2014-07 Newsletter Rev


WAA Update July Update 2014
In This Issue

From the President
Member Services
NSA Update
Chapter News


For a full menu of all available education options, visit the WAA website at www.waa.org.  Many online CPE options offer special discounts for WAA members

Around the State

Chapter Events

We have four active chapters around the state.  These chapter officers have been diligently working to bring relevant education to the chapter members and with creating a quality collaborative peer meeting environment.  
Go to www.waa.org/chapters to find out what is happening in your chapter.

Our Leadership

Board of Directors


Chapter Listservs

All WAA members have been subscribed to their chapter listserv based on the chapter listed in their profile.  Download these listserv instructions to learn how to subscribe if you do not currently have a chapter affiliation listed on your profile, to unsubscribe, or to change the email address you want subscribed to the listserv.

Membership Dues

The non-deductible portion of WAA membership dues for Active and Associate members is 26% for this fiscal year. This amount is attributable to lobbying activities.

In Memory Of

If you are aware of a WAA member who has passed on please contact [email protected].

Job Board

Looking for Work or a New Employee? Check Out Our WAA Job Board!

Click here to learn more and see current jobs and resumes.

Editorial Content

The principal aims of this publication are the advancement of the accounting profession and communication among our members. Opinions expressed herein are those of the individual writers and not necessarily those of WAA or the Editor. Please submit articles and comments to [email protected].

The deadline for submissions is the 15th of the month preceding publication.

The mission of the Washington Association of Accountants is to promote and protect the right of every member to practice accounting and taxation; to provide the services and professional education necessary to maintain and improve professional competence.

From the President

by Charles Grass

Word from President Grass:

My advance copy of the agenda for the recent Washington Association of Accountants convention banquet says ‘Word from President Grass’.  Well, the word is: IMPLEMENTATION. 

I know this may conjure up images of Allen Ludden and Betty White on the TV game show Password but before I elaborate on the word ‘implement’, I want to thank Jerry Gintz for his leadership and mentorship these last two years, and really back beyond that to when we were both two ‘newbie’ board members in 2009.  We met at SeaTac before our flights to Spokane for our first board retreat and meeting.  Bob McKinley was President. 

A year later, Jerry stepped up to VP/President Elect.  Astrid was President.  Over the last four years, Jerry has had the board read several books. Our readings have included; Race for Relevance, Who moved my Cheese, Our iceberg is melting, The Five Most Important Questions, Road to Relevance.  I know there are more; I have a shelf full of books and more on my Kindle.  Some are from the NSA Leadership Development Program. 

Through the course of reading the books of ‘Jerry’s book of the month club’, we have discussed, debated and argued.  All of this for the good of WAA then, today and in the coming years.  Which brings us back to the word; Implementation.  As I said, the board and chapter leaders have read a number of books addressing areas of motivation, membership development, shifting demographics, generational change and differences...  Most recently, The Art of Membership: How to Attract, Retain, and Cement Member Loyalty by Sheri Jacobs was distributed as part of the leadership conference. 

Read More>>


Education Committee


by Cynthia Polley

The IRS launched the new Voluntary Annual Filing Season Program.  The program is designed to encourage education and filing season readiness for paid tax return preparers.  You can access information about this program at www.irs.gov/Tax-Professionals/Annual-Filing-Season-Program.

Look no further than the WAA education line up this year to find the education you need to fulfill your CPE requirements and get the most up to date information. 

The Individual Tax Update seminar provides comprehensive coverage of this year’s new tax legislation.  There is plenty to absorb with the individual mandate penalty, premium assistance credit and the new form 8965; as well as; tax safe harbor deduction for home office, phase-out for itemized deductions, reporting foreign financial assets on form 8938, and much more.  You won’t want to miss these important updates.

The two-day Business Entities seminar is designed for the practitioner working with small business clients.  The course will highlight new court rulings, regulations, and other relevant updates.  Discussion will include examination of the 2012 Taxpayer Relief Act and the impact of the Health Care Reform in 2014 and beyond. 

The 2- hour Professional Ethics course is presented in the evening on the first day of each individual 1040 update.  There are 3 classes to choose from this fall.  Karen Hawkins of the IRS Return Preparer Office has been very busy, ensuring that Circular 230 practitioners follow the rules.  We will discuss what we can—and must—do to assist our clients while maintaining ethical integrity and complying fully with Circular 230 rules. Learn how to be a zealous advocate while playing by the rules. Join us for a highly interactive discussion on the topic of our professional responsibilities before the IRS.

The Washington State Agencies Tax Forum is back by popular demand.   READ MORE



Awards Committee

At our Annual Meeting on June 19, 2014 awards were given to honor some of our members. The following awards were presented: 

Kathy Hettick – Puget Sound Tacoma Chapter
Gene Bell – Northwest Chapter

For their commitment, service and dedication to WAA members in protecting the non-licensed accountants right to practice and their work with NSA, IBA & Board of Accountancy.

GRAND AWARD OF EXCELLANCE: Jerry Gintz – Puget Sound Tacoma Chapter

For his endless time and energy to WAA making the association stronger by leading WAA
in embracing policies & technology, implementing LDP and ensuring WAA is the
voice of the small business accounting

MERRILLEE RAPLEY: Cynthia Polley – Northwest Chapter

For her continued hard  work as Education Chair for WAA and her leadership role in presenting tax topics at chapter meetings across the state.

OUTSTANDING SERVICE BY A MEMBER:  Sonia Smith– Greater Seattle Chapter

For her reliable and consistent service as Greater Seattle Chapter President, State Board member and Chair of both Membership and the Ad Hoc A/P Committees. 


Chapter Officer of the Year:  Shawn Gagnon – Puget Sound Tacoma Chapter

Chapter of the Year: Puget Sound Tacoma Chapter

Congratulations to all our award recipients!  WAA appreciates all that our members do!

Sonia Smith
Awards Chair 

 Annual Convention

  By Jessie Levno – Spokane Chapter

NSA Scholarship Winner, Washington State Accounting Student

The Tacoma Convention took place from June 19th through the 21st, which also happened to coincide with the one week of vacation I had between spring quarter and summer quarter at Eastern Washington University. When my boss; aka my mother, informed me that I would be spending a portion of my very short vacation attending an 8 hour seminar in Tacoma, I was less than thrilled. However, I was extremely surprised to find that I rather enjoyed myself.

After four hours of driving, and only one near death experience, my posse and I made it into Tacoma and the front doors of the Murano Hotel. This hotel was quite a swanky hotel. At the entrance there was a life size statue of a horse that doubled as a lamp, a glass statue of a woman’s figure, and hanging from the ceiling, were a number of hand crafted canoes made from stained glass. The hotel itself was made up of 26 floors; each floor had artwork from various artists on display. We ending up staying on the 16th floor, which was marked by the work of an artist named Flo Perkins. After having dropped our bags off, we ventured to the hospitality room. It was there that I met a number of people who were either in the accounting field or who were working towards obtaining jobs in the accounting field.

I picked up a couple of good tips, such as bringing business cards to help get my name out. I was also able to discuss different strategies for tackling the CPA exam. Unfortunately the general consensus was that I should dive head first into taking the exam as soon as I am done with school. Prior to this conversation I had been envisioning myself celebrating my degree on a beach, eating ice cream, and moving only to get a better tan. However the advice has been noted and I will be postponing my vacation to the very day I get confirmation I have passed the exams.

Prior to the Seminar I had a great night’s sleep on a very fluffy bed and I woke up early and ready to go. There were a number of topics and products that were discussed that had particular significance to me as the office administrator. These were also the products that my boss, as the accountant, may not have picked up as being all that noteworthy. There were also a number of tactics that were discussed in regards to managing an accounting practice. It went from the normal and mundane “If you’re working too hard, and not making enough….raise your rates!” to topics that covered steps you could start implementing to retain and attract the ideal clientele. It was interesting to go over all of this with my boss. We were able to mark different items that were applicable to our own particular levels of the business. My boss also seemed to very much enjoy delegating the note taking/highlighting responsibilities on to me.

The other part of the Tacoma Conference I enjoyed was talking with other accountants about how they process their returns. The largest part of my job is to process returns, and it was interesting to hear how other practices go about doing this. From these discussions I have learned different tips and tricks that I am currently trying to put into action. It was also really nice to talk with other practitioners that had used some of the products presented in the Jennings Seminar. It was during this portion of the night that I was able to get a firm grasp on what would and would not work in our small accounting practice. It was a pleasant benefit to be able to have quick access to second opinions in addition to getting technology tips.

The very best aspect of the Tacoma Convention was location, location, location. There were several attractions within walking distance from the hotel. The area was buzzing with trendy eateries, local art work, museums, and let’s not forget, the Almond Roca Factory. I spent half of an evening enjoying a nice vegetable noodle dish, and looking at all the art on display on the Tacoma art walk. Shout out to Lynnette Heidenreich who had walking pneumonia and still tromped around town with me. There also happened to be a dance competition going on, so we watched a couple of teams practice their routines. The only drawback to this convention was that I was unaware of all that there was to do prior to coming. Had I known, I would have made sure to make a proper agenda.

Having to spending my one and only weekend of vacation in Tacoma, turned out a lot better than I had originally anticipated. I learned a lot from the seminar and even more from the people who attended. All in all, it turned out to be a pretty good way to spend a vacation.

NSA Update

by Astrid Arola


NSA Members,

This will be my last article as your NSA State Director. It has been my pleasure serving you and NSA in this position.

WAA has endorsed Larry Walkden as candidate for the NSA State Director position. We will be voting in August 2014. If you are a member of NSA and can’t make it to the convention in Baltimore, Maryland you can still vote for Larry and other candidates by proxy vote, information on Proxy Voting can be found on the NSA website at: http://connect.nsacct.org/nsaannualmeeting/elections/proxyvote.

Congratulations to all 2014 Scholarship Winners! WAA raised over $ 6,000.00 for awarded scholarships last fiscal year, in which all money goes to a Washington State student.

January 2015 is when the new scholarship application becomes available, if you know of any fellow accounting students please be sure to encourage them to check out the qualifications and apply!  

 Other News

North Seattle Community College Accounting Club
Invites Washington Association of Accountants

On May 8th, 2014 WAA was invited to attend the annual North Seattle Community College Accounting Club "Spring Accounting Fair". The event was held at their campus in north Seattle and it was attended by many accounting students and faculty from the college.

At the fair the students were able to meet and talk about careers and goals with many presenters ranging from the Health and Human Services (HHS) Audit Division to CPA review vendors. The fact that WAA was there and we were able to present the students with our association goals was an exciting endeavor. For many of the students, discovering the independent accounting and tax professional was a real pleasant experience. Many were really interested in our association, the member benefits and educational opportunities.

In a thank you note to WAA a student wrote that meeting us (WAA) was inspirational and that it renewed her interest in the business field, especially with someone that has been in the accounting field for a long time.


Chapter News

Greater Seattle Chapter

by Lauren Vignec

At our last meeting the Seattle Chapter had a fairly lively discussion about reaching out to new members. We have been going to community colleges and business fairs and plan to keep that up. We also decided that we needed to focus on the reasons why we originally joined WAA, and make those reasons the focus of our outreach. If you want to take part in these discussions please feel free to hang out after next month's regularly scheduled meeting is over.

Our next speaker for August is Andrew Ballard. He's going to present to us on the four secrets to growing your business, and help those of us that have experienced frustration with our marketing results. Learn how to make research-based marketing work for you! Stay tuned for future events.


Puget Sound/Tacoma Chapter

by Shawn Gagnon, President

Summer is heating up and so is the Puget Sound Tacoma Chapter of WAA!  Stay “cool” and do not miss out on our upcoming meetings and exciting speakers. 

For our August 5th meeting, we have Jane Wines from the U.S. Department of Labor presenting on Choosing a Retirement Solution for Your Small Client. 

Our September 2nd meeting is a definite “do not miss”!  Andy Elfers from the Washington StateDepartment of Revenue will give us an update.

And finally, mark your calendars……………….Tuesday, September 23, 2014, we are offering a 4 hour CPE seminar on IRS Audits and Offers in Compromise.  WAA members get a discount.  Space is limited so Register Now for this awesome 4 hour seminar. 

We look forward to seeing you all soon!

Spokane Chapter

By Lynnette Heidenreich, President

In July the Spokane Chapter had an informative meeting on Personal Property Tax.  Our guest speakers included Kristy Johnson from the Assessor’s office and Mindy Ensign from the Treasurer’s office.  If you missed the meeting and have questions about personal property tax please call and I will forward you the information and contacts.

Traditionally we do not have an August meeting.  We will have our next general meeting on September 9th.  Our speaker will be Melissa Sharp with the WA Department of Revenue speaking on current DOR issues including Marijuana and Alcohol taxation.   Our next BISK study group will meet on September 17th

Save the date, November 3, 2014, for our upcoming mini-seminar on estates and trusts.  This will be taught by Paul Smart, CPA. 

Get out and enjoy the beauty of the Spokane area and I will see all of you in September.

View Monthly Meetings, Mini-Seminars and Register for Education Events on our website WAA.org under
Education > Calendar of Events

Washington Association of Accountants |  P O Box 748, Liberty Lake, WA  99019  | 509-993-2307 | [email protected] | www.waa.org