Jun 03, 2021

The Value Chain of PICPA Membership

Engaging members, delivering value, building loyalty

Michael D. ColganBy Michael D. Colgan, CAE, PICPA CEO and Executive Director

The PICPA has changed dramatically over our 124-year history. We must adapt and innovate so that as CPAs and the profession take new paths the PICPA is prepared to lead the way. Changing member demographics and decreasing engagement illuminate that the days of a “one size fits all” PICPA membership is no longer enough. Data analysis, member surveys, focus groups, and consultants helped us develop a strategy for a more meaningful and valuable member experience.

In January 2021, PICPA Council unanimously adopted a new member value framework with five key elements -- peer-to-peer connections, advocacy, learning and development, career path, and business development -- and charged the PICPA team with developing a strategy to align all programs, products, and services with these five drivers of membership value.

PICPA Member Value Framework: 5 drivers of value explained

In conjunction with this new framework, PICPA’s Council and Board approved dissolving the existing chapter governance structure. After reviewing declining member engagement data from the prepandemic years and adding what we learned during the pandemic, it became evident that the uniform chapter governance structure no longer resonated with membership -- one size no longer fits all.

Instead, we will engage members through a combination of statewide steering committees, thought leadership committees, and local connection committees to guide our team’s efforts in developing programs and services for our diverse membership. Currently, there are nearly 175 chapter and state committees. Many are active and productive, some are duplicative, and others are inactive. After analyzing the interest, relevance, and outcomes of those committees, we are aligning PICPA’s volunteer opportunities to support the more targeted member value framework.

Steering committees will set priorities, share expertise, and guide thought leadership committees (see below) in the following areas:

  • A&A
  • Corporate Finance
  • Member Connections
  • Public Accounting
  • Small Firms
  • State Taxation

Thought leadership committees will identify critical issues, develop and share content, and guide PICPA programs, products, and services in the following areas, with the flexibility to adapt to the changing needs of the profession:

  • Accounting Standards
  • Audit Quality
  • Construction Industry
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Employee Benefit Plans
  • Federal Tax
  • Financial Institutions
  • Government Accounting and Auditing
  • Health Care
  • Insurance
  • International Tax
  • Liaison with the DOR
  • Local Connection
  • Local Tax
  • Manufacturing
  • Not-for-Profit
  • Pass-Through Entities
  • Pennsylvania Corporate Tax
  • Personal Financial Planning
  • Personal Income Tax
  • Professional Alliances
  • Public Accounting Technology
  • Sales and Use Tax
  • Schools and Colleges
  • Tax Administration
  • Transaction Advisory Services
  • Women in Accounting
  • Young Professionals

State-level governance and elected committees will remain unchanged. Local connection committees will exist throughout Pennsylvania to plan local engagement opportunities.

I encourage all PICPA members to explore the new thought leadership committee opportunities and join us in creating content and experiences that help all Pennsylvania CPAs succeed. Visit www.picpa.org/committees for committee descriptions, roles, and responsibilities.  

Pyramid graphic describing levels of PICPA member involvement

We are confident that by providing a more tailored value proposition we can better solve problems and create opportunities for PICPA members. This will lead to greater engagement, provide more value to current PICPA members, and attract prospective members to the PICPA. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below or email mcolgan@picpa.org.

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Statements of fact and opinion are the authors’ responsibility alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of PICPA officers or members. The information contained in herein does not constitute accounting, legal, or professional advice. For professional advice, please engage or consult a qualified professional.