I hope you enjoyed Ty’s story as much as I did. It was interesting to read a story that is essentially about me, and to see the same events through another person’s eyes. I laughed, I reminisced, and I asked: “Wait, is that really what happened?”, and then went “Oh yeah, I guess it did … I just didn’t think about it that way”. LOL. I suspect that if I knew he was so observant, I might have acted a little differently, but I’m glad I didn’t because I feel like he really got to see the “real me” and that he also got to experience what it really means to be part of the CPA profession.
Ty’s observations also gave me some insights into the profession:
- We work hard and play hard: Many people think of accountants as conservative and boring, but as anyone who’s been to our conferences or meetings can attest to, we know how to have fun too. We may not live up to the “CPAs Gone Wild” theme that Ty suggested in his story, but sometimes we come close. =) Actually that is one of the things I like about hanging out with CPAs, we work really hard, and then we also know how play hard. But don’t get to the point of acting stupid. When we’re out drinking and someone says they’re stopping for the night, everyone respects that (well after a few prods) and doesn’t force them to drink more. It helps to ensure that no one has to “clean up a mess” and that we all have a good time, no matter what city we’re in.
- We are an extended family: Ty mentioned that in becoming a CPA, you become part of a “club”. I definitely think that becoming a CPA is the first of many steps that one can take to differentiate yourself from the rest of the “accountants” in the world, but the thing that amazes me is how many of us actually care for each other—much like an extended family. My mom has come with me to several of our national events now and when I see others (and she isn’t with me) they ask how she’s doing and why she didn’t come on this trip. I’ve also met the spouses, kids, and parents of many of my CPA friends, had meals at their houses, and even stayed in their guest rooms or on their couches. When we are in different cities, we watch out for each other and always make sure that everyone gets back to their hotel rooms safe. And through Facebook, Twitter, and plain old e-mail and texting we keep in touch with each other even though we’re from different cities all over the country (and sometimes internationally).
- Being a CPA is not just a job, it’s a lifestyle: Did you notice that the majority of the story wasn’t directly work related? It was a little about the type of work we can do, and maybe some people may think of the committee meetings as work, but the majority of the story was about the “extracurricular” and social aspects of getting involved and being a part of a profession. For many of us, these are also activities that are above and/or beyond the scope of our day-to-day jobs–but it’s a regular part of lives…the CPA lifestyle!
Now Ty’s story definitely isn’t the daily routine for me—it’s just a month and a half each summer and one month each fall, the two main conference seasons. But it is a really nice snapshot of what it is like to be part of the national scene in the accounting profession. Over the rest of the year, there are additional meetings and various conferences and events, but they aren’t as condensed together as in the story.
The number of conferences and meetings will also vary by person depending on what you get involved in and how that particular committee or conference operates. But the exciting thing is that the opportunities are there … it’s all a matter of you reaching out and volunteering for them.
Although this series is “done”, our story continues. Keep you eyes our for more to come!