Samantha Mansfield – 37
Director of Corporate Communications
What is the name of one book that has been a great influence to you?
There are a number of books that have made an impact on my professional development, but two have made the biggest impression: “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” by Marshall Goldsmith and “Managing Transitions” by William Bridges. Both of these books helped me identify what I needed to do and I have brought them up many times in my consulting and mentoring relationships.
In what ways have you contributed to your firm/company to make it better?
When I started with CPA.com the annual Digital CPA Conference was heading into its second year, and this was one of my first assignments. Over the last couple years, I have been closely involved with and leading the charge on the curriculum design and development. I lead initiatives to keep this education going year round through driving the Digital CPA Webcast series and building our social media engagement to share relevant news and information with the profession. Through these initiatives, I have also been deeply involved in the relaunch of the CPA.com corporate and Digital CPA websites to make them more user friendly and the information more accessible to the profession.
In what ways do you participate in the professional community to change/improve the accounting profession?
I have the opportunity to engage with the accounting profession in direct and indirect methods. I continue to speak at various state and national conferences, participate in webinars and blog periodically on topics, such as leveraging cloud technologies, workflow improvements and developing future-ready firms. Behind the scenes, I am on the planning committee for two national conferences, organize webcast topics and speakers, enlist firms and thought leaders in the profession to share their knowledge through case studies, blogs and webinar participation. My theory is no one person knows everything, so I have a great time talking to practitioners and leaders in the profession to bring successful models and strategies to light through various mediums.
In what ways do you participate in your local community to help others?
Serving in my community is something I am quite passionate about! For several years I have volunteered time with the Salvation Army for their holiday activities including shopping for gifts for the kids, distributing gifts to families and spending time raising money through their Red Kettle Drive. Just like in my work, I love to educate and see people get excited by having a new perspective; I volunteer with the local historical societies and am a member of a non-profit organization that puts on events and lectures to share American history, specifically the Civil War, with audiences of all ages. Both activities give me great pleasure in seeing the impact just sharing your time and enthusiasm can have on a person.
What changes do you foresee in the accounting profession of the near future (3-5 years)?
In the next 3-5 years, I foresee there being greater adoption of cloud technology to the point it is changing the business model of the firm and continues to push for the evolution of regulations. Most firms today use something cloud based, so what I am referencing is implementing the technology to the point it transforms staff and client interactions and their service offerings. With greater adoption and the new questions it poses, I believe there will be changes to regulations that bear on technological innovation. Some examples are SSARS21, going into effect later this year, and acceptance of electronic signatures. With technology becoming far more user friendly, accessible and widely adopted, the regulations will continue to evolve for usage within firms.
How do you see yourself participating in shaping the future of the accounting profession?
CPAs are the most trusted business advisors that professionals have. How I can help shape the profession is share tools, strategies and knowledge to free more practitioners from the transactional work of traditional services so they have the time to be the advisors they should be. Technology is a huge component of our daily lives, but, we don’t always implement it to its potential. I want to help more practitioners find relevant technologies, implement them well and evolve their business models to meet the changing needs and expectations of their clients.
What is your career philosophy?
My career philosophy is I can learn from everyone I meet and need to stay open to the possibilities! My career has not taken the path I thought it would coming out of school, yet the people I have met and learned from have helped me pave a road that has been fun, challenging and successful!
Describe one person who has been an important mentor to you and how that person helped change your life.
There have been a couple mentors in my life that have changed the course of my career and in so doing my life. They employed similar tactics and strategies. Both saw strengths in me, however blind to them I was, and coaxed them out. They pushed me to go farther than I thought I could succeed, and they were right. What they forced me to see is to grow you have to get uncomfortable. I am a person that constantly wants to improve and develop, but you can’t do that if you don’t take a risk, you don’t leverage your strengths and you don’t set a difficult goal. I am greatly indebted to all the mentors I have had, and hope I am returning this favor to others