Make a Wise Investment in Your Career: Get Involved in Your WSCPA!

by Thomas Donaghy, CPA, WSCPA Chair for 2017-18 | Aug 01, 2017

As I begin my year as Board Chair of your Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants (WSCPA), I want to share with you my reasons for being an active member for over 30 years. I first joined the society right out of college, which was typical of anyone who had earned a degree in accounting back then. My initial involvement was limited until June of 1998, when I moved my family from Seattle to Bellingham to start my career as a financial advisor.

Living in a new community where I only knew a handful of people, I realized that I had to get involved and I needed to do it quickly. The first group that I joined, which turned out to be the best from a business contacts standpoint, was the Northwest Chapter (now Bellingham Area Chapter) of the WSCPA. Susie Thomson, CPA, was chapter president at the time and she did an outstanding job of motivating people and increasing membership participation. The chapter networking opportunities were far superior to any other group that I participated in and produced not only many quality business relationships, but great lifetime friendships which I value to this day. Thanks in part to the support and encouragement from the CPAs at my local chapter, I was able to build a solid and successful business. If you haven’t taken advantage of WSCPA networking events, you may be missing out on some tremendous career opportunities.

In my role as a Director on the Society’s Board, I have witnessed many great accomplishments over the last four years. But we have a lot more to do. With our new President & CEO Kimberly Scott at the helm, the Society is in extremely capable hands to go the distance. She has the tools, knowledge-base, experience, and vision to make the Society stronger and more vibrant in the years to come.

Strategic Planning

I am excited to kick off the 2017-2018 fiscal year with strategic planning. Along with the assistance of a nonprofit strategic planning expert, Dr. Steve Swafford, Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business and Management and CEO of Leadership Outfitters LLC, the board will be focused on determining the future direction of the organization. In the coming weeks, you may be asked to share your input and ideas on ways the Society can improve and better serve your needs as a member. If you are asked to share your feedback or participate in the strategic planning process, I would highly encourage you to take advantage of the invitation.

Recently, I gained insight into the issues facing today’s public accounting practitioners when I met with six local Bellingham CPAs (three CEOs from the area’s largest firms, two sole proprietors, and one senior tax manager). We discussed topics ranging from their current challenges to how things will look five years from now. Since I left public accounting many years ago, I was also curious and learned about the products/services they were currently receiving from the Society and how they could be better served going forward. The meetings went very well and I was surprised at how grateful my colleagues were for the opportunity to share their thoughts.

Jump In! You Won't Regret It.

Joining and getting involved with the WSCPA was the best decision I ever made to take my career to the next level.  If you haven’t been involved in a while, what are you waiting for? Jump in, get fired up, and see what it does for your career. You will be glad you did.

Thank you for your membership and thank you again for the opportunity to serve you as Board Chair. I look forward to meeting and working with you during my term.

Tom-Donaghy-HeadshotThomas G. Donaghy, CPA, is an investment officer and financial advisor in Bellingham, Washington. You can contact him at

This article appeared in the summer 2017 issue of the WashingtonCPA Magazine. Read more here.

You are not allowed to post comments.


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.

Your Profession. Your Future. Your Advocate.


Washington Society of CPAs
902 140th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98005-3480

  • (P) 425-644-4800
  • (F) 425-562-8853

The WSCPA's business hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.