We hope you enjoyed PICPA’s Guide to CPA Careers in a Changing Business Landscape. Not only has it provided useful career guidance, but we hope that it also has served as a diversion from the incredible stresses of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As I wrote this, I wondered if talking about the coronavirus would be ill-fitting for a magazine about career development. The more I thought about it, I realized that it fit perfectly. As you go through your career, you are sure to face numerous challenges, be they a health crisis, a financial collapse, or a national accounting scandal. As you tackle these crises, the PICPA will be here to help you navigate them.
As the coronavirus spread in the first quarter of this year, the PICPA monitored the distressing developments like so many other businesses and started acting. As it became clear that sitting together in a physical office would no longer be feasible, PICPA staff took to their homes armed with their laptops, and set about to seamlessly do what they do best: provide exceptional service for our membership, especially when members need somebody to turn to for answers.
PICPA’s government relations team worked on a plan to help lessen the burden on businesses and CPAs across the state as stay-at-home orders were put in place and the IRS delayed federal tax-filing and payment deadlines. Our team in Harrisburg and numerous motivated members were instrumental in the passing of House Bill 1232, a piece of legislation sponsored by Rep. George Dunbar. House Bill 1232 extends the deadline for certain state and local income tax payments and filings to July 15, 2020.
The first step in confronting a challenge is to get information. You can’t overcome an obstacle that you don’t understand, and the goal of our learning and development team during this time has been to get information out to our membership that allows them to know what it is that they are facing. The team has done this in several valuable ways. For example, the PICPA hosted a live webcast with Pennsylvania Secretary of Revenue C. Daniel Hassell, who reviewed the new regulatory environment resulting from the coronavirus and Pennsylvania’s plan for responding to the crisis. This success led to another informational session, this one featuring a discussion with City of Philadelphia Department of Revenue Commissioner Frank Breslin on revised tax-filing and payment procedures. Webinars were also developed on the effects of the coronavirus on other aspects of the profession, including federal and state tax issues, audits, personal financial planning, and nonprofit concerns. We’ve also posted numerous blogs and several highly informative podcasts, especially “Coronavirus: The Economic Effect on Pennsylvania and the Nation” with Pennsylvania state Rep. Frank Ryan. Much of these efforts can be found at www.picpa.org/coronavirus. And I don’t want to forget our PICPA Connect message boards. These are real-time conversations of PICPA members discussing critical matters to the profession.
All this information is invaluable to the CPA community, and it is only possible through the hard work of our members who stepped up to share information with their peers. That’s what being a PICPA member is all about.
The PICPA is here for you to support your needs and help you overcome this obstacle as well as others you may face in your career. This challenge will pass, and we know that you will be stronger in the end. We will continue to strengthen our organization to make sure we are equipped to support you every step of the way.
How else can the PICPA support you through the challenges you face today and throughout your career?
Michael D. Colgan, CAE, is CEO and executive director of the PICPA. He can be reached at email@example.com.