Keeping Kansas CPAs on Solid Ground
May 27, 2021
A KSCPA Ignite Blog by:
Aron Dunn, CPA, CCIFP and Chad Allen, CPA, CITP
Now, more than ever proves the importance of staying informed about emerging professional issues at the national level, so we are primed to understand the impact at our state level and prepare accordingly. KSCPA leadership appoints representatives to serve on the AICPA Governing Council to do just this and be Kansas' voice on the national stage. We are honored to recognize the leadership and commitment of outgoing AICPA Council member Aron Dunn and elected incoming AICPA Council member Chad Allen; let's hear their perspectives on the following question:
AS THE PROFESSION STRIVES FOR BALANCE IN AN UNBALANCED WORLD, WHAT AREAS SHOULD KSCPA MEMBERS FOCUS THEIR EFFORTS ON TO FIND SOLID GROUND TODAY AND INTO THE FUTURE?
As I reflect on the past several years as the designated AICPA Council representative for Kansas, I am honestly surprised by the amount of change just in those few years. Three years seems like so long ago. With so much change and the ever-accelerating pace of change, what can KSCPA members focus on now and in the future? A few things always jump out when I get this question or see presentations on this topic. My thoughts:
First, we should continue to focus on our greatest asset in this profession – our people. Our current and future employees should continue to be a strong focal point - making sure our people continue to have adequate education and opportunities for growth; making sure our people have the right tools and skillsets and work with those who want to re-skill or up-skill; making sure the next generation sees the benefits and opportunities available in our profession and maintain a high level of professionalism and business acumen as we manage our way through continuous change with our clients and businesses.
Second, continue to be a client-centric profession working to guide our clients to the best version of their company or themselves as possible. This is applicable for both public and business CPAs in working with clients through change and being a consistent, steady voice of reason and guidance. In short, continue to be that trusted source of information, feedback, or direction that clients need, even if sometimes it may not be what they want to hear but need to hear.
Finally, continue to be expert risk managers for our business and our clients. Understanding risks, options, approaches, and alternatives so that clients can continue to pursue goals while maintaining a high level of trust in their service provider. Continue to be skilled at working with others to achieve mutually beneficial goals while ensuring risk is contained.
I am humbled at the opportunities I have had to serve the AICPA, the KSCPA, and the profession. I continue to believe this is a great profession in an unbelievable time. Challenges should be viewed as exciting opportunities to use our talents and knowledge. Change is simply another challenge.
Staying balanced is not easy, but for me, the best way to avoid feeling out of whack is to acknowledge that every day is not going to be time balanced. Some days the scale will tilt to work, and sometimes work will need to take a back seat. Most of us in this profession came up programmed to base everything on time, so that is the consumed resource we measure. But going into a day expecting 8 hours of work, 8 hours of play, and 8 hours of sleep is only going to lead to more stress and guilt because one (or two) of those will fall short, and that is what we dwell on. We only have so much time and energy in a day, so it's more important than ever to operate with a work/life integration rather than striving for some daily time balance. To me, balance is being able to say, "over the course of a week/month/year, I'm allocating my energy in the right way to achieve my long term goals and maintain mental health". It has absolutely nothing to do with how much time is spent on each. Otherwise, I would just go fishing for 40 hours a week.
Another key mindset is to reiterate that you, and only you, have your hands on the steering wheel. You have to manage yourself and your energy. Most of us already feel maxed out, but that does not mean that we can not learn new skills or grow in a particular area. It does mean that you need to periodically look at things you need to add or subtract that will bring you in line with your definition of "balanced". It is the same concept as having a strategic plan for our businesses. We can not just keep adding things to focus on. We have to find the things that are not driving us toward our vision and drop them.
I think it is also important to schedule time for yourself, and in some cases, I mean blocking off time on your calendar. To know how you want to balance your energy, you have to do some reflection and goal setting. This is the exact thing that falls in the "important but not urgent" quadrant and all too often gets left for tomorrow or next week. I have had a recurring lunch meeting with myself for years where every six weeks, I leave the office for lunch and look at my goals in various areas of life and just take stock of how I am trending on my dashboard.
I am incredibly honored and privileged for the opportunity to serve KSCPA members as a representative on the AICPA Governing Council. Kansas has a very well-earned reputation amongst that group as one of thought leadership, and that is because of leaders like Aron. As he has done during his term, I look forward to bringing the insights learned from Council back to Kansas for our membership to benefit.
|Please take this opportunity to reach out to Aron and Chad, expressing appreciation for their contributions to our profession!
The Ignite blog is an official publication of the Kansas Society of CPAs, Copyright 2021.