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This Way To CPA : AICPA

September 14th, 2010 1 comment

The AICPA has launched a new website specifically for college students to explore the CPA credential.  If any of you are considering taking the CPA Exam, take advantage of the resources found on this site.

Welcome : This Way To CPA : AICPA.

Also, you might want to consider forming a team to compete in the 2010 AICPA Accounting Competition.  Details on that are available by clicking here.

Sustainability Emphasis at the AICPA

September 1st, 2010 Comments off

In Chapter 2 of the Blocher text, we discussed the idea that Sustainability is becoming a new focus in the accounting profession. Coincidentally, today I received the following by email from the AICPA. It is interesting to see this emphasis coming from the primary association for CPA in America.

AICPA Sustainability Workshop
September 1, 2010

Dear Brenden,

One of the most significant forces certain to impact the accounting profession in the coming decade is sustainability – the ability to create value over the long-term, in a context of high expectations for environmental and social responsibility and improved corporate governance.

According to Robert Harris, CPA/CFF, Chairman of the AICPA, “The push to sustainability is not about government regulation or new laws. The trend is market-driven. Sustainability is about bottom-line business operations that are impacting the supply chain.”

I would like to share with you a new cutting-edge event designed to help you better understand the business case for sustainability, how sustainability relates to your organization, and how sustainability relates to the accounting profession and your role as CFO, Controller or other CPA executive.

I encourage you to take a look at the outstanding agenda of speakers, topics and cases being covered at the inaugural Sustainability Workshop to be held in the AICPA Boardroom in New York, September 30 and October 1.

This unique workshop, presented in collaboration with the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), offers an exceptional interactive learning experience. The workshop is designed to explain the financial, as well as environmental and social benefits, of adopting a successful sustainability initiative for your organization. Participants will depart with the tools, resources and networks necessary to develop and implement a solid sustainability strategy.

It will also be an ideal opportunity to network with peers from both the US and Canada, featuring a tour, presentation and reception at the Bank of America Tower, the first skyscraper to attain a platinum LEED certification.

Access details on Sustainability Workshop here (PDF).

To encourage your participation in this event, I am offering an additional $100 discount in addition to the member discount of $300 and $75 Early Bird discount – if you register by September 10. Simply use discount code STX when registering.

I look forward to meeting you at this important new forum.

Sincerely,

Carol Scott, CPA, MBA
Vice President – Business, Industry and Government


American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, 220 Leigh Farm Road, Durham, NC 27707-8110.

Job Hunting Ideas for Metropolitan State Accounting Students

July 4th, 2010 2 comments

The following was originally written as an email response to one student asking about internships.  In the interest of helping other students that have similar questions about how to approach job hunting (for internships or permanent positions) I am posting it here.  Like all posts on here, I welcome comments from everyone regarding the things I have written and/or with additional resources that I have missed.  Good luck!

Getting an internship is a great idea but has grown increasingly difficult in the past couple years.  Many companies have severely cut back due to the rough economy and may not be offering internships as they have in the past.  Also, labor laws have been interpreted differently of late to make companies leery of offering unpaid (or underpaid) opportunities so those have largely disappeared.

On my blog I have posted some resources that may be helpful:

http://acct320.com/tag/internships/

I think by far the best way to get an internship (and, in fact, any job) is to network with other professionals.  A lot of these positions are not advertised and only “through the grapevine” will you hear about them and meeting regularly with other professionals could be the only way to find out about openings.

You might check into the upcoming Accounting and Auditing Student Conference at the Minneapolis Convention Center (see http://www.studentconf.org/) and consider joining accounting organizations such as the Metro State Accounting Club (see http://accountingclub.metrostate.edu/) to get the ball rolling.

Other resources for networking include local chapters of the Institute of Management Accountants or the Minnesota Society of CPAs.  Both of these organizations have local meetings and that is where the value is when it comes to job hunting.  More information about student memberships can be found at: http://acct320.com/category/accounting-profession/organizations/.

Within the Metropolitan State University community, the best resource is the Career Services office.  They have resources online (at http://www.metrostate.edu/msweb/pathway/academic_success/counselcareer/career_services/) and host frequent events with the goal of connecting employers with prospective employees (like you!).

Last, but not least, a lot of networking happens online these days.  For professional purposes, LinkedIn (at http://linkedin.com) is  a winner.  Every young professional (and most older professionals) should have accounts on LinkedIn and update them frequently.  Because of my involvement on LinkedIn I have built a large base of accounting/business professionals that could help me out if something happened to my current job.  I’ve even been offered the chance to do things like edit textbooks and author articles for the professional magazines and blogs.  These are things that just “came up” because I’m active  on LinkedIn.  I like to think of LinkedIn as a Facebook for business contacts.

To get started, feel free to connect with me on there (LinkedIn only allows you to connect with people you know by using their email address) and build your network from there.  I would imagine there are student groups specific to every topic of interest that you can join and those can expose you to lots of openings and news information that will make you smarter about how things happen in the profession.

If you are in to the social networking thing, Twitter can also be a great tool.  The nice thing about Twitter is that you can follow anyone whether you know them or not and eventually relationships are established if/when people follow you back.  The definitely requires effort, but it can be well worth it if you have a few minutes each day to keep tabs on things.  I use a program called TweetDeck that allows me to see my Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn updates all in one program.

Good luck in your job hunting endeavors!  Things are beginning to thaw out there but the same skills that have helped people to the top in the past are the same ones that are important now: mostly it comes down to who you know and being in the right place at the right time.  You can increase the chance of this happening by putting yourself into opportunity filled situations both online and offline.

The Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants

December 28th, 2009 Comments off

A video compilation of MNCPA activities, participants, and gatherings from the past year.

For more information on the MNCPA including student memberships, see my other posts about this local organization or visit their website at http://www.mncpa.org.

IMA Student Membership Discounted to $25

September 21st, 2009 Comments off

imaI’ve posted before about the benefits of joining the Institute of Management Accountants.  Everything I said at that time applies but the IMA is offering a discount off the normal price of $39/year for student membership dues so there is an even better deal to be had.  If you use the promotional code STUIMA25X when registering at the IMA website between now and September 28th, you will receive a one-year student membership for only $25.  The regular price of $39 was a good deal — but $25 is a GREAT deal.  Strongly consider taking advantage of this limited-time offer.

IMA Membership Application:

Accounting & Auditing Student Conference

September 10th, 2009 Comments off

If you are interested in networking with potential employers and/or are considering a career in the accounting field, you may want to attend the upcoming Accounting & Auditing Student Conference at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  This one day conference will be held on Tuesday, September 29th.  According to the conference website, there will be representatives from over 50 accounting employers in attendance.

For more information visit the link below:

MNCPA Student Memberships & Networking Opportunities

September 6th, 2009 Comments off

MNCPA-logoThe Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA) offers student memberships with excellent benefits.  As I mentioned in class, the MNCPA and IMA chapters operate locally.  As such, they both provide excellent networking opportunities, a very important criteria in today’s economic environment.  You’ve heard the saying “it’s not what you know, but who you know” — that is magnified in times when jobs are scarce.

Luckily, the MNCPA offers a very affordable ($26/year) student membership that affords you access to networking opportunities such as the young professionals group, educational courses, and regional conferences.  Visit the link below for more details about the MNCPA student membership as well as additional benefits available to you if you join, including discounts on CPA Exam Review Courses.

MNCPA Student Membership Information:

MNCPA Management & Business Advisers Conference

June 5th, 2009 Comments off

I mentioned in class this week the upcoming Management & Business Advisers Conference presented by the Minnesota Society of CPAs.  Held each year in May or June, this is one conference that I always try to attend.  Committing two days to anything is asking a lot, but I always leave this event feeling like I learned a lot of new things about all aspects of business and management.  Like our class, this conference is not the “typical” CPA conference filled with rules, regulations, audit, and tax topics.  There are, for example, technology, management, and human resources sessions you may choose to attend that tend to be less focused on financial accounting details.

If you have the time, please consider attending this event for the learning and networking opportunities.  MNCPA Student Members (currently $26/year) gain free admission which is a considerable discount compared to the price others are paying.  If you are not currently a Student Member of the MNCPA I would encourage you to phone them to line up your membership along with the conference registration since the time between now and the conference is so short.  And even if you can’t attend the conference, consider becoming a Student Member anyway for the other great benefits and to dip your toe into the waters of the accounting profession.

Become an IMA Student Member

April 19th, 2009 Comments off

imaStudent Membership to the Insititue of  Management Accountants has many benefits.  One of the benefits that is unique to organizations with in-person meetings is the opportunity to network with other professionals.  More often than not, networking is cited as a key component of successful job searches in the accounting field so this is especially important for anyone that is, or will be, seeking a new job or career path soon.

Student Membership is only $39/year (as I write this) and offers many benefits including discounts on fees for the CMA Exam.  Find out more at this link:

http://www.imanet.org/membership_helping_student.asp

Also, find out more about the Minneapolis chapter and other area chapters at the following links:

http://www.minneapolis.imanet.org/

http://www.ima-northernlights.imanet.org/index.htm

The Cost Accountant is Dead

April 19th, 2009 Comments off

This article discusses the new role that Cost Accountants are filling in organizations.  In fact, it replaces the term “Cost Accountant” with “Business Process Analyst” instead to reflect better the role that is being filled and the skills that are needed to succeed in the new environment.  Strategic Finance is a publication of the Institute of Management Accountants so realize that they are in the business of promoting Cost/Management Accountants and their role in organizations.  The IMA is the organization that administers the CMA (Certified Management Accountant) credential.

The Cost Accountant Is Dead; Long Live the Business Process Analyst.  Hannon, Neal J.  Strategic Finance; Dec2005, Vol. 87 Issue 6, p59-60, 2p