Become A CPA

Become A CPA

We Need Your Help Now More Than Ever!

by Kimberly Scott, CAE | Nov 18, 2015

Bill signersHopefully you have heard the great news regarding the $3.3 million the WashingtonCPA Foundation will be receiving over the next 2 years. If not, be sure to read Rich Jones’ column on page 4 about the Washington CPA Scholarship Program. It is amazing news and we are excited to roll out this program. However, there is a lot to be done now and over the next decade, and we need your help. 

Scholarship Changes Coming This Year

The Foundation has been honored to provide scholarships to about 20 promising accounting students each year. This year we will be changing the scholarship value from $3,000 each to $5,000 each. This change will make Foundation scholarships one of the largest scholarships awarded. Scholarship recipients will be selected by March 2016 and be awarded in the fall.

Under the new program, the number of scholarships awarded will double this first year. That means we need to get the word out on university and community college campuses around the state. We know many CPAs volunteer to speak in classrooms, on panels, or at recruiting events. If you do, please mention these scholarships and encourage students to apply. We are happy to provide you with talking points and literature. To qualify for scholarships students must be attending a school in Washington State, be an accounting major, and be in their junior year or higher (up to Ph.D.) when they receive the award. Other qualifications are online at www.wscpa.org/become-a-cpa/scholarships

Volunteer Opportunities

If you are not visiting college campuses but are interested in volunteering, please let us know. There are opportunities at campuses and on the scholarship review committee. To sign up as a volunteer contact Monette Anderson manderson@wscpa.org or Elizabeth Faircloth efaircloth@wscpa.org.   

New Foundation Grants

The new funding provides opportunities for the Foundation as well. The Trustees are establishing grants to help increase the number of under-represented minority students entering into the profession. This has been a concern at a national level for many years. The accounting programs are at capacity in most universities, but the demographics of the students do not match the demographics of the changing client base for CPA firms. The challenges identified at the national level include: lack of both student awareness of the profession and mentors or champions. We know many individuals and firms are also concerned about this. Please watch for more information in the coming months. 

Building an Endowment

The Foundation is also looking to the future. As amazing as the new Washington CPA Scholarship Program and its $3.3 million is, it is not considered an endowment and is meant to help get students into the accounting profession now. We expect the funds will last at least 15 years, but that is not forever. It does, however, provide time for the Foundation to build an endowment that would provide scholarships at the same level for many generations to come. Your contributions still count, and will continue make a difference in a student’s life. You can make a tax-deductible contribution to the Foundation any time at www.wscpa.org/foundation.

If you have contributed to the Foundation in the past, or plan to in the future, thank you! There is a lot of competition for the talented students studying finance and accounting. Your support of the Foundation moves them toward the CPA designation and makes a difference. The cost of tuition is high, and needing five years of college to sit for the exam is an obstacle. Then there is the obvious challenge of passing the exam itself. Past scholarship winners have told us that every dollar counts. Hear this directly from some past scholarship winners at www.wscpa.org/foundation/videos.

I hope you will help us get the word out to students about the new scholarship opportunities!

Kimberly SocttKimberly Scott, CAE, is Executive Director of the Washington CPA Foundation. You can contact her at kscott@wscpa.org.

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The Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants is the only organization in the state of Washington dedicated to serving the professional needs of CPAs, educating consumers about CPAs and the services they provide, and encouraging students to study accounting and enter the profession.

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