By Annette Hill, MSCPA President 2016-2017
Hello fellow CPAs! Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m trusting you’ll take some time today to spend with your loved ones, especially your valentine! Consider taking a breath to reflect on other areas in your life that cause you to feel grateful; home, health and relationships.
Many of you have asked us how it’s going with the search for a new executive director. I’m happy to report that we are on schedule with the timeline set by our Strike Force leader, Brenda Byrnes. We are in the interview stage, having received numerous applications from qualified candidates and are on track to introduce you to a new executive director by our Annual Conference in June.
What about Jane? Even more of you have inquired about Jane’s retirement and we assure you that you will have opportunities to celebrate with Jane, to congratulate and thank her for her many years of service to the Society. Watch for details!
It is opportunity season for those of us in public accounting and no doubt many in industry, nonprofit, government and education are feeling the opportunity as well, wrapping up calendar year end activities and initiating 2017. Our staff at the Society office have been closing the January 31, 2017 fiscal year and commencing the next one with issuance of dues statements. Your statement hit your physical or virtual mail box on February 1st.
As you review the notice, you’ll see that our Society staff has done an outstanding job of detailing the five strategic pillars and the benefits your dues provide our members.
MEMBERSHIP tools and services, volunteer and leadership opportunities
SUSTAINABILITY and focus on being the most valuable resource for members
CONNECTION through Find-A-CPA, MontanaConnection.org, MSCPA.org, local and rural chapters, e-publications, social media and this blog
PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE with 52 live CPE courses, 4 conferences and thousands of webcasts
ADVOCACY with representation at the state Legislature, Department of Revenue, State Board of Accountants, IRS and AICPA.
What an inspiring and fitting list for our pillars! They guide our board of directors, staff, committees, task forces and all of our volunteers, charting the course for our mission. That’s important and we need to keep it in front of us. However, as you consider paying your dues this year, you might be asking yourself, “What’s really in it for me?” I’ve spent a few moments considering the value my membership brings me.
In 20 years as a member, I’ve enjoyed benefits in all of the pillars and for that I’m grateful and have no doubt I have received much more than the cost of my membership dues. One of my favorite benefits though, is really one captured in the MEMBERSHIP pillar. “Tools and services” include our Society office and staff. This is the benefit working for us every day that we may not even know is happening. Our Society office and staff are our best return on investment.
Have you called the Society office and been greeted with Heidi’s cheery and welcoming voice? Have you experienced an issue with CPE and had Jean fix it for you? Have you had Carol hold your hand as you worked through the paperwork to get your first peer review completed? Have you paused to giggle a little when you read the latest recipe for tax season mixology drinks on Facebook or learned what music Reidun cranks when she needs some inspiration? Attended a fun-filled, professional MSCPA conference? Reconnected with a CPA that left the state? (Thanks Margaret!) Finally, do you know the influence and the respect our illustrious executive director commands with our state legislators? Have you changed your job and in the stress of changing co-workers, locations and career goals, have you found some comfort in the familiarity of your MSCPA staff and office? Have you remembered that these same people probably call you by name, recognize your spouse, know where you work and understand your passion for the accounting profession?
THIS is the value of membership. I encourage you to renew (join if you are not currently a member) pay your dues and enjoy the benefits our greatest resource can bring you. See you in Billings at the 104th Annual Conference!