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Our commitment to excellence

Published Date:
Jan 22, 2014
Last month, The New York Times published an interesting story about the South Korean conglomerate Samsung. Just a few decades ago, the company was largely considered, as the Times put it, “a second-rate maker of household appliances.” Today, it is one of the most profitable electronics manufacturers in the world. Still, as it finished 2013 a clear industry leader, Samsung’s management found itself urging employees to set their sights even higher. “As we move forward, we must resist complacency and thoughts of being good enough, as these will prevent us from becoming better,” its chairman, Lee Kun-hee, wrote in a staff-wide email. “[We] must start anew to reach loftier goals and ideals.”

Of course, this philosophy isn’t unique to Samsung—it’s common among winning sports teams, individuals who leave their mark on society, and companies that have changed the way we do business. It is also a philosophy we share here at the NYSSCPA; rather than rest on the laurels of our 116-year history, we’ve chosen to embrace innovation and push the organization to do even more for its members, the profession and the public.

That desire to resist complacency and to set our sights higher is in large part what spurred the Society’s move to its new Wall Street headquarters. Relocating to downtown Manhattan where the rents are cheaper allowed us to make substantial upgrades to our technology, video capabilities and conference room facilities. Indeed, many of you—those who have visited the offices to take CPE or attend committee meetings, as well as those who saw the office for the first time at the Society’s open house last month—have felt the difference and shared your excitement with us.

New headquarters are one very visible sign of change, but the forward-thinking approach behind it permeates other areas of Society business as well. With an eye towards our future, we have worked hard to grow our diversity program for high school students, Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession (COAP) and strengthen the Foundation for Accounting Education (FAE), the education arm of the NYSSCPA. We’ve launched exciting new programs to engage and attract Young CPAs, such as our career development magazine NextGen and our Young Leadership Circle, which aims to identify and train the next generation of NYSSCPA leaders. What’s more, your 2013/14 Society Board of Directors has made solid commitments to continue this momentum. To that end, the board has set up five task forces: a diversity task force chaired by George Victor; a governance task force to review our bylaws chaired by Eric Kramer; a best practices task force chaired by Joseph M. Falbo Jr. that is looking for ways to streamline our organizational operations; an Annual Membership Meeting task force chaired by John Kearney that is working to establish an annual social and networking event for the membership; and a strategic plan task force chaired by President-elect Scott Adair that is charged with reviewing and making recommended changes to the Society’s strategic plan.

The central goal of these task forces is to ensure that we are honoring and respecting the great history of the NYSSCPA, while building a solid structure for the future. That structure will ensure that the NYSSCPA continues to be a vibrant leadership organization that is sought out by government, academia and industry on the issues of the day.

As your president I am asking for your support and your help as we continue to move forward. For the first time in many years, we have more than 29,000 members. Imagine the possibilities if we all committed to making the NYSSCPA even stronger than it already is.

So, what can you do? What New Year’s resolutions can you add to your list to benefit the Society and the profession?

Consider chapter, committee or state-wide board service. Consider volunteering as a seminar speaker or a seminar sponsor. Consider participating in COAP, and other Society high school and college outreach efforts. Start a dialogue with your company’s management about creating or expanding internship programs for high school and college students. Consider volunteering for a charitable event. Consider becoming a mentor and/or tutor. Consider attending a FAE seminar and/or conference. Consider attending a chapter event and/or seminar. Consider inviting a client to an NYSSCPA event. Consider recruiting a new member (visit for more information about the various membership categories). And, finally, consider sending the board your ideas and sharing your views; you can do that by emailing me at the address below.

It’s because of the volunteer efforts of you, our members, that the NYSSCPA is so well respected by political and business leaders and why we have the trust and respect of the public.

On behalf of the 2013/14 board, I wish you and yours a healthy and prosperous New Year.

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