We are coming to find you

June 15, 2012

By James D. Gottfried, CPA
2011-2012 Chair of the Executive Board

We aren’t meeting every member’s needs. While the adage is true that you can’t make 100% of the people happy 100% of the time, the OSCPA Executive Board and staff are going to try.

Earlier this year, OSCPA’s Executive Board commissioned a series of task forces to examine member needs. Each task force is comprised of and focused on a specific demographic of the membership, from members in industry, to those who are retired, to sole practitioners. We realized we needed to be proactive in anticipating member needs and interests. Who is better at speaking to the needs of retired members than a group of retired members? So, we gathered representatives from each segment of membership to speak to their own needs, interests and pain points.

Task forces include:

  • Boomer generation
  • Members in business
  • CPA Inactive
  • Dues structure
  • Education and Training
  • Non-dues revenue
  • Small Firms
  • Women’s Initiatives
  • Young CPAs

These task forces were intentionally small – only five members or so – because the Board recognized that small, focused groups can be more flexible and respond faster to specific issues. OSCPA staff gathered these task forces for initial meetings to listen to what they had to say. The feedback was reported back to the Executive Board and will drive future initiatives and decisions. This initiative will certainly extend beyond my term as chair. It will be a continuous process to constantly improve the value of membership in OSCPA.

Listening to you

In addition, the OSCPA Executive Board and staff are conducting a listening tour throughout the state. We are contacting members to meet with them and find out more about them, their business and their job. If you receive a call, please take a few minutes to meet with us. We want to hear from you, and we are proactively reaching out to find out more about OSCPA members. We recognize that the membership is a diverse group of professionals with varying needs. We want to meet each one of them. It’s a lofty goal, but we are reaching for excellence. As a member, you deserve nothing less. As much as we are coming to find out more about you, we also welcome and encourage your input. What do you need? How can OSCPA better serve you? We are listening. We want to hear from you: the good, the bad, the ugly – even the unexpected.

How can we save money?

For example, consider OSCPA’s affinity partners. OSCPA has leveraged the power of 22,000 professionals to secure savings for you as a member from many of the businesses CPAs use most, such as car rental companies and insurance. What products and services do you or your business use? Perhaps several other members use it as well. If so, there’s a chance we can leverage our collective buying power and secure a discount for all of us. But first we need to understand how OSCPA can make your life better. Send your thoughts to cpanswers@ohio-cpa.com.

Final thoughts

As I wrap up my final column as chair of the Executive Board, I want to thank my fellow members of the Board and the OSCPA staff. As chair, I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in many issues and get an inside look at the organization that benefits us all. I have a deeper understanding and appreciation of the effort it takes on the part of the staff and the Board to accomplish the successes OSCPA is known for. As Brendan Fitzgerald steps up as chair for the next activity year, know that your Executive Board is in great hands. OSCPA will continue to be one of the premier associations, and it has been an honor to contribute to that great legacy.

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Don’t leave money on the table

April 5, 2012

By James D. Gottfried, CPA, Chair, The Ohio Society of CPAs

OSCPA membership has many benefits, one being the eight hours of free CPE available through the seasonal Professional Issues Updates.

If you don’t participate in these lively, interactive presentations, it’s like leaving money on the table. The fall and spring series each provide four CPE credits, worth hundreds of dollars. Attend both and your OSCPA membership might already be paid for.

Attendees frequently describe the presentations as the fastest four hours of CPE they’ve experienced. Here is your opportunity to get up-to-speed on the latest issues impacting your profession in a fast-paced, easily digested format. Topics span all areas of the profession, whether you are in corporate accounting, public practice, tax, A&A, small business, not-for-profit – whatever it is, you’ll find something that relates to you in this presentation.

Specific topics include:

  • Congress, the Ohio General Assembly and OSCPA’s legislative priorities
  • How the recession has affected the CPA profession in Ohio
  • IFRS, private company financial reporting changes and the outlook for the future
  • Current business trends and the economic outlook
  • Social media and social networking developments
  • Generational issues in the workplace

The discussions are also highly interactive – this isn’t four hours of a static, talking head. OSCPA President and CEO Clarke Price typically leads the presentation and discussion, tweaking the subject matter to the audience while seeking feedback and discussion throughout.

The live presentation also allows for candid takes on the latest issues. It is a unique opportunity to get an inside opinion and perspective on what’s really going on behind the scenes. Attendees also get practical advice on navigating the changes impacting our profession. Many leave with thoughts and goals for what they need to incorporate into their jobs the next day.

Trust me; if it’s important to your job or career, it’s covered in the Professional Issues Updates.

Corporate CPAs benefit from the connection to the Society and the profession. It’s also an opportunity to catch up with friends and former coworkers – maybe even future coworkers. For many members, it’s a bi-annual opportunity to touch base with other CPAs in their area.

If you’ve never been to a Professional Issues Update, come join us. If you have been before, bring some colleagues or other OSCPA members and introduce them to what they’ve been missing.

Editor’s note: Follow the Professional Issues Updates on Twitter with #SpringPIU.


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