Become A CPA

Become A CPA

Four Forces Affecting Our Profession

by Bill Simer, CPA, WSCPA Chair for 2015-2016 | Sep 07, 2015

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As I begin my year as chair of the WSCPA, I want to begin a dialog with you about why the WSCPA is important to each of us who practice as CPAs and why it is becoming even more important in a time when the rate of change is increasing every day.  Like most of you, I've focused my career to this point by paying attention to my practice, not the profession as a whole.  During the past few years as a member of the Board of the WSCPA, I've been offered the opportunity to gain a greater perspective of the forces that are impacting our profession today, and it's clear that the strength of the WSCPA and our relationships with national and international affiliates has never been more critical. 

One of the key roles of the WSCPA is developing the future leaders of our profession.  The WSCPA has taken an active role in mentoring student members and then transitioning with them as they become young professionals and assume an active role throughout the state.  The future of our profession rests with this group, and this is good news: they're good.  Another initiative on the national level is the development of an Advanced Placement Accounting curriculum that would increase visibility of the profession in high schools.  This project is well beyond the initial discussion phase and while it may be a few years before we see it deployed on a national basis, it will likely be offered on a limited scope in the near future.

The pace of technological change continues to increase.  When you consider that the computing power you have in your phone today exceeds the capabilities of many office-based systems of a few years ago, it is clear that these advances can offer opportunities for real-time processes that we could only being to imagine in the past.  Plans for real-time practice monitoring are still in the conceptual stages, but the technical limitations on these processes are not far beyond the reach of the systems we have available today.  The leadership of the WSCPA is fully engaged in these discussions and will continue to represent the profession's interests in this dialog.

Over the past few years, you've heard about developments in learning technology and the future of learning.  As an organization, the WSCPA has been a thought leader in this area and has brought many of the developing concepts into our continuing education processes.  This has given us the opportunity to drive change, rather than just react to it.  We'll continue to see changes in the way we access continuing professional education and measure the effectiveness of learning.  The evolution of alternative means of content delivery has allowed us to access learning anywhere in the world, and the WSCPA has partnered with other state associations to deliver the best continuing education materials at the lowest possible cost to our members.  The WSCPA will continue to hold a leading role in this evolution as part of our commitment to our membership.

As I wrap this up I'll touch on the final, and possibly most important, role of the WSCPA: advocacy.  You don't have to look further than the scholarship bill we worked to pass this last session to understand the importance of this.  Over the last few years, the WSCPA has played a key role in practice mobility legislation and other important initiatives that affect our profession.  Recently, a delegation of staff and Board leadership returned from the AICPA Spring Meeting of Council in Washington DC, where we delivered detailed background information to Representatives and Senators from the State of Washington. This level of advocacy on both a state and national level has a significant impact on our profession and there is no better organization than the WSCPA to speak to our interests as a profession.

I'm pleased and honored to chair the WSCPA in the coming year and look forward to meeting many of you at chapter functions throughout the state.  The WSCPA has a reputation of being a leader in our profession and we will work hard to maintain and grow that reputation.

Bill SimerWilliam Simer, CPA, is Partner with Eide Bailly LLP in Spokane. You can contact him at bsimer@eidebailly.com. 

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