0917 Final Entry

September 01, 2017
CPE’s Paragon

Okorie L. Ramsey, CPA is no stranger to getting CalCPA press. He first crossed paths with us when he was interviewed for Quest magazine, and has cropped up time and again as he moved his way up through CalCPA leadership. Ramsey is back in CalCPA news again, this time as CalCPA Education Foundation board president to answer questions about his term and the future of CPE. 

You were featured in our magazine seven years ago. What have you been up to since?
It’s been an amazing journey and time has flown. On the work front, I have served Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. in several roles. I was promoted to vice president, finance compliance officer and served as our interim national tax leader for the better part of a year. Then, for the past two and a half years, I’ve served as vice president, finance compliance officer and SOX leader. 

Personally, I’ve enjoyed experiencing the growth of my children, Alex and Avery, and celebrating 20 years of marriage with my wife Tracy. I also became an adjunct professor at San Francisco State University teaching a course on leadership.

Lastly, I serve as an AICPA Council state representative, board adviser and former chair of the Accounting Career Awareness Program, and board adviser (and former board member) of LIFE Courses, Inc.

What has changed at CalCPA Education Foundation?
In the last five years there has been an immense amount of change in the volume of CPE providers, pricing of educational products, formats in which professionals want to consume education and the greater need for education products to support the professional lifecycle of CPAs and financial professionals as ethical, trusted and strategic advisers. The competition to provide high quality, educational products at competitive prices in the desired formats is a challenge we strive to overcome.

What are your goals for this year?
I have a five-point goal: 
  • Financial Viability: Meeting increased competition, price challenges and rising venue costs, while remaining focused on unmatched quality to support the educational and expert needs of accounting and finance professionals.
  • Government Relations: Continuing our advocacy on behalf of accounting and finance professionals, as well compliance with regulatory requirements for new learning formats, such as nano.
  • Leader in Professional Education: Advancing our reputation for high quality, experience and market relevancy.
  • Business and Industry Curriculum: Expand our offerings and relevancy to the business and industry professionals both in terms of education and serving as instructors.
  • Diversity & Inclusion: Building our pipeline of diverse talent within our profession in partnership with CalCPA Chair Kathy Johnson, the boards and our membership.
What can members/customers expect from CalCPA Education Foundation this year?
Unmatched educational product offerings that maintain CPA’s and financial professional’s reputation for competency and excellence in support of their clients and professional organizations. Members can also expect new formats, such as nano learning.

What are some trends in the CPE world and how is CalCPA Education Foundation responding?
CalCPA Education Foundation has always been a pioneer in educational offerings. For example, we were a leader in webcast and on-demand learning. Still, there’s a lot of competition and many education providers are providing low to no cost, or “all you can eat” educational offerings; however, the quality and value of the material often doesn’t measure up to Education Foundation offerings. We have the privilege of working with 46 state partners to provide expert-developed and regulatory compliant education and training for CPA and financial professionals. We will continue to identify new and effective ways to advance our members and customers technical and professional needs throughout their career lifecycle.

Any new topics being offered that people can expect?
I’m excited to be leading an interactive class and discussion with a small studio audience on a short film titled “False Assurance,” which highlights management and operational red flags that can drive a company to self-destruction, the importance of auditor judgement and professional skepticism and the significance of board of director fiduciary and governing oversight. This is going to be a new format in learning that I’m very excited to be a part of.

Nano-learning: Thumbs up or thumbs down, and why?
Thumbs up! The age of sitting in a conference room for eight hours are valuable, yet a dying format for learning. There are so many things competing for our time, and education has to fit into the lifestyle of the busy professional. Nano-learning supports that. It allows for education on-the-go, anytime, anywhere and for practically any time frame. It will be important for us and CalCPA’s advocacy teams to work with the California Board of Accountancy and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy to ensure nano-learning offerings comply with regulatory requirements.
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