New CalCPA Chair to Prioritize Re-Opening of the CPA Profession, Expanding Diversity and Inclusion and Student Outreach for the Coming Year

ANAHEIM, CA (July 29, 2021) — Christie Simons, CPA, an audit & assurance partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP, was named 2021-22 chair of the CalCPA Board of Directors during CalCPA’s Annual Members’ Business Meeting. Simons will focus her term on helping members grow in the “new-normal” as businesses re-open throughout the state and country. Using technology, making the profession more diverse, equitable and inclusive, and expanding the CPA student pipeline will be key priorities of Simons, she said.

“As the demographics of the population of America changes over to Millennials, Generation Z and Generation Alpha, CalCPA has an opportunity to be proactive and get out in front of these changes by working with educators, students and our non-licensed members—especially as students consider becoming accountants and prepare for new CPA Exam requirements starting in 2024,” said Simons. “Underpinning my strategic platform will be supporting diversity and inclusion to better recruit, engage and mentor students, as well as helping the profession understand new technologies to create prosperity and growth as the nation re-opens from COVID-19.”

CalCPA Interim CEO Rich Simitian, CPA said Simons’ “experience as both a partner and a CPA at one of the nation’s largest accounting firms located in the global center for high technology and innovation and her engagement as both an executive and volunteer leader of CalCPA gives her the needed skills and experience to assist both the nation’s largest CPA state society and its membership with solutions and tools as CPA firms re-open.

Re-Open the CPA Profession and Service Their Clients Profitably
COVID-19 has prompted many CPA firms to move their operations to the cloud and many more firms are sure to follow. CalCPA will provide tools and resources to help firms make transition, especially as more tax services are automated. In addition to keeping up with today’s increasingly demanding clients, CPA firms will need the right accounting tools, like firm practice management software that will help firms streamline their practice so they can meet their client’s needs and run an efficient, profitable CPA firm.

Build a More Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Environment for All Members
During the past year, CalCPA created a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission (CDEIC), chaired by Kathy Johnson, CPA and 2017-18 CalCPA Chair, to create strategies, programs and resources for CalCPA and its members, partners and other stakeholders to better leverage DE&I as a way to drive resilience, innovation, competitive advantage and creation of real value. This effort includes identifying and partnering with organizations that are working to make accounting more diverse and equitable.

Expanding the Student Pipeline with An Eye Toward Diversity and Inclusion and New CPA Exam Requirements
COVID-19 taught the CPA profession that changes to the workforce can be sudden and unpredictable. CPA firms will require greater workforce flexibility, which includes looking at outsourcing and incorporating diverse perspectives and voices to respond to these challenges. Outsourcing allows CPAs firms to evaluate talent before hiring and allows students and young CPAs to evaluate the CPA firm before joining as a full-time employee, especially as the CPA profession rolls out the new Uniform CPA Exam in 2024. By making use of technology, CPA firms can cast a wider net to find previously untapped and more diverse talent pools. CalCPA will help educate and use technology solutions to support CPA firms as the profession rolls out the new exam. In addition, CalCPA will support the AICPA’s efforts to expand STEM to include accounting and bring more diversity into the accounting profession.

More About Christie Simons
Simons has more than 26 years of experience serving global technology clients with accounting and advisory services. She is a specialist in serving fast growing, dynamic venture-backed companies and large global publicly listed technology clients with external audit services and consulting services for technical accounting, IPO and SOX readiness matters. She has lived and worked in Deloitte’s Asia Pacific practice and is based in Deloitte’s Silicon Valley practice. She was recently named Deloitte’s US Industry Leader for Technology, Media and Telecommunications. Simons received a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Colorado. She is a self-proclaimed fitness junky, loves to play golf and travel with her adult children.

Simons has been a member of CalCPA since 2018 and was previously first vice chair of the CalCPA Board of Directors. She has been a member of the AICPA since 2006, as well as an audit committee member of the Silicon Valley American Leadership Forum from 2013-19. In 2012 she earned the “Woman of Influence Award” by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, and in 2019 was named as an “Influential Women in Bay Area Business” by the San Francisco Business Times.

About CalCPA
CalCPA traces its heritage to 1903 when the California State Society of Certified Public Accountants was organized. In 1909, it merged with two other state CPA associations to form CalCPA. CalCPA serves more than 43,000 members in public practice, private industry, academia and government, and has 14 chapters across California. CalCPA also offers more than 1,400 live courses, conferences, webcasts and on-demand self-study courses annually. 

# # #