[IMGCAP(1)]I’ve got to say…I think the “badass CPA” is a sign of the times. It’s the way the profession is moving in terms of CPAs emerging as creative and progressive. Attending the MACPA Innovation Summit only solidified my opinion on this topic.

I recently returned from the MACPA event where an absolute next-generation CPA is taking the reigns of one of the most progressive state CPA societies in the Union. His name is Byron Patrick, CPA, CITP, and is the new 2013 chairman of MACPA. He graduated from high school in the mid ’90s…around the time Kurt Kobain of Nirvana died. Byron currently runs a cloud hosting company for CPAs, Simplified Innovations, but began his career in a traditional mid-size firm. He got involved in the profession because one of the firm partners had him attend a few events. The relationships he made through MACPA changed his career path and his life.

Over several years, Byron grew into the profession and loved it. Today, he’s emerged as someone who can make real change happen. Some older CPAs might think that he is too nontraditional; they might be upset that he wears shorts to meetings and sports a CPA tattoo with the Maryland flag as a background.

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“Nontraditional,” however, is not determined anymore by how one dresses for meetings. I support that Byron is truly “nontraditional” in relation to how far ahead he is of the average CPA and his true desire to serve the profession in which he lives. I believe his talents and his style will soon become the norm as more and more next-generation professionals take on leadership roles. The change is coming. In fact, one of Byron’s peers and good friends, Steve Ursello Jr., CPA, who is the president of the Rhode Island Association of CPAs, shared one of he and Byron’s favorite quotes:  

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently—they’re not fond of rules…You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” (Steve Jobs.)

Here's to the new leadership of the state societies! I'm honored and thrilled to have peers who think like me about where the profession is and where it needs to go. Now, let’s go change the CPA world.