Presidentially Speaking

By Annette Hill, MSCPA President 2016-2017

hill-annette-2016Hello 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!

 

 

It’s a win/win for you AND your clients!

by Jean Rieden, MSCPA Professional Development & Membership Director

ATTENTION BING MEMBERS:industryconf2017
Why YOU Should Attend the Industry Conference

We hear it all the time. Montana CFOs frequently have to do it all: AR, AP, finance, inventory, payroll, HR, grant compliance, contracts and more! The Industry Conference provides the information you need to know to be an effective finance professional. Whether you are the CFO, the CEO or the staff accountant, you will benefit from the engaging presentations on relevant and timely topics. The education and networking opportunities you will access are invaluable to your role in your organization.

ATTENTION PUBLIC PRACTICE MEMBERS:
Why YOUR Business Clients Should Know About the Industry Conference

Education and networking can reduce the risk of errors and cut down on fraud. The Industry Conference provides the education and networking opportunities that will help your clients make better decisions in their work, improve their accounting and financial processes and help them provide better information to management which makes them a stronger member of the accounting team. It’s a win/win for you AND your client!

Click here to register and find more information or feel free to contact me, jean@mscpa.org, 800.272.0307.

I hope I see you, or your clients, in Helena March 22 & 23!

A note from Sara

By Sara Smith, ALPS Corporation, Missoula, MSCPA Industry Conference Task Force Leader

Smith Sara 2017.jpgBeing a glutton for punishment, I signed up for the Butte 50, a mountain bike race along the Continental Divide trail. If you have done it or know someone that has, you know that this race can only be described as a “suffer fest.” About 45 miles into the race, there is one last final grind to the top. Imagine my surprise when I encountered Tyler Hamilton, our 2017 Industry Conference Keynote Speaker, right before the end of the climb passing out Coca-Cola. He was like a beacon of light in the depths of the pain cave. He gave me the sweet syrupy liquid to drink, a slight push, and told me I was almost there. I can’t even explain what a boost that was to my deflated and exhausted spirit.

Those of you that don’t know who Tyler is, the short version is that he raced along Lance Armstrong with the US Postal Service team during the Tour de France. Now, I think we all know what hhamiltontyler150appened to Lance, but not everyone is familiar with Tyler’s contribution to the story. In Tyler’s book “The Secret Race”, the full story provides some context that describes the pressure of being an elite athlete. The toll that lying takes on your family. The way relationships and friendships break down when you are not being fully honest with yourself. In many ways, it mirrors some of the same themes Andrew Fastow, the former CFO of Enron, spoke about at the 2016 Industry Conference.

If you didn’t get to hear Mr. Fastow speak, you missed what I can only describe as a controversial presentation, the kind that sticks with you. To literally silence a whole room of CPAs takes a powerful story, one that touches the foundations of each of us. Having heard Tyler speak before, I promise you that this presentation will cause at the very minimum reflection of your path, the choices you make under pressure, and how living a transparent life can be transformative. His approach is novel as well, with ample time to ask him literally anything you want to know about Tyler Perhaps you want to know what it is like to win an Olympic medal or what it feels like to have that same medal stripped from you…Tyler can answer that question for you.

industryconf2017We have great speakers lined up for this event. We read every evaluation form and take all of the input to try to produce the best possible conference for our industry leaders. Our goal is to make sure you take something away that you can use personally and/or professionally. I think the 2017 Industry Conference is going to be one that you don’t soon forget so I encourage you to register.

My Experience at the AICPA Leadership Academy

schuerg-austin-2015by Austin Schuerg

In October I had the honor of representing Montana at the AICPA’s Leadership Academy (LA), thanks to the MSCPA Legacy Foundation.  This four-day intensive program was designed to engage young professionals in a self-examination of leadership, what that means and how that impacts their personal life and career path.  The facilitators of this Academy, Tom Hood (CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs) and Gretchen Pisano (CEO of p.Link Coaching Center) were truly amazing.  If you’ve ever met Tom or Gretchen, you know they are both passionate and energizing people, key to a successful program.

The program itself consisted of 38 young CPAs from around the country with very diverse backgrounds.  An application process was required that consisted of two short essays documenting the applicant’s thoughts on what the future holds for a leader in the accounting function, whether private or public, as well as how each applicant feels they would benefit from such a program. Outside of the program itself, a key component of LA was the networking and socializing with the other CPAs.  This has already been super valuable in that we have formed a private Facebook group and have bounced questions and ideas around numerous times already.

Prior to the academy, the first step was identifying each of our own leadership strengths.  LA utilized the book Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath which was accompanied by a Clifton’s Stengthsfinder assessment.  I had always had an idea of where my leadership strengths lie, but this assessment really cemented that for me and pushed me to begin identifying how to leverage those in my daily professional and personal life.  After I returned from LA, I sat down with the leaders in my current company and walked through my strengths.  We have since redesigned my career path to one that will most benefit my strengths as well as the company.  Actual action, I love that.

During LA, the facilitators walked us through an intensive study of the i2a facilitation process.  The generalized concept here is to create buy in from team members to really help drive projects forward.  As a team, you attempt to really break down an issue to its most basic form and then create a plan to overcome this.  I plan to implement this process over q4 in my current role to identify ways to overcome some obstacles we are facing related to our interdepartmental relationships.  If you are unaware of the i2a facilitation process, feel free to reach out to me and I will gladly provide a run down.

schuerg-leadership-graduation-2016

Barry Melancon | Austin Schuerg | Tim Christen

One of the highlights for me from the week was interacting with Barry Melancon, President of the AICPA, and Tim Christen, Board Member of the AICPA and Chair of Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP.  During one of our “networking” nights, we had North Carolina barbecue and a bags (corn hole) tournament in which my team got knocked out in the semi-finals.  The last evening of LA, we had the opportunity to have a two-hour Q&A session with Barry Melancon in which we learned about his career path as well as where he sees the profession headed.  He is truly an inspiring leader and the insights he provided were amazing.

Overall, the three key takeaways for me from this program are self-awareness of my own strengths, awareness of what drives other’s motivation, and that leadership is facilitation.

Donna Salter and Erin Carson from the AICPA did a superb job in organizing this academy and I would highly recommend it to any young professional in the accounting industry who is looking to either take, or position themselves to take, that next step in their career.  A special thank you to the Legacy Foundation and the MSCPA for their support in my attendance to the LA.  I truly feel it was game-changer for me and I hope to assist and give back to the profession here in the state as much as I can.

Schuerg Leadership Graduation 2016 a.jpg

2016 AICPA Leadership Academy Graduates

Austin Schuerg is only the second Montanan to have the honor of attending the AICPA’s prestigious Leadership Academy, thanks to the support of the MSCPA Legacy Foundation. The first Montana attendee was Jeremiah Rouane (First Interstate Bank) back in 2010, so you can see that Austin’s attendance is landmark for Montana CPAs.

Austin works as a senior accountant with Simms Fishing Products in Bozeman. He serves as the Young Professional member on the MSCPA Board of Directors and is very active in all MSCPA initiatives to promote the success and involvement of our YPs.  

 

Fairmont – Over 100 years of hot water and good times

DCIM100GOPRO

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: https://reservations.fairmontmontana.com/vRes/Custom/GroupLogin.aspx .
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)

Gender2001Gender2016

 

InPraiseofSlownessGraphic311

 

 

 

 

 

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 margaret@mscpa.org.

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

How to Make Friends and Influence People (Clients!)

Want an opportunity to look really good to your clients? Tell them about MSCPA’s Industry and Financial Professionals Conference.

2016IndustryBannerThis conference, scheduled March 23 and 24 in Helena, is a great opportunity for CFOs, controllers and business managers. It’s designed to educate attendees in areas critical to performance and provide an opportunity to network with peers from across the state. They’ll have a chance to establish relationships with other business professionals facing the same challenges and attend a wide variety of relevant topics that affect their jobs every day. The opportunity to network with other business and accounting professionals can be an invaluable experience for your client who may be flying solo back at the office.

When you refer a client to an event like this with a proven track record of success you are becoming an even more valuable resource for your clients. Check out the great classes your client can attend:

  • Opening Keynote: Fraud – Andy Fastow, was the Chief Financial Officer of Enron Corp.
  • Beyond Traditional Budgeting: Use Performance Metrics to Improve Financial Planning & Control
  • A New Day, A New Technology Way
  • Communicating Financial Information to Non-Accountants
  • Cyber Security
  • Leaders Eat Last
  • Be Proactive, Not Reactive: Internal Controls with Limited Staff
  • Economic Update
  • The Art & Science of Compensation System Design
  • FASB/GASB Update
  • Using Financials to Evaluate Business Performance
  • Affordable Care Act Compliance
  • The Powerful Mind
  • Cash Flow Forecasting

If you have questions or need more information, contact Jean Rieden (jean@mscpa.org or 800.272.0307). She can provide you with detailed information you can share with your clients about the conference.

Your clients trust you to help them make good decisions. Attending the 2016 Industry and Financial Professionals Conference is one decision they’ll thank you for and you’ll fortify yourself as a true trusted business adviser.

MSCPA INDUSTRY GROUP
Amber Bauer, PayneWest Insurance
Craig Birgenheier, Big Sky Brewing Company
Jill Burger, Wipfli
Julie Eik, Off the Beaten Path
Dena Gormely, MT School Services Foundation
Sherrie Hogan, MHA
Reidun Johnston, Historical Research Assn
Merna Lechman, DA Davidson Companies
Clint Morrison, Summit FInancial Advisors
Jim Mourich, MasterLube
Teri Norcross, Missoula County Airport Authority
Jeremiah Rouane, Stockman Bank
Sarah Smith, ALPS Corporation, CHAIR
Kyla Stafford, Anderson ZurMuehlen
Craig Stahlberg, PayneWest Insurance
Becky Turner, Glacier Bancorp

 

 

Repair Regs Guidance

Confused about repair regulations and form 3115? You are not alone! MSCPA has been working to find the answers and resources for you.

Update 2/13/15: IRS Makes It Easier for Small Businesses to Apply Repair Regulations to 2014 and Future Years  Read press release

Update 2/13/15:  AICPA says help may be on the way. Read more in this Forbes article

Top 20 Q & A About Repair Regs

Surgent McCoy has put together a list for our members of the Top 20 Questions and Answers  CPAs are asking.

Questions asked by our members

Surgent McCoy was able to answer a few of our member’s questions.

Webcast offered to help with Repair Regs Form 3115 – 02/24/15

The IRS expects most businesses with significant amounts of real and personal property will be required to file one or more 3115s this year. This course will help you understand the impact of the regulations, determine if/when you need to file a 3115 and help you with the preparation of the dreaded form. Webcast details  – This webcast is through the Idaho Society of CPAs and you must register through them, MSCPA members will be given their member price.

Update & Implementation of Final Repair Regulations – 02/13/15 –

UPDATE: Replay on 02/23/15

Webcast details

This update will explore new regulations which include several taxpayer friendly safe harbors. These rules cover how to handle materials/supplies, de minimis expensing, repairs vs. improvements which includes a safe harbor for small taxpayers. Learn how to implement these rules by filing new annual elections and/or accounting method changes using Form 3115. Webcast tomorrow – please email jean@mscpa.org or give her a call at 406-442-7301 to register for this webinar – our website shows registration closed for this but we can still get you included. For the replay on 2/27 you can register online. 

Implementing the new tangible property regulations

Circular 230, Regulations Governing Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service (31 C.F.R. Part 10), may present challenges to practitioners in signing tax returns for clients that have not implemented the final regulations. Due to the challenges of the regulations, waiting to address these issues until completing the 2014 tax return is ill-advised. This article provides some history, context, and a high-level overview of the major components of the final regulations and discusses the implications for Circular 230 and signing tax returns for clients who have not implemented the new regulations. Journal of Accountancy  (1/31)

THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON THE SUCCESS AND LONGEVITY

by Becky Turner, CPA, CGMA
Glacier Bancorp

Becky Turner, CPA, CGMA

Becky Turner, CPA, CGMA

As with any organization, the support by and work done within the volunteer committees makes the biggest impact on the success and longevity of that organization.  The same is true at MSCPA!  While they are absolutely AMAZING, the Board and MSCPA staff could not possibly shoulder all of the work done by each of the Committees.

I have been a member of the Professional Development Committee since 2009.  I have known Jean (Rieden) since I was a kiddo and I had only been part of the Society for about a year when she—let’s be honest here—may have strong-armed me to consider joining the Professional Development Committee.  Jean knew I couldn’t possibly say no to her; she didn’t even have to threaten, “Don’t make me call your mother”.

At the time I joined, the Professional Development Committee needed some diversification in ‘years of experience’ within their ranks, and was in desperate need of Industry representation. Fortunately, I fit the bill! Being a typical CPA, i.e. introvert, this group provides me a networking opportunity with CPAs around the state.  The diversity of the group is an added bonus; we have a great mix of public practice, representing both tax and audit and industry individuals from a variety of businesses and positions. Being on the Professional Development Committee allows me to impact the courses provided in a given year, meaning I can help ‘steer’ the course offerings to the needs for my particular job, experience level or training needs of my department/company.

MSCPA provides accessible, affordable, professional development courses to meet a particular learning style. While webinars, self-study, and online courses are prevalent, we offer a service to our members that respond best in a live, in-person learning environment.  We also have the ability to provide specialized courses for Montana-specific issues, such as tax and employment matters.  In fact, stay tuned for a new series of webinars based solely on Montana issues, provided by experts in those areas!

Membership and involvement in the MSCPA and on their Committees shows how much my employer, Glacier Bancorp, Inc., stands behind their employees, helping us grow in our positions by maintaining our certifications, encouraging professional development courses and networking with fellow CPAs. This is at a relatively small cost to the bank; my involvement on the Professional Development Committee takes me out of my office for three days a year (including Leadership Day), we have two one-hour conference calls in the fall and I field a few emails during course scheduling.  The time and impact this has on my work and Glacier Bancorp is minimal, yet offers BIG returns and personal accomplishment.

Being involved on MSCPA Committees is my way of showing commitment to furthering the CPA profession and Society. It is a great networking opportunity while supporting the Society in their mission to help all of us achieve professional excellence.  The Professional Development Committee is always recruiting new members . . . (hint, hint).  We are currently seeking members to help with our diversification in ‘years of experience’ and BING representation.

Based on my committee experience, I would recommend every member consider serving a term on one of the Committees. It will make the biggest impact on the success and longevity on both your career and the value MSCPA continues to offer.

If you are interested in joining the Professional Development Committee, or any of MSCPA’s committees, please check them out on our website and contact the Society Staff for more information, 800.272.0307.

Becky Turner is a Vice-President and Internal Auditor for Glacier Bancorp in Bozeman, MT. She has been a member of MSCPA since 2008 and also serves as a member of the Industry Group and the Future of Learning Task Force.