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Other Comprehensive Basis of Accounting Fundamentals | 4152308D

July 1, 2015
Sacramento Area

Succession Planning

By Bridget A. Sanders

Succession planning is just as important for CalCPA as it is for businesses. Succession planning needs to take place at all levels: top, middle and bottom. In other words, we need to groom experienced and qualified professionals for statewide leadership positions, young and emerging professionals for local leadership positions, and student members to become contributing members of their local chapter.

The grassroots effort begins with our student members. Today’s students will be tomorrow’s CalCPA leadership. We have three, four-year colleges with accounting programs in our region: CSU Sacramento, CSU Chico and UC Davis. To help us connect with these students, CalCPA enlists campus ambassadors to help promote the mission and goals of CalCPA, while providing feedback about how CalCPA can help advance the students towards careers in accounting. We also have many community colleges in our region. Our student outreach includes speaking in classrooms and at student organization meetings, as well as participation in Meet the Firms events.

I joined our chapter board eight years ago, and it has been an honor to serve with all levels of amazing leaders during my tenure. I’m especially grateful to have benefitted from the wisdom of our resident expert, Stu Robken, a past chapter president and 40-year member. It has been a privilege to promote programming and activities that will benefit both our current and future chapter members. Our board continuously strives to enhance our local leadership team by adding professionals—both young and seasoned—who can bring new and innovative ideas to the group. To aid in local succession planning, our chapter established the Growth Opportunities in Leadership Development (GOLD) Committee to offer education in the area of leadership and identify future board members and committee chairs.

The chapter represents a strong presence on the statewide leadership team, both past and present. Our chapter has numerous local professionals serving in important roles at the statewide level to assist in advancing the goals of CalCPA and striving to offer continued value to our membership. Those serving at the statewide level also are tasked with identifying their successors once their term is concluded. As the composition of our membership group changes with time, it’s important for leaders to identify successors that are nimble enough to respond to the evolving needs of our membership.

We only will be able to achieve success with succession planning through input from each segment of our membership group. Whether you’re a young or experienced professional, candidate or student, we hope you will reach out to offer feedback on how we can best remain successful for generations to come.