Our mission is to transform the accounting profession. This isn’t always easy, given how resistant we can be to change. It’s easier to stick with what we know and to do what we’ve always done, but that’s not how innovation happens.

Things are changing fast, especially for the CPA profession. That means the MACPA is changing, too, and after working for the profession for 38 years, I’m glad. We work hard not just to keep up but to stay ahead, anticipating what our members and future members will need to continue to be successful.  

I took a call from a member who didn’t agree. He said, “This isn’t the MACPA I joined 40 years ago!” I had to sigh … and gratefully agree. Since then, I’ve been noticing the change more. I am meeting more members who are passionate about being a CPA and making the next generation of this profession more diverse, embracing the technologies that will fundamentally change and enhance the work CPAs do, and wanting to collaborate to make it better, faster.  

I’m seeing it happen firsthand. We recently hosted a program with SIG, a preferred benefits provider we partner with who believes what we believe. SIG’s website says, “Creating Benefits Solutions Together,” so collaboration and innovation are at the core of what they do, too.

One of the amazing resources they provide is access to their nationally recognized Director of Wellbeing, Rachel Druckenmiller. Rachel is a 12-year veteran of the wellbeing field and was recognized recently as the No. 1 health promotion professional in the country, and is also trained as a Thriving Workplace Culture Consultant. Rachel wanted to gather a group of firms who want to learn more about what their peers are talking about but don’t necessarily know what to do about culture and wellbeing, taking care of your business and your people. She has all the credentials and experience to offer great insights into the trends and how to boost engagement to recruit and retain top talent. And she surely did that, but what astounded me also proved the profession is changing, in a good way.

The partners, HR directors, managers, and recruiters in the room were not only actively engaged in learning from Rachel, but they also actively contributed to the learning. As Rachel asked questions and offered ideas, they eagerly and openly shared what they were doing to find, keep and develop their people — interns to new professionals, emerging leaders and seasoned professionals. It was remarkable. They shared what they are doing to support physical health and intellectual growth, build community and pour into causes that matter, and bring their teams together to foster fun and social connection. These firms share zip codes and, more than likely, compete for clients and talent. But they were collaborating, offering advice on things that have worked really well for them, as well as things that didn’t. It was inspiring to watch, and I’m here to say it would not have happened 10 years ago, maybe not even two years ago.

Things are changing. We need more collaboration and innovation. People are helping each other be better. Don’t let the news convince you differently. I’m privileged to be a part of this and invite you to do the same. Let me know if you’d like to join what we’re calling this “Underground Culture Community: Assessing, Improving and Building.”

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