It's that time of year ...

Chair's Inkwell

Christine A. Piché, CPA | February/March 2017 Footnote

Are you feeling a little overwhelmed right now? 

As you read these very words, you are probably taking a quick breather before returning to the long list of tax returns that need to be prepared, or starting on that next audit engagement, or preparing another reconciliation for year-end close.

My words of advice? Periodically stop what you're doing, close your eyes and take a deep breath. That always helps me to stay calm. Sometimes, I may need to do it a few times, but I sure find it helpful. Try it in the next few months if you find yourself a little bit stressed.

For many, nothing causes more stress this time of year than unsuspecting fraud schemes. They seem to be everywhere these days. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has received fake IRS calls asking for money. Perhaps you know someone who has been a victim of such a phone scam, or one of the many other scams that prey on us.

Unfortunately, the scams aren't going away. The schemers are getting more creative and sophisticated. It is crucial that we all follow good practices to lower the risks to us, our companies and our clients. This Footnote delves into these very challenges as they take aim at nonprofits and small firms. I hope you find the articles as informative as I did.

Time to elect board members

A strong board is essential to guiding an organization into the future. Make sure your voice is heard by electing your peers to the MNCPA board of directors. See the 2017 board ballot on page 18 to view candidates and voting requirements.

Part of the election process means my time as chair -- and writing this column -- is coming to an end. Thank you to the MNCPA board of directors and members for giving me the opportunity to serve as chair for this past year. It has been an honor and a pleasure!

I would also like to thank the MNCPA staff. The past two years have seen several transitions within the organization, including the retirement of MNCPA President Betsy Adrian. Organizational change brings about new opportunities. Our team, through the guidance of the MNCPA's new president, Linda Wedul, has embraced these opportunities to ensure smooth and successful transitions.

And speaking of transition, congratulations to Jeff White, our incoming MNCPA chair. You will get to know Jeff this April when he takes the helm of Inkwell. I've gotten to know him over many years, and two things always strike me: He is the epitome of what a professional should be, and his passion for our profession is contagious. I look forward to a future of new opportunities under his leadership.

May your future hold ample opportunities as well.

Christine A. Piché, CPA