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   Your Board of Directors
   Thoughts From Laura
   Did You Know...
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Your Board of Directors...

Mick Arsmtrong, CPA/CGMA, Micro 100 Tool Corp - ISCPA Board Chair Elect

COLLABORATION: The Power of Presence and Involvement

Written by Mick Armstrong, CPA/CGMA

I am a CPA member in Industry. I have been in a variety of manufacturing industries ever since I left public accounting in Iowa. Echoing Chris Shipley's comments in our August edition of the Adjusting Entry, my CPA credential has opened incredible professional opportunities and relationships. I have also had the opportunity to earn the CGMA credential. I have worked as an Internal Auditor for a Fortune 100 company that included international assignments on several continents and diverse cultures. Currently, I serve as a CFO for a medium-sized, family-held manufacturer of cutting tools. The most rewarding efforts in my career, all along, have been working with people, understanding their challenges and questions, and being a part of their discovering and creating solutions to achieve their best outcome.

Collaborating with peers, subordinates, and my superiors has increased my knowledge and experience well outside my original body of knowledge and accounting expertise, and it has continuously expanded my professional involvement. Collaboration moves me outside my immediate sphere of employment to the business and professional community. Last month, I participated in the AICPA Global Manufacturing Conference in Baltimore, for which I have been a planning committee member since its start in 2013. I had discussions with a number of professionals, a couple of which are likely to develop into relationships that will help our company improve its operations. Collaboration has also provided the opportunity to serve as Treasurer for the Meridian Chamber of Commerce since 2012, where our mission is "To Serve, Strengthen and Promote the Meridian Business Community" as well as partner with the Treasure Valley business community to promote its economic vibrancy and quality of life.

From an article in The Atlantic, "When Working from Home Doesn't Work" – 10/03/2017, "The communications tools that were supposed to erase distance, it turns out, are used largely among people who see one another face-to-face. … The power of presence has no simple explanation." IBM is pulling back 5,000 remote workers to newly designed work spaces. "Today, in the age of the never-ending software update, business is more like a series of emergencies that need to be approached like an airplane's [in flight] fuel leak. You diagnose a problem, deliver a quick-and-dirty solution, get feedback, course-correct, and repeat, always with an eye on the changing weather outside." But when we collaborate face-to-face, and really focus on helping others, opportunities will open up.

As CPAs, we are committed to a life-long pursuit of learning and professional excellence. Our Idaho Society is "Where CPA's Belong" and it offers one of the best opportunities for collaboration. It is a rare occasion to be the best in a skill, sport, or professional/intellectual area. But you can be YOUR best. There are no regrets when you have given your best to all your efforts and I have found the greatest reward in helping others be successful. Choosing to be involved in ISCPA – it is so rewarding and we can accomplish much together!

Thoughts from Laura...

Laura Lantz, ISCPA Executive Director

If you'll notice, our newsletter is a little bit later than usual. We figured there was no reason to send out the newsletter last week if many of you weren't doing anything but taxes - congratulations on surviving October 16! It's now CPE season - so that's my theme.

Since we are talking about deadlines, I wanted to let you know how our deadlines work for CPE classes. We look at classes three weeks before their date to see how the attendance looks and then we decide whether it's a go or no go. Because there are travel costs and room cancellation fees, etc., we have to be very cognizant about costs and if there are not going to be enough attendees to fill the class and make it pay for itself, we have to cancel. So my ask of you: please plan ahead if possible. We always send reminders about the class, so if you see the time is getting close and you haven't signed up, please sign up. If we do cancel a class, don't worry, we will always refund your money or you can put it towards other CPE. We do our best to run every class we advertise, but when there's only one or two people signed up - that's just not fiscally responsible.

Miss the Farm & Ranch or Tech Conference? Both of these great events are on the website as a self-study! We are working to do as much self-study that is feasible to make our great classes available to you, after the fact, if you can't attend.

Let's also think outside of the box for CPE... need a group of people in your firm/company to get CPE on the same topics? Reach out to Gwynne, Professional Education and Member Services Director, she can create and design classes to fit your exact needs, with one or several topics you want and need for your people. The day will be specially designed for you and can actually save you money, especially with time out of the office and no travel costs. Just reach out - Gwynne can work wonders, so take advantage of this service - it's a valuable benefit of your ISCPA membership.

I am heading to AICPA Fall Council and Leadership Conference soon. I will check my email. I will report in next month's newsletter about it, but if there is something specific you are interested in, concerned about or want me to ask, please let me know.

I am loving my job and appreciate representing you. Remember, I am your Executive Director, so I work for you. Let me know your thoughts.



The ISCPA is requesting proposals for the annual non-profit audit of its financial statements. Proposals should cover the three-year period of calendar years 2017, 2018, and 2019.

    Responsibilities will include:
  • Audit services for the Idaho Society of CPAs, beginning with the audit for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017.
  • Preparing and e-filing Form 990.
  • If applicable, issuing a management letter addressing suggestions for any improvements in the accounting systems that are identified during the course of the audit.
  • Meetings with the Finance Committee and/or Board of Directors as necessary.
  • Availability throughout the year to provide advice and guidance on financial accounting and reporting issues.

The Idaho Society of CPAs is a non-profit professional association established in 1918, with the mission to bring together the CPAs in Idaho to maintain and elevate the standards of proficiency and integrity of the accounting profession. Financial statements are presented on the accrual basis of accounting in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The Society is exempt from federal income taxes under Section 501 (c) (6) of the Internal Revenue Code. The ISCPA receives its revenue primarily from member dues, professional development programs, and peer review administration. There is an operating cash account, savings account, and one investment account composed of cash and investments.

Proposals must be received by 4:30 pm on October 31, 2017, at the Idaho Society of CPAs at 1649 W Shoreline Drive, Suite 202, Boise, Idaho 83702. The proposal shall be submitted by mail or emailed to Tracy.

For additional information, please contact Tracy Poe at 344-6261 or 800-388-3635.

Prevent Remote Access Takeover Attacks

    Learn to protect yourself from remote takeovers.
  • A remote attack targets an individual computer or network as the cybercriminal exploits weaknesses in security settings to access the devices.
  • Another line of attack uses malware to download malicious code that gives the criminals access to the network.
  • Especially vulnerable are wireless networks, including mobile phones, modems and router devices, printers, fax machines and televisions that retain their factory-issued password settings.
    Key steps to help protect yourself from remote takeovers:
  • Educate staff members about the dangers of phishing scams, (emails, texts and calls, and remote access attacks);
  • Use strong security software, set it to update automatically and run a periodic security “deep scan” to search for viruses and malware;
  • Identify and assess wireless devices connected to the network, including mobile phones, computers, printers, fax machines, routers, modems and televisions. Replace factory password settings with strong passwords.
  • Strengthen passwords for devices and for software access. Make sure passwords are a minimum of eight digits (more is better) with a mix of numbers, letters and special characters;
  • Be alert for phishing scams: do not click on links or open attachments from unknown, unsolicited or suspicious senders;
  • Review any software that employees use to remotely access the network as well as those used by IT support vendors to remotely troubleshoot technical problems. Remote access software is a potential target for bad actors to gain entry and take control of a machine. Disable remote access software until it is needed.