Looking back and setting goals for 2017
By BRUCE M. ZGODA
Buffalo Chapter Immediate Past President
The start of a new year is a good time to reflect upon the previous year’s accomplishments while also setting goals for the year ahead.
As a chapter, we accomplished much last year, such as spreading the word of accounting through discussion and meetings so that we can prepare the next generation of CPAs.
There are several members whom I’d like to acknowledge publicly for the recent work they’ve done in helping to shape our chapter’s future leaders.
First, our chapter’s own Joe Falbo, past NYSSCPA president, recently participated in the University of Buffalo School of Management lecture series, speaking on public accounting careers and giving back through volunteerism.
Buffalo Chapter President-elect Jim Gramkee continues to give his time and energy to the Junior Achievement program that helps our youth understand business better and inspires our high school students to become CPAs. Thanks go to my son, Todd Zgoda, president of Zgoda & Associates who sponsored the JA annual event. He, too, recognizes the importance of giving back to our great profession.
Thanks also go to Christie Adamczak for her role in publishing our NextGen newsletter. In addition to our members committed to the Society’s NextGen initiative, I would like to thank Franco Stangis and Rich Brennan for their efforts in putting together the CPAs in Industry seminar in October.
Working with a great group of people helps us become thankful for our blessings, of how we as CPAs and accounting professionals can work together to reach our goals. Real success does not come easy, especially in the pursuit of becoming a CPA. It requires hard work, staying focused and being humble and believing in one’s self.
As Mother Teresa once said: “Be faithful in little things, for in them lies our strength.”
Think about all the tough jobs you had in high school and college that prepared you for the hard work ahead—jobs that may have not had anything to do with accounting, but actually helped you to become the professional you are today. Whether you washed dishes, waited tables, worked construction—these jobs offered you life lessons, taught you the value of hard work, and whether you realized it or not, laid a foundation on which your future professional successes were built. Remember the people who hired you and gave you these opportunities. Be thankful somebody gave you a chance. Someday, you may be in position to give someone else that chance.
We all know that life is too short to be lived halfheartedly, and it definitely is far too short to lose ourselves in our day-to-day routines and the hustle and bustle that comes with it. Take a few minutes each day to think about how much you have been blessed in your life. Are things perfect in your life as a CPA? Heck, no. But they aren’t that bad, either. Do you have a bed to sleep in, clean clothes to wear, food to eat? I would bet you do—and along with that, a family and people who love you.
I urge you to be kind and thoughtful and give as the saying goes: “Love begins in the heart—in our thoughts—and is usually expressed initially in our words. But it must not stop there: It must be lived out in our actions.”
Start being more alert to our surroundings. When we do, we can make a difference. When you see someone in need when walking down the street, do not try to avoid the situation; take action. Many of us choose to put our heads down and step away. Instead, take a chance and step forward, make a difference.
The 17th century British writer John Bunyan once wrote: “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
As I always say, Buffalo is awesome because of its wonderful, kind and great people. Here’s to a New Year of opportunities and success.