This past Labor Day I was one of those people who got swept up in the excitement of watching a woman accomplish a 35-year dream in the making by completing a 110-mile swim across the Atlantic Ocean. As if I wasn’t already inspired enough (the athlete in me is always a sucker for a great beating the odds story), as the exhausted 64-year-old stood on the beach in Key West and declared “This may look like a solitary sport, but it’s a team”, I instantly grew an amazing amount of respect for Diana Nyad.
While it pales in comparison to swimming from Cuba to Florida, I am nonetheless honored and humbled to have had the privilege of joining two amazing women, Shayna Chapman and Michelle Golden, for the September CPA Practice Advisor magazine cover story: The Changing Face of Accounting & Technology. As the story (originally designed to look at the sole idea of three prominent female industry professionals – a CPA, a Consultant, and a Technology vendor – all striving to better the profession – which is something that 10 or 15 years ago would have been hard to find) began taking shape, it was amazing to see what we learned about each other, and about the evolution of dynamics between practitioners, consultants, and software companies. In the end, it was the theme of collaboration among CPAs, consultants and technology players that was highlighted as we see the rapid change in the interactions between these three distinct types of players. By working together for the greater good (serving small, mid-sized, and large businesses), we’re better able to grow as an industry and move the notorious slow-to-change accounting world forward.
Since the issue launched I’ve been approached by some of the most respected individuals in our industry, and while I’m completely flattered, It’s only right to point out that this story, and this cover would never have happened if it weren’t for the change makers who have lead the way for the past 10, 15, even 20 years. Rick Richardson has been preaching change and embracing technology since I was in Mister Roger’s Neighborhood. Mark Koziel has been pushing the profession forward from within the AICPA in ways that very few of us will ever see. Doug Sleeter has devoted his career to serving the QuickBooks ProAdvisor community – and has recognized the need to embrace change within his own network too. And nobody more than Randy Johnston can be credited for leading accounting practitioners, consultants, and vendors forward and creating the driving force by which technology companies work for accountants instead of against them. So while we may be faces of change – we represent an entire team.
So while Shayna, Michelle and I soak up our 15 of minutes of fame, here’s to those who have been the face of change in our world for the past decade. Thanks for going before us and creating the path. Thanks for giving us hope that a future generation will be blogging about the difference we made as the next generation of game changers grace the CPAPA cover 10 years from now. I wonder what shoes they’ll wear at their cover shoot?