Profiles: Ryan Screnar

This article is the next in our series “Profiles” highlighting the impact Montana CPAs are having on the national level.

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Ryan Screnar, Glacier Bancorp, Helena

When I became involved with MSCPA I had no idea the doors it was going to open for me. I joined the MSCPA Board in 2004 and served as President in 2008-2009. It was in that role as President that I began going to AICPA meetings as the AICPA Designated Council member. And that’s where I started meeting people that have helped me charter a national course of volunteer experience.

When you meet people at the AICPA Council meetings, you have this automatic exposure to 500 people who value the CPA so you instantly have that in common. It’s a fraternity of people who share this common bond and you grow it from there.

I was appointed to the AICPA Nominating Committee for a term from 2011-2013. This group chooses the AICPA Board members, the at-large Council reps and the next chair. I was asked to join the AICPA Awards Committee in 2013. From there I became a member of the AICPA Ethics Committee in 2009-2012. I was part of this group when we codified our ethics, restructuring the standards so that members and other can apply the rules and reach the correct conclusions more easily.  That volunteer gig turned into a new one on the Joint Trial Board (JTB) in 2015. When ethics complaints are investigated, the JTB is the body the CPAs can appeal to. It’s a tough gig. It’s about life stories and we hold their futures in our hands. It’s a heavy responsibility and not one I take lightly.

I’m lucky, my employer supports me completely in this national networking. I got into volunteering because I wanted to be involved in the profession: learning and seeing the issues from a national perspective. And I love it! It’s been a lot of fun. You are on the front line. With each new committee I’ve served, I’ve gotten to meet more people and that’s what has had the most impact, meeting the people from across the country and the lasting relationships you develop.

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.