The Texas Society of CPAs has been marking its 100th anniversary with a series of events across the Lone Star State.
[IMGCAP(1)]The celebrations began last June and are continuing through this June, marking last October’s centennial of not only the TSCPA, but also of the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy. At the last legislative session, the Texas House and Senate awarded them both a proclamation commemorating the joint 100-year anniversary of the two organizations.
“We had a two-day annual meeting to celebrate,” said TSCPA chairman Allyson Baumeister, who is also a principal in charge of the Forth Worth office at CliftonLarsonAllen. “We had some politicians speak. We also had a color guard and a George W. Bush impersonator. All CPAs in the state were invited. Roughly 400 folks came. Then the actual birthday was October 15. The society was formed in Forth Worth, so we had a celebration the night of the actual birthday in downtown Forth Worth. It was a time for members who had been part of the organization for a long time to get together. That same day, we had a CPE event for young, emerging professionals. The celebration that night was older CPAs and younger CPAs.”
The TSCPA has 20 chapters across the state, and they will be having events of their own through this June. John Sharbaugh, executive director and CEO of the TSCPA, has been celebrating with many of the chapters. “We had a joint celebration in Austin a year ago at our annual meeting back in June for the society,” he said. “We had a big kickoff there. We had Congressman Mike Conaway, a CPA, come and speak to us as well as one of the CPAs in the state legislature came and talked. We’ve been continuing the celebration, and it will go on until June at our annual meeting down in Galveston.”
Sharbaugh has been making the rounds among the chapters, along with a giant banner created for the 100th anniversary. “We’re asking our members to sign the banner,” he said. “We’ve got thousands of signatures on it now. It will become a keepsake.”
Besides looking back, the TSCPA is also looking forward. “The profession is changing a lot,” said Baumeister. “When people say CPA, they think of someone who prepares tax returns. But at least half of our membership works in companies serving their employers. The opportunities that exist in a career for a CPA are very broad and cover the entire business spectrum. That will continue to grow and provide more choices in the future. Right now we have four generations working in the industry, and I think that will continue as well. We are experiencing a larger percentage of the younger generation entering the profession.”
[IMGCAP(2)]Sharbaugh noted that the TSCPA has been seeing increasing changes in recent years in the technology used by CPAs and their clients. More CPAs are using online training for CPE, and the TSCPA has begun experimenting with micro-CPE courses in shorter formats. A major issue in the next few years will be getting the accountancy law re-authorized.
“In Texas we go through a sunset review process for all the laws, and it’s coming up in 2019,” said Sharbaugh. “I don’t anticipate any big changes, but I’m sure some things will be affected. The Sunset Commission evaluates all the statutes when that happens. We may pursue the issue of firm mobility. We have partial firm mobility right now, but we don’t have the total firm mobility that the AICPA and NASBA are pushing at the moment. That would be an opportunity for us to try to achieve that. I’m guessing we may also see some changes in the area of peer review because there’s a lot of discussion going on right now with respect to how peer review works.”