Message to Our Membership

by Monette Anderson | Apr 22, 2021

We are more than 12 months into a pandemic that has upended the CPA profession in a way that did not seem fathomable at the beginning of 2020. While this time has been filled with uncertainty, new challenges, and drastic shifts in the tools and ways in which we work, our CPA community continues to show incredible strength and resilience as we adapt to the new normal.

While you’ve been shifting to serve families, businesses, and your industries during this pandemic, we too have been rapidly shifting to address the most important needs of you, our member. Though we have not been able to meet in person in more than a year, we have been able to preserve, and even expand, WSCPA’s core programs and services.

Below you can find a summary of the changes we have made so far in response to the pandemic.

Pivoting to your greatest needs

At the onset of the pandemic impact, WSCPA quickly aligned advocacy efforts to focus on the needs of CPAs. During the first few weeks we appealed to Governor Inslee to include accounting and financial services in the list of essential services, ensuring CPA firms could continue to advise and serve clients and businesses. In addition, we joined the AICPA and other state associations in advocating to extend the tax filing deadline.

As shifting information and new directives came through with lightning speed regarding Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, Employee Retention Credits, stimulus guidelines, phases, and vaccinations, the WSCPA responded with critical updates to members through digital communications, our COVID-19 Business Resource Center and Resource Group. Our Education team also released 8 pop-up CPE webinars providing just-in-time content to help members advise their clients and organizations on how to take advantage of the PPP loans, apply for forgiveness, and more.

To help ease the financial burden of members and small firms, the WSCPA extended the membership term for all members by three months and supported several members with hardship and unemployment dues discounts. In addition, we reduced prices on live CPE seminars and conferences—both of which were offered virtually—to reduce barriers to licensing requirements and critical information and updates. To help members grapple with the challenges of the pandemic, isolation, and burnout, we launched a new Mental Health Resource Center for CPAs.

Connecting safely

Since March of last year, we have worked tirelessly to provide engaging events 100% virtually. Our dedication to keeping you, your families, and your staff safe and healthy by complying with state and federal guidelines continues to be at the forefront of planning.

Our Conference and Technology team brought our members our first-ever virtual Annual Meeting with record attendance and a full year of rich, virtual conferences and programming that included full days of CPE education, exhibitor engagement, and opportunities to connect with peers.

The Tacoma Chapter brought us Paint and Sip Nights, hosted by our own CPA Bob Ross impersonator. From the comfort of home, masterpieces were created! Their third event will be on May 15; be sure to register early as space is limited. Learn more at

Stay and Play: Thursday Night Trivia provided members the opportunity to display their trivial knowledge! With the invitation open to all, members were able to play against friends, family, and colleagues and all for a good cause. Generous sponsors collaborated with the WSCPA to provide a contribution to the winning team’s charity of choice.

Moving technology forward

In March 2020, we were already prepared to roll out a new membership resource, WSCPA Connect, without knowing just how invaluable an online member community would be during the next year and beyond. Connect includes an easy-to-search member directory, direct messaging, and the ability to join and engage with resource groups and committees. Join the Diversity and Inclusion Resource Group to identify tools and discussions on moving diversity and inclusion forward. Want to engage with female peers and allies to facilitate change in and out of the accounting profession? We have resources and empowerment through community in our Women’s Initiatives Resource Group. If you miss coffee meetings, engaging with students at your alma mater, or being able to guide new professionals in your firm, consider engaging with our informational interview network called Coffee and Conversations. As a new professional, you can find valuable mini-mentoring and guidance in 30-minute virtual meetings with Coffee and Conversation leaders.

The WSCPA user portal also got a major makeover this year with updated functionality. Our new and improved CPE catalog helped thousands of members find on-demand self-study, or virtual webcasts and webinars while our new member dashboard helped track CPE hours, which may have come in handy with the new 20-hour CPE requirement for Washington licensees that took effect in 2020.

We know our membership is incredibly varied and professionals have different needs. Communicating updates that are relevant to you is not a one-size-fits-all approach. We launched our new member newsletter, Present Value, with this in mind. This upgraded member newsletter gets smarter as you engage with it and will highlight the content most pertinent to you. Additionally, we launched a new Knowledge Hub, a library of free downloadable content of white papers, webinars, product guides, case studies and more— brought to you by industry leaders and financial industry service providers.

Looking ahead

At the heart of these changes is a shared commitment to protect the core tenets of WSCPA membership: shared connection and community, professional education that keeps you moving forward (and compliant), and advocacy for the issues that affect the CPA community and the clients you serve. We know much has changed in the last year and while we continue to adapt to these changing times, that commitment will not.

In closing, I’d like to share that I am proud to serve this community and humbled by the WSCPA staff, board, volunteers, and members who work so tirelessly to serve this community. Despite all the challenges of the last year, these dedicated individuals continue to step up and move us all forward. Thank you for your continued support, valuable feedback, and for joining us in looking ahead to what’s next.

Monette AndersonMonette Anderson is the WSCPA Director of Membership. You can contact her at

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

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