It’s safe to say when we began the 2019–2020 fiscal year, we did not predict we would end it by quarantining at home and living in a remote world. But that’s exactly what we, and so many VSCPA members, did.
Still, despite the challenges the last year threw our way, there is much to celebrate about the VSCPA. We still have a vibrant membership, and you’ve told us in multiple ways: You are thriving. We’re continue to focus on VSCPA2025, our strategic plan focusing on the following four bold strategies:
All of these strategies point to our larger mission: Empowering our members to thrive. Here’s a snapshot of the 2019–2020 State of the VSCPA.
The heart of the VSCPA: Members
At the end of FY 19–20, VSCPA members comprised 13,551 CPAs and accounting professionals working in public accounting, corporate finance, government agencies or educational institutions, as well as accounting students.
Committing to diversity
Last year we ramped up our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts to double down on one of our core organizational values: Foster a collaborative, inclusive environment that values, recognizes and reflects a diversity of people, cultures and perspectives. Here are a few ways we committed to DEI:
- Implemented a Diversity & Inclusion Board Task Force.
- Signed the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion pledge.
- Held our first-ever Women’s Leadership Forum in December to educate, inspire and champion change on behalf of women.
- Launched the Ruth Coles Harris Advancing Diversity & Inclusion Award, sponsored by Keiter, to recognize a VSCPA member who champions diversity and inclusion in the field of accounting.
And after FY 19–20 ended on April 30, we continued to expand our DEI efforts; more is available in our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Resource Center.
We couldn’t be happier that thousands of CPAs in Virginia and beyond were able to get the education they needed from the variety of learning we offered. We had record attendance at the KnowledgeNow conference, continued offering 20+ hours of free CPE and expanded peer learning by launching new roundtables for management of an accounting practices (MAP) and members working in corporate finance.
When it was clear that in-person offerings were not going to work during the pandemic, we quickly decided to make all conferences and seminars virtual through the end of the year with a 20% discount. Our online platforms are easy to use and navigate. And, while we have had a few lessons learned along the way (who hasn’t), we have had overwhelmingly positive feedback for virtual learning options.
The pandemic made us quickly pivot our offerings to provide the highest member value. We developed innovative ways to deliver the CPE you need remotely, offered resources and info for you on how to handle remote working, recorded videos and podcasts with governmental professional experts, sent a new e-newsletter with coronavirus-specific news and more.
Last fall, we celebrated the first anniversary of the Center for Innovation (CFI), which connects members with future-forward resources in technology and talent. We launched a innovation e-newsletter for tech and talent news and launched a Technology & Innovation Showcase.
In the spring, we completed a renovation of VSCPA headquarters in Richmond, transforming our 198os-era building into a workplace of the future called the Learning & Innovation Center. It’s a state-of-the-art facility that boasts on-site technology, a large, interactive meeting space, and a multimedia studio for video and online learning production. We can’t wait to host members in the new space when it’s safe!
As external factors like the pandemic and rising college tuition affect students’ abilities to obtain college degrees, we’re committed to helping pack the CPA pipeline with talented, committed professionals. We collaborate with educators and their colleges/universities to promote accounting careers on campus, and we provide information and resources on the profession to students and new CPAs.
In FY 19–20, members visited 40 middle and high schools and reached more than 1,000 students as part of our CPAs in the Classroom program to educate students about the profession. We also held CPA Ready Workshops at four universities across the state to help them gear up for recruiting season as they prepared to begin their CPA careers. The VSCPA also participated for the third year in Mission Tomorrow, a program from Chamber RVA that showcases careers to more than 12,000 eighth graders across central Virginia.
Educating legislators and regulators on important tax- and business-related issues takes time and dedication. In FY 19–20, VSCPA members, leaders and staff worked for months on a plan for rolling tax conformity, culminating in a VSCPA white paper, “Rolling Tax Conformity: A Better Option for Virginia.” While rolling conformity did not pass in the 2020 General Assembly session, we laid the groundwork for the future.
Once coronavirus became an issue for the Commonwealth, we lobbied for state and federal COVID-19 positions like delayed tax deadlines, relief of interest accrual and CPAs as essential employees. We held virtual Q&A sessions with Virginia Sec. of Finance Aubrey Layne on the Virginia tax deadline as well as a Payroll Protection Program Q&A with the Small Business Administration and Virginia Bankers Association.
Healthy & growing
The bottom line? The VSCPA is fiscally strong and we are committed to using our funds to help you – and the profession – thrive. We ended the year with a positive change in net assets of approximately $70,000. Check out our full audited financial statements (PDF) for more.