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.

Watch for your calendar

The 2014 Professional Development calendars have been sent to all our members in public practice as April 1st (no foolin’). Our BING members received their calendars in February.  This year’s calendar features 60 classes, five conferences and the beautiful photographs by member, Linsay Carlson (AZ Helena) and society staff Jean Rieden.


Gopher at Glacier by Jean Rieden

In addition to live classes, 2,462 webcasts are available for you in 2014. You can find them on our website and if there is something specific you are looking for talk to Jean.

With all these choices we challenge you to take at least one class that excites you; one class that is more than CPE; something that really interests you.  As you look through the course offerings we hope you’ll see opportunity as well as education, and know that it was all selected with your professional development needs in mind.

If you don’t see your calendar in the mail within the next few days give us a shout (800.272.0307) and we’ll be sure to send one your way. As always, all MSCPA classes can be seen online at


Sunset at Bernice by Linsay Carlson

Important Numbers to Share

by Jean Rieden, MSCPA Professional Development Director

Our Board of Directors always tells us, “Give us numbers; we love numbers!”  So that said, we’ve got some phenomenal numbers we want to share with YOU . . .  and the Board. 

Vern Hoven and Ron Roberson are doing a Federal Tax Update for MSCPA in Missoula this week.  It’s the last class of our 2013/2014 Professional Development season.  So we thought it was a great time to share our Professional Development numbers from this season with you.

  • 1,430 participants joined us for classes in 2013/2014
  • MSCPA held 48 classes in 2013/2014. These 48 classes accounting for 54 days of learning—nearly 11 work weeks!
  • MSCPA issued 13,280 credits in 2013/2014

And all this is just from our LIVE classes.

So let’s discuss our online education opportunities.

  • 104 participants participated in MSCPA sponsored online learning over the past year.
  • 526 CPE credits were issued to those participants.

What’s next on the education horizon? Tons of great things to enhance your professionalism.

  • We start the 2014/2015 season with literally hundreds of online course offerings. If you need something specific let me know.
  • The 5th Annual Industry Conference will be our first LIVE class of 2014/2015, held March 19 & 20 in Helena.
  • We’re adding a second farm and ranch course this year in June in Yellowstone. We’ve partnered with the Washington, Idaho and Wyoming Societies to bring you this event.
  • In August, the always popular Pat Gaverick will teach a healthcare reform class in Billings.
  • And we’re bringing back the Tech Conference August 7 & 8 but this time it’s going to be held in Cody, WY, in conjunction with the Idaho and Wyoming Societies. It’s a great time of the year to make a vacation out of this one.

All the 2014/2015 classes are available on our Professional Development page on the website—check them out when the spirit moves you or you simply need a break!

The Professional Development Calendar will be mailed to our BING (Business, Industry, NFP, Gov’t) members in February and our Public Practice members right after tax season. Watch your mailboxes—you don’t want to miss it!

And if you have any CPE questions I’m always here to answer them for you: 800.272.0307 or