AICPA to Combine Financial Planning, Accounting Conferences in 2017

Five AICPA conferences will be combined into a single event next year.

Set for June 12-15, 2017, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, AICPA Engage will encompass the Advanced Estate Planning Conference, Advanced Personal Financial Planning Conference, Conference on Tax Strategies for High-Income Individuals, National Advanced Accounting and Auditing Technical Symposium and the Practitioners Symposium/TECH+ Conference.

Each individual conference will retain its core offerings and identity, but the AICPA says the new arrangement, with five conferences in one place, offers more access to leading speakers, better “crossover exposure” to other practice areas and more opportunities to network. Attendees can choose one conference or several.

More information can be found at aicpaengage.com.

CPAmerica International Helping Next Generation Make Accounting a Career

While online learning has made training far more convenient and cost-effective for CPA firms, it’s also meant less interaction with professional peers.

Alan Deichler

Alan Deichler

Alan Deichler recalls accounting firm leaders lamenting this change during a CPAmerica International regional meeting a couple of years ago in Chicago. The conversation turned to the many introductions and relationships that have been formed through professional development conferences, the value of networking, the assistance peers can lend each other, and the importance of preparing young leaders to take over for their senior counterparts.

Before long, CPAmerica members came up with the idea to get young professionals together for a two-day conference. The aim was to introduce them not only to each other, but to the ideas behind how a CPA firm operates, so they could think about whether they want to become partners and make a career out of accounting.

Deichler, who is president of the accounting association, says member firms sent about 80 “career-coachable” professionals to the Next Generation Conference the first year, and the second event, running Aug. 19-21 in Chicago, will feature two tracks: the basics of leadership principles and practice management for first-timers, and strategies to manage and grow a firm for returning attendees.

Deichler admits that he expected some of the stereotypical responses from Millennials during the first year, such as questions about flexible work arrangements and shorter work weeks. “What we got was career-minded people who wanted to know how to be a partner,” he says. “I felt very encouraged hearing these young people telling me they wanted to know what to do to be successful.”

The conference is open to those with four to 10 years of experience, who are typically “heads down, technical” professionals, Deichler says. This is the point at which many of them decide to stay at an accounting firm or move to private industry. “The partner sees them as auditors and tax people but they haven’t really talked to them about how the firm can be a career for them.”

Speakers include Sam Allred, director at Upstream Academy, who will talk about the one-firm philosophy and personal accountability. Heather Sunderlin, director of employee services at Wall Einhorn & Chernitzer, will discuss business development. Mike Platt, publisher of INSIDE Public Accounting, will present important accounting firm metrics so young professionals will understand why the MP is so worried about utilization and realization. Other speakers include Adam Waytz, a psychologist at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management who studies how people think, and Nancy Fox, a business development and networking consultant.

For more information, please contact Grace Horvath at ghorvath@cpamerica.org or visit https://www.cpamerica.org/News-Events.

Majchrzak Named AAM’s 2015 Marketer of the Year, Sponsored by INSIDE Public Accounting

Eric Majchrzak

Eric Majchrzak

Eric Majchrzak, chief marketing officer (CMO) and partner at Tucson, Ariz.-based BeachFleischman (FY14 net revenue of $21.9 million), has received the Association for Accounting Marketing’s (AAM) 2015 Marketer of the Year award, sponsored by INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA). BeachFleischman is part of LEA Global.

The winner was announced by IPA Publisher Kelly Platt and IPA Editor Chris Camara during the June 8 gala awards presentation at the AAM Summit in Orlando, Fla. The Marketer of the Year presentation was the highlight of the gala, which honored recipients of dozens of marketing achievement awards, now in its 21st year.

Majchrzak is credited with helping create a publishing culture at the firm, by working with more than a dozen staff members to write more than 75 pieces for the firm blog. The new content heightened awareness of BeachFleischman and the expertise of its CPAs, helped attract more than 19,000 new visitors to the site, and doubled revenue from new client website leads.

“Eric has had a significant impact on the growth of our firm,” says Bruce Beach, chairman and CEO of BeachFleischman. “Not only has he brought discipline and structure to our marketing effort, his enthusiasm and passion has created an environment where staff at all levels want to be involved in developing new business. Through Eric’s leadership, we now have a company culture committed to growth, with an understanding that each of us has the ability and responsibility to contribute in some way.”

MOY 2014_Final ImageMajchrzak came to BeachFleischman, the largest locally owned CPA firm in Arizona, in 2012, after nine years at Buffalo, N.Y.-based Freed Maxick. A highly successful digital marketer over his entire career, he developed and implemented programs at both firms that have produced a total of more than $7 million in new client revenue.

Majchrzak is also chief marketing officer of BeachFleischman’s subsidiary company, Pinnacle Plan Design, which offers design and administration of employer-sponsored retirement plans. He considers himself an ambassador of the accounting marketing profession. He helps CPA firms around the country with marketing issues, speaks often at educational seminars, and has published dozens of case studies. He is a past AAM board member and former Rookie of the Year.

Kelly Platt

Kelly Platt

IPA Publisher Kelly Platt says Majchrzak is well-deserving of the profession’s most coveted award. “He’s a leader, mentor, innovator and collaborator, with a strong commitment to helping others accomplish their goals,” she says. “Sponsoring the top award in the profession is a natural extension of our two decades of work in naming the ‘Best of the Best’ firms in the nation, and Eric exemplifies the best in the accounting marketing profession.”

This is the second year that IPA has sponsored the Marketer of the Year award. A panel of independent judges, who are themselves leaders in the profession, were selected by IPA to review and score each of the nominees.

The Platt Group publishes the award-winning INSIDE Public Accounting newsletter and IPA Annual National Benchmarking Report. With more than 27 years of independent reporting and more than 23 years of surveying and benchmarking experience, IPA provides thought leaders across the nation with practical ideas, benchmarking data and information to help firms succeed. To learn more about The Platt Group and IPA, please call (317) 733-1920 or visit www.insidepublicaccounting.com.

IPA Logo - with tag lineThe Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) promotes excellence, and elevates the professional stature of marketing, business development and other practice growth professionals to the accounting profession, directly impacting members’ professional development and careers through education, networking and thought leadership. Founded in 1989, AAM has more than 700 members, comprised of marketing professionals, business developers, CPAs, consultants, service providers, educators and students. To learn more about AAM, please call (856) 380-6860 or visit www.accountingmarketing.org.

Association for Accounting Marketing Announces Category and Individual Marketing and Achievement Award Winners

congrats

The Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) announced the recipients of its individual Marketing Achievement Awards (MAA) at the AAM-MAA Gala. The event was held at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts during the organization’s 26th Annual Summit. Individual awards are presented annually in recognition of outstanding achievements in the accounting marketing profession, as well as contributions to AAM.

Michelle Golden

Michelle Golden

Michelle Golden Inducted Into the Association for Accounting Marketing Hall of Fame

Being inducted Into the AAM Hall of Fame is the highest honor in the field of accounting marketing. Inductees must have ten years or more of service and be known for their outstanding accomplishments as a leader of the association. Michelle Golden, growth leader and principal at K·Coe Isom, a well-known leader in the accounting industry, was named as this year’s honoree. A growth and profitability strategist, she has helped more than 100 CPA, law and wealth-management firms achieve results, energizing the people she works with as she helps them solve the difficult challenges of change. She has won a number of professional accolades over the years. Golden has been a member of AAM since 1996.

Eric Majchrzak Named Marketer of the Year

Eric Majchrzak

Eric Majchrzak

The Marketer of the Year, sponsored by INSIDE Public Accounting, is presented to an experienced marketer who is well-recognized for the high quality of their work, as well as their ability to consistently gain results. Majchrzak has had a significant impact on the growth of his firm, BeachFleischman. Not only has he brought discipline and structure to their marketing effort, his enthusiasm and passion has created an environment where all staff want to be involved in developing new business.

Jessica Levin Named Volunteer of the Year

The Volunteer of the Year award recognizes dedication to AAM, involvement on committees and/or special projects, as well as their professional accomplishments. Jessica Levin of Seven Degrees Communications was named Volunteer of the Year for the important role she has played in a number of AAM committees and initiatives over the past few years. Her contributions to the Digital Communications, Website, Podcast and Conference committees, as well as work on other AAM initiatives, all while launching a successful business, was cited during the presentation of the award.

Veronica Rodriguez Honored as Rookie of the Year

Demonstrating excellence in the field, the Rookie of the Year shows creativity, initiative and drive with their firm. Veronica Rodriguez of PDR Certified Public Accounting won this year’s award due to her successful work straight out of college redefining her firm’s brand. With a new website, social media campaign and a number of other successful initiatives, she has made a powerful impact in a short time.

Thirty-four awards for marketing accomplishment were awarded this evening for accounting marketers recognized for achievement. The Association for Accounting Marketing annual award gala features awards in multiple categories: web sites, branding, multimedia and maverick marketing.

Expert category judges, including professionals in marketing, advertising, communications and professional services, reviewed and judged 125 entries. Winning entries were recognized for the accomplishment of a specific goal or objective, executing a project strategically and measurable results.

The categories and winners are as follows:

Advertising
Campaign: Total Spend of $24,999 or less, Untracht Early LLC
Campaign: Total Spend Above $25,000, SaxBST
Online Advertising, Skoda Minotti
Single Ads, Peterson Sullivan LLP

Branding
Integrated Branding Program Budget Under $100,000, AAFCPAs
Integrated Branding Program Budget Above $100,000, Dixon Hughes Goodman
Logo, Untracht Early LLC

Business Development/Sales Proposals/Presentations
Sales Presentations, Warren Averett
Winning Proposals, Perkins & Co

Client Service Surveys
Client Service Surveys, EKS&H LLLP

Collateral
Brochures, Untracht Early LLC
Publications: Between $10 and $24.9 Million in Revenue, Henry & Horne LLP
Publications: Above $25 Million in Revenue, Rehmann

Content Marketing Campaigns
Blogs, Freed Maxick CPAs
Integrated PR Campaign, Brown Smith Wallace
Non-Technical Published and Feature Articles, McGladrey LLP
Technical Published and Feature Articles, Henry & Horne LLP

Events
Budget of $9,999 or Less, Barnes Dennig
Budget Between $10,000 and $24,999, Henderson Hutcherson & McCullough
Budget of $25,000 or More, Anders CPAs + Advisors

Internal Programs
Corporate Social Responsibility: Between $10 and $24.9 Million in Revenue, HERBEIN + COMPANY INC.
Corporate Social Responsibility: Above $25 Million in Revenue, Anders CPAs + Advisors

Marketing Campaigns
Direct Marketing/Lead Generation Campaign, Crowe Horwath LLP
Integrated Marketing Campaign, SVA Certified Public Accountants SC
Recruiting Campaign: Below $9.9 Million in Revenue, Cornwell Jackson PLLC
Recruiting Campaign: Between $10 and $24.9 Million in Revenue, Perkins & Co.
Recruiting Campaign: Above $25 Million in Revenue, Anders CPAs + Advisors
Social Media Campaign, Anders CPAs + Advisors

Maverick Marketing
Maverick Marketing, Honkamp Krueger & Co. PC

Multimedia
Budget of $9,999 or Less, Peterson Sullivan LLP
Budget of $10,000 or More, WithumSmith+Brown PC

Website
Below $9.9 Million in Revenue, Stern Cohen LLP
Between $10 and $24.9 Million in Revenue, AAFCPAs
Above $25 Milion in Revenue, Clark Nuber PS

Members Choice Collateral (Brochures), Elliot Davis Decosimo

Illinois CPA Society Hosts Inaugural Jumpstart to Accounting Conference

The Illinois CPA Society’s inaugural Jumpstart to Accounting program welcomed more than 100 college students and professors from more than 30 colleges and universities across the state of Illinois on April 24.

The new conference, targeting college students interested in an accounting career and professors working in accounting departments, offered insights into an accounting major, how to study for the CPA exam, presentations from the executive director of the Illinois Board of Examiners and president/CEO of the Illinois CPA Society, an interactive panel discussion with young professionals and visits to public accounting firms.

“The conference really helped me expand my knowledge on the field of accounting. Meeting young professionals and hearing their process to get to where they are was very helpful,” says Ronald Luce, a sophomore at St. Xavier University.

The Young Professional Panel interacted with participants, answering questions about the accounting major and what to expect as a young accountant, while presentations from the Illinois Board of Directors and the Illinois CPA Society focused on the value of the CPA credential and Society membership.

“[The students] befitted from the overview of the need for the CPA credential and information on taking it,” says Dr. Vicky Eidson, associate professor of accounting at Quincy University. “They need to hear this message a lot throughout their years of school.”

Jumpstart to Accounting also presented the real world experience of public accounting. Students and educators toured the offices and interacted with staff at PwC, Crowe Horwath, Grant Thornton, Miller Cooper and Plante Moran.

“Visiting the firms was amazing. I realized the personality of the accounting firm you plan to work for is more important than the size or prestige,” says Thomas Vitale, senior at Quincy University.

SEC Chief Accountant Discusses Convergence and Other Issues at Annual AICPA Conference

Staff of the SEC’s Office of the Chief Accountant, including the SEC chief accountant, James Schnurr, in his first published speech since he arrived at the SEC, discussed various accounting and financial reporting matters at the AICPA’s annual conference in December, including the following:

  • International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)—Schnurr noted that “it appears that U.S. constituents generally are not supportive of full adoption [of IFRS] for a variety of reasons” and have concerns about providing an option to U.S. companies to present IFRS-based financial statements. Therefore, “in the coming months,” he hopes to begin discussions with the SEC commissioners about alternative ways for U.S. issuers to use IFRS, such as by presenting IFRS-based financial information supplementally without the disclosures and reconciliation required for non-U.S. GAAP financial measures.
  • Further Convergence of IFRS and U.S. GAAP—Schnurr noted that he favors convergence of standards and encourages the FASB and the International Accounting Standards Setting Body (IASB) “to continue to work toward converged standards, including on lease accounting.”
  • Revenue Recognition—Schnurr noted that there are various implementation issues that the FASB and the IASB are addressing, including the identification of performance obligations and the accounting for licenses. Some may require additional guidance from the FASB or the SEC staff, which may affect the effective date of that standard.
  • Audit Committee Disclosures—Schnurr said that he “has devoted substantial time” to Chair Mary Jo White’s request that the staff consider whether improvements to audit committee reporting requirements should be made. He noted that the enhancements that some audit committees have made to their disclosures may be partially responsive to investor requests but are not being made consistently.
  • Segment Reporting—An SEC deputy chief accountant made the following points:
    • “The staff will be taking a refreshed approach when reviewing operating segment disclosures.”
    • Most companies have more than one operating segment.
    • The chief operating decision maker may not be the chief executive officer.
    • The identification of operating segments requires considering not only a company’s organizational structure and the package of information given to the chief operating decision maker, but also other factors, such as the way a company prepares budgets and forecasts and determines executive compensation.
    • The aggregation of operating segments requires
      • similar economic characteristics, where there is no bright line test, and
      • an analysis of each of the five areas identified in the accounting standard. Recently, the staff disagreed with a company’s aggregation of segments based on the staff’s analysis of the type or class of customer, which is one of those five areas.
  • Additional Information Available to Audit Committees—A deputy chief accountant noted that audit committees’ discussions with their auditors about performance criticisms included in PCAOB inspection reports could benefit from a new appendix that has been added to PCAOB inspection reports. The appendix identifies particular auditing standards that are the subject of performance criticisms in the inspection report.

Internal Control Over Financial Reporting—Once again, the SEC staff discussed its concerns that material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting are not being identified on a timely basis, either because the weakness is not being identified at all or because the severity of the weakness is not being evaluated appropriately. A deputy chief accountant noted that the SEC staff’s efforts in the area of internal control over financial reporting are “ongoing, coordinated and increasingly integrated into [the staff’s] consultation, disclosure review and enforcement efforts.”

Overheard At The 2015 Winning Is Everything Conference

Leaders across the profession attended the annual “Winning Is Everything” conference in Las Vegas in January, presented by The Advisory Board. Below is a sampling of the insights shared.Winning is Everything 2015

Staff Issues

“To get the best Millennial employees, you are going to need to make a commitment to high maintenance.” Keynote speaker Bruce Tulgan on the realities of working with the next generation’s best and brightest.

“Sink or swim is the enemy when it comes to the new work force. No one has ever left them alone for a minute – they have had structure all of their life. What they expect from older people is leaders who can set them up for success. Sink or swim is not empowerment – it is negligence” Bruce Tulgan

“Every professional working at your firm can secure the same job for a significant increase in compensation within two weeks.” Gary Shamis, senior managing director, SS&G, on the realities of a profession with less than 1% unemployment.

Leadership

“Too many leaders managers and supervisors are not doing enough leading managing and supervising.” Bruce Tulgan explaining what he believes is the No. 1 issue in the workplace today.

“Rainmakers: Stop clogging your arteries with a lot of client work and billable hours!” Consultant Allan Koltin on freeing up partners who are great at landing business to go out and land new business.

“If you don’t have female role models – men can do it! Pay a coach!” Consultant Rita Keller explains how men need to be partners in developing women in the workforce.

“Bad news doesn’t get better with age. If you talk about the same person over and over, you need to make a decision about them and move on.” Wayne Berson, MP of BDO, on the need to make faster decisions.

“Everyone needs to do a little more next year than they did last year if they want to make more money. We’ll have a big pool of bonuses – the question is, ‘Do you want to participate in it?’ ” Larry Autrey, Whitley Penn MP, laying out the rules of the game at his firm.

Technology

“If your firm was 10 times larger than it is today, how would you think about technology?” Gary Boomer on how firms should be approaching the internal discussion about technology.

“In a mature market, with technology changing all the time, business model innovation will be THE foundation for sustainable growth.” Consultant Gale Crosley on how to succeed in business in 2015.

“We all suffer from TOMS Syndrome (Terrified of Missing $H!T)” Consultant Jim Boomer on why we are connected 24/7.

Client Responsibilities

The intersection of innovation and marketing “requires us to make an uncommon service common, and a common service uncommon.” Michelle Golden and Kathleen Walton on how K-Coe Isom attacks innovation.

“I need my accountant to help improve the performance and profitability of my business.” Gary Shamis explains one of BIGGEST OPPORTUNITIES identified on every client loyalty survey they do.

“It’s really easy. I just want our team to make our customer’s day a little easier.” United Airlines pilot Capt. Denny Flanagan, on customer service.

“Cross-selling is the absolute responsibility of equity partners. If you choose not to act in that area, you should be a non-equity partner, not an equity partner.” Allan Koltin delivers the cold truth about partner roles.

Profession Trends

“Don’t tell anybody, but here is a firm in California that is in a revenue share with ADP.” Gary Shamis shares a little-known secret in payroll service partnering with large providers.

“At some point Grant Thornton will be a part of one of the Big 4 – it is just a matter of time.” Allan Koltin, surveying the landscape of the largest firms.

Your Clients May Not Be as Loyal to Your Firm as You Think

The best firm leaders know that they’re not really in the numbers business, they’re in the relationship business. 

INSIDE Public Accounting recently heard James Kane, a loyalty researcher and consultant, discuss ways business leaders can cultivate and maintain an unbreakable bond with their clients and staff. Kane blends the worlds of business, neuroscience and behavioral psychology to produce a presentation that made us realize that some of our assumptions about what makes people loyal were dead Customer-Loyalty-Satisfactionwrong. 

Intrigued, we wanted to learn more and to share his findings with attendees of the annual PRIME symposium, which is scheduled for Nov. 3 – 5 at the Conrad, Indianapolis.

To whet your appetite, we asked Kane to answer a few questions on loyalty.

Q: What’s the biggest mistake professional service firms make in trying to build loyalty?

A: There are two, really. The first is an expectation of most organizations and most people that they deserve the loyalty of their clients. They assume that “doing their job” they were hired to do should be enough to earn them the benefits of a truly loyal relationship and can’t understand – in fact, are often hurt, offended or angry – when those clients consider other options, question fees and contracts, bid out work that was once exclusive, or question the value they receive. Firms fail to understand that offering a great service and a fair price is exactly what their clients hired them to do. Meeting an expectation alone does not create loyalty.

The second mistake organizations make is thinking they can buy or manipulate someone’s loyalty. The word loyalty has been hijacked by marketers over the years and associated with sales gimmicks like rewards programs. The idea is that if I can offer you enough “stuff” or make you so dependent on the product or service I provide that you will be loyal. But that is like saying a hostage is loyal to their captor or an addict is loyal to their dealer. The behaviors may look similar to loyalty, but the outcomes are much different. When a hostage escapes or is set free, or when an addict gets sober, they don’t return to their captor or dealer. They don’t advocate for them, encourage others to get involved with them, forgive them for what they have done, or provide them with more opportunities. They get as far away as possible, say bad things about them, and wish the worst for them. 

Loyalty does not come from trying to manipulate or change the behaviors of others. It comes when you change your own. When an individual or organization is willing to learn and communicate the behaviors that cause other to be loyal, they can build nearly unbreakable relationships.

Q: How about internally? Does your staff need to be loyal to the organization before the firm can expect clients to be loyal?

A: So, it is important to know that from both a neurological and physiological standpoint, human beings are conditioned to be loyal. It is a response that has been evolving inside of us from the time we started living in social groups and communities. Our brains have learned to recognize not only who we can (or should) trust, but also who has our best interests at heart. In other words, our brains know who to be loyal to and seek out, both consciously and unconsciously, the clues and behaviors from others that tell it when it can be. 

Those clues and behaviors come from a variety of sources, so when a client’s brain is “deciding” if it should or can be loyal to a particular firm, it will look at the entire firm, not just a single individual. They will evaluate everyone they come in contact with, every message they receive, every interaction they have – personally and virtually, and determine if the relationship warrants its loyalty. 

To accomplish that, firms need to create and maintain a culture that communicates those loyalty-causing behaviors as a whole. It is a lot like raising children, As a parent, you know you can’t be with your child 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the rest of their life. Eventually, they will start creating their own relationships and establishing their own connections. The most you can do as a parent is instill in them the values you believe will make them successful and teach them how to treat others. When you do a great job with that, the result is that your kids develop relationships with others that make you proud, and are a reflection on you. The same is true for an organization and its employees. When you teach and support and reward and encourage the behaviors you want them to display, you will get the desired results in return. 

Q: How can an accounting firm start the process of building an “unbreakable relationship” with their clients?

A: The first step is accepting that there is no magic pixie dust that you sprinkle on clients to make them loyal. If you want loyal clients you have to be willing to change your own behavior and the behavior of your entire organization. That is a commitment that not all firms are willing to make and prefer to operate under the illusion that what they have been doing all along has worked fine, and there is no reason to question the way they operate or build relationships.

The next thing they need to do is assess their current relationships – not by asking them if they are satisfied with the service being provided – but by determining their client and employee loyalty. The most important benefit to come out of our research is that we have been able to identify, not only the state of an existing relationship, but the precise cause of that state. For example, it is interesting to know that a particular client sees their relationship with a firm as transactional. But the really useful information is understanding why the see it that way. What is causing that client to feel that way? What is shaping their perceptions? What is the firm doing or not doing to prevent a deeper relationship from forming? When a firm can identify the specific behaviors that are impacting the relationships, it can develop strategies and tactics to properly address them. 

Finally, they need to commit to a loyalty strategy. It is easy to forget about the relationships that are important to us when they get too hard or become too much work. Think about the personal relationships you have had throughout your life. So many people form their closest relationships with friends they make in high school or college. They share their deepest secrets with one another, their goals and desires, their hopes and concerns. They are inseparable…until graduation. They keep in touch, still take vacations together, are in each others weddings, still talk and reminisce about the “good old days,” but before long their lives go in different directions, the things they shared and had in common are replaced by new friends and new experiences, and those people who at one time were the most important in the world to one another are reduced to exchanging Christmas cards once a year. 

Client relationships often follow a similar path. Maintaining relationships require work. They demand a diligence and attention that doesn’t occur automatically. 

New CEO Of Marketing Association Poised To Increase Membership, Build Partnerships

Jayla Biore

Jayla Biore

What is the role of accounting firm marketers? Are they sales people? Growth strategists? Business developers? All three?

CPA firm leaders may not know themselves. Unclear or inconsistent expectations can lead to ineffective hiring practices, says Jayla Boire, the first-ever CEO of the Association for Accounting Firm Marketing (AAM). She says AAM board members have been called in to help firms focus their hiring efforts to find the right match.

This kind of education is just one example of the dramatic impact AAM can make in CPA firms. AAM members are a “vast pool of intellectual property,” Boire says. Outreach by AAM to CPA firm leaders, who are working hard at growing their businesses and may not be focused on marketing, can help solve some of these issues. “My feeling is marketing isn’t a department. Every single person in a CPA firm is responsible for sustaining and developing business,” says Boire.

AAM is the only organization of its kind in the accounting profession. It offers webinars, an annual conference, a quarterly magazine, networking and more. Boire joined AAM earlier this year in the CEO role after 20 years as a solo executive-for-hire in the corporate world.

“This is a dramatic change for the organization,” Boire says. “We’re all working hard to plan this transition and make me effective quickly.”

Boire ran her own consulting company, The Right Idea, and assisted businesses with their marketing strategy and also worked in leadership roles for a range of businesses, including credit card companies, technology firms and health care organizations. She joined AAM not only so she could focus her skills on one effort, but also as a way to give back. A professional association was a “nice bridge” she says, between working in nonprofits, which she was considering, and the Fortune 100 world where she had been working.

AAM had everything Boire was looking for: an active board of directors, a commitment to setting and meeting goals, and a group of dedicated volunteers. Boire had everything the association was looking for as well, as she was hired after an exhaustive, nationwide search. AAM president Katie Tolin says, “Jayla clearly showed us that she was the type of person we needed to drive AAM’s strategy to increase member value, develop industry relationships and grow the presence of AAM in the accounting industry.”

AAM’s board and its committees – all made up of volunteers – are impressive. “They give an unparalleled amount of energy and they really deliver the goods,” Boire says. The board meets monthly, “which is unheard of,” and the committee chairs take their role seriously. “They weren’t randomly setting up a list of goals and then going, ‘OK, we’ll see if this happens,’ ” Boire says.

Boire’s top goal is to make sure the organization is offering what the members want. To that end, AAM recently surveyed members about their professional needs. Within a couple of hours, about 130 members had responded to the web survey. “Our members are hungry to tell us what they want and we’re excited about it.” Boire and the board are analyzing the responses for industry trends to ensure that AAM provides the right mix of services and resources. “We’re putting the member at the center of our universe.”

Boire is also committed to elevating the work of these key professionals, increasing their presence in firms throughout the country, and forming new partnerships in the profession.

AAM is about growing people and practices, Boire says. “We are not limited,” she says. “We’re boundless in how we’re going to grow the influence and break down the walls of the marketing department.”

IPA Sponsors 2014 Marketer of the Year Award, Seeks Nominations

Assoc. Accounting Marketing 2014

MOY Award 2014

INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) is proud to announce that for the first time, it is sponsoring the Association for Accounting Marketing’s Marketer of the Year (MOY) Award.

“For more than 18 years, IPA has named the ‘Best of the Best’ firms in the nation. Sponsoring the MOY award allows us to extend that view to successful marketers across the profession,” says IPA Publisher Kelly Platt. “We are excited about sponsoring the profession’s most prestigious marketing award, which recognizes the contributions these creative and dedicated professionals make in taking their firms to the next level.”

Katie Tolin, president of the Association of Accounting Marketing (AAM), says of the award, “The credibility of this honor stems from having an unbiased third party sponsor and administer the award to ensure that we are truly recognizing the best of the best.”

 The Marketer of the Year Award will be presented by IPA at AAM’s 2014 Summit, held May 20-23 in Austin, Texas

About the Award Process: Nominees must have held a senior-level marketing position in public accounting for at least three years, although not necessarily at the same firm. Criteria focus on leadership and impact rather than on conceptual or theoretical work. Strong nominees will have made a major contribution to their firm by strengthening an existing marketing program, creating/introducing a new marketing program or significantly increasing a firm’s marketing orientation.

The DEADLINE for MOY NOMINATIONS is Feb. 24, 2014.

To nominate yourself, a deserving marketer, or your firm’s marketer, send an email with the phrase “MOY” in the subject line, along with the following information:

  1. The nominator’s name, title, firm name, phone number and email address.
  2. The nominee’s name, title, firm name, phone number and email address.

As nominations are received by the Feb. 24 deadline, both the nominator and nominee will receive, via email from IPA an MOY questionnaire. Both the nominator and nominee must complete the appropriate forms for the nominee to be eligible, unless he or she is self-nominated. If self-nominated your questionnaire will be sent directly to you.

The DEADLINE for MOY COMPLETED PACKAGES IS MARCH, 10, 2014.

Read about last year’s winner, Jamie Thomas, director of marketing and communications from the LBA Group of Jacksonville, Fla.  If you know of a creative accounting marketer deserving of this award, please share this information with them.

IPA will announce the award on April 22. IPA will present the winner during a formal awards ceremony scheduled during the AAM Summit May 20-23, 2014.