Committees Are the Engine That Drives the Society

By Grumet, Louis | The CPA Journal, June 2001 | Go to article overview

Committees Are the Engine That Drives the Society


Grumet, Louis, The CPA Journal


At the NYSSCPA, the year begins June 1-new officers, a new budget, new ideas, and, most important, new committees. Committees are truly the lifeblood of the NYSSPCA, the engine that propels it forward.

Some committees are sources of true and active leadership; their members develop and maintain a dialogue with government officials, agencies, and regulators and shape policies and regulations that affect the profession, their firms, and their industries at both the local and national levels. I would like to see more committees assume that kind of leadership role. Some committees are so active that the NYSSCPA staff can hardly keep up with them, so we've learned not to let our limited resources hold them back or slow them down.

In some membership organizations, the committee structure evolves dysfunctionally and becomes an end in itself (appointments for the sake of appointments, meetings for the sake of meetings), rather than a means to fulfilling the organization's mission. Organizations that find themselves in that situation sometimes react by eliminating as many committees as possible. Some invent vital new structures designed to keep what worked and discard what has been outgrown; other organizations realize (sometimes too late, if at all) that they've thrown away a vast resource and alienated a large portion of their membership. Still other organizations find they've replaced one dysfunctional structure with another.

I doubt that the NYSSCPA will ever have such problems because our members recognize the value of their work on committees. Our committee structure isn't perfect, but it works, and many committees are models of effectiveness. Their conferences are consistently cutting-edge, run like clockwork, and draw a large, satisfied audience. They develop articles for The CPA Journal or The Trusted Professional-- sometimes producing material faster than we can publish it (a wonderful problem to have). …

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