[IMGCAP(1)]There is definitely an element of fresh and fun within the accounting profession, and I always seem to be smack dab in the middle of it—which, between us, is my favorite place to be! I just finished facilitating my session on the New Age Firm at the Maryland Association of CPAs’ (MACPA) Beach Retreat event.

While the retreat has taken place for several years, this year the “fresh” and “fun” was at an all-time high as MACPA hosted a Pirate Booty Beach Retreat Extravaganza for CPAs and their families.

I know what you are thinking. It was just another pre-party? So what’s the big deal? The difference was that not only were CPAs and event speakers present, but several new CPA candidates as well. The setting provided everyone with the opportunity to network in a laid-back, non-office environment—complete with pirate swords and booty galore! Now that’s when you really get to know someone—when professional inhibitions are at rest and real personalities come out. Just look at “Exhibit A” below.

Positioned behind me in the middle is one of the bright and innovative young accounting minds soon to hit the profession. I want to continue to attract the best and brightest in the profession to my firm, and events like this are the way to do it. In fact, just look at the Facebook message I received from this student.

“I had alot of fun at the beach retreat, you and the MACPA staff did an excellent job on setting it up. My mom (a CPA) definitely had an impact on the decision, but not explicitly. I interned in her office for a few years and that influenced me to an extent. The pirate party was great because it was a chance to network and meet other CPAs outside of the typical office setting. The activities for the families and kids were well set up and entertaining. The party definitely reassured my want to continue my path to become a CPA. I aspire to acquire an internship for next summer but do not currently have one lined up.  Thanks for your interest and thanks for your time! It was nice meeting you.”

- Jeremy Goodwin, Senior Accounting Major, Towson University, Maryland

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I applaud MACPAs for stepping out of the proverbial boring accounting box and creating an event that fostered innovation and excitement for both established professionals and the young’uns.

CPAs are certainly NOT boring, and this is one way to show up-and-coming candidates that they’ve made the right decision to enter the accounting field. The pirates can keep their gold. Discovering the best new accounting minds is the kind of booty I like. Where will you find your booty?

Jody L. Padar, CPA, MST, is a Certified Public Accountant experienced with Complex Federal & State Income Tax Compliance for Business & Individuals. Jody is an adjunct professor at Oakton Community College, where she teaches Taxation and QuickBooks Courses. She is part of Intuit Trainer Writer Network and speaks nationally on various Technologies and Taxation. She can be reached at www.newvisioncpagroup.com.