Guam is a comparatively small island, and sooner or later, Jose A. Manzon IV may eventually talk to everyone on it about NASBA.
As test center manager, Manzon oversees NASBA's Guam-based international testing and call centers. Both are seeing brisk business, and as a longtime local business leader, Manzon is often asked to speak about them, and about NASBA in general. That's led to engagements in front of multiple community groups and civic organizations, as well as a turn on board the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan addressing military personnel and their spouses.
"It's not a big thing, as I have been doing public speaking for a long time," Manzon says. "But during the last seven years since I have been working for NASBA, I have been doing a lot more. NASBA is a very quiet organization, but I find that there are a lot of people who want to know more about us. They want to know what we do here on the island, and what NASBA in general is all about."
The speeches to Rotary and other civic clubs pretty much detail what NASBA's member boards do, and how NASBA itself is involved in administering the Uniform CPA Examination on the island and elsewhere around the world. Local interest was piqued again when NASBA opened its international call center in April, in a site adjacent to its existing testing center. NASBA's Guam operations now generate more than $6 million in economic impact, and also are heavily involved in the community. Most recently, the center donated 35 computers to the local public schools.
"We are in the newspapers a lot, but I want to make sure people know what NASBA is all about," Manzon says. "That's why I was eager to speak to the military people aboard the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan. These were people with spouses who were already on active duty or were about to be deployed. I was asked to speak about two weeks before the ship came in, along with university and public-safety officials. I told them all about Guam and the opportunities here, so they could transition to life on the island, and also about NASBA. Since we are a company based in the United States, it made them feel a little closer to home."
Manzon juggles his ever-growing speaking schedule with making sure that the call and testing centers run smoothly."We are still ramping up our operation, but we have learned a great deal already and are working to be even more supportive of the NASBA offices in the United States, and also make sure we handle the candidates' needs in Asia," Manzon says. "We are getting busier and busier as people realize that they can reach a live person almost any time they call, and as more people become interested in the CPA licensing process."
He fields many CPA questions at his speeches as well, and has learned a lot about the field of accountancy over time.
"People want to know what the profession is like now and what NASBA does for it," he says. "I explain how the boards improve the quality of service and protect the public, and how they oversee the activity in their states. I am also able to explain how NASBA works in that structure and talk about how it was founded, and how it has grown in importance over the years."
All in all, Manzon has become something of a goodwill ambassador for NASBA and the accounting profession. It's not what he set out to do, but it's a role he has happily settled into.
"We are a small island, just a few square miles and about 170,000 people. We all know each other to a degree, and we take an interest in each other," he says. "If I can go and talk about NASBA and let people know what a wonderful job it does, then I am happy to go out and speak. I have been asked to speak to the U.S. Department of Education offices, and also again to some military spouses and dependents, so I will just keep going. I always have new things to talk about when it comes to NASBA and the work that we do."