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Growth through communication.

"Communication is the key to success. It is time to drop any reservations we may have about diversity and accept ourselves as the equals we are. We need to communicate with each other, communicate within the profession, communicate with the government and financial community, and communicate with the general public. NSPA will grow through communication."

With this statement, NSPA's newly-installed 46th President Paul C. Bumgarner of Charlotte, North Carolina, set the theme for his administration and the coming year. After accepting the gavel of office from outgoing President Frank J. Oliveri, Jr., Mr. Bumgarner shared his ideas on professional growth through communication in his address before the delegates at the 1992 NSPA Annual Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Here are highlights of that address:

"NSPA is the organization for the independent, practicing accountant. If we are to survive, we can no longer divide our ranks into unlicensed, accredited, enrolled, licensed, certified or whatever other title you can think of to describe a professional accountant. We must join our efforts together as independent, practicing accountants, each requiring our own method of continuing education but with the primary goal of providing the best service available anywhere to the small business community we serve and to the taxpaying public. What I would like to hear just once during my life time is not 'Are you enrolled?,' or 'Are you accredited?,' or 'Are you certified?' Instead I would like to hear, 'Are you a member of the National Society of Public Accountants?'

"Why is that important? Because our membership is made up of members within each of those categories; and it's our obligation to each segment of our membership to protect their rights to practice, to provide the member services they need to survive in the market place and to give them the opportunity to participate in the best possible continuing education programs available anywhere.

"The key word is obligation -- a binding contract, a promise, a responsibility, a duty. Members pay dues which buys them the right to expect that obligation. In return NSPA has a right to expect a certain degree of obligation from the members.

"First, we have a right to involvement in the inner workings of NSPA. If you don't like the way something is being handled, tell someone, run for office, make constructive and/or corrective suggestions.

"Second, we have a right to expect idea exchange with the leadership. There is no idea too trivial to be discussed. If you have a good idea share it with your state director or governor or any officers. I can assure you we have not cornered the market on good ideas. Let us hear from you -- your input is important.

"Third, we have a right to expect participation in programs developed by NSPA. The needs survey of a few months ago shows you said you want more tax and accounting programs. Well, we provided you with those programs -- where were you? Apparently we didn't hit your hot button with some of the programs we developed; however, we are going to keep trying and with our efforts and your input we will succeed.

"We all have a personal and professional responsibility to better our lives and our careers. That in turn will better the profession. Although I mentioned earlier that we can no longer divide our membership into segments, that does not remove the responsibility we all have of being qualified in the areas in which we practice.

"There are many ways to gain that qualification. NSPA has been very instrumental in the development of the Accreditation program and a strong supporter of enrolled agent status, but we should never underestimate the power of experience.

"There are many members of this Society who have gained their experience through many years of devoted service to the profession along with many hours of continuing education. With the Accreditation Council for Accountancy & Taxation and its involvement with the College for Financial Planning, I would strongly urge each of you who have not yet applied for accreditation to do so. It is a credential, along with enrolled status, that we can hold high as evidence of qualification in the accounting and tax community.

"NSPA's leadership is strong. This week you have elected my supporting cast for the coming year and I could not be more pleased. I have had the good fortune of working closely with each of the governors, both newly elected and those who are continuing their terms of office. I have also worked closely with our new first vice president, Gary Rohrs; second vice president, Milton Brown; and secretary-treasurer, Robert Holden. All I can say about this supporting cast is thanks for giving me the cast that will get the job done.

"Strong leadership is not enough, however. You must also have an equally strong professional staff and I commend Executive Vice President Stanley Stearman for putting together a professional staff that I know, from experience, will work tirelessly to share ideas with the volunteers of NSPA and help to implement our ideas for the betterment of NSPA and its members.

"NSPA is recognized as a leader in the accounting field, especially in the Washington area. We have a member on the Commissioner of Internal Revenue's Advisory Group. We have a member on the Small Business Administration's National Advisory Council. We are constantly being asked to testify before congressional committees on tax matters and we have input on matters that affect small business. Our affiliated state organizations are strong and growing stronger. If that were not true we would be ignored; instead, we fight battles.

"Like most recent presidents before me, I have a theme, 'Growth Through Communication.' Just as we have done in the past, we must continue to communicate. We must share with each other our commitment to the profession and our strength in the profession."

An NSPA member since 1975, the new president has served the National Society in numerous capacities, including first and second vice president and governor of District IV. He has served as chairman and member of a number of committees including the Education and Professional Development Committee. He is also a former North Carolina state director.

Actively involved in the North Carolina Society of Accountants, he has served on the Board of Directors (1978-87) and as President (1982-83).

Enrolled to practice before the IRS and accredited in both accountancy and taxation by the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation, he has lectured at many national and regional accounting and tax seminars.

Active on the local level, President Bumgarner has served on the Administrative Board, Finance Committee and chaired the Building Fund Committee for Providence United Methodist Church. He is a past president and past treasurer of the East Charlotte Men's Club as well as a charter member of the Rotary Club of North Mecklenburg, serving on various committees as well as on the Board of Directors.

Pledging his commitment to strengthen and improve existing membership programs, the new NSPA president said, "We have a lot to do and many challenges to face during the coming year. Communicating with each other will ensure a successful trip."

Paul C. Bumgarner

46th President National Society of Public Accountants
COPYRIGHT 1992 National Society of Public Accountants
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Title Annotation:National Society of Public Accountants President Paul c. Bumgarner
Publication:The National Public Accountant
Article Type:Cover Story
Date:Sep 1, 1992
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