IPA Spotlight On … Jodi Ann Ray, Texas Society of CPAs

Name: Jodi Ann Ray

Jodi Ann Ray

Jodi Ann Ray

Association: Texas Society of CPAs (TSCPA)

Title: Executive Director/CEO

Accomplishments:

  • Took over the top job Jan. 1 from John Sharbaugh, who ended a 17-year run as CEO and now serves as managing director of governmental affairs.
  • Leads one of the nation’s largest state accounting organizations, representing 28,000 CPAs in 20 chapters across the state.
  • Previously served as vice president of membership and volunteer experience with Meeting Professionals International, where she was the responsible for governance and community development, which encompassed membership and more than 90 chapters and clubs in 24 countries.
  • She also served as the CEO for chambers of commerce in Connecticut, North Carolina and Texas, where she oversaw all operations including membership, government affairs, economic development and finance.

Progressive firm leaders are focused on re-imagining their future to ensure they remain relevant to their clients. How does “remaining relevant” play a role in your strategic planning, and what are some examples from the past 12 months of new services/programs/approaches that you have instituted that addresses how the State Society will remain relevant to its members?

The Society is taking a hard look at its strategic plan now, with plans to launch an updated plan to the membership in the fall. We’re looking at our vision for the organization, how it should look five to 10 years from now, and how to inspire our members and future CPAs about the organization and their practice in the field. We’re asking members what keeps them up at night, and which areas the organization should focus on. We’re upgrading our website to help members cut through the clutter to get accurate, timely and relevant information. The society is also very active in advocacy at the federal and state level.

What do you see as the biggest opportunity for the profession?

We are in such a period of change, not simply in our profession but in all industries, and I think the transformation affecting so many companies will impact the role of CPAs. What we consider the core services of CPAs is going to expand and evolve. For example, for some of the larger firms we’ve seen a very clear trend toward more advisory services.How do you see the role of the accountant changing over the next few years?

CPAs will become more of a strategic business advisor in addition to reporting financial performance. In the association world where I come from, the business decision-making models have changed and companies are relying on better, faster data and that’s changing the emphasis on what’s being produced. CPAs will be producing trend information, dashboards and projections to provide information that can be used in new and valuable ways.

Which aspect of technology should firms be paying closer attention to?

We’ve added new programs into our spring lineup of CPE offerings on risk management and cybersecurity. Firms are concerned about ensuring that the transfer of client data is secure and that their liability is adequately addressed.

Innovation and entrepreneurship are big topics in the profession. Can you give me some examples of member firms that have done something innovative and proactive to help clients?

Firms are reinventing themselves and doing it quickly to help their clients think ahead and adapt to coming changes. While the core services won’t go away, they may be delivered differently. The same is true for the Texas Society of CPAs – the services we provide to support our members will evolve and adapt.

Do you know someone else who would make a good Spotlight? Contact Christina Camara.

Montana Society of CPAs Announces New Executive Director

Allen Lloyd Jr.

Allen Lloyd Jr.

The Montana Society of CPAs (MSCPA) announced that Allen Lloyd Jr. will become executive director in June, replacing the retiring Jane Egan, who has led the association since 2000.

Lloyd, an Ohio native, was selected by a search task force and leaders of MSCPA. Lloyd has 13 years of experience working with the accounting profession.

Since 2010, he has held various roles at The Ohio Society of CPAs (OSCPA), the fifth largest state CPA association in the country with 25,000 members. Most recently, as senior manager, board and executive operations, Lloyd has helped manage key initiatives including modernizing the association’s governance structure, developing an assessment process to evaluate and bring new member programs on board while sun-setting others, and planning a series of member town hall events each year in more than 20 cities.

Prior to OSCPA, Lloyd worked for former Columbus, Ohio-based public accounting firm Norman Jones Enlow & Co. as firm administrator.

“The Montana Society of CPAs has a strong history of influence in the accounting profession,” Lloyd said. “I’m excited to join an organization that is focused on the future and on leveraging Montana’s qualify of life to grow the CPA profession in the state and engage members in shaping the accounting profession of the future.”

IPA Spotlight On … Loretta Doon, California Society of CPAs

Name: Loretta Doon

Loretta Doon

Loretta Doon

Association: California Society of CPAs (CalCPA)

Title: CEO of CalCPA and California CPA Education Foundation

Accomplishments:

  • Leads the nation’s largest state accounting organization, representing 40,000 CPAs in 14 chapters across the state. Immediately prior to becoming CEO in 2006, she was the COO for both organizations.
  • Served for 25 years as associate executive director for the California Teachers Association, one of the most well-known and influential unions in the country with a budget of $130 million. Doon is a former teacher.
  • Named one of Accounting Today’s 2016 Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting, and has been named by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the most influential women in business.
  • Served as the AICPA’s CPA State Executives Association chair 2014-2015.

Progressive firm leaders are focused on re-imagining their future to ensure they remain relevant to their clients. How does “remaining relevant” play a role in your strategic planning, and what are some examples from the past 12 months of new services / programs / approaches that you have instituted that addresses how the State Society will remain relevant to its members?

Remaining relevant means providing services to members that help them advance their careers, improve their skill sets and find new markets for their services. It is essential to help accounting students learn about various career paths, and help them improve their chances of landing good jobs when they graduate. Our Campus Ambassador Program is active in more than 30 California universities and colleges, and we are starting a pilot program in high schools. For members, we are undertaking a communities initiative pilot program to provide resources, including white papers and information banks, to help them improve client services. We also have instituted a managing partner forum to share best practices. Our Education Foundation is exploring new ways to deliver content and become more mobile friendly, including nano courses and developing event apps for conferences. You’ll also find that we are increasingly incorporating social media into our programs and events.

What do you see as the biggest opportunity for the profession?

Increasingly, firms – even small ones – need to simultaneously generalize and specialize, including in such niche areas as valuation, wealth management and financial planning. Software and artificial intelligence are entering many accounting and auditing tasks. Most CPAs in the future will focus on consulting and advising rather than processing numbers. I believe that at some point in the future, the attest function will be broadened to include sustainability factors, including ethics, environmental conscientiousness and community contributions.

How do you see the role of the accountant changing over the next few years?

CPAs and firms will become more specialized, while at the same time expand their services and presence. They will focus more on particular kinds of services. As society becomes more complicated, accountants are going to have to focus on a particular segment, while being an overall business adviser, to be successful. Sounds like a dichotomy and it is. The professional needs to meet the needs of clients and the public –and these needs are not always one-dimensional.

Which aspect of technology should firms be paying closer attention to?

Mobile devices to capture and transmit information. Everything a firm does should be available on an app or two that clients can access on their phones. If a client has a question or needs some service immediately, the firm that can provide that service over a mobile phone within seconds. That added value will keep that client as a customer. If a firm can’t do that, then it likely won’t be around for long. Convenience and immediacy will be keys to success.

Innovation and entrepreneurship are big topics in the profession. Can you give me some examples of member firms that have done something innovative and proactive to help clients?

CalCPA represents many firms throughout California. An observation that I have is that major firms are creating community beyond their client base. These firms are using technology, as well as in-person events, to create community and facilitate the dissemination of knowledge and information to include more than just their clients. CalCPA, through its Education Foundation, provides its members and member firms with information and tools to also assist with improving business skills. The idea is to innovate and grow business by addressing and helping a broader community.

Do you know someone else who would make a good Spotlight? Contact Christina Camara.

Indiana CPA Society Earns Association Awards

The Indiana CPA Society (INCPAS) has received the top honor – a Gold Award – for “Best New App,” and one Silver Award for “eLearning and Live Training” by Association Trends.

Association Trends, a provider of news and information for association leaders, annually recognizes association excellence across the country through its TRENDS All Media Contest. The award was presented Feb. 23 in Washington, D.C. to INCPAs, which has membership of nearly 8,100 CPAs in public practice, business and industry, government and education.

INCPAS created the IndustryUs app in 2015 as part of its strategic plan to increase recruitment and retention among CPA members working in business and industry, and to increase the number of attendees at its 300+ live professional development offerings.

Viewed as a key membership marketing tool, the IndustryUs app provides INCPAS members with an easy and convenient way to search for educational offerings, take advantage of discounts and accumulate rewards to be used on future purchases. It also provides a direct connection to INCPAS staff as well as an HR Hotline for questions and additional information.

The Silver Award was presented for the CPA Center of Excellence® Competency-Based Courses and Talent Academy.

The center is a subsidiary of INCPAS, established in 2014 to improve business skills vital to the success of CPAs and other professionals. The components recognized by this award include:

  • CPA Excellence Online Interactive Courses – The online courses are designed to cultivate non-technical skills, such as communication, critical thinking, decision-making and leadership. Progress is saved as CPAs start and stop at various points. Upon successful completion, a digital badge is awarded.
  • Competency-based Ethics Course – The launch of this first-of-its-kind online course coincided with a landmark rule change that made Indiana CPAs the first CPAs in the nation to be able to take competency-based education as one of three options to meet the ethics requirement for CPA license renewal.
  • Talent Academy – CPA partners, CFOs or those involved in HR often report that they are struggling with recruiting and retaining top talent. To help these companies focus on retention strategies that are innovative, relevant and manageable, the CPA Center of Excellence® hosted a new, live five-day Talent Academy in Indianapolis by instructor David Griffiths, a Wales Ph.D., who is a well-known leader in talent management.

Washington Society of CPAs Board Names Next President/CEO

Kimberly Scott

Kimberly Scott

The board of directors of the Washington Society of CPAs (WSCPA) announced that it has appointed Kimberly Scott as president and CEO, effective June 1.

“Kimberly Scott has the perfect blend of experience, having played an instrumental role in developing our newest generation of members while at the same time earning the respect of our leaders in Olympia and at the AICPA,” says Dave Miniken, chair of the WSCPA board.

Scott joined the WSCPA in 2000 and has served in various senior leadership roles throughout the organization. As WSCPA’s vice president of government and member relations since 2013, she oversees advocacy, membership, college and student relationships, chapters, networking functions, financial education and communications. She has led the organization’s advocacy efforts with the successful drafting and passage of three bills through the Washington State legislature, including a bill that brought $3.3 million to the Washington CPA Foundation. Since 2009, she has also served as executive director of the Washington CPA Foundation. As director of member services from 2002-2013, she led the organization’s membership department, having spearheaded the growth of the young professional members from 7% in 2006 to 26% in 2010.

“I have been deeply committed to the WSCPA and its members for many years and it is a privilege to have this opportunity to continue serving them as CEO,” says Scott. She will succeed Richard Jones, who has served as president and CEO for nearly 12 years and will retire May 31.

Indiana CPA Society Pushes for Competency-Based Learning

The movement toward a new learning model for professionals in the state of Indiana recently gained momentum. Draft enabling legislation supported by the Indiana CPA Society was introduced in the Indiana General Assembly.

The bill has the potential to add competency-based education to the current hours-based education model for CPA license renewal in Indiana. Its purpose is to give CPAs the ability to take only competency-based education, or a combination of competency-based and hours-based education, to satisfy the educational requirements for CPA license renewal.

CPAs in Indiana must complete 120 hours of continuing professional education every three years as part of a system created to maintain professional competency that has remained virtually unchanged for nearly 50 years.

The General Assembly will be considering competency-based options for both professionals and students this session. The draft legislation for CPAs coincides with draft legislation for K-12 education that also calls for competency-based learning.

“We believe that this is the ‘next step’ toward significant reform of the requirements for CPA license renewal in Indiana,” says INCPAS President and CEO Gary Bolinger. “This draft, if enacted, will provide Indiana CPAs with additional flexibility in learning options to renew their Indiana CPA license. It would give the Indiana Board of Accountancy the opportunity to explore this new learning alternative beyond traditional continuing professional education. Competency-based education has been proven to be a much more effective method of learning.”

Connecticut Society of CPAs Names Next Leader

Bonnie Stewart

Bonnie Stewart

The Connecticut Society of CPAs (CTCPA) has announced that Bonnie Stewart has been named the society’s new executive director, effective January 2017.

Stewart will succeed Arthur Renner, who has announced his retirement following 20 years of service as CEO of the society.

“I am thankful for this opportunity and excited to join such a well-recognized organization,” Stewart said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the board and staff to further the CTCPA’s advocacy, community and educational efforts.”

Stewart comes to the CTCPA from the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, where she currently serves as vice president of government and public affairs and general counsel. She joined the CBIA in 1988.

“Bonnie brings a wealth of relevant experience and talent to our organization, and we’re confident she will hit the proverbial ground running in working with the great team we already have in place here at the CTCPA,” says CTCPA president Robert Boudreau.

Boudreau also thanked Renner for his years of service. “Under Art’s stewardship, we have enjoyed many positive accomplishments, including a streamlining of our leadership model, legislative advances, two physical relocations into superior facilities, and a number of meaningful public service campaigns. We’re proud of our accomplishments with Art, and he should be proud as well.”

Baker Tilly’s Wevodau and Lewis Honored as Women to Watch

Colleen Lewis

Colleen Lewis

Chicago-based Baker Tilly Virchow Krause (FY16 net revenue of $522 million) has announced that Colleen Lewis and Colleen Wevodau, both located in the firm’s Washington office, have been selected by the AICPA and Greater Washington Society of CPAs (GWSCPA) as two of the 2016 Women to Watch Awards recipients.

Wevodau, senior manager in Baker Tilly’s real estate practice, was recognized with the Community Leader award for supporting the advancement of women and helping women integrate their personal and professional lives.

Colleen Wevodau

Colleen Wevodau

Since 2007 Wevodau has participated in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Real Estate Games. In addition to leading the Baker Tilly team, she serves on the event’s executive committee and chairs the team captains committee. Wevodau also serves on the board of directors of Calvary Women’s Services, a not-for-profit organization that offers housing and support services to women in the District of Columbia’s Anacostia community. She is also actively involved in Baker Tilly’s GROW (Growth and Retention of Women) initiative, which promotes the career development of women leaders in accounting, consulting and business professions.

“Helping my peers succeed has always been an important part of my life,” Wevodau says. “I am honored by this award and by the support of my colleagues for their nomination.”

Lewis, a manager in Baker Tilly’s governance, risk and compliance practice, received the Future Community Leader award for her ability to excel in her career while coaching junior colleagues, holding offices in industry organizations and supporting the local community.

Upon earning her CPA, CIA and CFE designations, Lewis created detailed study guides and coached co-workers with managing their career development plans. She also refined insights gained as a new Baker Tilly employee to help develop employee orientation programs for the D.C. office. Lewis is also involved in Baker Tilly’s GROW initiative and captains the firm’s soccer team, in addition to coaching youth soccer. “Playing soccer at the University of Maryland taught me the value of having a strong team,” Lewis says. “I enjoy pushing myself to achieve, while encouraging and supporting my colleagues in their endeavors.”

“Colleen Wevodau and Colleen Lewis are both deserving of this distinction,” Todd Stokes, OMP, D.C. metro region, says. “These dynamic professionals are role models for their contributions to Baker Tilly, to the industry and to our local community.”

The Women to Watch Awards program was established in 2013 to highlight the accomplishments of women in the CPA profession. Awards are given in four categories: Experienced Leaders, Emerging Leaders, Community Leaders and Future Community Leaders. Baker Tilly team members have been recognized every year since the program’s inception.

NYSSCPA Leader Named President of CPA Execs Association

Joanne Barry

Joanne Barry

Joanne S. Barry, executive director and CEO of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA), has been appointed the 2016-2017 president of the Certified Public Accountants Society Executives Association (CPA/SEA).

Formed 50 years ago, CPA/SEA is composed of all state CPA state society chief executive officers/executive directors throughout the United States. Through its core strategic priorities of advocacy, leadership, integrity, collaboration and exploration, the association supports its members in achieving excellence in leadership and management of their organizations and provides resources and a forum for networking and communication to enable CPA/SEA members to choose informed courses of action on professional issues affecting CPAs. CPA/SEA’s strategic plan and planning process provide organizational direction, advocate the interests of CPA societies, and prepare its membership for the future.

“To be elected by my peers and colleagues to lead the CPA/SEA at a time when the intersection of technology, generational issues and the shift in firm practice is creating a sea change within the profession, is a special honor and I look forward to it,“ Barry says.

Barry has received multiple awards recognizing leadership in the CPA profession, serves on the accounting and taxation boards for Montclair State University and St. John’s University, received the 2016 Corporate Social Responsibility Award by City & State magazine, and has been named one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting for the past six consecutive years by Accounting Today.

Barry is joined by a newly selected 2016-2017 CPA/SEA board of directors, who include: Ron Gitz, Louisiana Society of CPAs, as president-elect; Michael Colgan, Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs, is secretary /treasurer; Todd Shapiro, Illinois Society of CPAs, and Deborah Curry, Florida Society of CPAs, are directors to the board. Cindy Adams, Iowa Society of CPAs, Kathy Castillo, Hawaii Society of CPAs, Renee Brower, Wyoming Society of CPAs, and Sherri McPherson, Oregon Society of CPAs, return as current board members.

Wallace Receives MSCPA Outstanding Public Service Award

Harvey Wallace

Harvey Wallace

Harvey Wallace, partner and co-founder of St. Louis-based Brown Smith Wallace (FY15 net revenue of $36.7 million), is the 2016 recipient of the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA) Outstanding Public Service Award.

The award recognizes Wallace’s significant contribution to his community through service to charitable and civic organizations, as well as his level of leadership, innovation, initiative and involvement.

Wallace serves the St. Louis community in a multitude of organizations. In September 2015, he became chairman of the board of the Jewish Federation after being actively involved as a member of the board of directors since 2002. He has also served on the board of directors for The Magic House – St. Louis Children’s Museum since 2011 and was board chair from 2012 to 2014.

A lover of culture and entertainment in St. Louis, Wallace also serves on the community advisory board for St. Louis Public Radio. Additionally, he sits on the board of directors for the Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the St. Louis Men’s Group Against Cancer and the Wyman Center.