Time flies when, well, you know

Chair's Message

Jeffrey J. White, CPA, CGMA | February/March 2018 Footnote

The old saying isn't wrong. Time really does fly when you're having fun, and the adage doesn't begin to describe how fast or how much fun I've had in the past year as chair of the MNCPA board of directors.

When I began this journey in April, my first Footnote column covered keeping up with changes. I had no idea that our world would change as much as it has since I wrote those words. From domestic and world politics to natural disasters, record breaking stock market levels to a deep playoff run for the Vikings, not to mention the largest change in our tax laws since the 1980s.

But some changes you can plan for. I wrote about some of those issues facing our profession as ones the MNCPA identified as focus areas. In the past 10 months, we have:

  • Presented information about the exam, certification and career options at seven colleges and universities.
  • Enhanced our messaging to high school students as a part of the "Talk to the Students" program, and presented information about the accounting profession to 26 high school teachers.
  • Begun the conversation about issues with diversity and inclusion in our profession in Minnesota, and approved the creation of a diversity mentorship program (there will be more information on this in the following months).
  • Made great progress to identify a new and enhanced system that makes it easier for tracking and reporting CPE, cataloging CPE course offerings, tracking member licensing information and a host of upgrades that will continue serving our members' needs.
  • Continued to monitor and participated, when possible, with the evolution of the AICPA's Enhancing Audit Quality Initiatives by tendering our comments to the AICPA's team.
  • Strengthened our relationships with legislators by monitoring, communicating with and educating legislators regarding the issues of importance to the profession. We also held three listening sessions with MNCPA members and the Minnesota Department of Revenue.

I thank all of you for giving me the opportunity to serve our membership as chair. I enjoyed meeting many of you at various MNCPA events throughout the past year. I'll cherish the times I spent co-emceeing events with the board vice chair and my friend, Carolee Lindsey. Who knew stretching yourself could be so much fun!

I also want to thank the MNCPA leadership and staff for making the past year so enjoyable and memorable. Without your support, I would not have been able to do my work for the organization. Your professionalism, commitment and teamwork make me proud to be a volunteer and member.

The late dancer, poet and human rights activist Maya Angelou said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." I will never forget how welcomed I have felt to truly be myself, and the support and encouragement I received from many of you over the past year. I am very grateful.

I hope to see many of you at future MNCPA events. Please support your profession by volunteering at the MNCPA and supporting the MNCPA PAC. You'll learn, as I have, just how rewarding the experience can be.

Jeffrey J. White, CPA, CGMA

Chair, MNCPA board of directors