December 5, 2019

Winter is Coming and So is a New Decade

December 5, 2019

Damon Ward, CPA, CGMA

An Ignite Blog By: Damon Ward, CPA, CGMA
Director of Tax, Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.


As I prepare for my year as the 87th Chair of the KSCPA, I would like to begin by saying thank you to the membership for the opportunity to serve. I have been fortunate to have the support of my fellow board members throughout the years. While I value all aspects of the accounting profession, as an accounting professional in business and industry, I hope to bring a different perspective to how we broaden the value proposition for our diverse membership.

As I think through the challenges we face as a profession and the pace of change, an early arctic blast has moved through our state. I can’t help but think of a phrase from a popular series on HBO, “Winter is Coming”. How can I be so distracted and what does this have to do with the accounting profession?

At our recent Member Value Day, Tracey Golden, the AICPA Vice-Chair, shared some of the common themes of change we are facing as a profession with the overarching theme of “Re-imagine”. The themes presented encouraged us to re-imagine all that we do to continue to prepare for the digital world that is here today, but more importantly, the digital world that is coming.

These themes will impact those working in all segments of the accounting profession to differing degrees and ways, but one fact is true, none of us will escape the changes coming our way. Throughout Tracey’s presentation, a quote that resonated with me was “The pace of change will never be as slow as it is today.” We all must read the signs of change and accept that change is coming. We must embrace the opportunities change provides, develop an actionable plan, execute a strategy, and realize that those who don’t will likely be left behind.

Throughout my years of involvement with the KSCPA Board, I’ve been proud of the tremendous amount of energy we’ve invested into providing insights to our membership, specifically related to being future ready. The impact of these efforts crystallized for me when I had the opportunity to attend the AICPA Leadership Conference in October. As I networked with other incoming Chairs, it became clear that some of the initiatives we have executed and those in process are innovative and impactful. This is a testament to the strategic vision the board has established over the years, the strong leadership we’ve had the privilege to have on our Board and Executive Committee, and a passionate, dedicated KSCPA staff. 

One initiative we successfully launched last summer was our INSPIRE Business Camp for high school students. This camp helps students develop an understanding of the accounting profession, make initial connections with accounting professionals, gain valuable insights into many of the soft skills which will distinguish them from the crowd as our digital world continues to evolve, and have fun!

The KSCPA continues to serve as a strong voice for all Kansas CPAs through our advocacy efforts, and our collaboration with various other state agencies to enhance the business environment in our great state. The advocacy efforts of the KSCPA provides elected officials valuable insights in a manner they cannot obtain anywhere else.

As we welcome 2020 and enter a new decade, our strategy is to be bold in the area of membership engagement. Our desire is to take the KSCPA membership experience to another level. To reach that next level, KSCPA leadership and staff will be focusing on a centralized theme for the year ‘CPAs stand the test of time’. We’re planning some great conferences and events; and you’ll see this theme interwoven throughout the member experience as each event will feature a decade and its infamous style (think 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, etc.).

In a world of change, we will provide timely thought leadership, opportunities to network beyond the digital, and leverage technology in innovative ways. I encourage you to truly engage with your fellow members, participate in KSCPA events and learning, and help inspire the next generation of accounting professionals. Thank you once again for the opportunity to serve as Chair. Together we can prepare for the winter that is nearly here and reimagine the endless possibilities that 2020 and the new decade has in store for us.

The Ignite blog is an official publication of the Kansas Society of CPAs, Copyright 2019.