Filipino CPAs RISING in Solidarity Amidst Challenging Times. This was the banner theme for the fiscal year that guides us as we execute our Six (6) point priority agenda, represented by the word RISING in the theme. The war between the prioritization of commerce and safeguarding life and health has been the source of not only local but global discourse since the first lockdown brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here and now, everyone attempts to answer the million-dollar question posed by leaders across the public, private, and social sectors: What will it take to navigate the crisis, especially with traditional metrics and assumptions having been shattered and undermined, if not rendered irrelevant?
So, where was PICPA during the pandemic? What was PICPA thinking, planning, and doing during this massive “war” against COVID-19? PICPA stayed where it was, even before the crisis: on the solid grounds of its membership. PICPA’s then newly installed leaders focused on necessary acts – through and for its members: its smart resolve, dedicated resilience, strong rebound, and rise above it all through the solidarity of its membership. These were PICPA’s directional compasses that paved the way for mapping its programs and activities for the year, with PICPA Membership at its core. With these as its guide and grip to face the new normal, PICPA magnified its vision to serve its members to its fullest capacity.
The Fiscal Year 2020-2021 was probably the most challenging in the history of PICPA because we started our year in the middle of a pandemic. Indeed, the year was a very challenging yet very productive year for PICPA as almost everybody will agree that we did a great job and impressive performance for the last three hundred sixty- five (365) days. This is mainly because of the dedication, sacrifices, and hard work exerted by everyone at all levels from the Board of Directors to the Committee Chairs and Co-Chairs, the Regional Sectoral Representatives, the Chapter Presidents, and the entire membership.
Because our term started in the middle of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we were worried that the number of Members in Good Standing (MIGS) would substantially go down. The situation was aggravated by the fact that the CPA Licensure Examinations were canceled by BOA, which means that there will be no new CPAs and PICPA Members, to begin with. So, retention of the MIGS and attraction to Non-MIGS were very crucial, hence we adopted some priority programs with the end in view of retaining and attracting PICPA Members. These programs were as follows:
- Reinstatement program for the whole fiscal year by just paying a Thousand Pesos as reinstatement fee plus the current dues;
- Discounted CPD Registration fee for MIGS;
- Introduced the Members’ Privilege Card (MPC) free of charge to all MIGS with no cost to PICPA because your President donated the cost of the cards in the amount of P150,000. Many of our MIGS, including myself, enjoyed the discounts from our merchant partners, the likes of SM, National Book Store, Power Mac, and many others, especially in the areas outside Metro Manila;
- Implemented the “Free CPD on the Net” program. We had actually conducted ten (10) accredited webinars free of charge to all MIGS, which means savings for the MIGS between P3,750 to P5,000, which is higher than the amount they paid for reactivation and annual dues.
The results of this “retention and reactivation” program are pretty impressive as we were able to attract 6,556 inactive PICPA Members who availed of our reinstatement program, although we were able to retain only 78% of the MIGS as of June 30, 2020. This program resulted to a total MIGS of 28,642 as of June 30, 2021, over by 1% compared to the previous year despite no new CPAs that were added during the year.
Looking closely at the RISING agenda of PICPA during the year, one may be tempted to generalize that they are not much different from previous years. Actually, as PICPA National Office embarked on one monumental endeavor that encompasses most of its processes: the drafting and full implementation of a Quality Management System for the PICPA National Office processes, bringing the Membership Services at the central spotlight as it was the fitting item that was put forward for the ISO Accreditation. Throughout the accreditation journey undertaken by the PICPA National Office, it was evident that Organizational growth was monumental as all of the processes surrounding and supporting the Membership functions were also subjected to comprehensive documentation and complete refinement. In less than a year of preparation, PICPA National Office polished and put the Membership Services through a restructuring and pounding to excellence every inch of the product and services being rendered to the members, including the other related functions and processes of PICPA that are contributory to their effective delivery and achievement. Finally, after eight months of undergoing grueling preparations and overcoming endless challenges for further enhancing and improving its processes, PICPA National Office achieved its ISO 9001:2015 accreditation for its Membership and Support Services from TUV Rheinland on June 1, 2021. Indeed, another much-coveted achievement of PICPA in the midst of the pandemic.
But behind this remarkable achievement is a story to be told as we started the journey of an impossible dream to be realized in one year. However, with the very focused, persistent, and determined ISO Team headed by our ISO Manager, Executive Director Dean Estelita Aguirre, supported by our IT Committee Chair, Cora Rey, and her team who drafted most of the QMS Manual, Vice President for Operations Gladeys Jill Santos, National Secretary Anna Lissa Chua-Dycaico, ISO Committee Chair, and Vice-Chair, Jun Ravalo and Jacky Villar and of course the process owners, our very supportive and cooperative members of the Secretariate, we saw a small light at the end of the tunnel. When we started, we were actually at a loss because ISO accreditation is something new and stranger to most, if not all, of us, and we were not sure where to start and how to proceed. To help and guide the ISO Team, we engaged the services of two (2) consultants at no cost to PICPA because your President donated P250,000 to cover the professional fees of these consultants. We should be very thankful to the people behind the realization of this impossible dream. They had invested sweat and tears as they sacrificed working, beyond the call of duty, experiencing many sleepless nights, working on weekends and holidays, and even during holy week. As your president, I would like to express my deepest and sincerest appreciation, and I would love to express my gratitude to these people over and over again when there are opportunities for me to do so. Ma’am Lita, Ma’am Cora and her team Bulz, Jill and Liezl, Jun Ravs and Jacky, and to all PICPA Employees (Officers and Staff),
“Maraming Maraming Salamat sa inyong walang katulad na supporta sa dumaang administrasyon at walang sawang pagmamahal sa ating pinakamamahal na PICPA”.
PICPA not only produced three times as many CPD accredited webinars that it produced seminars pre-pandemic, but PICPA was also able to capitalize on its technological leap to the online platform in delivering more free and borderless training programs to CPAs, even those in remotest corners of the country and those abroad. We have conducted a total of One Thousand Four Hundred Eighteen (1,418) webinars during the fiscal year, being attended by almost Three Hundred Seventy-Five Thousand (375,000) participants broken to accredited and SDL webinars, as follows:
All of the accomplishments mentioned above would not have been possible if not because of the very active involvement of the National Committees, GAO and Regional Councils, and Chapters Officers. So, in the same manner, I would like to express my appreciation and thanks to the very active National Committees, with special mention to the most active Committees like GARCA Chaired by Ray Talimio, Information Technology, and Website Chaired by Cora Rey, COMELEC Chaired by Atty. Christy Barroga, Professional Development Chaired by Mai Besnar, Membership Chaired by Minette Ame, AWC Chaired by Aphat Martinez, Annual National Convention Chaired by Edwin de los Santos, Government Relations Chaired by Sonia Segovia, and Annual Planning Conference Chaired by Connie Cadeliña, and to all the GAO and Regional Council Officers and Chapters Officers,
“Maraming Maraming Salamat Po sa inyong walang katulad na supporta sa dumaang administrasyon at walang sawang pagmamahal sa ating pinakamamahal na PICPA”.
PICPA, through the digitalization of its Membership Services, was able to reach out to its members and deliver their needs in almost real-time. This year, with the guidance and assistance of the National Office Training Division, PICPA Chapters were empowered to use Glue Up, the event and campaign management application used by all PICPA units in the registration, marketing, and communications related to the management of the CPD webinars they are conducting. Our massive use of the GlueUp paves the way for PICPA to win a prestigious international award – the Asia Pacific Region (or APAC) Association Award for Excellence in Technology and Innovation, in December 2020.
We have likewise fully implemented the use of Quickbooks in our online bookkeeping and financial reporting for the first time at PICPA National Office, MM GAO, MMR, and almost 20 chapters nationwide. With the maximize use and full implementation of this online bookkeeping and financial reporting, we can now regularly generate stand-alone and/or consolidated financial reports in real-time at the tip of our fingers.
We have exceptionally active and extraordinarily supportive members of the Execom and Board of Directors during the last fiscal year with a very impressive attendance during meetings, as follows:
- Execom conducted a total of thirteen (13) regular meetings and 5 special meetings with only one member absent in one (1) regular and one (1) special meeting; and
- We also have conducted twelve (12) regular and two (2) special board meetings, and twenty-one (21) out of twenty-six (26) BOD Members got perfect attendance.
We only have one more wish left that we can ask for from our Lord Almighty, and that is the Most Outstanding Accredited Professional Organization Award – Category A. We have already submitted our bid to PRC, presented in a very elegant 250-page bid book together with our 20 minutes Audio Visual-Presentation that capsulizes our projects and accomplishments during the year. We understand that the winners will be announced during the awarding ceremony that will be held sometime in September of this year. Let us pray for PICPA to be awarded as PRC’s Most Outstanding APO 2021. If we get that award, that will be a bonus that will serve as a recognition of all the noteworthy achievements of all the men and women who willingly gave their “Time, Treasure and Talents,” all for the love of PICPA.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, the GAO Councils and Regional Councils, the National Committees, and Chapter Officers, the RISING Team is genuinely honored and privileged to have been given the opportunity to serve PICPA and the accountancy profession for the greater glory of God.
Thank you and more power to PICPA!
Mr. Lope L. Bato