Welcome to 2021!

by Jared Theis, CPA | Feb 05, 2021

I hope everyone had a happy holiday season and the new year is off to a great start. I, like many of you, am glad to put 2020 in the rearview mirror and welcome in 2021. This past year was historic on many levels, and a year that will have lasting influence and be talked about for generations (although it probably will not be too exciting to tell our grandchildren, “I remember where I was during the pandemic”).

As I reflect on 2020, one thing is for certain: it did not turn out at all as I expected at this time last year. Some of the things that I missed the most were travelling to new and exciting places, going to sporting events and concerts, hosting large gatherings of family and friends, etc. But, most of all, I missed meeting and interacting in person – even something as simple as sitting at a small, local bar with friends to watch a game (without cardboard fans in the stands). While technology certainly has advantages that enabled us during the pandemic, it just does not provide that same level of social interaction, spontaneity, and community that our society thrives upon. Yes, many of these things will return as we get back to “normal” in 2021, but there will also be many differences from what we are used to – good or bad, depending on your perspective.

So, while we still must navigate the road to recovery, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I am excited to start 2021 and build upon the lessons learned and perspectives gained from 2020 – both personally and professionally. I am looking forward to many things big and small, such as facing new challenges with our clients as the economy and regulatory environment evolves, re-connecting in person with colleagues and friends that I have not seen in person in more than a year, attending a football game with my college buddies, dropping my kids off at school, and hopefully taking my wife on that sunny paradise vacation that I owe her (and buying the grandparents a gift for watching the kids).

I am also excited for the WSCPA’s diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic plan updates to come to fruition and be put into action to empower lasting change for our profession across the state. It’s truly been inspiring to see how our board and staff – from a diverse set of backgrounds, experiences, locations, and ideologies – have been closely aligned on the importance and direction of these updates. In addition, our great staff is continuing to work diligently on new and innovative ways to engage and provide a valuable experience for you. I am truly thankful for their immense efforts and support that enable the Society to be successful.

So, 2021 is looking to be a pretty solid year and it’s just starting! I may be going out on a limb here, but I suspect the second half of my board chair tenure will likely not be as historically eventful as the first half. However, I appreciate the challenges faced in the past year, especially how it has made me a better leader and person, and the opportunity to continue to serve you this year.

I wish everyone a safe, happy, successful, and healthy 2021. Thank you for your support of the WSCPA.

Jared-Theis-Headshot-Web-150x200Jared Theis, CPA, is an Accounting Advisory Director in the Seattle office of KPMG LLP and chair of the WSCPA Board of Directors. You can contact him at jtheis@kpmg.com.

This article appears in the winter 2021 issue of the Washington CPA magazine. Read more here.

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