CEO Compass - Winter 2020

by Ralph Albert Thomas, CPA (DC), CGMA | NJCPA CEO and Executive Director | January 8, 2020

As a new year begins, we often reflect on what we want to do better. I recently read about the CEO of a membership organization in Illinois who packed her suitcase and drove around the state on a “conversation tour” to celebrate the organization’s 75th anniversary (by the way, the NJCPA’s 125th anniversary is just three years away). The conversations helped change the organization in a variety of ways.

In that spirit, over the past year, NJCPA staff and leaders have conversed with you in your offices, NJCPA headquarters in Roseland, diners, banquet rooms, casinos and occasionally on the golf course. We asked two simple questions: What keeps you up at night, and how can the NJCPA help?

In almost every one of these meetings, there were two recurring themes: where to find talent and how to implement new technology.

CPA firms and companies alike struggle with hiring and retaining junior-level staff members. They’re hard to find and harder to keep. Technology is a double-edged sword. Artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and blockchain offer the promise of non-traditional, diversified service lines to stay competitive, but you’ve questioned how to implement those technologies and at what cost.

We listened to what you told us and recently introduced new solutions in response to your input.

  • Intern recruiting: Our newly launched job site, NJCPA Launchpad,makes connections between accounting firms, businesses and organizations in New Jersey and surrounding areas and students looking for internships. This is a plus for both students and employers.
  • Workflow management: We’re excited to partner with a new business services provider, Jetpack Workflow, to help improve the efficiency of CPA firms and assist with client retention and ultimately growing their businesses. Technology solutions can help accountants and CPAs stay on top of their game.

In the inaugural edition of CEO Compass last fall, I said that the more we work together, the more we accomplish. But to truly serve you better, NJCPA volunteer and staff leaders need to interact with members of all stripes. One-on-one meetings feel like a precious commodity these days, which makes it an especially meaningful way to interact — so expect to see more of those in 2020!

At the NJCPA, we believe that there has never been a more important time to consider how we’re doing and how we can do better. What can you do? Keep this dialogue alive.

If you’re interested in having the NJCPA pay you a visit, or just have thoughts to share, drop me a line. I look forward to hearing from you.


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