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CPAmerica Strategic Plan September 2018

Leaders Achieving Change

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Table of Contents Introduction ............................................................................4 Mission ..................................................................................5 Vision .....................................................................................6 Goals .....................................................................................7 Geographic consideration ......................................................8 CPAmerica is best at: ............................................................9 CPAmerica protects its: .........................................................10 CPAmerica member-led developments .................................11 CPAmerica’s plan to get there ...............................................12 I. Facilitate member sharing ...................................................13 II. Access to expertise ...........................................................14 III. Training & Development ....................................................15 IV. Promote the association resources ..................................16 V. Recruitment of new member firms .....................................17 VI. Maintain a technology awareness for member firms ........18 Relationships .........................................................................19 Resources to accomplish the Strategic Plan .........................20 Governance ...........................................................................21 Good Members’ Guide .................................................... 22-27

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Introduction Strategy, by definition, deals with mission, vision, goals and resources. CPAmerica International’s mission, Improving through Sharing, continues in our new plan, “CPAmerica Strategic Plan,” and will be joined by two additional areas of emphasis; “Access to Expertise” and “Training & Development.” Changes in strategies are often driven by market changes, and innovative technology is a big change in our lives. We believe technology, including artificial intelligence, will bring about significant changes in the accounting profession. The association’s plan will include supporting our firms in staying current with emerging technology solutions. The benefit in living in a tactical world is things can get done quickly and issues are usually addressed. The problem living in a tactical world is it is often difficult to set a long-term strategy due to the distractions of day-to-day issues. This document is set to guide the association in a long-term approach that will direct its daily activities, some of which are a bit unpredictable.

Alan Deichler President of CPAmerica International

The plan is also designed to facilitate the sharing and coordinate the expertise for our firms to meet their own day-to-day opportunities and guide their long-term strategies. The common strategy shared by all our firms is the quest to remain independent. This strategy is the result of the 2018 board of directors’ efforts along with help from last year’s board of directors in reviewing and updating the most recent plan to create the CPAmerica Strategic Plan. We thank all involved with the creation of this plan.

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Mission CPAmerica’s mission is to provide its member firms opportunities to Improve through Sharing. In this updated strategic plan, we plan to expand our mission to include access to expertise and training & development programs for all firm personnel. Each member firm’s association with CPAmerica is a commitment toward continuous improvement with a focus on remaining independent. CPAmerica provides participating member firms with the platform and resources to more effectively transition toward incremental improvements.

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Vision Members in the association should expect: • To continuously improve • To make more money • To strengthen relationships among member firms • To bring prestige to firms both domestically and internationally

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Goals Provide member sharing opportunities, access to relevant expertise, and offer profession-required education, by properly using member dues, event registrations, and other annual revenues. Goal is to annually “break even� on revenue to expenses. Grow by recruiting new members in unoccupied areas throughout the U.S. in accord with geographic coverage policy. To maintain and grow offerings, goal is a total of 85 firms within three years. Maintain the current base of membership and ensure continuity of offerings and service. Continually promote association offerings and benefits to both current members and prospective firms. Conduct regular meetings of all relevant member committees to ensure services are being designed and offered to meet member needs.

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Geographical Consideration Improving through Sharing is enhanced when great firms share. The more great firms, the better the sharing. However, firms in the same geography or market will often refrain from sharing for fear of giving away competitive advantage. CPAmerica has developed a statement called “Geographic Consideration” that is attached to the association’s bylaws. This document addresses recruiting new member in common geographies. Major points of the Geographic Consideration include: • With exception to large metropolitan areas, the board would likely recommend a prospective firm headquarters location be at least 50 miles from a member headquarters location. • Other firm locations (non-headquarters location) will not have consideration in decision to recruit a prospective firm. • In large metropolitan areas, considerations will be given to primary market overlap, size of the firm, practice concentrations, natural geographic boundaries, and state laws.

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CPAmerica is best at: Sharing Examples include: • Proprietary Practice Management Survey • Visitation Improvement Program (VIP) • Member Relationships • Variety of Discussion Lists

Access to Expertise Examples include: • Crowe LLP National Tax Office • Membership in Crowe Global • Retained Consultants/Preferred Providers • Variety of niches served by membership

Training & Development Examples include: • Skills improvement staff through partner • NASBA sponsor providing CPE in appropriate sessions • Member discounts for vetted preferred providers

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CPAmerica protects its: 1. Independence We are an association of independent firms

2. Unique sharing model Top-10 firm relationship with access to expertise Crowe Global

Sharing amongst our members firms

3. Innovation • Member Committees driving association direction • Events • Special Interest Groups

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CPAmerica’s Member-Led Developments:

Continuing • Leading Partner Retreat • Tax Conference • A&A Conference ▪ International Group Meeting • Discussion Lists • Publications & Newsletters • Consulting Engagements • Tax and Audit Liaisons • Practice Management Survey • Contracted Horwath Relationship • Staff Training • Geographic Consideration

Recent

▪ Specialty Groups ▪ Visitation Improvement Program (VIP) ▪ Recruit. Involve. Sustain. Elevate. (RISE) ▪ Expanded Surveys ▪ Relationship with Crowe LLP National Tax Office ▪ Membership in Crowe Global ▪ On-Demand Training

2018 and beyond

▪ Application of technologies - Innovative Technology Committee ▪ Advisory relationship skills - sharing member successes ▪ Vertical expertise - sharing through new SIG’s ▪ Association operations - continue to organize to support member needs ▪ Ambassador program - each firm with central, informed professional ▪ Virtual training - offerings catalog online ▪ Firm-wide relationship development - through events & discussion lists ▪ Update geographic consideration - as necessary

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CPAmerica’s plan to get there Facilitate Member Sharing

I. Access to expertise

VI.

Maintain a technology awareness for member firms

II.

Recruiting & Development

III.

V.

Recruitment of new member firms

IV.

Promote the association resources

I. Facilitate member sharing II. Access to expertise III. Training & Development IV. Promote the association resources V. Recruitment of new member firms VI. Maintain a technology awareness for member firms

Facilitate Member Sharing

I. Access to expertise

VI.

Maintain a technology awareness for member firms

II.

Recruiting & Development

III.

V.

Recruitment of new member firms

IV.

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Promote the association resources

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I. Facilitate member sharing: The primary hallmark of the association is its ability to assist all members in growing and strengthening their respective firms, mainly through facilitating support and member sharing. The association provides several resources for accomplishing cooperation and sharing. • Special Interest Groups • Visitation Improvement Program (VIP) • Expanded Surveys • Association Operations to support member needs • Ambassador Program (To be developed) • Staff Sharing by firms • Update Geographic Consideration as necessary

Facilitate Member Sharing

I. Access to expertise

VI.

Maintain a technology awareness for member firms

II.

Recruiting & Development

III.

V.

Recruitment of new member firms

IV.

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Promote the association resources

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II. Access to expertise Members have access to a wealth of resources that encourage growth and offer continuous improvement. CPAmerica will continue to explore, find, develop and provide members additional areas of required expertise. • Retained consultants • Relationship with Crowe LLP National Tax Office • Membership in Crowe Global • Special Interest Groups • Visitation Improvement Program (VIP) • Member Sharing - meetings, sharing calls, one-on-ones - Best Practices - Vertical Expertise - Practice Specialties

Facilitate Member Sharing

I. Access to expertise

VI.

Maintain a technology awareness for member firms

II.

Recruiting & Development

III.

V.

Recruitment of new member firms

IV.

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Promote the association resources

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III. Training & Development Members share best practices, network and learn from nationally acclaimed speakers while earning CPE credits offered at our annual events, and at a variety of webinars and trainings. Additionally, we have several specialty groups to support members at various stages of their careers. A future direction may include a CPAmerica outsourced educational program including technical and soft skills on-demand training. • On-Demand Training • Relationship Skills to ensure firm growth • Virtual Training • Staff Sharing by firms • Advisory/Industry skills • Online catalog

Facilitate Member Sharing

I. Access to expertise

VI.

Maintain a technology awareness for member firms

II.

Recruiting & Development

III.

V.

Recruitment of new member firms

IV.

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Promote the association resources

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IV. Promote the association resources Dedicated staff provide branding materials, monthly print newsletters, weekly electronic newsletters, and social media posts that provide up-to-date news about our member firms, and CPAmerica offerings. Association news is provided to journalists and media within the accounting profession, as well as paid advertisements printed in publications within the certified public accounting industry. • Monthly print newsletter • Website • Social media • Firm updates • Saturday electronic briefings • Public relations • Advertising in profession periodicals • Ambassador Program (to be developed) • Be open to key exempt hires working virtually Facilitate Member Sharing

I. Access to expertise

VI.

Maintain a technology awareness for member firms

II.

Recruiting & Development

III.

V.

Recruitment of new member firms

IV.

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V. Recruitment of new member firms CPAmerica will annually conduct a new member recruitment effort in open geographies per our policy of Geographic Consideration. This effort will include member referrals, staff solicitation, and a process of prospect inclusion at our Leading Partners Retreat and appropriate technical events. • Add new member firms in unoccupied areas throughout the U.S. per Geographic Consideration policy - Net nine new firms by 2021 • Use complimentary member firm policy in largest U.S. cities • Identify, contact and arrange association executive visits with prospective firms using association staff and resources • Request member firm assistance during prospect visits and as guides at Leading Partners’ Retreat and other events.

Facilitate Member Sharing

I. Access to expertise

VI.

Maintain a technology awareness for member firms

II.

Recruiting & Development

III.

V.

Recruitment of new member firms

IV.

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Promote the association resources

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VI. Maintain a technology awareness for member firms Maintain, through a committee of partner members, an awareness of innovative and emerging technologies with an objective of signaling new advanced offerings to member firms. • Standing Innovative Technology Committee chaired and coordinated by association president • Maintain relationship with technology leaders including profession developers, consultants, advanced forms and successful users • Provide consistent updates to member firms through association communications tools and resources

Facilitate Member Sharing

I. Access to expertise

VI.

Maintain a technology awareness for member firms

II.

Recruiting & Development

III.

V.

Recruitment of new member firms

IV.

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Promote the association resources

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Relationships Crowe Global As of January 2018, Crowe Global is the eighth largest worldwide network of accounting firms at $3.8 billion in revenue, consisting of more than 200 independent accounting and advisory firms in 130 countries. CPAmerica has a unique relationship with Crowe Global as the association is a member of this network. This membership allows CPAmerica member firms access to Crowe Global’s network of worldwide firms. This support is provided by a regularly inspected network of firms providing a high level of assurance to CPAmerica members when using the network. CPAmerica member firms are also welcome to attend the Global Conference of Crowe Global, technical events, and regional meetings. CPAConnect CPAConnect is a CPAmerica program. It is a dues-based group of smaller accounting firms usually with 1-3 partners and revenues generally below $3 million. CPAmerica firms are invited to sponsor geographically-related CPAConnect firms. This may include shared CPE events, coaching, referrals, and other mutuallybeneficial programs. CPAConnect members have access to their own discussion list, annual meeting, access to CPAmerica technical events, webinars and sharing calls. Preferred Consultants and Providers CPAmerica has established relationships with outside consultants and providers, offering members expertise over a wide range of areas impacting the CPA firm. Our consultants and providers are gathered based on firm recommendations and have spoken at CPAmerica events. Our screening process ensures that only those that offer authentic value and worthwhile services will engage with our members and their clients. Through these valued consultants and providers, members are able to seek legal advice, obtain professional opinions and feel confident when addressing various client situations.

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Resources to accomplish the Strategic Plan Members Domestically, CPAmerica covers the United States with members in Top 100 accounting firms and a strong representation of members in the Top 300 accounting firms. Member firms can expect support from a variety of other members – geographically, niches served, PCAOB inspected, and more. Internationally, CPAmerica is a full voting member of the eighth largest worldwide network of accounting firms. This unusual relationship was established to ensure CPAmerica’s best clients are supported by a high-level network but without the liability expected from individual firm network membership.

Association Staff CPAmerica believes members should drive programs and association staff should make them happen. CPAmerica has a high ratio of staff to members, resulting in a member driven and supportive staff environment.

Financial Support CPAmerica is supported through member dues, event registrations, and investments from past ventures. Together, they provide the means to meet member expectations and objectives.

Business Partners and Consultants Relationships with training organizations are being explored and developed for the purpose of providing a staff-to-partner training program. CPAmerica events present profession-leading speakers on technical, operational and business development. Relationships are regularly developed with new potential speakers and maintained with successful past presenters.

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Governance • The association was founded in 1978 as a 501(c)(6) entity with bylaws outlining the role and function of member governance. • The governing body of the association is the Council of Members. Each member firm is represented on the Council of Members by one representative (usually the firm’s leading partner) present at the annual Council of Members meeting. • The Council of Members, via a nominating committee, elects representatives to the CPAmerica Board of Directors whose responsibility is to guide important association business and make recommendations on behalf of the council. • Permanent standing committees are identified in the bylaws. A member firm is encouraged to designate individuals who will participate in committee service on any of the standing committees. Committee service usually involves a minimum of six hours annually plus attendance at the event when the committee holds a meeting. • Staff committees are created and maintained by association staff to provide input, direction, and recommendations to staff on association offerings. All events are driven by open committees with conference calls providing staff direction.

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Good Members’ Guide The CPAmerica Good Members’ Guide will be provided to current and future members to support the vision for continuous improvement and achievement of high standards.

Participation in the Association Participation is a key factor to gain maximum benefit from the association with respect to continuous improvements to impact quality, growth, opportunity to compete, and firm value. The primary hallmark of the association is its ability to assist all members in growing and strengthening their respective firms, mainly through cooperative support and member sharing. The association provides several resources for accomplishing cooperation and sharing. While members are given many choices for participation, the following three items are the minimum requirements for membership: 1. Visitation Improvement Program (VIP) – Each member firm will be visited by peers under the VIP every four years. Leading partners will be asked to serve on VIP teams to ensure two consultants are available for each VIP session. VIP fosters continuous improvement among members. 2. Practice Management Survey – Each member firm will participate in the association’s confidential annual Practice Management Survey. This survey is the premier benchmarking and best practices tool within the association. 3. Leading Partners Retreat – Each member firm will be represented at the annual Leading Partners Retreat. If the leading partner is unable to attend, another firm owner/shareholder may be designated to attend.

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Good Members Guide, continued Other Participation Standards Each member firm is encouraged and asked to participate in the following events, activities and member-sharing opportunities that are consistent with the firm’s structure and services: 1. Meetings – Each member firm is encouraged to send at least one representative to, and actively participate in, each major CPAmerica conference, roundtable and regional meeting pertinent to the firm. Participation in these activities builds relationships with, and awareness of, other member firms. 2. Expertise sharing – CPAmerica member firms have certain CPA practitioners who possess superior knowledge that can benefit the overall membership. This wealth of expertise is in virtually every business and financial area, especially the most viable industry and service niches. To help facilitate the transfer of knowledge, and to afford members the opportunity to gain assistance on joint engagements, the association’s member service platform provides two primary avenues for experts to convey knowledge. 3. Profile sharing – All member firms who have partners and professional staff possessing superior qualifications, certifications or experience within specific practice areas or industry niches are requested to provide a personnel profile for inclusion on the members-only website. 4. Teleconferences/sharing calls – All member firms are asked on occasion, to provide partners and professional staff possessing superior qualifications, certifications, or experience within specific practice areas or industry niches as instructors or facilitators. 5. Sharing Library – Each member firm is encouraged to contribute firm-developed, copyright-free materials and documents (e.g. proposals, presentations, etc.) to include in the association’s Sharing Library. 6. Discussion lists – Each member firm should have at least one participant on each of the association’s primary discussion lists: Leading Partners, Tax, A&A, Marketing, Firm Administration, Technology and Human Resources. In addition, for each of the top five industry concentrations reported in the Practice Management Survey, the member firm will select at least one firm representative to participate in that related niche discussion group (e.g., nonprofit, manufacturing, construction). 7. CPAConnect sponsorship – A member firm that desires to sponsor a CPAConnect firm will adhere to the policies and practices governing that sponsorship and will endeavor to promote a mutually beneficial relationship with each of its sponsored firms. Suggested guidelines for sponsoring CPAConnect members have been developed.

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Good Members Guide, continued Referral & Cooperative Arrangement Each CPAmerica member firm is encouraged to promote new domestic and international business and to promote outbound referrals and joint engagement opportunities to CPAmerica, Crowe Global and, as appropriate, CPAConnect. Our vision is for members to utilize collective resources to better serve clients as if members had worldwide capabilities. A Cooperative Arrangement Policy has been approved by the Council of Members to provide guidance on: 1. Levels of assistance among members 2. Inbound referrals 3. Joint engagements 4. Other members’ clients 5. Recruiting other members’ staff 6. Crowe Global referrals

Confidentiality Policy CPAmerica International member firms and their team members may not share access to confidential member materials with non-member CPA firms or consultants. CPAmerica reserves the right to consider on a firm-by-firm basis whether to allow out-of-association consultants to participate in member sharing calls or attend member conferences. This confidentiality policy includes, but is not limited to: 1. Practice Management Survey information 2. Exclusive members-only website information 3. Members-only Sharing Library documents 4. Membership Directory information

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Good Members Guide, continued Brand Standards & Requirements CPAmerica International has developed an association brand standards reference guide. The guide provides uniformity for usage of the association’s logo and language that, together with the member firm’s own brand information, projects a strong image in the marketplace. Each member firm is encouraged to use the CPAmerica brand in its respective market area. CPAmerica member firms are encouraged to reference their membership in CPAmerica with recommended wording found in the guide. Crowe Global, a separate network in which CPAmerica, as an association, is a member, has developed its own brand standards, which provide specific guidance on the use of the network’s global brand signature. CPAmerica member firms wishing to represent CPAmerica’s membership with Crowe Global may not use the Crowe Global “Pinnacle” logo but may display the following wording to disclose the relationship: “Our firm is a member of CPAmerica International. We serve the international needs of clients through CPAmerica’s membership in Crowe Global. “Crowe Global, ranked as the eighth largest global accounting network, consists of more than 200 independent accounting and advisory services firms in 130 countries. Crowe Global member firms are known for their local knowledge, expertise and experience balanced by an international reputation for the highest quality of service.”

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Good Members Guide, continued Financial Aspects of Membership 1. Dues: All members shall pay dues into the association according to a schedule prepared by the Board of Directors and approved by the Council of Members. 2. Entrance Fee: All members shall pay into the association a non-refundable entrance fee at an amount approved by the Board of Directors. 3. Basis for dues and firm information: The association will use revenue data from the annual Practice Management Survey to determine the annual dues amount required from each firm for the coming year. In addition, the association uses the survey information to update the member directory on personnel and management assignments within the firm. 4. Public information: Each member firm should ensure that it annually updates its firm profile on the members-only website, along with profile information for key individuals. 5. Review requirements: Each member firm will undergo a peer review of the assurance quality control practice every three years. If a member receives a failed opinion on the assurance review, the member will complete a second, accelerated review to demonstrate achievement of expected pass or pass with deficiencies opinion. This second review shall be completed within one year of the date of the acceptance of the initial peer review report. In the event the second review results in other than an acceptable opinion, the member’s association membership may be temporarily suspended pending completion of an acceptable review.

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Good Members Guide, continued Termination of Membership 1. Any member firm may terminate its membership in the association based on providing written notice. The effective date of withdrawal will be the end of the month of notification. The departing firm will owe four (4) months’ dues beyond the effective date of resignation. 2. In the unlikely event a firm elects not to participate in the minimum requirements for membership, the Board of Directors may request the guidance of the President, who will counsel the non-participating member firm. The Board of Directors, in cooperation with the President, will determine whether extenuating circumstances warrant an extension period, or whether the existing member’s membership should be terminated. A majority vote by the Council of Members is required for a firm’s involuntary dismissal.

Mergers and Acquisitions On occasion, members find it desirable to merge with each other. In the case of CPAConnect sponsorship, the CPAmerica sponsoring firm may acquire one of its sponsored firms. If member firms decide to merge, they should notify the association. The new or surviving firm will retain membership and will be responsible for payment of dues of the non-surviving firm. The new or surviving firm headquarters will be the recognized headquarters for the merged firms. 1. Former CPAmerica member: A non-surviving CPAmerica member will owe twenty-four (24) months’ dues through the surviving CPAmerica member. 2. Former CPAConnect member: A non-surviving CPAConnect member will owe thirty (30) days’ dues through the surviving member.

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Ver. 072318

2018 CPAmerica Strategic Plan  

This is the 2018 CPAmerica Strategic Plan. It includes the CPAmerica Good Members' Guide.

2018 CPAmerica Strategic Plan  

This is the 2018 CPAmerica Strategic Plan. It includes the CPAmerica Good Members' Guide.