By Michael D. Colgan, CEO and executive director
If you could identify only three things that the PICPA could provide going forward, what would those three things be? That was an exercise PICPA Council members participated in as part of a bigger discussion on what the future of the PICPA will look like. Council met Dec. 3, 2018, in Hershey, Pa., and those discussions, along with the anticipated results of PICPA’s ongoing member survey, will guide our future strategy.
It’s no secret that members’ needs are changing. We see the shifts in how members meet their CPE requirements, in the demographic aging of our membership, and in the changing roles of CPAs in public accounting and the C-suite. As we look to the future, we are working to identify what members will need from the PICPA to ensure their future success. This process involves every member, and we have invited input through a needs assessment survey. We know members have different expectations at varied stages of their careers, and we want our programs and services to evolve as members’ career paths change.
We hired Avenue M Group, a market research and consulting agency with proven results in the association field, to conduct the survey. PICPA member responses will provide the quantitative data to help us with the following:
- Determine the perceived value of PICPA membership.
- Weigh the value of current programs, products, and services to ensure that our resource allocation is properly aligned with member value.
- Identify the challenges facing members and former members that need to be addressed by the PICPA, helping to solve the challenges members face today and in the near future.
In addition to the survey results, Council spent a morning weighing and discussing a list of 28 programs and services that the PICPA offers. The items fell into seven broad categories: CPE programs; technical information (non-CPE); member relations, including social networking; government relations; Pennsylvania CPA Foundation career recruitment; peer review; and professional and technical standards and ethics. Council’s first challenge was to identify only three key benefits. It was gratifying that members struggled to identify only three items: they were definitely interested in getting more “votes.” Council members were then asked to identify the top six things that they predict members will value, and finally to identify the top six things they value.
Through the discussion, Council members used posters and sticky notes to log their answers, review the results, and provide insight and analysis into the overall results. The honest assessments and lively debate provided the facilitator and the PICPA with valuable direction. These discussions will be incorporated into the member survey results that will provide insight into the trends impacting decisions to join and engage in the PICPA.
PICPA’s senior management team will analyze the results through the winter and convene a special Council meeting in April to summarize the results and plan for the next few years.
The greater the member response to the survey, the more valuable the data will be. Watch for the email from Avenue M, and tell us what you need to succeed. We’re listening.