sulewski, CPA
Welcome to a new year! Turning the page on the calendar is a natural time for us all to set both personal and professional goals. The hopes and opportunities that lie ahead for our organizations, our profession and our clients are tremendous.
Achieving success in the coming year will again take focus, flexibility, and creative solutions to both known and unknown challenges. The WSCPA is here to help you every step of the way. Make it a goal this year to not only renew your own membership, but to invite a peer to join us and to actively engage. The rewards and benefits are many:
Advocacy– Protecting our profession from regulatory changes and external risks are primary concerns for many firm leaders today. The WSCPA has an active and effective advocacy team working on our behalf. They currently are monitoring several topics, including Washington State Board of Accountancy rule changes related to the revised CPA exam, the CPA-inactive bill, DOR and capital gains taxes, and licensing regulations getting traction at the state and national levels.
Networking and Resources – During challenging times like the past two years, we have relied on the best practices and idea sharing of our peers more than ever. The WCSPA is your connection to resources on current topics through the Connect Community, Knowledge Hub, Job Board, and Coronavirus and Mental Health Resource Centers. Chapter and membership events are tremendous opportunities to build relationships with other professionals from different regions of the state to share ideas and common challenges.
Student Pipeline – As the “great resignation” sweeps through the economy, our profession is not immune to its impacts. It is more important now than ever to be investing in the student pipeline to our profession and the WSCPA takes a leading role in that effort. The annual awards of more than 80 accounting scholarships across multitudes of universities in our state help develop the future CPAs for our firms. You can contribute to a named scholarship, join the application review committee, and share the opportunity with students and interns in your firm or network. The WSCPA student engagement programs with Beta Alpha Psi programs actively promote the profession to students seeking employment.
Diversity and Inclusion – The WSCPA is fully engaged in expanding the diversity in our profession. Board-level training programs and delivery of our 2nd annual Diversity & Inclusion Conference for 2022 are key initiatives to help our members develop DEI initiatives that can be implemented in their own organizations. We’re grateful to the members who have joined our newly established DEI Council, which will play an integral role in this essential work. Through the Washington CPA Foundation, there are new opportunities for DEI action including scholarship programs targeted directly at community college students and grants to organizations with programs or events designed to improve the diversity of the CPA pipeline in Washington.
Education and Training– Your membership includes discounts on continuing education to keep you up to date on current standards, new technologies, and new programs. Take advantage of webinars, conferences, webcasts, Season Tickets, Coupons and the Prix Fix CPE Series offerings.
Peak Firm– If you are a firm leader, help us engage with your firm more broadly by becoming a Peak Firm. A Peak Firm enrolls 100 percent of its eligible staff as WSCPA members. Peak Firms enjoy exclusive membership benefits, a single renewal invoice, free Passport Corporate cards, and recognition with a specialized logo to acknowledge your commitment to your people and our profession. Join the nearly 40 firms currently enjoying the benefits of Peak Firm investments as we enter a new year.
From a personal perspective, the connections I have made through my engagement with the WSCPA have been incredibly helpful professionally. New challenges faced with the pandemic, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and staffing and recruiting pipeline concerns are just a few examples for which I was thankful to have WSCPA program support. The professionals I have met through membership events, board participation, and committee work have not only been valuable sounding boards, but many have become lifelong friends. It’s an honor to be associated with all of you in this profession. We value your membership and look forward to actively connecting with you in 2022.
Tom Sulewski, CPA, is the shareholder in charge of the audit department for Clark Nuber PS and WSCPA Chair. You can contact Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appears in the winter 2022 issue of the Washington CPA magazine. Read more here.