In My Opinion

June 21, 2019

The First Step

by Anthony Pugliese, CPA, CGMA, CITP
As the new CEO of this great organization, I hope you will join me for an up close and personal look at the world of business, accounting and finance through my eyes. This will include a range of perspectives that I’ll share with you on key issues and trends impacting the profession—topics that push the edge of the leading edge—as well as personal insights into all things accounting, finance, business, strategy, technology and innovation. This will be a place to share my opinion … and every now and again, I hope you’ll also allow me to use a little humor.

Having recently joined my talented colleagues, I want to thank them for such a warm welcome. I’ve also met many volunteers and members in the last few weeks—including the board of directors, the board of trustees, council members, chapter leaders and committee members—who have been so welcoming. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible in the coming months and listening to your insights and experiences. We’re here to serve your professional needs, and the best way to determine what those are is by asking you and being a good listener.

Taking Our First Step Together
We have become the largest state CPA society in the country due to our members’ passion, dedication and commitment to our great profession. We only could have achieved this together. But we won’t rest on our laurels. We realize and accept the challenge that we only remain relevant based on the next success we have that empowers our members. I hope you continue to place your trust in us to provide the value you seek as we take that first step together into the future.
The path forward is at our feet, and we begin any journey with the first step. 

My Relentless Focus—Members, Talent & Strategy
We’re at a pivotal, disruptive time in the accounting profession. Increased complexity, competition and change require us to have greater focus, sound strategy and strong resolve to work together to be even more valuable and relevant to you, our members, as well as to our staff and partners. With this in mind, I’m relentlessly focused on three things: our members and the profession, our talented staff, and our new strategy. 

Our Members & the Profession
We exist to serve our diverse members and the profession, empower them with knowledge and skills, and help them be the best they can be. Members are central to everything we do. We exist to help them navigate the chaos, noise and distractions of the constantly changing, complex business world in which they operate. Our member focus is rooted in a three-pronged approach:
  • Continuously enhance the value we provide to members;
  • Help them build competencies and new skills; and 
  • Prepare them for the future of accounting, finance and business. 
Our Talented Staff
Without a talented team to enable, create and deliver value to our members, we would fall way short of your expectations. Our staff is a critical asset to our organization, and we strive to have the best of the best here to support you. I’m incredibly proud of the staff we’ve brought together to collaborate and execute on our new strategy, and I’m excited to see what lies ahead on the path we’re taking together. 

Our staff will be empowered to be agile and collaborative, to approach challenges with an innovation mindset and the freedom to try new things, and challenge the status quo and orthodoxies of the past. We also will invest in their professional development to ensure their competencies keep pace with the demands of the business we’re in—serving you so that you can better serve your clients and employers.

Our New Strategy
Winston Churchill once said that “failing to plan is planning to fail.” This is true in life, business, accounting and association management. A robust strategic plan—hand-crafted to face the complexities, competition and change head-on—is the foundation for our success, today and in 
the future. 
Our staff, volunteers, members and partners will work together to deliver on our strategy; through sound strategy we will thrive as an organization, not just merely survive. We will be accountable for our progress. We will be agile and innovative in our approach. We will be timely and laser-focused in our execution. We will hold ourselves to a higher standard of performance. 
Our new strategy will focus on six pillars:
  • Re-imagining and transforming our organization to be best in class;
  • Promoting competency and learning to give our members the skills they need;
  • Growing our membership and innovating around new business models;
  • Advocating for public policy and the interests of the profession;
  • Evolving our image and heightening our brand awareness; and 
  • Enabling the profession for the future.
Create the Future
Speaking of the future, I’m partial to President Abraham Lincoln’s quote: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” We create that future by focusing on members, staff and strategy—and in my opinion, that future looks extremely bright.  

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