10 Forces Changing the Role of the Controller

There is a current movement in business and industry for controllers to go beyond providing traditional accounting services, such as financial statement preparation, recording of transactions, and payment of bills. They are becoming irreplaceable business partners who take part in strategic planning, understand industry trends, and forecast economic challenges. A confluence of factors are causing this change and altering the demands placed on the controller. Continue reading

PICPA Members – Where Are You?

By Guest Blogger, James S. Anderson, CPA


James S. Anderson, CPA is a partner at Campbell Rappold & Yurasits LLP in Allentown, Pa.

The PICPA has close to 22,000 members – 22,000! We are the fourth-largest state society in the country. I recently returned from our 118th annual convention held in Naples, Fla., where about 50 of our members gathered for the four day event – 50! I have to wonder, where is everybody?

I know you’re out there. About 75 of you recently attended the Day on the Hill event in Harrisburg. Over 800 of you participated in our first Week of Service program held this past May. I saw lots of you from the Lehigh Valley when we held the chapter annual meeting in conjunction with an IronPigs game. Countless numbers of you serve on state committees and are active in your local chapters. So when it comes to the premier event of the year, the annual convention, I wonder where you all are. Unfortunately, this most recent annual meeting wasn’t an exception. This was my eighth consecutive year of attending, and while this was the lowest turnout, the other years have been less than stellar when measured against a 22,000 membership. So, why do I keep going back to this wonderful event and, more importantly, why should you start coming? Continue reading

Transforming the Controller from Manager to Leader

Forces in the current business environment are altering the demands placed on controllers, including advances in technology and social connectivity, the availability of vast amounts of data, the expansion of global competition, and increased scrutiny over compliance with regulatory standards.

Many controllers are capitalizing on these demands to transform their role from a process-oriented controller to a strategic business partner. Many traditional controller functions can be classified as management processes, which produce order and create consistency; the controller who is also a business partner, however, adds leadership functions and produces change.

The main aspects of leadership deal with establishing direction, creating a vision, aligning people, and inspiring those people to move toward the goal. Managing, on the other hand, focuses on allocating and monitoring the daily activity of the resources needed to achieve an established direction or goal, setting timelines, making procedures, and taking corrective actions in those areas as needed. Continue reading

Please Stop What You’re Doing

By Guest Blogger, Martin Bissett | The Upward Spiral Partnership Ltd.


Martin Bissett is the Managing Director of The Upward Spiral Partnership Ltd and program leader for PICPA’s Next Generation Leadership.

The thing about accountants is that they occupy a unique position in the minds of their clients. We generally know and refer to this unique position as “the most trusted advisor.” Simply put, if you are a trusted advisor, you’re supposed to be good at what you do, run your own business successfully, and well worth your fee. How come many accountants don’t act like “most trusted advisors”?

On the presumption that all of the above are true about you and your firm, you need to stop doing the following: Continue reading

Time Flies when You’re Having Fun!

By Guest Blogger, Jerry Maginnis, CPA


2014-15 PICPA President, Jerry Maginnis

It’s hard to believe I just completed a year as PICPA president.

It was a terrific 12 months, and I wanted to share my experiences in this blog. One of my goals was to enhance the visibility of the CPA brand, and we were able to make some progress on that front shortly after I was elected. We had an op-ed piece titled “CPA’s Give Back, In Business and in Their Communities” published in the The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Over the summer of 2014, I had an opportunity to engage in some strategic planning with PICPA leadership that focused on other goals, which included attracting new members to our profession. And in September, we hosted PICPA’s annual Leadership Conference, a day intended to thank our many member volunteers by offering a lineup of great topics, speakers, and networking. Continue reading

President à la Mode – PICPA’s Julius C. Green

Julius C. Green, CPA, was elected PICPA president at our Annual Business Meeting held at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, Fla. He is a partner with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP in Philadelphia, and is practice leader of exempt organization tax services.

Julius C. Green, CPA, was elected PICPA president at our Annual Business Meeting held at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, Fla. He is a partner with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP in Philadelphia, and is practice leader of exempt organization tax services.

At the PICPA, we get a new boss every year with the election of the president. With each election comes an individual with a different perspective on the accounting profession based upon his or her personal experiences, business concerns, and passions. All presidents, though, share the common traits of honesty, objectivity, and a true commitment to a profession that has served them well. Julius C. Green, PICPA’s 118th president, provides some insight into what he cares about, where he sees the PICPA and the profession headed in the next year, and where to get some good desserts.

As PICPA president, what are your thoughts on the coming year?

During my year as PICPA president, I’d like to focus on three important issues affecting the PICPA and our members. Those are member engagement, the future of learning, and diversity in the profession. Continue reading

Top 10 Characteristics of Emerging Leaders

Boomer Consulting provides a comprehensive list of characteristics that firms should look for in emerging leaders. The following list contains the top 10 characteristics:

  1. People who have a tolerance for, and can manage, risk.
  2. Avoid those who spend too much time in consensus-building. (While consensus is important in a professional service organization, it is time-consuming and doesn’t always lead to good decisions.)
  3. Look for those who can manage a diverse group of people. An appreciation of others’ unique abilities is the sign of a good leader.
  4. Avoid weighing a person’s ability to be a good implementer and problem-solver too heavily. These abilities don’t necessarily make great leaders. Their tendency is to over-analyze and delay making decisions.
  5. Look closely at personal integrity and the ability to trust others. This is of utmost importance.
  6. Look for the ability to turn dangers into opportunities.
  7. Avoid those who are overly competitive and lack humanity.
  8. Look for those with the ability to engage, inspire, and convince others.
  9. Identify those who have an instinct to know which problems to solve, not just how to solve problems.
  10. Look for those who have excellent one-on-one social skills, as they are as important as public speaking.

The PICPA’s Firm Culture and Its Impact on the Future of the Firm whitepaper contains the results of a 2014 survey conducted by PICPA to identify which firm culture issues were important to its members Continue reading