Before too much time passes since we all were in New Orleans and working with the NCACPA and Operation Hope, I wanted to be sure that I recorded some of my thoughts about the week together and the process. Even though I was one of the older and experienced CPAs, I felt some of the same uncertainty and nervousness that the young CPAs and candidates were feeling as we headed into the week. I am very very impressed with the quality of the professionals that we took with us to New Orleans. I am impressed in that they made the commitment to go and take a week away from work, and exhibited so much professionalism when dealing with the clients. Everyone, and I know of no exception, wanted to do something for the clients we met with. We felt it was our duty to give them each a good service, and hope they would go away with some information that would help them with their small business. As Tom had indicated to us, we did have some impact on approximately 85-90 individuals or businesses. What I noticed was that every one of us wanted to work with a client and help solve their problem, or address their concern, and we felt bad when we could not send them away with all of the solutions. You each showed me such maturity and professionalism that I know you will be successful in your careers. And it is also obvious that you all have your priorities and your hearts in the right place and you will make this a better place.
What should also be obvious to New Orleans is that as a group we helped considerably to stimulate the local economy. With all the food and drinks and souvenirs, I think New Orleans will be well on its way to recovery. It was great how we all got together that Sunday night and from then on we all just seemed to get along quite well. We were close (literally in the van) all week, and there were just no problems and everyone had just a great attitude. I found myself missing you all over the weekend because we were together so much.
I want to thank those responsible for setting up the Shutterfly site and those who downloaded pictures. The pictures are great and I have looked at all of them and some of them more than once. I hope they stay there for a while. Also, special thanks to Geoff, Kristin and Charlotte for keeping the blog with pictures and with more detailed information about our daily work. I started to say daily rountine, but we learned we did not have a routine, and we learned to be non-linear.
I especially want to thank Tom, and Tom can thank Oliver and the others, but Tom has created this project, and I want him to know that it was worthwhile in so many ways. The first, and most obvious, is that we helped people with our acquired skills that they could not have afforded otherwise. We contributed time that we usually get paid for. You have now learned that you have a skill set that can assist others, and help them in a way that they may be able to take care of themselves and others. We all got to meet new people in our profession in different stages of their careers, and from different parts of the country. Each of us can take a feeling of pride back to our work and social communities and possibly influence others to give of their time. Tom, you also provided an opportunity for many of us to gain confidence in our abilities, and to interact with clients. Hopefully, we will get the chance to be together again.
Thanks again for the experience and keep in touch.