Destination CPA or bust

By John M. Sharbaugh, CAE

I don't have to tell many of you that there's a staffing crisis facing the accounting profession. Those of you using want ads and placement firms are all too familiar with the dire shortage of accounting professionals. The 2007 American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) Private Company Practice Section's Top Management of an Accounting Practice Issues Survey, like other similar surveys, found staffing needs were the most prevalent concern for CPA firms.

To make more students aware of the career opportunities available in accounting, Texas Society of CPAs (TSCPA) has developed a new interactive Web site called Destination CPA. It's not an overnight staffing fix, but it's an investment in the future of the CPA profession and a step in the right direction.

Through Destination CPA, TSCPA hopes to ignite student interest in accounting and fill the profession's pipeline. TSCPA launched the site in November and has been welcoming visitors ever since.

The site is available in the student section of tscpa.org (http://go.tscpa.org) and puts students in the driver's seat. The site features classic gas stations for students to "fill up" on accounting career information, roadside visitor centers where students can download brochures, and a drive-in movie where students can watch the AICPA's "Takin' Care of Business" video complete with virtual popcorn atop the dash.

Destination CPA also includes information on scholarships, college courses, certificate requirements, career options, real-life CPA profiles, TSCPA membership, and much more. Students can choose to drive themselves through High School Hills, College Canyon, and Candidate Cove, or just sit back and enjoy the ride. If a student has questions, he or she can even send an online postcard to request more information.

In addition, there's a special road trip route for educators where they can learn about all the free classroom resources TSCPA has to offer like lesson plans and CPA guest speakers.

TSCPA is promoting Destination CPA to student and candidate members, as well as the Society's CPA membership. Promotional outreach is also being made to high school educators across the state.

I welcome you to hop behind the wheel today and take a spin to Destination CPA. Then, encourage your children, grandchildren and any students you know to do the same.

About the author
John M. Sharbaugh, CAE, is the executive director/CEO of Texas Society of CPAs.

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