By Anne Rosivach
Excitement is growing among North Carolina CPAs as they prepare to participate for the first time in the CPA Day of Service on September 21, 2012.
"We are so thrilled with the level of response so far - 900 individuals and over forty firms have registered," said Sharon Bryson, COO of the North Carolina Association of CPAs (NCACPA). "CPAs are doing this because we believe in giving back in whatever way we can, especially in these difficult times.
"The suggestion that we become involved this year came from a former NCACPA chair who was aware of the CPA Day of Service," Bryson said. "He thought this was something we could do very well in North Carolina, and he was right!"
State societies in Indiana, Illinois, and Virginia also are supporting the CPA Day of Service.
NCACPA supports the Day of Service through a well-designed website, where participants can find ideas of ways to participate, by streaming videos on social media and through lots of personal outreach, Bryson said. Registration will be open through the day of the event. North Carolina CPAs can register or find more information on the NCACPA website.
"We want as many people as possible to participate in some way. Most volunteers have already made plans to work in their communities on that day, working with groups and organizations they already serve, but we are also promoting organizations and available events that will allow all our members to tap in in different ways. An American Red Cross board member called and said they would be scheduling five blood drives in Wake County (location of our office headquarters) on September 21. They asked if NCACPA would promote the blood drive as one way for our members to participate in the CPA Day of Service, and we said absolutely."
"We have tried to be as flexible as possible to provide opportunities for everybody to participate, said NCACPA board member Kate Hinson. "Dedicate as much time as you can."
Hinson said she became involved because she wants to "know that I am a part of something that is happening across the whole state. North Carolina has been good to me, and I want to give something back."
Hinson, who is a company controller and also serves on two NCACPA committees, told AccountingWEB, "There are probably three main reasons why there has been such a dramatic response in North Carolina. First is the appeal of everybody coming together, doing something as a group. I will be working in my community of 2,000 in the school where I attended grades K-12, as I do year-round, but what I do will be part of something much bigger. Second, CPAs are already actively volunteering in their communities just because that is what they do. This gives us a chance to demonstrate that commitment. And, third, participating in the statewide Day of Service also gives us a chance to show people who we really are - to change the narrow perception of the profession. We are more than the tax person; we are just regular people too."
Everyone will benefit from the experience, Hinson said. "I have been told, 'whenever you are down, go help someone.' It gives you a really great feeling about life. The colors are brighter. By participating in this Day of Service, you can feel that you have made a real contribution, and you will get more out of it than you put in."
NCACPA staff members also will be making a big commitment, Bryson said. "They will be working at a local food bank, sorting and packaging food donations. Our staff will make donations and put together weekend power packs that will help meet the nutritional needs of children at risk of hunger on the days they are not in school. In the days leading up to the Day of Service, we will also advertise this opportunity to NCACPA members who attend classes at our on-site Education Center and ask them for donations. Our staff will bring the donations to the food bank on September 21.
"We think this is just the beginning of a commitment and will be the start of something big that we'll absolutely want to continue to do," Bryson said.
CPAs in Indiana, Illinois, and Virginia who are interested in volunteering can find out how by visiting their CPA society websites: