Catch-ups: Helping grow the CPA profession
November 14, 2022
By Kimberly Lindsey
As the Communications, Marketing and Creative Director for KyCPA, I connect with many CPAs on LinkedIn, Olivia Davis is one of those CPAs. Davis is an associate director and lecturer at the University of Kentucky.
I noticed that she shares posts when visiting students and her previous students. She calls these interactions “catch-ups”. Catch-ups sometimes are done virtually but are also done in person.
KyCPA student members Nathaniel Stroud and Abigail Mitchell at the 2022 KyCPA Spring Awards Banquet with their University of Kentucky professor Olivia Davis.
I contacted Davis to find out more about these catch-ups, why they began and how she accomplishes meeting with so many students in a meaningful way.
“We all have to do something about the decline.”
-Olivia Davis said this when discussing the decline of those entering the CPA profession.
It all started by making an overt invite from Davis to her students for an office visit in person or via Zoom. Davis set aside a specific day and time and told the students she wanted to give each of them 15 minutes to chat. She was pleasantly surprised when there was a line out the door. This invitation was different from just posting available office hours. The catch-ups became something that Davis did each semester. She did not limit it to her students and extended the offer to her students’ friends not in her classes if they wanted to chat. Some students did bring their friends.
She also lets her students and past students know when she is coming to their town and invites them for a coffee or lunch to catch up. These informal meetings open the door for them to ask individual questions and for Davis to help mentor them as they choose and start their careers.
Davis takes the opportunity during these catch-ups to help guide them through the CPA Exam and encourage them to keep moving toward their goals. Sharing these catch-ups on social media and continually inviting students to chat has created an atmosphere where additional and past students reach out to her. They want to keep the connection and this provides more opportunities to keep mentoring and growing the CPA pipeline.
Davis also helps with the growth of the CPA profession by:
- inviting alumni and CPAs to speak with current students,
- congratulating and sharing student's and alumni's accomplishments on LinkedIn,
- serving on the KyCPA Board of Directors and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee,
- being a NABA member,
- serving as a University Faculty Senator and on numerous committees at the University of Kentucky and Gatton College level
- and more.
Everyone can do something about the decline in the CPA profession. What can you do or what are you doing? Sharing with others, as Davis does on LinkedIn, may inspire others to find something they can do to help grow the CPA profession. Sharing also helps bring attention to those striving for and accomplishing their career goals within the accounting profession.
If you would like to share what you or your organization is doing to help promote the CPA profession, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author: Kimberly Lindsey, Communications, Marketing and Creative Director, Kentucky Society of CPAs