It’s that time of year. Membership time. Even though many of our members renew online, our mail tubs still fill up with dues envelopes. As we see the checks come in it’s a great reminder of why we’re here. It’s all about you, the CPA, and what you need as an INCPAS member.

Foot_forwardI recently had a discussion with a staff member of another association and I walked away thinking (with all due respect) – they’ve got it all wrong! The discussion surrounded changes that might affect the association’s business model and how it was a bad idea to change. I thought – no way is that a reason not to change! We’re not here to support our business models. We’re here to support our members and the profession they represent. Whatever that means at any given time. And it will change. It’s always changing. I’ve worked in not-for-profit associations for 21 years. My usual stint with an association was 3-5 years, but I’ve now been with INCPAS for 12 years because you don’t get too comfortable here; all our staff is always thinking about those tubs of dues invoices and why we’re here. We care that for every dues check that arrives we’re continuing to provide value that makes the profession better and ensuring the CPAs in Indiana have a resource whenever they need one for whatever they need.

It’s not easy. Sometimes I feel like I’m getting an enormous amount done, but perhaps it’s quantity over quality? I hate that, but I’m guessing I’m not alone. The pace of change is such that we always have to keep moving if we’re going to provide value to whatever constituency we’re serving – members, clients our employers, etc. But, in these times it’s often better to be doing something rather than waiting to get run over by the next big thing while you’re still figuring out how to perfectly address the last big thing. We can only protect the current model so long before we have to take a leap to the next model. We’ll be launching some new educational and professional development options through the CPA Center of Excellence® in the next few weeks. When you see information come your way, I hope you’ll take the time to learn more. We’re trying to keep one foot firmly planted in the present to give you what you need, while also putting a foot into the future so we continue to add value in the years ahead.

Jennifer_CouncilAnd speaking of professional development, I had the opportunity to serve on the AICPA’s Future of Learning Task Force recently, and give a report at last week’s AICPA Council meeting (left). It was an outstanding experience for a lot of reasons – smart people from around the globe, challenging questions, meetings at Harvard, with speakers from Harvard and MIT, and I made professional friends I hope I’ll have for a long time. One big takeaway from getting to hear from outstanding experts in the fields of technology, education, and accounting was that things are moving really fast for everyone. It was comforting (and a little scary), but the line I remember most vividly from all the great presenters was this one from an MIT professor who is an expert in education delivery – “No one knows where the future of education is going and anyone who tells you they do know is lying. But, I’ll tell you this – you have to create spaces for people to collaborate and you have to make it possible for people to personalize their learning.” Well, at INCPAS we’re doing those things and I am excited for you to see how we’re doing it in the weeks and months ahead. We are putting all of our best efforts into finding ways to continually serve the needs of the profession, not only in education, but in advocacy, networking, and wide variety of other areas.

We’ve been here as an organization for almost 100 years and we want to be here for as many more years as you need us. Thank you for your dues and your trust in INCPAS.