Looking back on my notes from the most recent AAM Conference (ENGAGE) at the MGM in Las Vegas, one of the keynote speakers, Carl George said, “Start with the history. Understand the history of the firm. It’s the foundation.” The same applies for the history of AAM and its partnership with the AICPA. How can one be expected to understand how we got to where we are today if there is no understanding of the past?
Throughout the early decades of AAM, there was virtually no relationship with the AICPA. However, AAM’s forward-thinking founding members knew very early on that it would be important to not only be recognized by the AICPA, but to actually work in conjunction.
The Start of a Valuable AAM & AICPA Partnership
More than 10 years ago, AAM leadership and the board that was in office at the time began setting the wheels in motion to officially forge a more formal partnership with the AICPA. After the hard work and dedication of many years of AICPA and AAM leadership, we made it official in 2012 when AAM had its first ever co-located conference with the AICPA Practitioners Symposium and TECH+ conference. The convergence of three conferences in one location provided additional educational opportunities, allowing members to mix and match a custom educational experience with leaders from every firm discipline.
I can vividly remember well over a year before that very first co-located conference, the AAM board’s executive committee gathered at the AICPA headquarters in Durham, N.C., to discuss all of the reasons we should be working together, for the benefit of our members, member firms, and the future of the profession. Looking back at that meeting, it marks the official start of a valuable partnership.
A Continual Evolution
This partnership continues to allow AAM to be part of the entire AICPA line of up conferences. It also allows our members to take advantage of attending sessions from the other co-located conferences, which is fundamental to understanding the business of the CPA firm. Conversely, it allows practitioners to cross over into the AAM sessions and better understand what accounting marketers are doing for their CPA firms as well.
And beyond ENGAGE, AAM has also partnered with the AICPA’s PCPS to create Bull’s-Eye! The Ultimate How-To Marketing and Sales Guide for CPAs and the Social Media Toolkit, which have benefited members of both organizations.
As this relationship with the AICPA continues to evolve, it’s important to take a look back in order to understand how we got to where are today. AAM will continue to use that knowledge and history to move forward into the future.
Julie Tucek served as AAM board president in 2009 and 2010. She was inducted into the AAM Hall of Fame in 2014. Julie has been marketing director at Legacy Professionals LLP in Westchester, Ill., since 1998.