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State Board Report

July 2016

On one day when you were the busiest, you have probably experienced either a dramatic slowdown or complete freeze of your computer. If you have, there is a good chance that the problem was resolved when someone told you: "Reboot. Turn off your machine, count to 10 and then repower the system." It’s amazing, how that simple exercise of refreshing turns what was essentially a boat anchor into a complex, sophisticated working tool.

I can almost hear our IT folks laughing as they read this, as they know that their President is pretty much inept when it comes to understanding the intricacies of a computer. However, I have figured out that by occasionally rebooting my computer, iPad and cell phone, and not waiting for a failure to happen to do so, the systems all perform better, faster and more reliably. As a CEO, it has become evident to me that organizations, including NASBA, also need the refreshment of organizational rebooting.

Those of you who attended one of our recent Regional Meetings heard NASBA Chair Donny Burkett and me repeat the phrase: "You are NASBA." NASBA is an organization that is governed by State Board volunteers, whose mission is solely focused on State Boards, whose members are State Boards and is staffed by individuals dedicated to that mission. Rebooting NASBA is less about hardware and infrastructure and more about people and processes. Any successful organization must evolve, learn, anticipate and grow to meet the challenges and opportunities it will face. The individuals (both volunteers and staff) who govern or manage an organization must be willing to sometimes change their attitudes and overcome resistance to make that happen.

I am writing this "Memo" just after the dedication of our redesigned facilities in Nashville. The "rebooting" of our infrastructure is completed. We are well underway in developing new IT software and systems for all of our core products and services, and we have nearly completed moving our data to an even more secure and reliable cloud service. While these are great accomplishments for NASBA, what I am the proudest of is the evolution of our thinking and doing.

Another heartfelt phrase frequently repeated at NASBA meetings and in our publications is our dedication to being "member focused." As an organization we continually "reboot" by making sure that all we are doing is aligned with the needs of the Boards of Accountancy, our stakeholders. Our visits and communications with the Boards provide us with the practical benefits of direct communication, but they are also an important element in our continuing assessment of how we are doing as your national organization.

This month closes out our fiscal year. We now have high confidence in how the year will end financially, if our goals and expectations were met, and if we attained the deliverables and hit the benchmarks set out in our strategic plan. I am very pleased to report that it has been an excellent year in every measurable aspect — which means it is probably time for yet another "reboot."

As we develop the strategies, goals and budgets for the next fiscal year, we are already assessing our core services, evaluating the expectations of our member Boards and analyzing the state of the organization. In other words, the next "organizational reboot" has already begun!

Semper ad meliora. (Always toward better things.)

— Ken L. Bishop
President and CEO

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