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Chair's Letter: Resources for a Successful Future

What’s your dream, your long-term professional goal, your plan for the future of your career? I ask because whatever your answer, I’m pretty sure the AICPA has resources that can help you meet that goal. I’ll tell you about my own experience.

After spending many years at a large national accounting firm, I joined with two other partners nine years ago to follow my dream and launch my own firm. Today, we have three offices and 100 people. How were we able to grow so quickly into the kind of firm we dreamed of being? I have to give some of the credit to the AICPA Private Companies Practice Section. PCPS serves in a combination of roles, providing tools, publications and resources created especially for small and medium-sized firms. It also acts as an advocate on behalf of our interests, speaking out on issues that affect us and our clients.

One of the ways that PCPS stays on top of member concerns is through the PCPS CPA Firm Top Issues Survey, a biennial study that gathers opinions from practitioners in firms of all sizes to see what’s keeping them up at night. PCPS then develops new programs and resources that address the top issues. One recent example is the newly introduced PCPS Practice Growth and Client Service Center, which pulls together information and tools in three categories: client acquisition, client retention and client development. An award-winning publication, Challenges and Solutions for CPA Firms: The 2011 PCPS CPA Firm Tops Issues Commentary, discusses the survey results and provides links to related resources. It is available for free to all AICPA members.

Speaking personally, our firm’s PCPS membership offered us access to resources that would have cost us thousands of dollars elsewhere. The PCPS Human Capital Center, for example, provides a wide range of worthwhile practical tools that CPAs can put to work in their practices immediately. Topic areas include performance management, owner development, team recruitment and development and work/life and retention, among others. You can gain an introduction to this resource through the Human Capital Center Toolbox Series. As ‘transition to future leadership’ is a hot topic for most of us, the PCPS Succession Planning Resource Center is another great tool to utilize.

If you’re an educator or auditor of employee benefit plans, government entities and nonprofits, our Audit Quality Centers are worth investigating for additional resources.

Switching gears, I’d like to talk about tools available to a different set of our members: management accountants. I’m very excited about the new designation launching January 31, the Chartered Global Management Accountant. Management accountants can use the CGMA to demonstrate their expertise in areas such as managing change, risk and uncertainty; promoting operational efficiency and effectiveness; and protecting corporate assets. Watch for more information on the wide range of benefits to be provided to CGMAs, as well business and industry members generally.

So, what’s on your wish list for your professional future? Chances are, if you visit AICPA.org, you may find the tools you need to reach your goals.

Thank you. Remember to make your membership work for you this year!

Gregory J. Anton, CPA, Chairman, American Institute of CPAs.

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