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Innovation in the CPA Pipeline

  • Published on Sep 4, 2018
  • by Donny C. Shimamoto, CPA, CITP, CGMA

The “pipeline” is not just something important for oil & gas, but it is also very important for our profession—the pipeline of future CPAs and chapter leaders. With this in mind, Carol Spencer, membership manager and I have been working diligently on driving innovation into our chapter’s student and leadership programs. These changes will broaden these programs and provide opportunities for current members that want to help get students interested in becoming a CPA or who want to help nurture upcoming leaders in our profession.

Raising student awareness of our awesome profession

Being new to the chapter I was pleasantly surprised to see how robust of a student program we have. I believe this program to be one of our “best kept secrets”, so we’ve worked with the Student Auxiliary Steering Committee to increase the opportunities for our professionals to expand the success of this program. If you’re not aware of how our program is different from the campus programs, check out this video  where I interviewed the Student Auxiliary Officers on how our program is different from on-campus programs.

Here are some of the ways that you can get involved in supporting our student pipeline:

Come to a Student Auxiliary meeting and share your experience with students.

The Student Auxiliary meets almost every Friday night from 5:30 p.m., starting with some food and networking, followed by presentation about different aspects of our         profession. 

You are welcome to sign-up to attend any of the meetings, and we would especially appreciate it if you could come when they are covering a topic that you are working in so that students not only learn from the presentation but also from you sharing your real-world experience!

You can find the schedule of meetings and topics on the Student Auxiliary page.

We need professionals to share their career paths with students at our speed networking events. These events are intended to help raise students’ awareness of careers beyond audit and tax, and show them how the CPA is a stepping stone to many great possibilities.

Save the Dates: 

Alternatives to Public Accounting (January 25, 2019) – to expose students to careers in business & industry.

Advisory Services (February 22, 2019) – to expose students to careers in advisory and consulting services.

Firms or businesses that would like to have a table setup to recruit students or make them aware of your services, please email us at 

Or if you don’t have time to attend, but would like to provide monetary support to help underwrite the cost of running these programs, please email us at

Accelerating Leadership in our Profession

The Accelerate Program, helping CPAs transition from staff to supervisory roles, has been around for several years now and we’ve already seen some of its graduates accelerate into partner and managerial roles in their firms and organizations. 

This year, to increase the impact of this program, we are expanding its reach to include more leadership content and enable broader participation by existing leaders who may want to sharpen their leadership skills. 

For more information on Accelerate click here.

Here are some of the innovations we are bringing this year:

Emerging Leaders Summit – On July 13, 2018, we held a new half-day program that helped raise attendees’ self-awareness of their personality and how it impacts interpersonal relationships at work. We also learned how to build our personal brand and how we can leverage the CPA brand to elevate our personal brand. We are hoping to make this an annual event with a different “thought leader” featured each year.

Leadership Enhancement Fall Series – This fall we’ll be launching a new webinar series (the first webinar series that the chapter has ever run) focused on enhancing leadership skills. These will be special “blended learning” opportunities where you can learn about a topic via webinar (1 CPE) and then attend an in-person event to go through an exercise to apply the learning from the webinar (1 CPE). We’re also purposely pairing the in-person event with a Young Professionals happy hour, so you can stay afterward to have a drink and meet some of the rising stars in our profession.

If you’d like more information about these programs, please email us at and we’ll put you on the mailing list so that you get notified as soon as registration opens for these events. Or if you know of someone that could benefit from these programs, pass this information along to them. 

Do you have more CPA Pipeline ideas?

If you have additional ideas that you think could help improve our CPA pipeline, or if you’d like to get involved in a particular event or in either committee, please email me ( and/or Carol ( and we’d be happy to talk with you!

About the author: Donny C. Shimamoto, CPA.CITP, CGMA, is the founder and managing director of IntrapriseTechKnowlogies LLC, a specialized CPA firm dedicated to helping small businesses and middle market organizations leverage strategic technologies, proactively manage their business and technical risks, and enable balanced organizational growth and development.  Donny also works with larger organizations as a trusted business advisor, facilitating organizational strategic planning and execution, IT governance and planning, enterprise architecture, information architecture and assurance, business process improvement, and business intelligence initiatives.