Written Written by
Michael (Mick) D. Armstrong, Jr., CPA, CGMA
Chair – Idaho Society of CPA’s
CFO – Micro 100 Tool Corporation
We are back into hot August nights after escaping the triple digits for most of July. I hope you all are having a great summer. Mine always go way too fast.
It is an honor as a member from industry to serve as Chair of our Idaho Society of CPAs. I am humbled as a member not in practice to serve on your Board of Directors. Each year we have an opportunity to build on the great efforts of the Board, CEO, and excellent team of the prior years. Laura Lantz has brought a new look and fresh outreach into our profession. If you have not visited with her, you should, and you will enjoy hearing of her experiences in her first year with us and her thoughts and goals about serving you all as we move forward into our 2nd Century. Gwynne Lethcoe and Tracy Poe are also bringing new energies and ideas in their services to our Society.
Our website banner says, “Where CPAs Belong.” But why is that? What is your reason for belonging and what would you tell a non-member CPA why they should join?
- Reputation and credibility. From our profession’s start, our mission was to provide an unbiased and objective opinion to owners, investors and lenders as to the fair presentation of an entity’s financial results and financial position. Together, we, in each of our communities, clients’ offices, and industry employers, have built our reputation and credibility from the experiences of the people we serve. We, together, work to maintain and continually improve our audit quality through collaboration and Peer Review. And, it is together that we can truly continue to raise the value of our services and keep our profession strong in a rapidly changing business world. Not everyone needs a large accounting firm and over 70% of America’s companies are small businesses. The value of the accounting professional in the large firms and businesses is enhanced by the success and credibility of CPAs in the smaller entities. I personally value networking in our Society. This accounting profession has given me great experiences and success and I am firmly committed to be a member of and involved in improving the value of our Society and our profession.
- Quality advice and expertise. We realized long ago that our clients or employers valued and needed much more than our objective opinion on their financial statements. Because in our review of financial results and reporting, we come to know a great deal about the entity’s activities and can offer insights about financial risks and opportunities to improve financial results. Besides tax planning and reporting, we developed expertise in many areas such as personal financial planning, business valuations, health care, risk management, business software, data analytics, cyber security, fraud, and many others. No one of us, big or small, can become an expert in all the areas in which the people we serve need advice. Small entities, lacking the staff and resources, benefit greatly from the resources available through our Society and the AICPA. And, the large firms and entities can benefit from the unique experiences and needs of their smaller peers because the large entities are comprised of individual households with similar challenges. Through collaboration we all grow stronger.
My employer, Micro 100 Tool Corporation, makes solid carbide cutting tools for many industries from aerospace and automotive to medical, optical, and even plates for greeting cards. We are members of the US Cutting Tool Institute where we share market information (not pricing or other anti-competitive information), providers of new production and packaging technologies, universal tool specification standards, cloud-based tool specifications for our end users’ CAM software, compliance with government regulations, and business issues such as health care and workforce development. We are vigorous competitors and yet find great benefit in collaborative effort. We also meet bi-annually in a world conference with our peer associations from the EU, Japan, India, and others.
- Disruptive Technological Change. We all know the pace of change is accelerating, particularly in the exploding field of information technology. There are significant new risks and huge leaps in efficiency and information with cloud computing, process robotics, and data visualization; and with emerging technologies of advanced analytics, cognitive computing, in-memory computing, artificial intelligence, block-chain, and crypto currencies. Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA, CEO – Management Accounting at Association of International Certified Professional Accountants stated in this month’s Financial Management magazine, “We will need to become adaptive learners, requiring more frequent skill and knowledge upgrades. … our value … moves from ‘expertise’ to one of ‘agility’ and continuous reinvention. … Finance people … need to learn, unlearn, and relearn in a continuous loop.” Each of us have unique experiences, expertise, and skills from which we can all benefit and adapt in this rapidly changing business world. Our clients have moved way beyond audited financial reports and tax returns and we need to as well. And, we will be more successful together.
I hope to meet many of you this year. Come join us and bring other CPA’s with you.