The Right Plan at the Right Time

Scott M. Adair, CPA, NYSSCPA President
Published Date:
Mar 31, 2015

When I started my term as NYSSCPA president last June, one of my main goals was to update the Society’s strategic plan. We think of the strategic plan as a living, breathing document, one that must be as nimble as it is comprehensive. As the blueprint that drives our decision making, it takes a number of factors into account, not only within the profession, but at the state and national level and in a broader global context. 

In 2008, when we last updated the plan, the world was a much different place: New York’s accountancy reform law, which brought sweeping changes to the state’s regulations for the profession, had not yet become law. The country was still mired in a recession, with many practitioners and firms feeling a sense of constriction. And, though it was just a handful of years ago, we engaged technology in a different way, one that already seems antiquated to us now. In order for the Society to thrive, we need a plan that reflects the world we find ourselves in today, with an eye toward the one we expect to face tomorrow. 

To that end, I assembled a Strategic Planning Task Force and worked with its members and the NYSSCPA staff to create a new road map that would guide our steps and communicate a bold vision for the organization. After months of careful discussion, our task has been completed: In March, the Society’s Board of Directors approved a revised document, which you can read it in its entirety at

The new plan doesn’t represent a change in our principles but, rather, a refinement in how we set about achieving them. This is clear in the revised mission statement, which speaks even more resolutely to what we stand for: “The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants serves as an advocate and resource for New York State certified public accountants by representing and cultivating the profession’s core values of integrity, professionalism and ethics.”

The plan goes on to outline four core values and goals that exemplify this. First, it calls for the NYSSCPA to promote professional excellence by enhancing practice quality, broadening our membership base, and emphasizing and increasing access to member-driven technical and educational resources, many of them online. This includes, for example, Exchange, the Society’s new social networking platform, which allows members to tap into their colleagues and crowdsource professional challenges.

Our strategic vision also calls for the Society to serve as a uniting force for the CPA profession and its leading advocate to both policy makers and the public as a whole. To this end, we’ll be developing an annual agenda, improving relationships with legislators and other state officials, maintaining our relationships with relevant regulatory bodies and advocating on behalf of the individual CPA.

Next, the plan mandates that the NYSSCPA ensure the future of our profession by working to cultivate the next generation of CPA leaders. We aim to do this via initiatives that prepare candidates to enter the profession, promote diversity and support career development for CPAs in all stages of their careers.

Finally, the plan calls for us to highlight the value and contributions of the Society to the profession, and the value and contributions of the profession to the public as a whole.

Organizations rise and fall on the strength of their strategies; as CPAs, we understand this better than most. I believe that this new plan we’ve embraced, with its clarity of purpose, will only make us better. 

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