When I first became a CPA over a decade ago and joined the NYSSCPA, one of the highlights was receiving The CPA Journal in the mail, addressed to me with those three letters following my name. Today, I look forward to receiving the Journal so I can gain insights from fellow practitioners (and board members), technical experts, and stay abreast of the most pressing issues in the profession.
Though the Journal has always been about analyzing technical issues affecting the accounting practice, is has also always been about assessing where we as a profession stand with respect to our ideals. What better way to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Journal than to talk with some of today’s luminaries? I reached out to a number of CPAs and they answered the call to perform a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis of the profession.
Two years ago, when we still attended events in person, I met Ed Arcara at an NYSSCPA committee networking event. He was witty and had an insightful opinion on every topic that came up. I found out towards the end of the evening that he was the NYSSCPA president-elect and thought how awesome it was that he was so accessible and approachable. Ed shares some best practices his firm utilizes to address today’s practice environment.
Their discussion covered the challenges presented by the current pandemic; the continuing struggle to achieve diversity, equity, and inclusion; and the opportunities available to the next generation of CPAs.
Jody Padar, AKA the “Radical CPA,” is simply awesome. I had the opportunity to learn from her insights from various podcasts and then met her after she gave the keynote address at an accounting show in New York City. As always, Jody had some radical ideas to share with us.
So many CPAs give freely their time and knowledge and Edward Mendlowitz is one of the top givers. After he gave a presentation at one of my committee meetings, I told him that I was a huge fan, and I read his articles and attend his CPE sessions when I can. I asked for his advice as I had just started my own firm. He gave me tons—Ed does not stop at only one suggestion—and then he invited me to attend anther presentation he thought would be beneficial. I went and it was. Ed sure has some stories to tell!
In 2016, I was inspired when I read about trailblazer Kimberly Ellison-Taylor in the Journal of Accountancy’s “Paying it Forward” article. As a minority woman myself, to see a minority woman as chairman of the AICPA and read about her accomplishments and her vision was transformative. Her address as recipient of the 2018 NYSSCPA Trailblazer Award was just as inspirational and I thought it was important to get her perspectives on the recent progress—or lack of progress—in some areas of the profession.
Michael Durant is one of those younger CPAs who is active with the Society and always willing to help when he can. As a recent recipient of NYSSCPA’s “Forty Under 40” award, his opinion on the state and direction of the profession was of interest to me.
I recently met Carl Peterson through the AICPA’s Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS) executive committee. As an advocate for small CPA firms, he is constantly fighting for the profession. He shared numerous valuable insights during our discussion.
I came away with many takeaways from the virtual roundtable discussion, which will be online at http://www.cpaj.com. I hope you enjoy hearing these insights as much as I enjoyed speaking with the panelists.