The Information Technology Alliance, a not-for-profit professional association of CPA firms, consulting firms and technology vendors, has created a new CIO Academy to educate chief information officers at the biggest CPA firms in North America.

The announcement was made by ITA president Stan Mork as the organization prepares to hold its annual Fall Collaborative, from Dec. 7-9, 2014 at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Md.

Twice a year during ITA meetings, industry experts will present deep-dive topics on emerging issues designed to educate chief information officers and others with similar roles who work in the nation’s 30 largest CPA firms outside of Big Four firms. The ITA refers to this group of firms as its “Internal Technology Leaders.” A content committee selects the trending issues and topics.

“We look for content that will help develop individual or aspiring CIOs in their business and professional contribution to their organization,” said John Bowles, a member of the content committee, ITA Board chair and CIO of Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP in Hendersonville, N.C. “The content for half- or full-day sessions isn’t about specific technologies we are currently using or even trends in technology; members can get that elsewhere. What we want to focus on are issues affecting the entire technology ecosystem within our firms.”

Yvonne Scott, another member of the content committee, an ITA Board member and CIO of Crowe Horwath LLP in Oak Brook, Ill., said the combination of education and training will be invaluable to member firms. “The content is selected so that CIOs are well-positioned to amplify the contributions they make to their respective firms, as well as grow personally and professionally as executives,” she said.

“We’ve always had a track for CIOs with 60- to 90-minute sessions, so presenting topics to this audience is nothing new,” Mork said in a statement. “With the CIO Academy, we really want to focus on being more strategic so that current and future CIOs can sit down for a day and focus together on topics that are important to their future.”

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