Krom Elected as President of New Jersey Society of CPAs

Sarah Krom

Sarah Krom

Sarah Krom, MP, SKC and Co. CPAs LLC, was elected as the president of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) for the 2018-2019 term. She is the youngest to hold the office at age 35 and is the third female president.

Krom joined the NJCPA in 2003. She is also a member of the Strategic Planning Committee and previously chaired the Young CPAs Council, which is now called the Emerging Leaders Council. In 2011, she was selected by NJCPA as one of the “30 most influential CPAs under 30,” and in both 2012 and 2016 she was recognized as an NJCPA “Woman of Note.”

“Her energy and drive are welcomed at the Society and by all members alike. We are excited to have her leadership, expertise and commitment on board,” says Ralph Albert Thomas, CEO and executive director at NJCPA. Krom replaced Edward Guttenplan, MP at Wilkin & Guttenplan PC.

2018-2019 NJCPA Board of Trustees

  • President: Sarah Krom — SKC and Co. CPAs LLC
  • President-Elect: Kyle Sell — Deloitte & Touche LLP
  • Secretary: Edward O’Connell — WithumSmith+Brown
  • Treasurer: Harry P. Wills III — Bowman & Company LLP
  • Immediate Past President: Edward I. Guttenplan — Wilkin & Guttenplan PC
  • CEO & Executive Director: Ralph Albert Thomas — New Jersey Society of CPAs
  • Trustees:
    • Jordan D. Amin — EisnerAmper LLP
    • Gregory A. Bedard — Prudential Financial
    • Amy Y. Both — Neral & Company PA
    • Robert J. Brown Jr. — Cowan Gunteski & Co. PA
    • Melanie A. Cobb — Abacus Financial LLC
    • Michael Coletti — Mazars USA LLP
    • Jason Lauretta — ADP
    • Kathleen Powers — Matheny Medical and Educational Center
    • Justin O’Horo — WithumSmith+Brown
    • Megan A. Sartor — Sax LLP
    • Shaune Scutellaro — CohnReznick LLP
    • June Toth — ZBT Certified Public Accounting & Consulting LLC

IPA Spotlight On … Jennifer Briggs, Indiana CPA Society

Name: Jennifer B. Briggs

Jennifer B. Briggs

Jennifer B. Briggs

Title: President and CEO

Association: Indiana CPA Society


  • 25 years of association management experience, with state and national organizations and at an association management and lobbying firm
  • Chair of Interchange 2018, a conference for the AICPA and State CPA Societies and one of my all-time favorite educational events
  • Not my accomplishment, but a team accomplishment this year was managing the launch of a new logo and improved website, all while preparing to move our office this summer and developing two new leadership programs.

As only the fifth CEO in the Indiana CPA Society’s 103-year history who replaced a 33-year veteran, do you feel a special responsibility in taking on the top job?

Absolutely! It’s a great privilege to work in an organization with a long history, and it involves a balancing act of honoring the past, delivering value in the present and leading the organization to the best possible future. My predecessors were all with the Society for a long time and developed extensive relationships. Having already been here for 16 years I feel fortunate to continue that tradition and am grateful for the many members I’ve known who have helped inspire my work over the years.

You’ve held numerous positions at the society, beginning in 2002 as a special projects manager. Has the variety of experiences within the society helped you in preparing for your new role as CEO?

No question. Having served in membership, communications and professional development positions here, I have a broad view of the Society and a better understanding of the day-to-day challenges the leaders in those areas face. Having said that, I tend to be the type of person who is very open to new things, so I try not to rely on past experience – even here at the Society – as a gauge for what will work in the future, it’s simply nice to have reference points.

Progressive leaders are focused on re-imagining and challenging the status quo. How does “remaining relevant” play a role in your planning for your 8,000+ members of the Indiana CPA Society?

We think about it every day. With INCPAS 2025 we have set “4 Bold Challenges” to ensure our relevance and to maintain the CPA brand. Our bold challenges encompass diversity, both in the profession and among our members, and ensuring our members are trusted business resources and advocates. We also are focusing on competency-based education through the Society and our subsidiary organization the CPA Center of Excellence®. Bringing the latest information to our members and engaging them in meaningful ways related to innovation and technology is paramount to our continued relevance. The changes coming to the profession due to AI, robotics and machine learning are real – it’s an exciting time.

Can you give me some examples of firms that have done something innovative and proactive to help clients?

Kruggel Lawton has done incredible work on their internal teams using CPA Center of Excellence® courses on core skills like communication and leadership and our insight assessment tool. This has translated into better internal relationships, improved goal-setting and stronger client relationships. Summit CPA Group is changing the traditional business model with an entirely virtual team offering outsourced CFO services. We recently created an INCPAS Innovation Award so we can recognize those firms and companies that are doing great things – Summit CPA Group won the award last year.

Final thoughts?

As automation advances, CPAs will need to consider next-level services they can provide. There is a huge opportunity here. People skills will never be obsolete (in conjunction with understanding the technical issues behind the automation) and I’m a firm believer that core competencies can be taught and improved upon. Not everyone will have the same strengths, but we also can’t wait to find the ‘born leaders’ – the profession can do a better job developing them.

Massachusetts Society of CPAs Names New Board of Directors

The Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants has appointed 17 members to its board of directors for its 2018-2019 fiscal year. The new members were formally welcomed at the MSCPA’s Annual Meeting and Recognition Reception on May 3.

“The MSCPA’s board of directors plays a vital role in shaping the priorities of the Society and this group of dedicated individuals truly want to better the profession,” says Amy Pitter, president and CEO of the MSCPA. “I am thrilled to have them on the board and look forward to witnessing first-hand what their leadership will contribute to the Society, community and the profession.”

The 2018-2019 Board of Directors are:

Mark Nichols, President, Mark W. Nichols CPA PC

John Micalizzi, Human Resource Leader, RSM US LLP

George Neble, Senior Advisor, AVALT

Vice Chairman, Finance Committee:
John Colucci, Managing Director, McLane Middleton

Vice Chairman, Audit Committee:
Doug Fiebelkorn, Healthcare Principal, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

First-Year Directors:
Elise Caputi, Audit Partner, KLR
Laura Felice, 
Senior Vice President, Controller, BJ’s Wholesale Club
Laura O’Brien,
 Director, ALL CPAs
Ronald Tull, Partner/Shareholder, Schofer Dillberg & Company Inc.

Second-Year Directors:
Karen McElroy, Audit Partner, Financial Services, Deloitte & Touche LLP
Francisco Oliveira, Associate Controller, Akcea Therapeutics
James Powers, 
Partner, Powers & Sullivan, LLC
Kathryn Seekell, 
Principal, Kurzman Dempsey & Kowalke, LLP

Third-Year Directors:
Laurie Austin, Managing Partner, DiCicco Gulman & Company LLP
Shay Blanchette, 
Senior Lecturer, MSA Faculty Director, Babson College
Robert Miller, 
Managing Director, New England Accounting & Auditing Group, CBIZ & MHM
Richard O’Connor, 
Partner, Johnson O’Connor

Maryland Association of CPAs and Business Learning Institute Launch Future-ready Podcast

The Maryland Association of CPAs and the Business Learning Institute (BLI) have launched a weekly podcast to make accounting and finance professionals more future-ready.

Titled “Future-Proof: A Podcast for Tomorrow’s Accounting and Finance Pros,” the show is hosted by MACPA and BLI chief communication officer Bill Sheridan and will feature interviews with forward-thinking futurists and thought leaders. They will offer updates on the latest trends to watch and, perhaps most important, answers to the question: How can this profession become future-ready?

“We’re on a mission,” Sheridan says. “For the past few years, [MACPA and BLI executive director] Tom Hood and I and the rest of the BLI’s team of future-focused thought leaders have been crossing the country, one speaking engagement at a time, in a bid to help accounting and finance professionals prepare for what’s ahead – to become future-ready. This podcast is the latest weapon in our profession’s future-ready arsenal.”

This brief trailer will tell you a little more about the podcast.

Illinois CPA Society Names 2018-2019 Board of Directors

The Illinois CPA Society named its board of directors to serve April 1, 2018 – March 31, 2019.

“In this dynamic time of change in the accounting profession, we are fortunate to be guided by such an impressive and diverse team of experienced leaders making up our new board of directors,” says Todd Shapiro, ICPAS president and CEO. “They are all experts on key issues impacting our members and will support accounting and finance professionals throughout Illinois.”

View the full list here.

REDW’s Allen Elected Board Chair of Arizona Society of CPAs

Mike Allen

Mike Allen

Mike Allen, principal at Albuquerque, N.M.-based REDW LLC (FY16 net revenue of $27.5 million), has been elected board chair of the Arizona Society of CPAs for the 2018-2019 term, effective May 1.

Allen currently holds the title of chair-elect and previously served as the board’s secretary and treasurer, as well as on the association’s nominating committee, executive committee, investment committee and foundation board.

Allen’s stated vision for the coming year is “to build on the great work of previous ASCPA chairs in advancing the cause of all CPAs in Arizona, and to enhance the success of our members through education, advocacy and increasing the value of the CPA.”

Allen heads REDW’s audit and assurance department. He has experience with strategic planning, organizational development, and financial and operations management, working to promote his clients’ success through the direction expansion of their core business activities and products, as well as the proactive management of their operations and relationships.

Prior to joining REDW in 2011, Allen spent 15 years as the COO, CFO and member of RAM Holdings. In the 1980s and 1990s, Allen was a partner and director of Erickson Allen, a public accounting firm that he helped grow from a start-up operation to a multi-million-dollar business.

CPAs Cite AI, Machine Learning, Cognitive Computing as Profession’s Top Tech Trends

Artificial intelligence, machine learning and cognitive computing in audit and tax are the top trends that will impact the accounting and finance world over the next three years, according to research conducted by the Maryland Association of CPAs, the Business Learning Institute and world-renowned futurist Daniel Burrus.

Daniel Burrus

Daniel Burrus

The research began with Burrus’s “Top 20 Technology-Driven Hard Trends Shaping 2018 and Beyond.” Using Burrus’s annual list as a starting point, MACPA Executive Director Tom Hood asked more than 1,000 CPAs and finance and accounting professionals which of those trends will have the greatest impact on the profession over the next three years. Their answers in rank order are as follows:

  1. AI, machine learning and cognitive computing in audit and tax
  2. Big Data and high-speed data analytics
  3. Adaptive and predictive cybersecurity
  4. Virtualization and automation of processes and services
  5. Mobile apps for business process innovation
  6. Blockchains and cryptocurrency
  7. Advanced cloud computing
  8. Smarter smartphones and tablets drive mobile process automation
  9. Virtualization of desktops, storage, applications and networking
  10. Social business applications

“These trends highlight enormous, game-changing opportunities in a broad array of applications and industries,” says Burrus. “As you read through them, look for opportunities for you to leverage them and become a positive disruptor.”

“One more word of advice,” says Hood. “Don’t stop at the trends impacting your firm or company. Stop and think about how these trends are impacting your clients and customers, both internally and externally. Think about the hard trends facing your industry and your customers’ industries. Read the entire list and think about robotics and 3-D printing, augmented and virtual reality, the Internet of Things, location-based services, drones and wearables.”

These seemingly individual technologies are joining forces to disrupt the accounting and finance profession exponentially. The impact of AI is huge, but when combined with blockchain, for instance, its impact increases tenfold … at least. This “10x mindset” will be vital going forward, Hood said.

Learn how to think exponentially

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This award-winning online learning program is designed to help accounting and finance professionals develop future-focused anticipatory skills that can elevate and accelerate their ability to be proactive and use these trends to their advantage. By learning to anticipate disruptions, problems and game-changing opportunities, you can proactively shape the future of your career and organization from the inside out.

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Georgia CPAs Unite at State Capitol for 7th Annual CPA Day

More than 100 members of The Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants (GSCPA) met at the state Capitol to share their thoughts on important issues facing the accounting profession with their elected officials.

“CPA Day makes a real connection between our members and their elected officials. This is a unique year now that federal tax reform has been signed into law. CPAs are exceptionally qualified to act as a resource and offer insights on the issues around reform that are facing the profession and those important to the business world,” says GSCPA CEO Boyd Search.

GSCPA is currently monitoring bills and discussions on tax reform and on the professional licensing boards, specifically regarding the Georgia State Board of Accountancy. Due to the recent passage of federal tax reform, GSCPA is working to serve as a resource in this conversation. In addition, GSCPA has assembled a group of our members who are experts in the area of income tax (individual, pass-throughs, corporate, credits, and compliance and processing) to closely monitor any developments and provide input as needed.

Two Staff Promotions at Indiana CPA Society

The Indiana CPA Society has promoted two staff members.

Courtney Kincaid has been promoted to vice president of strategic initiatives. Kincaid joined the society in 2006 as a communications specialist and has since served as the membership manager, membership and volunteer manager, senior manager of member services, and director of membership and engagement.

Stacey Wilson will be vice president of member services. Wilson joined the society in 2006 as a professional development manager and has since served as a senior manager of professional development, and director of learning and collaboration.

Indiana CPA Society Names New President and CEO

Jennifer Briggs

Jennifer Briggs

Jennifer Briggs has been named as president and CEO of the Indiana CPA Society. She is the fifth CEO in the organization’s 103-year history.

Briggs joined the society staff in 2002 as the special projects manager and subsequently served as marketing manager, marketing director, director of member services, vice president – member services, senior vice president and chief operating officer.

“Jennifer is well prepared to take on this role,” says INCPAS chair-elect, Doug York. “She brings talent in many areas, not least of which is her ability to connect with all our members, regardless what field or stage of their career they’re in.”