Florida Institute of CPAs Elects New Chairman

W.G. Spoor

The Florida Institute of CPAs (FICPA) has selected W.G. Spoor as its chairman for 2020-21, effective July 1. Spoor is a partner specializing in domestic and international tax for Spoor Bunch Franz of St. Petersburg, Fla.

“W.G. is just the right leader for the FICPA, very humble and effective,” says outgoing FICPA chair Abby Dupree. “He is masterful at blending diverse opinions into unified action. He understands the needs of the profession and will use that knowledge to guide the FICPA in service to its members.”

Indiana CPA Society Adds Four to Board of Directors

The Indiana CPA Society has appointed the following four new members to its board of directors for 2020-21, effective July 1:

  • Jacob Buehler, O’Connor & Zaleski
  • Douglas Fahrnow, Somerset CPAs & Advisors
  • Mandy Parris, JPMorgan Chase
  • Kyle Simmerman, BGBC Partners

More news from the Indiana CPA Society

NYSSCPA Announces 2020-21 Board of Directors

The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA) has elected the following professionals to its board of directors:

  • President: Edward L. Arcara, CPA
  • President-Elect: Rumbi Bwerinofa-Petrozzello, Rock Forensics
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Thomas S. Pirro, CPA
  • Vice President: William H. Dresnack, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Vice President: Lynne M. Fuentes, Fuentes & Angel
  • Vice President: Timothy J. Hammond, The Bonadio Group
  • Vice President: Robert M. Rollmann, PKF O’Connor Davies

In addition, the following individuals were elected as directors-at-large:

  • Christopher G. Cahill, Deloitte & Touche
  • Orumé A. Hays, Hays CPA
  • Edward N. Lee, KPMG
  • Philip J. London, Wiss & Company
  • Kevin Matz, Stroock & Stroock & Levan
  • Denise M. Stefano, Mercy College

Finally, the following individuals were elected as directors as chapter representatives:

  • William C. Huether, Sheenhan & Company – Suffolk chapter
  • John B. Huttlinger Jr., Adirondack Audit Company – Adirondack chapter
  • John A. Mourer, CPA – Rochester chapter
  • Alexander Resnick, Wild Maney & Resnick – Nassau chapter
  • Sharon Sica-Costanzo, SSC Accounting & Tax – Staten Island chapter
  • Craig A. Zellar, Firley Moran Freer & Eassa – Syracuse chapter

More news from the NYSSCPAs

New York CPAs Urged to ‘Stand Together’ for Diversity

Amid ongoing nationwide discussions surrounding diversity and equality, New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA) CEO and executive director Joanne S. Barry released a statement urging NYSSCPA members to stand together to make a difference.

Barry’s statement highlights several programs the NYSSCPA sponsors that seek to bring diversity to the CPA profession, as well as the organization’s efforts to educate members on diversity, equality and inclusion. Barry also notes that she has signed the CEOs for Action & Diversity pledge, where she has committed the NYSSCPA to staying and further becoming as diverse and inclusive as possible.

“With the collective voice of our organization and the CPA profession, with reach across the state of New York and beyond, we have an opportunity and a responsibility to make a difference,” she says. “I know we have much more work to do and this is where I call on you, our members. It is incumbent upon all of us to be allies and to speak and work against injustice.”

New Jersey Society of CPAs Names New COO

Theresa Hinton

Theresa Hinton has been named COO of the New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJCPA), replacing the retired Ellen McSherry.

Hinton’s long history with the NJCPA includes the past nine years heading up member engagement and chapter relations, as well as acting as interim director of continuing professional education. She had previously managed the organization’s membership development and chapter relations, and helped direct operations.

“We congratulate both Ellen on her retirement and Theresa on taking the reins as COO,” says NJCPA CEO and executive director Ralph Albert Thomas. “We thank Ellen for her dedication and commitment, and we are confident Theresa is well suited for the role. She brings a wealth of knowledge to the position.”

More news from the NJCPA

New Jersey Society of CPAs Announces 2020-21 Board of Trustees

The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) has appointed the following professionals to its board of trustees:

  • President: Alan Sobel, SobelCo
  • President-Elect: Harry P. Wills III, Bowman & Company
  • Secretary: Jordan Amin, EisnerAmper
  • Treasurer: Carol Donatiello Iocca, WilkinGuttenplan
  • Immediate Past President: Kyle M. Sell, Deloitte & Touche
  • CEO and Executive Director: Ralph Albert Thomas, NJCPA

“New Jersey can benefit greatly by the collective wisdom, ideas and intellect of our CPA community,” says Sobel. “CPAs work tirelessly to ensure all kinds of businesses receive fair tax and economic advantages.”

In addition, the following individuals have been appointed as NJCPA trustees for the 2020-21 term:

  • Dennis Bartlett, Cullari Carrico
  • Michael J. Coletti, Mazars USA
  • Isabel Del Corral, McIntee Fusaro Del Corral
  • Joanne Geylin, EisnerAmper
  • Jesse M. Herschbein, Prager Metis
  • Noorus Khan, Smolin Lupin & Co.
  • Jason Lauretta, ADP
  • Justin D. O’Horo, Withum
  • Kathleen F. Powers, Matheny Medical and Educational Center
  • Michael A. Stillitano, Hapag-Lloyd
  • Christopher Stoop, EisnerAmper
  • June Toth, ZBT Certified Public Accounting & Consulting

More news from the NJCPA

Wisconsin Institute of CPAs Selects Wendi Unger as Chair

Wendi Unger

Wendi Unger has assumed the role of board chair for the Wisconsin Institute of CPAs (WICPA) for the 2020-21 term. Unger is a partner in the state and local government practice for IPA 100 firm Baker Tilly, and has been a member of the WICPA for 12 years.

Unger previously served as a member of the strategic planning task force and the scholarship selection committee for the WICPA Educational Foundation board of directors, and has held numerous board positions.

“Given the decrease in student enrollment in college accounting programs, we need to identify creative ways to communicate to young people the many opportunities a career in accounting holds,” she says. “I look forward to connecting with my fellow WICPA members to hear ideas and implement solutions that will advance our profession.”

Virginia Society of CPAs Announces 2020-21 Officers and Board of Directors

The Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) swore in the following officers and directors for the 2020–2021 fiscal year at its May 14 meeting:

  • Chair: Henry Davis, III, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Chair-Elect: Anne B. Hagen, The Masonic Home of Virginia
  • Vice Chair: George D. Forsythe, WellsColeman
  • Vice Chair: Nammy K. Lee, University of Virginia
  • Vice Chair: Jennifer S. Lehman, Hantzmon Wiebel
  • Vice Chair: Gabriele Lingenfelter, Christopher Newport University

The following at-large board members were also sworn in:

  • George G. Crowell, Harris Hardy & Johnstone
  • Hope F. Cupit, SERCAP
  • Melisa F. Galasso, Galasso Learning Solutions
  • Daniel P. Hudgens, Deloitte & Touche
  • LaToya D. Jordan, Auditor of Public Accounts
  • Jason H. Navon, Rossen Landscape
  • John W. Reynolds, Block.one
  • Neena Shukla, PBMares
  • Charles M. Valadez, TechnoServe Inc.
  • Christine B. Williamson, CohnReznick LLP

Businesses Need a Reopening Timeline: New Jersey Society of CPAs Survey

Citing a need for lawmakers to pivot to a business-focused strategy to begin the recovery process, 65% of respondents in a recent survey of 305 members by the New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJCPA) said a timeline of how and when businesses can reopen will help small businesses more than other forms of economic relief, such as deferring tax payments or extending deadlines.

Survey participants believe 39% of their business clients will recover to pre-crisis levels in six to 12 months once the stay-at-home restrictions begin to be lifted, while 34% of clients will need more than a year to recover and 12% of clients will not recover and will most likely go out of business. Accounting firms also expect to share in the pain, with 40% of survey participants expecting their firms’ revenue to decrease by 11%-25% during the pandemic. Even so, half of respondents’ firms have so far made no changes to the staffing levels.

“This survey shows that business owners need a comprehensive and specific plan for reopening the state, a clear statewide strategy that’s coordinated with medical experts and New Jersey’s business community,” says NJCPA executive director and CEO Ralph Albert Thomas. “The state’s businesses are counting on the administration, the Restart and Recovery Commission and the Restart and Advisory Council to deliver an effective plan of action. We offer our assistance in meeting the multitude of challenges ahead.”

As CPAs Learn To Anticipate The Future, An Unimaginable Crisis Hits_Part One

For five years, the Maryland Association of CPAs (MACPA) and futurist Daniel Burrus have been evangelists for identifying future trends and capitalizing on opportunities they present today.

The concepts taught in The Anticipatory Organization™ Accounting & Finance Edition, co-created by Burrus and experts provided by MACPA, has led firms to make fundamental changes – new service offerings they hadn’t considered, for example, or a new mindset to approach clients with future-looking advice and guidance.

Then the coronavirus swept through China, Europe and the United States, killing tens of thousands worldwide. Businesses closed their doors, and one after another, states issued stay-at-home orders. Unemployment is up; the stock market is down, way down.

Was there any way to predict the coronavirus and its effects using the learning model? Can it prepare accounting firm leaders for once-in-a-lifetime events such as this?

Tom Hood

Tom Hood

MACPA president and CEO Tom Hood says no. And yes.

No, predicting the coronavirus itself wasn’t possible. Hood says it’s a black swan event – rare, severe and generating assertions after the fact that we should have seen it coming.

But yes, The Anticipatory Organization™ teaches participants to act on what Burrus calls hard trends, or future facts. The entire MACPA staff, along with firms, took all 28 lessons, offered through MACPA’s Business Learning Institute. According to the teaching model, firms can be certain of changes in technology, demographics and regulations. Undeniably, technology will continue to advance, the population will continue to age, and new regulations will continue to evolve.

Using the Training to Get Ahead of the Coronavirus Effects

MACPA was ready on the regulations front. The AICPA led the effort to extend tax deadlines in light of the COVID-19 shutdowns, but before the parent organization said “go,” MACPA had secured signatures from the two Maryland senators on a letter asking Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for relief.

Additionally, in response to shutdowns of non-essential businesses ordered in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, MACPA planned for Maryland to do the same. Any profession left off the “essential” list in the initial executive order would have to petition the state to be included afterward – a process that could take weeks. MACPA emailed the governor and other state officials on Saturday, March 21. They responded right away, saying accountants would be considered essential, and the shutdown came Monday.

Another to-be-expected event on the regulations front? A flurry of state and federal relief packages. “When government gets caught in a big thing like this, they react and put legislation out. It’s a huge opportunity,” Hood says. MPs can help their clients react quickly to take advantage of programs to keep their businesses afloat.

As for technology, firms that had already moved to the cloud and set up the infrastructure to allow remote working – a hard trend seen years ago – are faring much better than those that lagged behind and are scrambling now.

Observers have long said that technology changes are exponential, but the spread of the coronavirus reveals what that really looks like, Hood says. At one point, COVID-19 cases in New York were doubling every three days, for example.

Playing it Safe: The Worst Thing to Do Now

Daniel Burrus

That’s why futurist Burrus says that looking ahead and acting now, or “pre-solving” problems, is critical. Burrus, author and CEO of Burrus Research, says that in his work with more than 1,000 companies, 93% of the CEOs told him that most of the problems they’re dealing with now could have been pre-solved a year earlier.

Agility is important as well because no one can predict everything, but agility means reacting quickly after a disruption occurs, Burrus says. That’s why coasting isn’t an option. Agility has less value every year because you can’t react fast enough.”

This is true even now, in the midst of the massive global disruption of COVID-19. Be agile, but don’t take a wait-and-see attitude. Hard trends won’t wait. The coronavirus will not stop digital disruption. In fact, the opposite will occur. Focus on new ways of helping clients get through the crisis. Burrus says accounting firms can be the disruptors – positive disruptors.

Burrus poses this question: “How will you and your organization be remembered after it is over? Will you squander this defining moment, or will you do something about it now?”

Part Two: Looking Ahead Pays Off With High-Growth Service Lines, More Satisfied Workforce. Read Part Two.