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Together We Can Make a Difference

by Kimberly Scott, CAE | Nov 29, 2016
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Thank you! Thank you for reading this article (and not just because it means at least three people read what I write). The thank you is for what you do. The odds are you are a business professional who is interested in how you can contribute and make a difference.

For one, you received The WashingtonCPA magazine meaning you are a WSCPA member. If you are a member you are most likely a CPA, a retired CPA, a future CPA or an educator/supporter of CPAs—a business professional. Second, you decided to read an article on advocacy and most people who do that are wanting to better understand what is going on, and how they can get involved—the people who make a difference. What is going on and how can you get involved?

State Politics

In January the Legislature will start a long session. As has been the case with the last few sessions, the budget will be the focus. The issues affecting the budget? Education funding, transportation, health care … and not just how to fund it, but what should be funded, and at what level. All of these topics will be discussed, as well as taxes. If you are interested in being a resource to your legislator regarding tax policy, please let me know, and reach out to your legislators.

The last couple of years we have seen legislation that was intended to create more opportunities for government entities to hire CPA firms to conduct their financial audits. The legislation had some key flaws, and we testified regarding those flaws. The bill did not pass. However, the staff at Washington State Auditor’s Office recently released a written document outlining how they work with local governments that want to contract with a public accounting firm for financial and single audits. Many WSCPA members have expressed an interest in doing this work, and hopefully this policy will also provide guidance to the firms as well. If this is a topic of interest to you, please let me know.

Connecting

To the WSCPA, advocacy is much more than politics—it means reaching out and connecting. WSCPA leadership strives to keep open communication and good relationships with the Washington State Board of Accountancy (WBOA), the AICPA, NASBA, and the CPA leaders in our state. You can participate on the many WSCPA committees, you can attend WBOA meetings to meet your regulators, or you can simply reach out to WSCPA board members or staff to share your thoughts.

Maybe making a difference is important to you, but you really want it to be more philanthropic. Consider getting involved with college outreach or the Washington CPA Foundation. There are many opportunities throughout the year to talk to college students through the Society’s student outreach program. Sometimes this means getting in front of a classroom, or just being a resource to an educator or student.

Advocacy does not have to solely mean advocating politically. The WSCPA has many more opportunities to become involved. As the Foundation provides scholarships to promising accounting students, participating could mean making a personal contribution at any level, providing a named scholarship for your business, and/or it could mean volunteering to help evaluate scholarship applications and select winners.

If you enjoy connecting on a more personal level, you could attend a chapter event in your geography. Most events are one or two hours, include food and networking along with CPE. Chapter events are inexpensive ways to connect with like-minded business professionals in your community. Click here for a list of currently scheduled chapter events and watch your email inbox for invitations from your chapter leadership.

Kimberly Scott, CAE, WSCPA VP of Member and Government Relations

Kimberly Scott, CAE, is the WSCPA Vice President of Member and Government Relations.

This article originally appeared in the fall 2016 issue of  WashingtonCPA Magazine. Read more here.

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