Accounting in Extraordinary Times

hill-annette-2016by President Annette Hill

We had record representation at the AICPA Council meeting held in Washington D.C. May 21 – 23. Representing Montana with me were Gordy Thompson (elected Council representative),  George Olsen (Legislation and Governmental Affairs Committee), Josh Herbold (incoming President of the MSCPA), Ryan Screnar (AICPA Awards Committee Chair), Ron Yates (AICPA Board member), Allen Lloyd as our incoming Executive Director and Jane Egan, our Executive Director.

The theme was “Accounting in Extraordinary Times.” It truly was an agenda of new concepts and complexities. Topics like cyber security, data analytics, rapid business model transformation and an introduction to Gen Z challenged all of us to brainstorm ideas for the AICPA’s next strategic plan and to chart the future of our profession. I’ll leave the details to Gordy and Ron to roll out in future blogs and at our upcoming 104th Annual Conference in Billings.

HomeLogowDatesIt is exciting to meet with our peers across the nation and hear about the leading edge issues in our profession. It is always comforting to come home to our own beautiful Montana and welcoming State Society, our professional home.  Are you joining us at our 104th Annual Conference in Billings next week? We have many things in store for you – honoring members who have served our profession and communities, welcoming a new President and a couple of new board members, saying goodbye to some board members and to me, introducing you to our new Executive Director, and celebrating the amazing career of our unforgettable Jane Egan. Will you be there? Here’s your last call. Registration closes on Friday, June 16thGet on line and sign up. We can’t wait to see you there.

Allen’s Story


Allen Lloyd, Incoming MSCPA Executive Director

Hello MSCPA Members!

My name is Allen, and I am excited to become the next Executive Director of this outstanding organization.  My first order of business will be getting to know you and learning what keeps you up at night and what gets you out of bed in the morning.  To break the ice, I wanted to tell you a little about who I am… You can read about my career in the announcement, but that is only a small part of who I am.

Currently, I live in Columbus, Ohio, and people here ask, “Why move to Montana?”  Professionally, this is a dream opportunity, and I look forward to growing and building on the work of Jane, the staff, and our members.  Personally, my family and I love being surrounded by nature, so we are very excited to explore the beauty of the state and take in the landscape you call home.

One of my favorite hobbies is mountain biking.  I didn’t learn to ride until I was six or seven, but once I learned, it was hard to get me off of a bike.  My wife and I met on a mountain biking trip, and I already have a list of friends who want to come riding in Montana.

No handsDuring the interview process, I was asked about relocating to a smaller city.  I turned 40 a couple of years ago, and while my last 20 years were spent in Columbus, most of my first 20 years were spent in a speck on the map called Clarington, Ohio.  Growing up, my world view was two hills and the Ohio River. We drove 10 miles each way to get groceries once a week.  There will definitely be adjustments, but Helena has everything a person needs (nice people, craft beer, good coffee, and a Target).

Bad selfieMy wife, Jill, is an accountant currently working in industry.  When we met, her plan was to be in Columbus for a few months then move west. I only delayed her plans by 16 years.  We have two boys: Byron, who turns 9 later this year and Winston, who turned 7 in December.  As you can imagine, there is rarely a dull moment around our house.  Our family photos do a pretty good job of capturing a typical night at our house.

I would like to thank Jane, the staff, and the volunteers and members for all their work making MSCPA the great organization it is today.  In particular, I want to thank the Search Strike Force for making me feel welcome during the interview process, and for their belief in my ability to lead this organization.

HomeLogowDatesPlease join me at the Annual Conference in Billings, June 22-23. There, we will celebrate Jane’s accomplishments and reignite your passion for the accounting profession with some great speakers and opportunities to connect with friends old and new.  We’ll roll out the welcome mat so you can relax and learn at your professional home!

Breaking News!

Part 1–Jane’s Big Announcement

Greetings Members,

Egan Jane color

Jane Egan MSCPA Executive Director

It is with mixed emotions that I announce my retirement from the Society on June 30, 2017.

On the one hand, I am excited to be retired and have the opportunity to explore new opportunities. On the other hand, I am not excited to be leaving this organization that has been so great to me. Few people start out with a goal to be an association manager. Many of my peers happened into this wonderful career the same way I did: the opportunity presented itself and I said I’ll give it a go. Best decision I ever made career-wise.

I have a lot to accomplish before I leave including assisting our State Taxation and Legislative and Governmental Affairs committee reach our goals in the upcoming legislative session and making sure the Society is in the best possible position for the future.

I have faith our leadership serving on the Search Strike Force will hire a new director who will help guide the Society into an exciting future. And remember, you still have Margaret, Jean, Carol and Heidi who always have your best interests in mind and do the most amazing work on your behalf!

I have learned you are the most remarkable people. You are smart, generous, giving and dedicated. You taught me how to be a better person and I thank you for letting me work with you all these years.



Part 2–So now what . . .

With Jane’s retirement announcement last year, the Board of Directors created a Succession Strike Force. The purpose of the Strike Force was to create a plan and timeline  for naming Jane’s successor. The Succession Strike Force then morphed into the current Search Strike Force. The members are as follows:

• President Annette Hill
• President-Elect Dr. Josh Herbold
• Secretary Treasurer John Steinhoff
• Board Member Merna Lechman
• Past President Brenda Byrnes
• Past President Ann Deegan

Over the years nothing has struck more fear in the hearts of members of the Board of Directors than Jane’s retirement date! True to her word, Jane has given us ample notice and continued support in these early stages of the process. Her love for this organization and its members runs deep. We are sad to see that this time has finally come but we understand that it is an awesome time for her to retire, spending more time with family and her interests.

Many other CPA societies are undertaking this process right now or have just concluded a interestblueblurb
search. From these peers we have learned that the Executive Director position is a sought after one. We are optimistic that our first class organization, active membership and beautiful state will attract a solid pool of candidates.

From the timeline, you can see that our search process is straightforward. Our job posting will appear on various outlets including the MSCPA website on December 1, 2016. We will close the posting on January 15, 2017. From that point we shift gears into the full interview and hiring mode. We look forward to introducing our new Executive Director at the 2017 Annual Conference in Billings!

If you have any questions about the search process, please contact the strike force at or reach out to one of us individually. We are all aware of the importance of this task and take it very seriously. After all this is our FUTURE! The MSCPA has only had two long-time directors in its 104 year history.

Fairmont – Over 100 years of hot water and good times


Aerial View Fairmont Hot Springs

We are excited to hold the 103rd Annual Conference at Fairmont and many members have asked why we made the decision to go to a resort this year after so many years in our more urban areas. The answer is simple: Fairmont built a beautiful new convention facility!

Our hotel block for the 103rd Annual Conference expires on May 23rd (that’s next Monday folks!) which means YOU MUST MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS BY MAY 23rd. We have the awesome rate of $119/night (plus tax) so you don’t want to miss this discounted hotel room rate.

To make your reservations go to: .
You will be asked for a group id number 17120 and password 486; from here you may enter your information.  if you have any issues please call Fairmont at 800.332.3272.

We also have spots reserved at the near-by Fairmont campground. But like the hotel reservations, the availability of these spots expires May 23rd. There are 30amp and 50 amp electrical sites available. Make your reservation by calling 406.797.3505 and be sure to tell them you are with the Montana Society of CPAs group. The campground is about 1/4 mile from the Resort and DOES NOT include swim passes to the hot springs.

After, Indoor Pool 2013You’re going to love the new convention facility and you will have so much fun in the hot springs! But we thought you’d enjoy a learning about Fairmont’s colorful history. Please enjoy this brief history lesson excerpted from Fairmont’s History brochure.

Long before the white man knew about the hot springs, Native American tribes such as the Flathead, Nez Perce and Shoshone set up tepees in the surrounding trees. The Native Americans called the 12 hot pools “Medicine Waters”.

In 1869, George and Eli Gregson acquired the hot springs from a squatter named Hulbert for $60. Can you imagine?! We pay twice that to stay one night and that’s with our discounted rate!

Gregson 1In the years to come, George and Eli turned their attention to the 12 pools of hot mineral water. They built a well-furnished and two-story hotel that could accommodate 50 -60 guest, a plunge bath and five large bathing rooms. Away from the main building a bar room and separate sleeping apartments were constructed. A covered flume was used to conduct the hot and cold water to the bath houses. The cold water was taken from a pure cold stream flowing about 700 yards south of the hotel.

The springs offered cures for rheumatism and other types of ailments. It was said a savory soup could be made by adding salt and pepper to the hot spring water. The soup was consumed in the hopes of curing various ailments.

In 1890 the Gregson Resort was leased to Miles French and a town site was plotted in 1892. On December 9, 1893, the Butte Miner carried a story about the dedication of the town site. It was also reported that the new B & P Depot has been built at Gregson. In 1901 the Resort was sole to Con Hays and James Breen.

Many organizations and clubs held their annual picnics and parties at the springs. On August 12, 1912, the Butte Miners held the most infamous; 14,000 people took part in the event! A brawl broke out between the Anaconda smeltermen and the Butte miners. Two men died in the disturbance but at the inquest the judge could not determine what really occurred so no one was prosecuted. We’re pretty sure MSCPA’s 103rd will be a lot calmer than this!

Tragedy struck on December 23, 1914 when the dance hall and adjoining buildings caught fire. A week and a day later, the hotel plunge caught fire and burned along with the remaining buildings. The fires were blamed on faulty wiring. At the time of the fires, ownership of the resort has passed on to the Montana Hot Springs Association.

George Forsythe bought the Gregson Resort in 1916 and rebuilt and expanded to accommodate tourists. George died in 1935 and his wife, Victoria, ran it until 1959 when she sold it to Treasure State Industries.

The resort closed in 1971 because it fell into such disrepair, but on August 29th that same year the Gregson Surveyor’s Picnic was held as the last chance to see the old hot springs before new construction began. The Montana Standard reported that federal funds would help build a complex including an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, picnic area, outdoor pool and 190 guest rooms. In 1972 the remaining buildings were demolished to make way for the new complex.

The new construction began in 1972 under the direction of new owner Lloyd Wilder of Fairmont Hot Springs British Columbia. It was designed with an indoor pool 80 x 120 feet and an even larger outdoor pool. A cabaret was once located on the second level which connected via an enclosed “bubble” walkway.

Mr. Wilder sold Fairmont to Leroy Mayes in 1981 but repurchased it again in 1990 after it had been taken over by two financial institutions. Wilder died in the last decade and left the ownership of the hotel in trust for his children.

Today, many owners and a stories later, Fairmont offers a new convention center in addition to the hot springs, golf, tennis and many outdoor recreation opportunities. The 168 degree water is cooled to comfortable temperatures that invite you to indulge in the pools and water slide. The hotel’s main restaurant was recently remodeled and you can enjoy a morning latte in the coffee shop.

Fairmont Fun Facts

  • Fairmont Golf Course’s 5th hole is “mile high, mile long” being a mile high in altitude and at 649 yards long the longest hole in Montana.
  • The large pools contain around 220,000 gallons of water. The smaller pools contain approximately 50,000 gallons of water.
  • 58 laps in the indoor pool is 1 mile. 45 laps in the outdoor pool is 1 mile. 
  • The hot water contains calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, magnesium, silica, chloride, fluoride, lithium and other chemicals. Most “smelly” hot springs have a high sulfur content. The sulfur content of Fairmont’s hot springs is very low. 
  • The hot springs originally bubbled to the surface in twelve pools. There are three shingled huts near the Wildlife Zoo where the springs come to the surface near the current resort. Now, most of the hot water comes from a 600 ft. well because this source is cleaner and hotter than water that has been allowed to bubble to the surface.

We hope you’ll join us at Fairmont for the 103rd Annual Conference to make a little history of our own. This year’s Conference boasts:

  • Up to 13 hours of CPE
  • Young Professionals Track
  • Highest honors being awarded
  • Dueling Pianos
  • New book club event
  • Fantastic speakers
  • Crazy fun events
  • Ethics credits
  • Super connections with CPAs from across the state

Be sure to register before June 1st to take advantage of early bird pricing and don’t forget to make your hotel reservations by May 23rd.

FHSR outdoor pool 300dpi

So Much Awesomeness! Introducing the MSCPA Book Club

Change is everywhere in the accounting profession and MSCPA’s opportunity is to harness change and turn into something truly valuable for YOU. As our Vision states, we want “to be the most valued professional resource for our members.” This year at the 103rd Annual Conference we are implementing a new feature that came about from discussions with members.

Johnston, Reidun 2014

Reidun Johnston

A year ago, right before the 2015 Industry and Annual Conferences, Missoula member and MSCPA Director Reidun Johnston conducted focus groups with a number of Montana female CPAs of all ages, representing every area of accounting. They discussed ways that would encourage women to participate in the profession, become engaged and build their confidence and skills. One of the things they come up with was an idea to have a book club at the Annual Conference.

“Accounting used to be a profession for men, but we’ve all seen the number of women who have joined this profession,” Johnston stated. “The MSCPA member numbers exemplify this change. In 2001 MSCPA records show almost double the number of men compared to women and today there’s only 48 more men than women in the membership. That’s why we needed to have this conversation.”  (see charts below)









So as a result of these great discussions, we are excited to announce the first MSCPA Book Club featuring the book In Praise of Slowness: How a Worldwide Movement is Challenging the Cult of Speed by Carl Honore.  The book club will be a way for men and women both to network and discuss an issue that affects all genders, all ages—the hurried pace we try to keep. The book covers research that explains how to create a slower, healthier pace of life and find time to enjoy and savor, instead of fast tracking with no time to do anything that helps us make a life, not just a living.

Reidun stepped up to the plate and offered to moderate this idea. “I think this session will be a lot of fun—the book sounds great!” shared Johnston. “And we are working to get the London-based author to join us remotely for the first 10 minutes or so of our discussion. He’s really interested so . . . schedules and time-zones permitting, we’ll get that opportunity.”

The MSCPA Book Club is an optional early morning session at the 103rd Annual Conference, Friday, June 24th at 7:00am. It’s worth an additional hour of CPE. Check out the purchasing options at your local book store, or buy it at AmazonSmile and make the MSCPA Legacy Foundation your charity of choice. You’ll not only get a great read but you’ll be supporting the future of the accounting profession in Montana!

Our thanks go out to the many women who participated in these focus groups—for your ideas and your openness. It’s part of what makes for so much awesomeness in the Montana Society of CPAs and at the 103rd Annual Conference!

Read So Much Awesomeness Part I and learn about the big schedule changes to the 103rd Annual Conference.

So much AWESOMENESS–Part 1

Herriges Margaret 2014by Margaret Herriges, IOM | MSCPA Communications Director

Many of you know I get a little excited when it comes to the convention and this year . . . I’m beyond excited for the 103rd Annual Conference at Fairmont. Let me explain why.

We have really changed things up this year! By your request, many of the sessions are one hour instead of two hour. The first set of concurrent offerings will look like this:

Thursday, June 23, 11:00 – Noon

  • Option 1:  Young Professionals Track–Catapult Your Career b103rdAnnConf2016y Paul Moya (Part 1 of 2)
  • Option 2: Ethics–Its History & Application in Today’s Business World by Jimmy Williams (Part 1 of 2)
  • Option 3:  Social Media for CPAs by Barry MacQuarrie (1 hour)

At noon we’ll celebrate Gary Staudinger, 2016 George D. Anderson Distinguished Service Award Recipient, and then we’ll have our second set of concurrent classes.

Thursday, June 23, 1:00 – 2:00pm

  • Option 1: Young Professionals Track–Catapult Your Career by Paul Moya (Part 2 of 2)
  • Option 2: Ethics by Jimmy Williams (Part 2 of 2)
  • Option 3: 50 Apps in 50 Minutes by Barry MacQuarrie (1 hour)

You’ll be able to take one hour or two hours–it’s up to you –just remember to take both sessions of the Ethics class if you need your two hours.

On top of this we are doing fun new things with our Business Meeting. Yes, we know, business meetings can be dull, but hopefully you notice our efforts to try to make it more interesting. We’ve turned this year’s Business Meeting into a game of sorts and we’ve even scheduled happy hour to start a little earlier to help keep things interesting.

On Friday, concurrent sessions are all in two hour blocks again but we are doing an encore performance of the Ethics class so if you want to take other classes on Thursday, you can still get your ethics credits.

Friday, June 24, 8:30 – 10:30am

  • Option 1: Young Professionals Track–Crucial Conversations by Donna Salter
  • Option 2: Ethics: Its History & Application in Today’s business World by Jimmy Williams
  • Option 3: Unflappable You: Women in Leadership by Future Sync

From there we’ll move into a one-hour general session, The Honest Leader, and conclude with lunch and a professional issues update by Tommye Barie, AICPA recent past chair. She loved coming to Montana last year and we are incredibly lucky to get her back again this year!

“Awesomeness” will be a short series of blogs designed to help you understand and get excited about the changes we’ve made to the 103rd Annual Conference. There are so many fun things to share with you! If you have any questions when you register, or anytime before the Conference, I’m happy to answer them. You can post them below in the comments section or you can call me at 800.272.0307 or email me at

It’s a Great Time to be a CPA! Come join us at Fairmont, June 23 & 24.

The EDGE Experience

By Jodi Dunfee, CPA, Rudd & Company, Bozeman

Dunfee Jodi 2016Last August, I had the opportunity to attend the AICPA EDGE Conference. It was an awesome experience!

EDGE is a national conference designed to extend the professional skill sets of young accounting professionals.  At the time, I was almost certain I wanted to return to public accounting (and I since have), but I really wanted to meet with like minds and try to figure out what I enjoyed and disliked about where I was professionally and where I could be.  I met some really great people who gave insight and encouragement about my career path.

The speakers at the conference (to be called EDGE Experience starting in 2016) were great!  There was such a broad spectrum of sessions that I got to hear from a wide variety of presenters.  Some of the speakers were close to my age and owned their own firms; they shared their experiences with us.  There were also speakers, who’ve been in the field longer, who had the charisma and energy that kept us engaged.

I’d say that the most important parts of attending EDGE were the connections I made, the array of session topics and the capability of the conference to light that fire that we all need after a long tax season or even if you just feel stuck in a rut.  There are so many opportunities and possibilities for our generation in the accounting field.  I think it’s important to get out of the everyday work mantra and realize that leadership is our generation’s responsibility, and the EDGE Experience does that.

MSCPA Note: If you are interested in an experience designed for young CPAs103rdAnnConf2016 that’s a little closer to home, we encourage you to check out the Young Professionals Track at the 103rd Annual Conference, June 23 and 24 at Fairmont. This year’s speakers will include Paul Moya, Harvard Millennial expert specializing in next generation consulting, and Donna Salter, Senior Manager, AICPA Young Member Initiatives (the lady in charge of AICPA’s EDGE Experience). Watch for more information about the 103rd Annual Conference coming soon!


The Pinnacle of a Career

The following blog post is the speech given by Rick Reisig at the 2014 Annual Meeting when he accepted the George D. Anderson Distinguished Service Award. As one of the best speeches we’ve ever heard we are printing it at the request of many of the members who heard it and were moved by Rick’s profound words.

2014 Distinguished Service Award Recipient Rick Reisig

2014 Distinguished Service Award Recipient Rick Reisig

Thank you so much for recognizing me with this award. I’m so grateful, appreciative, honored, proud, a whole host of emotions…but probably mostly humbled, and maybe even a little embarrassed…to be presented this award.

I’m embarrassed because there are so many of you that are worthy to receive this, and here I’m the lucky one…I can’t even believe it. And, I still have a good 10-15 years to go, God willing. There are more things I hope to do in and for our profession. I don’t plan on stopping now.

Margaret asked me what this award means to me and I responded like I always have when congratulating previous recipients…it’s the pinnacle of a career. It’s the highest honor I think a Montana CPA can ever hope to receive because of what the Montana Society stands for, and what it has meant to our profession, and because of all the previous CPAs that have been so honored.

My favorite memories of this award, at least up until now, have been presiding over the meeting in which Joe Shevlin received the award, providing testimonial comments for both Tony DiLello’s and Bob Bronson’s awards, and of course being able to notify Tom Shea that he was the winner of the award.

I found out about the award in this way….Carlen (Keaster) sent out an email announcing a brief, but important, partner meeting from 1:00 to 1:15. We all gathered in our conference room but Brenda Byrnes. That’s not too big of a deal, as she’s normally late. Well, Brenda comes in, and Carlen says “okay Brenda, it’s your meeting”. I thought, “oh my gosh, she’s pregnant again!” Well, she proceeded to tell me and everyone else about the award, although most already knew. I was pretty shocked, to say the least. Then, the entire staff came into the conference room to congratulate me. That was a special moment that I’ll always remember. Thank you for making that moment so memorable for me.

The Anderson ZurMuehlen family.

The Anderson ZurMuehlen family.

I do want to say a few remarks, if for no other reason than when does someone get a chance to have the people he cares most about, both personally and professionally, gather in one place to celebrate that person, and not have it be his funeral? In this occasion, I get to thank you people who mean so much to me.

I first would like to thank Dan Vuckovich and Bob Bronson, two of my partners and dear friends, who nominated me for this award – independently of one another, I might add. It means so much to me to have your respect in this way. Believe me, it’s what I work for every day, to earn and keep your respect. Dan Vuckovich is so supportive – at our recent NASBA Regional Meeting, Dan continued to tell people about the award. Between Bob Bronson and Tony DiLello…all that I have is due in large part to you, your guidance, your support, your friendship…thank you!

Thank you to the Board of Directors of the Montana Society. I know you always have many worthy CPAs to choose from for this award. Thank you so much for picking me. My partners know this about me…recognition from my peers has always meant the most to me, because you understand what goes into this profession…the challenges, the complexities.

Thank you to Jane Egan for all the support she’s given me in whatever I’ve asked her to help me with, as she routinely does for all of the MSCPA members.

A big thank you to my firm, Anderson ZurMuehlen, for allowing me the opportunity to participate in the various aspects of the profession that I have. It’s not lost on me that the award is named the George D. Anderson Distinguished Service Award. Obviously, a legacy of service for the firm to follow.

But, more importantly, thank you to those in the Great Falls office, those folks from Hamilton Misfeldt, who instilled in me the importance of being active in the profession and the community, and then supported me as I followed in their footsteps.

The Reisig Family

The Reisig Family

And, now, the biggest thank you to my personal family – my wife, Carrie, my son, Dawson, and my daughter, Skyler. Tom Shea so eloquently said a couple of year ago that when accepting this award, he shared it with his wife Patti. He was so right! I certainly share this with my wife, Carrie. I always have said you have your work life, your community life, and your personal life. Most of us know you’re not going to shortchange your work life. A lot of the time in our profession, your community life and work life kind of blend together, so unfortunately your personal life may sometimes take the hit. I tried for that not to happen too much, but of course I know that it sometimes did. Carrie is always there supporting me in all my endeavors, be they part of my work life, community life, or personal life. My kids have too, but I think they’ve regarded the times I’m away as a vacation rather than a sacrifice.

I’m so appreciative of my brothers Doug and Jerry and my sister-in-law Terri for being here to share

Rick pictured with his brothers Jerry and Doug

Rick pictured with his brothers Jerry and Doug

in this experience with me – my brother Jerry and I would say that every time our brother Doug steps into a room, he’s close to being the smartest guy in the room. And my brother Doug and I would say that every time our brother Jerry steps into a room, he’s close to being the best athlete and most competitive person in the room. They’ve been great role models for me to follow.

I would like to spend a few minutes talking about our profession, and yet what can I say? What can I say to those of you who have given so much to the profession, who have cleared the path for the rest of us to follow? I’m still working my tail off to be like you when “I grow up” knowing that I won’t likely reach you. I feel so fortunate to have had the chance to work with you, or at least get to know you. What can I say to those of you who are currently so involved in the issues of the profession…Mike Johns, Ron Yates, Dan Vuckovich, Jim Galipeau, Ryan Screnar? You all certainly belong up here in your own right. And, what can I say to those of you at the beginning of your career, those that don’t have the foggiest idea who I am or what the DSA is all about?

Well, I hope when I’m done, the “old” CPAs will say, “wow, he loves the profession like I do.” The “not so old” CPAs will say, “wow, he loves the profession like I do.” And, the “young” CPAs will say, “wow, he loves the profession like I hope I will.”

In a sincere nod to my brothers and sister-in-law who have devoted their careers teaching our young people, as well as our colleagues among us that work so hard educating our accounting students at MSU, UM, Carroll College, UGF, Montana Tech, MSU-Billings, MSU-Northern, theirs is on the list of noble professions as society benefits so much from the work they do.

Our profession is truly a noble profession. Name another profession where such a variety of 3rd parties…taxpayers, donors, beneficiaries, investors, bankers, legislators, SEC, the IRS….the public…rely so much on the services we provide to our clients, or our employers. In our profession, the financial statements and income tax returns we prepare, the audits we perform, the retirement and estate planning consultations we provide, all are heavily relied on by outside parties. They trust us, they depend on us, they need our expertise. Our integrity, honesty, objectivity, ability to critically analyze and assess, the broad business knowledge we possess…the cornerstones of our profession…are unmatched. No other profession can do what we do. It’s vitally important for us to protect that!

If we aren’t aware our profession is under attack, we haven’t been paying attention. The PCAOB, which many outside of our profession have proclaimed such a success, was created due to perceived weaknesses in our profession. Our profession’s peer review program has evolved from being a purely educational program to including an ever-growing regulatory aspect to answer calls by outside parties to have us oversighted by non-CPAs. In fact, there are state boards of accountancy that have the requirement that a majority of their membership be non-CPAs, or that their peer review oversight bodies be made up of non-CPAs – those states have lost faith in our ability to govern and monitor ourselves. The SEC, PCAOB, Congress, the IRS…all represent very visible, high profile entities that have gained a foothold in how we provide service.

We can’t sit back and just let things happen as that void will be filled by someone, and that someone will likely not be a CPA and likely won’t have our best interests at heart.
Get involved, stay current on the issues, voice your opinion, participate.

All of us have a vested interest in the continued strength of the profession. The Society, the State Board, the AICPA, NASBA, all are working for the same thing – to maintain that place on the pedestal that the CPA profession enjoys. Each of us has a responsibility to ourselves as well as those that will follow us to encourage our colleagues to do the right thing, continue to provide service with integrity, honesty, objectivity and be vigilant in removing those that choose not to. We have to continue to be active in the evolution of our profession. We can’t sit back and just let things happen as that void will be filled by someone, and that someone will likely not be a CPA and likely won’t have our best interests at heart. Get involved, stay current on the issues, voice your opinion, participate. This is OUR profession. We can’t let anyone take it away. Looking out over the group of young CPAs we have here today, I think we’re in good hands…keep it up!

Thank you so much, again, for this award. I can’t tell you how much this means to me. I’m so proud to be part of this group. Thank you!

The Montana Society of CPAs is now accepting nominations for the 2015 George D. Anderson Distinguished Service Award. Find complete information about the award process.


Celebrating 25 Years

by Jane Egan, Executive Director

Eleven years ago, my husband and I built a house. The kitchen is a place where kids and grandkids could gather and make meals and connect. The yard is huge with a deck and patio where we all hang out and have fun. The house has been everything we dreamed it could be and more. It brings our family and friends together and we have made lots of great memories. We will continue to.

ImageThe Society is like my house – intentionally built for the purpose of bringing people together. The just completed 101th annual meeting in Helena is a perfect result of that purpose. We spent two days with some of our best friends in the profession where I renewed my admiration for my members. I wish everyone had the opportunity to meet all of you and to know you in the way I do. You are amazing people dedicated to your profession, your clients, your communities, your families, your coworkers and the Society. You are also a ton of fun. Thank you for all you do!

The annual meeting is also the time I renew my admiration for the fabulous ladies I work with in the Society office. They never cease to amaze me with their dedication, Imagecreativity and willingness to give whatever it takes to complete our mission. Thank you Margaret, Jean, Carol and Shannon!

One more thank you: to all my current and past board members, past presidents and to all those who signed my card for taking part in recognizing my 25th anniversary with the Society. It has been an amazing ride and I can’t imagine I could ever find a better bunch of folks to work for. You have all made my life richer and taught me so much. It means so much to me that you think I do a good job for you.

And, for those of you who couldn’t make it to Helena, we missed you! I can’t wait to see you all at our 102nd annual meeting in Kalispell next June.



Covenants, Clauses and Contracts – Oh, My!

MSCPA 101st Annual Meeting to offer special panel about Non-Compete Agreements
Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 3:30 p.m.

This year’s hot topic panel about non-compete agreements (NCA) promises to be anything but boring! In developing the structure of this panel, our focus is to keep the panel relevant to CPAs in public practice and industry alike AND to avoid a dry PRO/CON format. We are digging deeper and reaching farther, so you won’t want to miss it! Our three esteemed panelists will offer insights to the strengths, challenges, best practices and emerging alternatives for managing risks associated with proprietary information and relationships in today’s competitive business world. Joining the panel will be:

  • Tom Singer, lead attorney of Axilon Law Group, PLLC, of Billings;
  • Amy Christensen, partner of Hughes, Kellner, Sullivan & Alke, PLLP, law firm of Helena; and
  • Jeff Welch, entrepreneur and CEO of MercuryCSC, one of Inc. Magazine’s Top 5000 rising star companies in 2012 and Outside Magazine’s Top 100 Places to Work of 2013, ranked Number 3.

These panelists offer extensive real world experience and will be sharing tips and ideas to help you successfully plan and navigate this field of employment law. I’m excited to serve as moderator and look forward to seeing you in Helena, June 19 at 3:30 p.m. Register for 101st Annual Meeting

Marca Gibson, CPA

Marca Gibson, CPA