You probably spend a lot of time with CPAs at your office. You may even spend more time with them than with your friends, family, or pets. So, why in the world would you spend more time with CPAs, who you don’t even work with, outside of the office? The answer is likely to surprise you. Here are three reasons why you need to get engaged with an NCACPA networking group.
- Best Practices – You and your company may do things well, but how do you really know? One of the key benefits of networking with other CPAs is sharing best practices and perspectives on issues that can encourage others to operate at a higher level. For example, your firm may have been using the same practice management software for the last 10 years, but is there a better option out there? What are other firms using? Are you not using features within the existing platform that could impact the firm? By openly discussing these types of topics with peers, you can discover new ways to make you (and your firm) better!
- Perspective – You may be struggling with an issue, personally or professionally, that you need an outside perspective on. Ideally, that perspective should come from someone who understands the situation (but is not connected to it directly) and your industry. So, who better to do this than a peer CPA who knows the accounting space and has probably gone through a similar situation as you? That outside perspective can be extremely valuable as there isn’t the same emotional connectivity to the situation, yet there is still valuable insight into what you are working through.
- Expansion of Your Personal Network – Often, when you think of networking, you can imagine it has to be solely related to business development. An important part of a holistic network is having a diversity of professionals within your network—even if they are in your industry. Perhaps your firm doesn’t perform audits, but you have clients who need an audited financial. Do you have a trusted CPA to whom you can refer to? Maybe you are a sole proprietor getting closer and closer to wrapping up your practice. Have you built a network of potential successors? Having relationships with CPAs beyond your company will enhance your ability to deliver better results for your clients and employer.
When I was in public practice, I was a member of a CPA firm networking group. The time I spent with the other CPAs talking about our practices, the technology we used, the growing pains of business, etc., was so valuable and invigorating. I can still call these CPAs for issues of any sort, due to the strong connection we have developed being transparent and growing together. Even though one could argue we were competitors, it has never felt that way and I know all of us would do whatever we could to help each other out. You too can find your people by growing your personal network through one of NCACPA’s networking groups!
Jason is a Senior Manager on the Firm Services team at the AICPA. He leads the G400 and Young CPAs initiatives. Prior to joining the AICPA in 2017, Jason worked in public accounting for 14 years, five of which were as an owner in a small boutique firm in Albuquerque, NM. He provided tax, accounting and consulting advice to individuals and closely-held businesses. Prior to joining the AICPA team, Jason was very active in various AICPA committees.
In 2011, Jason was honored as one of New Mexico’s “40 under Forty” by the New Mexico Business Weekly. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, he was named to CPA Practice Advisor’s 40 Under 40. Outside of the office, Jason enjoys spending time with his wife, Tina, his sons, Levi and Micah, and their dogs. His hobbies include travelling, acrylic painting and watching football as an avid Seattle Seahawks fan.