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Fulfilling a Mission of Public Service

Calvin Harris, CPA (Md.)

Welcome to our latest issue of The CPA Journal! This particular issue touches on matters near and dear to my heart, as we cover topics in the not-for-profit and government areas.

My own career as a Maryland-licensed CPA includes various experiences with both notfor-profit and government entities. Based upon my experience—whether it was being Chief Financial Officer of the National Urban League here in New York City; holding CFO and Controller roles at Washington, D.C., and Maryland organizations such as United Nations Foundation, NeighborWorks America, and Morgan State University; or even consulting as a fractional CFO—I can personally attest that even organizations founded to “do good” in the world can have challenging financial and accounting concerns.

As many have heard me say previously, I consider myself fortunate to have identified the not-for-profit, or charitable, sector as my preferred destination early in my career. When I first became an accountant, I absolutely loved my experience in (then) “Big Five” public accounting, but I often found myself volunteering at charities during my free time. When I was assigned to my first not-for-profit client as a young auditor, I realized that these organizations have specific accounting issues to consider. I realized that not-for-profit organizations weren't necessarily simpler than for-profit ones, but they were quite different.

Most importantly, I realized that if I worked at charitable organizations I could leverage my accounting background while working at a place that had a mission of public service. It was a personal winning situation! So, I'm quite excited to have the Society share topics in the sector I've spent so many years supporting.

This issue will include important topics in this space, such as “Top Challenges Facing Not-For-Profit CFOs Today,” a review of GASB Statements 100 and 101 which clarifies the reporting of accounting changes in government entities, and “Nonprofit Technology Predictions and Trends for 2023.” If you operate in the not-for-profit or government arena, these topics should ring true; if you are interested in entering the field, these articles will be a helpful introduction and update to current concerns.

If any of the issues resonate, please reach out to me with your thoughts and comments. And please consider joining one of our committees—Not-for-Profit Organizations, Exempt Organizations, Government Accounting & Auditing—in this space. Enjoy this issue!

Ever Upward!

Calvin Harris, CPA (Md.). NYSSCPA CEO.

 
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