By Brooks Aker, CPA
The Young CPA Cabinet (“YCPA Cabinet” or “cabinet”) enjoyed terrific accommodations at East Carolina University (ECU) for its November 2019 meeting. The group discussed its involvement in promoting the goals of NCACPA at large, the NC CPA Foundation and its fundraising goals, internal succession planning for the next class of Cabinet members, and programming for CPA Inauguration and for future Cabinet use.
Additionally, the Cabinet heard from three students, all of whom received NCACPA scholarships and took a class with Dr. Linda Quick, a current YCPA Cabinet member. The students expressed their sincere gratitude for the scholarships they were awarded, discussed the impact that the scholarship funding had on their education experience, and how the financial relief, in conjunction with diligent preparation of course work and involvement in extra-curricular activities, opened doors to internships and other professional development opportunities.
It goes without saying that a scholarship is a significant, measurable aid in the development of any student. The CPA profession, and especially constituents of NCACPA, have long understood the value and impact of a scholarship to budding CPAs. The challenge facing the profession now is how to extend more aid, whether it be in the form of more scholarship dollars, a mentor relationship, or executing presentations, to show young people the promise of a career in the CPA profession.
Many members of our profession are quick to point out that (no matter the stage of their career) they received help along the way in their professional growth. Whether it came in the form of scholarship money to help finish a course of study, a mentoring relationship that encouraged the development of key interpersonal skills and technical development, or attending a presentation that sparked their interest in a topic, many CPAs express gratitude for those contributions that shaped them. It is incumbent upon us as current members of the profession to understand the culture of giving that existed in this profession before us and to continue to exhibit the same generosity and selflessness to support future members of our profession.
In support of the next generation of CPAs to join the profession. NCACPA’s YCPA Cabinet has created a culture of giving within our committee. The expectation of this effort is for each YCPA Cabinet member to donate any amount to the NC CPA Foundation Inc. each year with an overall goal of a $2,500 donated as a group. To help fuel this effort, not only is each member of the committee committed to donating, there is a “nametag rule” in place for each cabinet social and meeting. If a member does not wear their official cabinet nametag, they must donate $5 for each nametag-less event. In fall 2019, the cabinet also challenged other committees to mirror their donation commitment in hopes to raise even more funds.
As the holiday season winds down and the “season of gratitude” fades in our memory, I hope all CPAs, especially those in North Carolina, will continually remember the importance of the philanthropic contributions to our profession’s future.