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!

 

 

Presidentially Speaking–A year in review from Brenda Byrnes

Byrnes Brenda 2016It’s a great time to be a CPA!  The past year as your President was incredible and it went fast.

Following the lead of Ann Deegan we (myself and your Board of Directors) continued to implement the strategic plan.  Our concentration was the introduction of an updated volunteer model.  A model that focuses on the time you as a volunteer can commit, what tasks inspire you to assist and when it fits your schedule.  The unveiling of the new Volunteer Center on the MSCPA website this month is the culmination of that process.  Now your new President Annette Hill and Board of Directors challenge you to find your spot to fill on the Volunteer Center or simply sign up for the “pool.”  The pool is for those of us who don’t see a spot that fits yet but definitely are up to a task, just waiting for it.

What else did the year entail?

  • Social media presence enhanced
  • University student outreach efforts increased
  • First virtual board meeting conducted online
  • Jane announced her retirement date of June 2017
    • ED Succession Strike Force created
  • CGMA designation opened for nonCPAs
  • Continued tax advocacy at the Federal & State levels
  • AICPA/CIMA joint venture vote
  • Jane is diagnosed with cancer, has treatment and is in remission all in one board year—She ROCKS!

What’s my biggest “take away” this year?

Our profession is a great one!  I mean it wholeheartedly.  We have the opportunity to make a meaningful impact each day in our respective careers: public, business, industry, not-for-profit, governmental, education and so many other areas.  The heart of what we learn as CPAs is valued and trusted throughout the world.  We are sought after for the value we have to offer but we do have to work hard to maintain this position.

That “take away” was driven home for me by the terrific members of your Board of Directors who served this past year.   Their commitment to our profession and the CPAs of Montana is outstanding.  Thanks to each of them for their nimbleness as we changed up meetings, activities and our volunteer structure.  The Directors provided thought provoking input and purposeful active participation which made this year successful.  It was truly a pleasure to serve with them.

However, none of these outcomes would have occurred without the team at MSCPA.  Jane, Margaret, Jean, Carol and Heidi provide tremendous support every step of the way.  We are so lucky to have them!

I was inspired at the beginning of my career by several Past-Presidents of the MSCPA to set a goal of becoming President.  The passion they showed for being a CPA and how they translated that passion into efforts aimed at keeping the MSCPA a relevant, supportive professional home for us throughout our careers was what motivated me.  This was an awesome opportunity to be a part of that legacy and I am grateful for it.  Thank you.

Brenda

Brenda L. Byrnes, CPA
Past President 2015-2016

PS  GO Annette!  You’re “it” to make an IMPACT .

 

 

 

 

 

A Note of Gratitude-and a Few Year-End Requests

Yates 2007

Ron Yates Eide Bailly

by Ron Yates, former AICPA Council Representative

Greetings MSCPA Members.  I hope that each of you find time to enjoy the wonder and blessings of Christmas without succumbing to the madness of the holiday season or the angst associated with year-end planning and the fast-approaching “busy season” 2016.  In no time at all Christmas and New Year’s Day will be past, tax and audit deadlines will be complicating our recreation and weekend plans, and once-again we’ll be anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring.

First of all, I want to sincerely thank each of you for the opportunity to serve as your elected AICPA Council Representative over the past three years.  Serving as your representative at the national AICPA level has been a great honor, a tremendous learning experience, and truly one of the highlights of my professional career – challenging, exciting, professionally rewarding, and great fun!  I have actively attempted to represent the diverse interests of Montana CPAs at the national level and move our profession forward against the ever-present challenges of staffing, student recruitment, examination & certification, professional education, legal liability, client expectations, specialization, and expanding professional, geographic, and technological boundaries.  Thank you all for this opportunity, as well as your friendship, advice, and support.

ThompsonGordy08 CMYK

Gordy Thompson, Anderson ZurMuehlen

Please enthusiastically congratulate Gordy Thompson of Havre on his election as your AICPA Council Representative for the 2015-2018 term. Gordy is a strong leader that will represent Montana CPAs extraordinarily-well at the national level.  Gordy is a friend to all and a stranger to no one!  He has already established tremendous professional contacts within the AICPA that will serve to benefit all MSCPA members going forward.

Please offer your outstanding support to President Brenda Byrnes, President-Elect Annette Hill, and all MSCPA board members and office personnel.  The MSCPA’s mission is to inspire, empower and impact members to achieve professional excellence and this is exactly what our MSCPA board and staff do each day!

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Jane Egan MSCPA Executive Director

Please keep Jane Egan, MSPCA’s fearless leader and our great friend, in your thoughts and prayers as she continues to successfully battle cancer.  As politicians, regulators, and certain other disagreeable individuals know, Jane is not to be messed with!  Cancer doesn’t have a chance to prevail in this fight!

Please continue to be actively involved in our profession at the local chapter, MSCPA, and AICPA levels.  I am fortunate to have gotten involved at each of these levels during my public accounting career and plan to continue doing so.  I have truly personally received much more back than the effort and time I have invested.  We have a wonderful, dynamic, evolving profession that actively seeks your input, involvement, and leadership.  Please take advantage of these fantastic personal and professional growth opportunities by personally getting involved.  E-mail me at ryates@eidebailly.com or call me at 406-896-2423 if you have any questions or if I can be of any assistance regarding your professional involvement.

Finally, please consider financially supporting the MSCPA Legacy Foundation, our very own 501(c)(3) charitable organization, with your year-end gifting.  The Legacy Tree project currently happening in the MSCPA office is a touching visual tribute to the many people—past, present and future—who support the greatness of the accounting profession in Montana.  Let’s each do our part to support the foundation for the betterment of the Montana accounting profession for generations to come!

Full tree with Leaves

The Legacy Tree