Kristin Bivona, 2021-22 Chair:
Protect. Promote. Educate. Innovate. These are the four pillars of our work here, at the FICPA.
I’m Kristin Bivona, your 2021-22 FICPA Chair. It’s been an honor to serve you these past 12 months, and I invite you now to come along for a ride, as we look back at all we've done in the last year to support our incredible members and drive the CPA profession into the future.
Shelly Weir, President & CEO:
Thank you, Kristin, for your steadfast leadership this year, and hello to you, our members! I’m Shelly Weir, FICPA President & CEO.
Having travelled more than 15,000 miles this year, to meet with CPAs and business leaders from across the state, I’ve found my greatest joy in sparking new relationships and becoming fast friends with so many members, firms, and organizations.
FICPA members, it’s your expertise, passion and dedication that inspires us at every turn. Our members provide our sense of purpose.
This is why I am happy to report that the feedback we’ve received in the last 12 months from both My Member Listening Tour and our comprehensive Member Survey now serve as the blueprint for our brand-new, five-year strategy plan focused on serving your most pressing needs. You spoke. And we listened.
With your feedback in mind, we've adapted our CPE options to meet your needs, and we now offer more than 4,000 online courses, covering every topic area, and fitting every schedule. Whether online or in person, we’re reshaping our CPE around the three core principles that matter most to you: quality, flexibility and affordability.
We’ve also taken our membership to new heights. This year, we recorded our highest member retention rate in four years eclipsing the 90% mark. It’s a tribute to your dedication and our resilience that we’ve navigated the pandemic together and stayed committed to our mission. And, with a focus on meeting your needs, I’m proud to say we have bolstered our staff, adding four new Regional Directors of Membership, who will serve area chapters, individual members and organizations around the state, meeting our members where you are. These Directors are your gateway to the FICPA, helping you grow your business, enhance your professional network, and elevate your education.
As always, our Governmental Affairs Team has been hard at work, protecting and promoting your interests at both the state and federal level. During Florida’s Legislative Session this past spring, the FICPA successfully prevented several pieces of potentially burdensome legislation from impacting CPAs in Florida. We worked tirelessly to ensure our members and our profession were not negatively impacted. And during a busy Tax Season, we partnered with the AICPA and other state societies to spur action at the federal level, suspending more than a dozen automatic letters and securing relief for taxpayers and practitioners nationwide.
These important advocacy wins would not be possible without the generosity of our members. Thanks to your record setting engagement, our Florida CPA/PAC had its most successful fundraising year in a decade. Your contributions ensured that from our state’s capital to nation’s capital CPAs count in the political process.
Best of all, our relationships with top state officials and Florida legislators are stronger than ever. We value our close partnership with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and are excited to work alongside Secretary Melanie Griffin to protect the trust, confidence, and esteem of the CPA profession in the public eye. And we’re honored to be represented in the legislature by our CPA Lawmakers who stand up for the interests of our profession during each Legislative Session.
FICPA members, it was your enthusiasm for our efforts that made our 2022 Advocacy Days such a success. In January, we hosted our second Virtual Advocacy Day and our first ever Hike the Hill in Tallahassee. CPAs from all over Florida met at our state Capitol as we offered an up-close look at the political process and secured in-person access to your lawmakers. Through it all, we kept the FICPA front and center in policy debates with a single goal in mind – protecting your license.
Finally, our team has significantly enhanced our efforts to address your most acute challenge – talent. From recruiting new talent and strengthening our pipeline, to retaining your employees and training them for the next step, we’re here to help. This year, we visited with nearly 1,000 students during 36 on-campus events across the state, forging new relationships with the future leaders of our profession and streamlining your access to this pool promising and available talent.
This year, our Scholarship Foundation distributed more than $180,000 to help fund tuition for students at universities across the state. We also unveiled our new Scholarship Nights, regional events across the state, giving our members exclusive access to recruit these soon-to-be CPAs.
With your feedback and needs in mind, we’ve also doubled down on our efforts to cultivate the future leaders of the profession. This year, we launched our invitation-only Leadership Academy, celebrating its inaugural class, and unveiled our new Bridge the Gap professional-development conference for Young CPAs, equipping them with the skills most needed for career success.
In closing, I want to acknowledge that none of our efforts would be possible without the support of our wonderful corporate partners. We thank you for your continued commitment to the profession. As we drive the FICPA into the future, we promise to always: promote the profession, provide unparalleled CPE, prepare the next generation, and, most importantly, protect your license.
Julian Dozier, 2022-23 Chair:
Hi, I’m Julian Dozier, your 2022-2023 FICPA Chair. It is an exciting time to be a CPA, and it’s your valued membership that drives our efforts.
As we embark on a new era, I am honored to carry on our organization’s proud legacy and help chart its new course.
Later this year, we will unveil our new FICPA headquarters right here in Downtown Orlando. This is where we’ll write the next chapter in our proud history.
Thank you for your support of the FICPA. It’s our privilege to serve the CPA profession today and in the decades to come.