How Can Retired Practitioners Help the Next Generation of CPAs?

by Jerry Maginnis, CPA, executive in residence, Rowan University | December 13, 2018

Have you recently retired or are you currently contemplating retirement in the next year or two? Have you thought about what you will do with your time? Hopefully, there will be more time with family and friends and doing the things you enjoy. Maybe you will serve on not-for-profit or other boards or take up a new hobby. Many retirees choose to spend a portion of their time volunteering and “giving back."

If you fall into the later camp, you may want to consider volunteering in a way that keeps you connected to the profession and offers the opportunity to help college students achieve their potential, and, hopefully, become CPAs. Currently, there are thousands of students pursuing accounting degrees at dozens of Universities across the Garden State. Chances are one of those schools is not too far from where you live! Perhaps there is an opportunity for you to get involved with their accounting program.

I retired from KPMG several years ago and live about 15 minutes from Rowan University where I currently serve as their Accounting Executive in Residence. I support their accounting program in a variety of ways, including:

  • Giving guest lectures on topics such as careers in accounting and ethics, to name a couple.
  • Arranging for guest speakers from the profession to speak with our students.
  • Serving as an advisor for Rowan’s Beta Alpha Psi Chapter.
  • Chairing the University’s Accounting Advisory Board.
  • And, most importantly, serving as a mentor and coach to the students.

These interactions offer me many opportunities to educate students about the benefits of becoming a CPA. The amount of time I spend on these activities varies quite a bit from week to week as I am involved in other activities outside of Rowan but I probably average 8-10 hours per week. The University has been very good to me and provides me with an office on campus. There are many fun parts of the Executive in Residence position but the most rewarding aspect of the role is working with the students!

Having folks with recent practical experience available to supplement what students are learning from their professors in the classroom can enhance the overall student experience. I would encourage my recently (or soon to be) retired colleagues to explore opportunities to mentor and coach the next generation of CPAs. Reach out to your local university or the NJCPA to learn more!

Jerry  Maginnis

Jerry Maginnis

Jerry Maginnis, CPA, is an executive in residence at Rowan University and author. Previously, he spent 36 years with KPMG in Philadelphia, serving as managing partner from 2006 through 2015. He is a member of the NJCPA and serves on the Strategic Planning Committee.

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