New WSCPA Purpose Statement and Strategic Plan: Stimulating Change and Progress

by Kimberly Scott, CAE | Apr 24, 2018

In a speech to Hewlett-Packard’s training group, company co-founder David Packard said, “I want to discuss why a company exists in the first place. In other words, why are we here? I think many people assume, wrongly, that a company exists simply to make money. While this is an important result of a company’s existence, we have to go deeper and find the real reasons for our being…Purpose (which should last at least 100 years) should not be confused with specific goals or business strategies (which should change many times in 100 years). Whereas you might achieve a goal or complete a strategy, you cannot fulfill a purpose; it’s like a guiding star on the horizon—forever pursued but never reached. Yet although purpose itself does not change, it does inspire change. The very fact that purpose can never be fully realized means that an organization can never stop stimulating change and progress.”

Last summer, as the WSCPA Board of Directors and staff embarked on a journey to create a new strategic plan, we started by contemplating purpose, and asking “Why is the WSCPA here?” Although we didn’t finalize a purpose statement right away, we did agree that member focus is the core of the WSCPA’s purpose.

The entire strategic plan and the changes it sets forth for the WSCPA are very member focused. We have multiple generations of members engaged today and want to acknowledge and support each group and still drive the organization into the future. Member input was key when looking at creating new opportunities and when discussing the importance of keeping, modifying, or expanding certain programs.

WSCPA new purpose statement

New Purpose Statement

In order to build the strategic plan on the purpose of the WSCPA, we adopted a purpose statement instead of updating a mission statement. While a mission statement describes what a business does now and for who, a purpose statement is a unifying principle that drives everything the organization does, the answer to why it exists.

So, what is the purpose of your membership organization? “We are a community of CPAs and financial professionals cultivating authentic relationships, unique learning experiences and purposeful advocacy for our future.”

  • A community of CPAs and financial professionals cultivating authentic relationships is essential. There are many voices that need to individually be heard and yet unite when necessary. It is about cultivating relationships.
  • Unique learning experiences: This goes beyond the traditional classes we hold to encompass the experiences created when networking with like-minded professionals, and allows for new opportunities to be developed while leveraging technology.
  • Purposeful advocacy for our future is the stewardship and consideration given when taking a stand on legislation, as well as encouraging students to become a part of your profession.

Strategic Plan Key Initiatives

The strategy, which we will measure our work against for the near future, pulls from the purpose statement.

Connection & Community – We provide unique benefits and create opportunities for our members to connect with other professionals.

We will be leveraging technology to create better and new opportunities to connect with other members. Immediate focus will be on expanding the benefit of knowledge sharing by restructuring committees into resource groups. You will start to see new resources to help you or your staff develop leadership skills.

Professional Education – We provide educational opportunities for lifelong learning, career growth and compliance with licensing requirements.

Our newly obtained NASBA certification will allow us to create new types of CPE programs and give you the ability to use WSCPA CPE to meet educational requirements in other states. Look for events that include more networking opportunities and content that is affordable to all. If you value lifelong learning, not just ticking a box to fulfill licensing requirements, we will continue to provide education that will help you succeed in your career.

Advocacy – We support and engage our members in advocating for the profession and the public interest on issues affecting the accounting profession.

Many may feel that advocacy is focused on politics, but advocacy really is about looking out for the best interests of the profession and the people it serves in our state. It is imperative that we watch out for, bring up, or provide feedback on, potential laws or regulations in our area of expertise. There will be new opportunities to engage, meet legislators, and keep up on local issues.

Watch for more details on the strategic plan, which was approved by the WSCPA Board of Directors in January, in the summer issue of The WashingtonCPA magazine. We hope the changes will bring value to you now and as your career changes, even in retirement. Look for new opportunities like Prix Fixe CPE (formerly known as Lunchtime Learning), which provides you options to take 10 free CPE credits and a series of 30 one-hour webinars for only $299. Join a resource group to connect with other professionals in your area, and even possibly earn free CPE. Engage in advocacy opportunities, such as Hill Day, which proved to be educational and fun for participants this year (one member’s experience can be seen here). One other change to be on the lookout for is new branding, which will be launching in the coming months.

The reason the WSCPA exists is because like-minded individuals over 100 years ago knew the benefit of community. Thank you for being a member of the Washington Society of CPAs, and for the opportunity to be a part of this community during this exciting time.

Kimberly-Scott-headshotKimberly Scott, CAE, is President & CEO of the Washington Society of CPAs and the Executive Director of the Washington CPA Foundation. You can contact her at

This article appeared in the spring 2018 issue of the WashingtonCPA Magazine. Read more here.

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