05 2024 CPAmerica Advantage Newsletter

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Heart and Mind: Blending Cognitive Skills with Emotional Intelligence for Effective Leadership


► Heart and Mind: Blending Cognitive Skills with Emotional Intelligence for Effective Leadership

► Preferred Provider Spotlight - Surgent

► Upcoming Events

► Member News

► CPAmerica Insights –Grace Horvath

address their team’s concerns and emotions.

emotional landscapes.

Gone are the days when leadership was solely about intellectual prowess and decision-making based on hard data. Today, there’s a growing spotlight on something just as crucial – emotional intelligence (EQ). EQ in leadership is becoming increasingly recognized as a vital counterpart to traditional cognitive abilities (IQ). The most effective leaders are those who master the art of blending the sharpness of their intellect with the depth of their emotional understanding. This synergy of heart and mind reshapes what it means to lead effectively.

The Balance of EQ and IQ

What exactly are EQ and IQ in the context of leadership? IQ, or cognitive skills, refers to abilities like logical reasoning, problemsolving, and analytical thinking – the ‘brainy’ side of things. EQ, on the other hand, involves understanding and managing your own emotions, as well as recognizing and influencing the feelings of others – essentially, the ‘heart’ aspect of leadership.

Marrying EQ with IQ in leadership isn’t just about balancing a spreadsheet with empathy; it’s about creating a leadership style that’s as compassionate as it is competent. This blend allows leaders to connect with their teams deeper, foster a positive workplace culture, and make decisions considering the human element. Consider leaders who navigate tough organizational changes. Those who do so successfully often use a mix of IQ to plan strategically and EQ to understand and

Real-world leaders who exemplify this blend often stand out for their ability to inspire loyalty, drive change, and create environments where creativity and productivity thrive. They prove that when heart meets mind, the impact can be transformative, both for the leader and their team.

Practical Ways to Enhance EQ

Developing one’s emotional intelligence is like planting a garden – it requires time, care, and a bit of know-how. For leaders looking to enhance their EQ, here are some practical tools for their toolkit:

Active Listening: It’s more than just hearing words. It’s about truly understanding the message behind them. Active listening involves giving your full attention, asking clarifying questions, and reflecting back what you’ve heard. It’s like turning the volume down on your own thoughts and turning it up on others’. This practice makes team members feel valued and heard and provides leaders with deeper insights into their team’s needs and concerns.

Developing Empathy: Empathy is the ability to walk in someone else’s shoes, to see and feel from their perspective. Cultivating empathy can start with simple actions like engaging in open conversations with team members about their experiences, or considering how decisions will affect them. It’s about showing genuine interest and care for the well-being of others. This strengthens team bonds and enriches the leader’s understanding of diverse perspectives and

Self-Awareness and Reflection: A key aspect of EQ is knowing oneself. Leaders can develop self-awareness by regularly seeking formal and informal feedback and taking time for self-reflection. This could involve journaling, mindfulness practices, or even professional coaching. Understanding your own emotional triggers and responses can significantly improve how you interact with and lead others.

Leaders can significantly enhance their emotional intelligence by incorporating these practices into their leadership approach. This benefits their personal growth and has a ripple effect, fostering a more understanding, responsive, and cohesive team environment.

Benefits in the Workplace

When leaders bring both heart and mind to the table, the workplace transforms. Here’s how high EQ leadership can create a ripple effect of positive outcomes:

Improving Team Morale: Leaders high in EQ create work environments that are more than just workplaces; they become spaces where employees feel supported and valued. Such leaders recognize achievements, listen to concerns, and create an atmosphere of trust and respect. This supportive environment boosts morale and fosters a sense of belonging among team members.

Enhancing Creativity and Innovation: An emotionally intelligent leader is a gardener nurturing the growth of their teams. They understand that creativity flourishes in environments where people feel safe to

See Heart, continued on page 2

Amy Vetter News from your accounting association

Preferred Provider Spotlight


Surgent has been a top provider of continuing professional education (CPE) for more than 30 years, providing CPE credits to tens of thousands of CPAs, tax preparers, and accounting professionals through online webinars, self-study courses and in-person events.

More recently, Surgent has become one of the fastestgrowing exam prep course providers, offering exam review courses featuring adaptive technology for the CPA, CMA, EA, CIA, CISA and SIE exams.

Surgent Continuing Education

• They offer more than 1,200 CPE webinars each year, a full library of self-study courses as well as tailored in-firm seminars and training.

• CPAmerica members are extended a 20% discount on all 10,000+ credit hours’ worth of Surgent CPE live webinars, on-demand webcasts, and downloadable self-study program.

Surgent CPA Review

• CPAmerica members are offered preferred partner pricing on CMA, EA, CIA and CISA exam prep courses.

Surgent for Enterprise

• They tailor their offerings - exam review, continuing education, and staff training programs - to meet your firm’s specific needs in the most convenient and effective ways possible.

For more information, visit www.surgentcpe.com or email rastatterj@surgent.com

Continued from Heart, on page 1

express their ideas and take risks. By creating open communication and showing empathy, leaders encourage their teams to think outside the box and innovate, leading to breakthroughs and creative solutions.

Boosting Productivity: The blend of EQ and IQ in leadership isn’t just about creating a happy team. It directly impacts the bottom line. Leaders who understand and manage their emotions (and those of others) can make more thoughtful, informed decisions. They’re better equipped to resolve conflicts, navigate challenges, and keep their teams focused and motivated, contributing to enhanced productivity.

CPAmerica Client Satisfaction Surveys

“CPAmerica’s Client Satisfaction Survey exceeded all our expectations in terms of quality, depth and actionable insights. From the outset, it was evident that the CPAmerica team was dedicated to understanding our specific needs and objectives.” - Roseanne Buckley, Haefele Flanagan

CPAmerica offers a variety of surveys to our member firms. Keep your finger on the pulse of your business and stay on top of client needs with our Client Satisfaction Survey.

Survey Benefits Include:

• Fully customizable questionnaire to match services and specialties offered by your firm

• Unlimited respondents

• Flexible timeline

• Survey link created for your firm or CPAmerica to distribute to clients

• Raw data

• Full survey report in .pdf and PowerPoint ready to share with your firm

Leadership is evolving. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the most effective leaders can harmonize cognitive skills with emotional intelligence. This blended approach enriches the leader’s effectiveness and uplifts their teams, fostering environments where morale, creativity, and productivity thrive. Leaders who embrace both heart and mind don’t just lead; they transform their organizations, paving the way for a more compassionate, innovative, and successful future.

For more information or to set up your own survey, please contact us at accounts@cpamerica.org. We look forward to continuing to help your firm reach your goals!

CPAmerica Advantage | May 2024 | 2

managing principal, firm name change and personnel news

HarperWHitfield p.C., a certified public accounting firm with offices in Farmington and Weatogue (Simsbury), Conn., announces the election of Todd Shelansky, CPA, to managing principal; the streamlining of the firm’s name from Harper & Whitfield, P.C. to HarperWhitfield P.C., including a new firm logo; and personnel news regarding Dale Boutot, CPA, joining the firm as a director and the promotion of Agatha Hueller, CPA, to supervisor. Shelansky joined HarperWhitfield in 1994 after graduating from Western New England University. The firm promoted him to manager in 2003 and elected him a principal in 2015. He provides tax planning and compliance services to individual clients and accounting and tax services to a variety of closely held businesses and their owners. His clients include those in the manufacturing, construction, professional services, consulting, investment advisory, and real estate industries, as well as not-for-profit entities. As part of the firm rebranding accompanying its new leadership, the firm decided upon the more concise “HarperWhitfield” to supplant “Harper & Whitfield, P.C.” “It’s how people refer to us already, we just made it official,” Shelansky noted. “We designed a new logo to accompany the name change, its upward arrow represents continuous progress and our focus on anticipating, interpreting, and implementing change,”

Shelansky explained.

Boutot has joined HarperWhitfield as a director, with more than two decades of public accounting experience in assurance services and tax services to individuals, partnerships, and corporations. Hueller has been promoted to supervisor, a position that comprises increased mentoring and staff training, client communication, and reviewing responsibilities.

Kassouf named accounting top regional leader

Kassouf was named a Top Regional Leader in Accounting Today’s annual ranking. The firm placed in the top 20 among Gulf Coast firms, including Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida. “We are incredibly honored to be named a regional leader in the accounting profession. This award is a reflection of our

team’s hard work and dedication to helping our clients and community,” said Kassouf Managing Director Jonathan Kassouf. Kassouf is one of four Birmingham firms and one of eight Alabama firms to receive the honor. The award is based on data such as annual revenue, percentage in revenue change, employee metrics, and fee splits. “From awards for our inclusion efforts and company culture to awards like this one recognizing the firm’s economic successes, these honors are a symbol of what is most important. Kassouf is a place where employees develop and grow, and clients receive exceptional service from a team of experts,” Kassouf said.

Whalen CPAs celebrates a new CPA licensure

and will continue to provide “superior client service” within their tax services team. Sawchyn boasts over 26 years of experience in CAS, with a focus on retail, construction trades, residential and commercial associations, and commercial real estate management and development, including state and federal government entities. Her expertise includes financial statement preparation, payroll, HR services, and consulting/training for accounting functions.

Dean Dorton launches new website following year of exciting


WHalen Cpas, located in Worthington, Ohio, is thrilled to announce that Madonna Narog has officially become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Narog has been a valued member of the Whalen CPAs team for over 10 years, consistently demonstrating her commitment to excellence and her passion for the accounting field. Narog’s dedication to professional development is truly commendable. Her hard work and perseverance have culminated in her successfully passing all sections of the rigorous CPA exam. They are incredibly proud of this achievement and excited for her future with Whalen CPAs. Narog’s expertise and experience will undoubtedly be a continued asset to the firm and their clients. The firm congratulates her on this well-deserved accomplishment and looks forward to her continued success as a CPA!

Thomas Howell Ferguson P.A. CPAs welcomes tax services senior manager and client accounting services manager to the firm

tHomas HoWell ferguson p a. Cpas (THF), a leading accounting firm, welcomes Tax Services Senior Manager Yun (Fong) Yan, CPA, and Client Accounting Services (CAS) manager, Christine (Chris) Sawchyn to their Tallahassee office location. Yan joined THF with over 20 years of experience in C and S corporations, partnerships, and individual tax returns from various companies. She is a registered Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

dean dorton, one of the largest professional advisory firms in the Southeast and Midwest regions, is thrilled to announce the launch of its redesigned website, aimed at providing clients an experience that is both highly intuitive and informative. The firm is a leader in accounting, assurance, tax, business consulting, technology and cybersecurity services. The new website showcases Dean Dorton’s commitment to innovation and client satisfaction. With a sleek modern design and enhanced functionality, the new site offers seamless navigation and easy access to essential information about the firm’s services, industry specialties, events and team members. “We are excited to introduce our new website, which reflects our dedication to providing exceptional service and value to our clients,” said David Bundy, CEO at Dean Dorton. “The new site was built around the user experience, making it easier for visitors to connect with us and access the resources they need to achieve their financial goals. This is another example of how we are investing in our clients and our firm’s future.” The past year has been one of outstanding growth for the firm. In January 2024, VonLehman CPA & Advisory Firm, a regional leader, merged with Dean Dorton, adding offices in the Cincinnati and Indianapolis markets, and expanding a geographic reach that includes existing offices in Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky, and Raleigh, North Carolina. Dean Dorton’s team of experienced and specialized professionals is committed to transforming businesses for the better with their range of professional services. To explore the new website and learn more about their services, please visit deandorton.com.

Todd Shelansky Madonna Narog David Bundy Fong Yan
CPAmerica Advantage | May 2024 | 3
Chris Sawchyn

Unraveling the Crowe Mysteries: CPAmerica’s Global Connections

I am going to use this month’s article to revisit a fundamental benefit of membership: CPAmerica’s relationship with Crowe Global (the “Network”) and the resulting ancillary relationship with Crowe LLP (the U.S. “Firm”).

Some of you rely on both of these relationships regularly and may question why I am going over this. I consistently observe a lack of understanding regarding the entities of “Crowe” ranging from the association’s membership in the “Network” to distinguishing between the global alliance of

reflected in our trademarked CPAmerica logo that states, “member of Crowe Global.” The relationship provides our members access to their peers worldwide through CPAmerica’s membership in the Network. CPAmerica member firms’ revenues are included in the world ranking of networks and associations, positioning them as part of a Top-10 global organization of firms. Member firms get support in 140 countries, but do not share in the vicarious liability associated with the Network under a shared brand. The member firms of Crowe Global (the Network) are inspected and held to standards that provide our member firms with confidence that they are working with high-quality, legitimate firms. And Crowe Global (the Network) firms share many similarities with our member firms including size, niches,

and are not a part of the association’s dues that cover the cost of international access to the Network.

A good example of misunderstanding is if your firm has a client doing business in France and they need help with foreign reporting. Instead of contacting CPAmerica, you contact our liaison at Crowe LLP (the Firm) seeking international assistance. The proper channels are the International Referral System located on our website, or an email directly to me. The request is entered into the referral system, or in some cases a direct introduction is made.

In 2012, we established the International Group, an annual meeting for CPAmerica and Crowe Global members. This meeting is unfortunately mistaken for the “international tax meeting.” There may be a few sessions on international tax, but the meeting’s strengths are relationship building, increasing the potential for opportunities to work together, and sharing best practices. Content is of universal interest and includes practice development, economic updates, and global trends influencing U.S. policy. Most CPAmerica member firms would find value involving someone in the International Group.

Whether your firm has a solid international practice or an occasional client need, your membership includes the resources needed. Although the architecture is clear, the interactions can be nuanced, often leading to confusion over whom to reach out to when help is needed. Regardless of the circumstances, we will get you to the right place. I encourage you to learn more if you are not already involved.

7555 W. University Ave. Gainesville, FL 32607

www.cpamerica.org Follow us on social: Send feedback and member firm news to: advantage@cpamerica.org

Contact us at:
Barry Melancon, AICPA | Jeremy Clopton, Upstream Academy | Amy Vetter, The B3 Method Institute | Anirban Basu, Sage Policy Group | Scott Klososky, Future Point of View | Charles Hylan, The Growth Partnership CPAmerica Advantage | May 2024 | 4
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