By Michael D. Colgan, CEO and executive director
For all PICPA members finishing up tax season, welcome back from what was reported to be one of the more difficult filing seasons in recent memory. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act had quite an impact from what I have heard from members and seen from the AICPA in its dealings with the IRS. I was happy to see that the level of activity on PICPA’s CPA Connect message board was busier than ever, providing an outlet for scenarios and questions to be vetted among fellow members. From Feb. 1 through April 12, several hundred topics were raised, resulting in more than 1,100 posts and almost 24,000 views.
Now that you can think of something else other than tax forms, did you know April is National Volunteer Month? This month of recognition began in 1974 to shine a light on the service and value that volunteers provide to their communities and organizations. The PICPA is grateful for the thousands of members who serve at both the state and chapter levels each year to give back to the profession. Your efforts on behalf of your fellow members allows the PICPA to deliver programs and services to help our members succeed. You could take all those hours of volunteering and multiply them by 10 and still not touch the number of hours CPAs also volunteer within their communities and for other nonprofit organizations. Check out some of the efforts highlighted on PICPA Cares. I consistently hear from our PICPA volunteers that they get so much more back from their time than they give. If you are interested in giving back to the profession while building your personal and networking skills, let me know.
Springtime marks the beginning of PICPA’s new fiscal year and our annual meeting season. As the weather warms up, so does our outreach to members to reconnect with their peers and successful CPA candidates and award recipients at their chapter annual meetings. In the next several weeks, join chapter leadership as they celebrate at a variety of different venues around the state. Follow this link to find out more about what is happening in your chapter. If the annual meeting does not fit your schedule, there are a number of other springtime activities such as ball games, amusement parks, and even a little CPE (it is a reporting year!) to take in.
I also encourage you to reserve June 3 on your calendars, and plan to join the PICPA at The Logan Hotel in Philadelphia for our 122nd Annual Meeting. We anticipate several hundred members will attend to hear keynote speaker (and PICPA member) Don Smolenski, president of the Philadelphia Eagles, as well as Eric Hansen, chair of the AICPA. Master of impressions Joe Conklin will provide some comedy relief. Not to be lost in all the fun, PICPA leadership also will transition from Steve Christian to Marty Levin.
I hope you can join several hundred of your colleagues at the Women’s Leadership Conference on June 24 in Lafayette Hill. We will recognize the 2019 Women to Watch Award recipients, and have an outstanding lineup of female leaders from both inside and outside the profession, including Denise Devine, entrepreneur, CEO, and past PICPA president; Deanna Byrne, PwC Philadelphia office managing partner; Terri Polley, CEO of the Financial Accounting Foundation (overseer of FASB and GASB); Terry Grafenstine, managing director, cybersecurity and business continuity, at Citi; Michelle Poler, creator of the 100 Days Without Fear project; and Jennifer Montague, creator of the Personal Effectiveness Plan. If you are unable to attend, check out our PICPA Women’s Committees in the Greater Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, or Southwestern chapters.
A fresh season of conference learning opportunities begins this spring, including our Employee Benefits, School District, and Health Care conferences. There will also be a myriad of live programs and webinars. Remember, you must renew your CPA license by Dec. 31, but you don’t have to wait until year-end to take one of PICPA’s many excellent programs.
There is one more important date to get on your calendar this spring: PICPA’s annual Day on the Hill is on June 11. Advocacy in Harrisburg is more critical than ever as the political landscape in Pennsylvania continues to evolve. Join many of your colleagues in Harrisburg to hear from legislative and regulatory leaders, and meet with your elected representatives to promote the PICPA legislative agenda. Take a moment to view the CPA-PAC Annual Report. I am sure you will see how necessary a high level of engagement from members is in this important activity.
I'm so glad you survived tax season, and I hope to see you at one of these events relaxed and sharing a few laughs with your peers!