State Board Report
On the day after Christmas, I noticed that only a core group of employees were working in our Nashville offices, so I decided to walk our three floors to personally thank each of them for being here for our customers and stakeholders. Near the end of my walk, I stopped by the work station of one of our examination team members to pass on my thanks and season’s greetings. As I was about to walk away, the employee shook my hand and said, “It’s going to be a great year. I like where we are going.” Now this particular staff member is a serious guy, happens to be a Ph.D., but, more importantly, he is known to be a straight shooter. I don’t know if he realized it, but he made my day.
In this forum I often talk about our leadership, both volunteer and staff, but it is rare that our critically important rank and file staff get a mention. The good doctor’s comment, at the end of my first year as CEO wherein there have been cutbacks, reassignments, physical moves and other changes, particularly the “I like where we are going” part, makes me believe we are doing some things right. His comment only augments the feedback from many staff members wherein the general theme is “I really like the new member focus” and “it makes me realize that I am doing something important.” The fact is, there are no unimportant jobs at NASBA and all have a nexus to our mission.
It is likely that most CPAs have their first contact with Boards of Accountancy and NASBA when they initially apply for the Uniform CPA Examination. For international candidates, the first business conversation they may have with the U.S. may well be through NASBA. As NASBA has expanded services to include licensing, CPE Registry, legislation support, examination products and services, and more, the makeup of our consumers has become more diversified and complex. NASBA’s professional staff in Nashville, New York City, Guam and San Juan provide on a daily basis high quality, efficient and reliable support to our myriad of stakeholders and customers. I often hear from individuals who share a story or example of extraordinary service they received during their business interchange with NASBA. We should all be grateful for the dedication of our well-qualified team.
A key responsibility of the NASBA staff is to provide support for our volunteer leadership, committees and task forces. They do an outstanding job of bringing our volunteers’ ideas into life. Not enough can be said about the NASBA volunteers who give their time freely to projects in the public interest. These men and women take time out of their busy schedules to serve the Boards of Accountancy. Even during the holiday season, we had committee members taking time away from their families to be on conference calls related to professional exposure drafts. So my hat is off to the staff, but also to the dedicated volunteers they support throughout the year.
2013 is going to be a busy year for NASBA. We are undertaking an assessment of our IT and financial systems and will begin implementing changes, modernization and improvements this year. We are going into an important legislative year with critical bills in several states, and legislative activity in our territories (U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico) including an effort to wrap up the mobility effort. We are entering into new contract extensions providing stability and enhancements of the CPA Examination well into the future, including international delivery, and we continue to develop new products and services. Most importantly, we will begin implementation of our new strategic plan, wherein the focus on our members, the Boards of Accountancy, will be the driving force.
I have a high level of confidence that we will achieve and surpass our goals and expectations in this new year. With our visionary volunteers and leadership, and our very dedicated and capable staff, NASBA will continue to gain in effectiveness as your association. In short, “It’s going to be a great year!”
Semper ad meliora. (Always toward better things.)
— Ken L. Bishop
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