By Jennifer Cryder, CFO and vice president – operations
Here at the PICPA we spend our days working on ways that we can support you, our members. We’re always on the lookout for new opportunities that will help you better serve the companies and clients you work with. We often hear from our members that they really value interactions with other CPAs. I know I often use my own network of CPAs as a sounding board for technical and business questions (and some supportive words from time to time). To bring our members the value of interconnectedness, we’ve just launched a new digital option to grow your network: a robust discussion forum platform called PICPA Connect. Organized by topic area, this new section of our website will allow you to virtually “ask around the office” among your fellow CPAs the next time you need some guidance.
For many years, the PICPA has supported a listserv focused on tax topics. The members of this group have been some of our most engaged, sharing questions, thoughts, and suggestions back and forth daily. We’re so pleased to be able to upgrade their experience now, in advance of busy season when we know they’ll use this tool frequently. We heard a similar desire among our members in corporate finance when we asked how the PICPA could better support them. These members consistently told us that they missed the connections they had with other CPAs when they were in public accounting, and would see great value in a virtual way to connect with CPA peers. In response to these needs, a cross-functional group of PICPA team members set to work in designing and building PICPA Connect.
In addition to discussion boards focused around taxation and corporate finance, you’ll find areas to discuss specialized industries (such as construction, employee benefit plans, health care, and many others), a space to discuss the CPA Exam and career development issues, and a space for firm administrators to connect and discuss topics relevant to their work. One discussion board, titled “Open Forum” is for anything that doesn’t fall into the previously mentioned categories. The PICPA team has developed several resources to support users as they begin to connect through this new platform, including video tutorials and webinars.
Since launching PICPA Connect a few days ago, we’re already seeing members posting questions, receiving responses, and discussions happening. PICPA Connect includes lots of great new functionality, such as the ability to search through posts, upload attachments, and subscribe to discussions at a level customized to your own interests. We hope that you’ll join in on the discussions soon!