We are all servants. Helping others is the whole idea behind being an accountant. In fact, one could say that everything we do in our profession, in one way or another, helps others. But when accountants go beyond their regular job of helping people plan for their financial future, prepare their tax returns, understand the mystery behind the financial statements, stay out of trouble, manage their businesses, and so on, when accountants say, "I'm not doing enough - how can I help?" and they go beyond the regular business of dealing with the numbers, it becomes more clear that the people who are attracted to this profession are people you can count on, and there is no pun intended.
Two years ago, Jamie Walker, chairman of the Virginia Society of CPAs (VSCPA), had a vision that is slowly permeating the accounting profession. His vision involved setting aside one day out of the year and dedicating that day to helping others. Sure, we can all reach out and lend a hand anytime we want, but by setting aside one day and declaring that day a CPA Day of Service, we are saying that accountants are the kind of people who are willing to stop what they're doing for money and give something more important - their time - to others who are in need.
The CPA Day of Service idea is growing. In 2009, the day was originated by the VSCPA. Last year, the Illinois CPA Society joined the effort. This year, Indiana is taking part as well. If your state society is participating, let us know. If your state society is not officially participating, don't let that stop you from joining individually. Let us know about your plan to help others and we'll share your story with our readers. Make September 23, the fourth Friday in September, a day that people across the country will associate with CPAs who walk out of their offices and make a difference in their community.