2012-06 Newsletter
WAA Newsletter June 2012
In This Issue

Our Team
Leadership Conference
2012 Convention
Honoring Our Members
NSA Board of Governors Report
NSA Candidacy: Kathy Hettick
IRS Updates
Chapter News


Registration is now open for all WAA 2012 Education Programs.  Below is the list of programming.  Click on the event link for details on registration pricing as well as the link to the online registration form. And save the date for the 18th Annual IRS Working Together Symosium on November 1st!

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.  June is the month in which the new officers will be installed.  You are encouraged to attend and give support to these new elected officers.
Go to www.waa.org/chapters to find out what is happening in your chapter.

For those members who are stepping up to take a Chapter officer position, all of WAA thanks you! The knowledge and skills you will learn are invaluable.

Board Officers

Astrid Arola
[email protected]

Vice President
Jerry Gintz
[email protected]

Andy Anderson
[email protected]

Kathy Jolly
[email protected]

Past President
Robert McKinley
[email protected]

NSA State Director
Kathy Hettick
[email protected]

Board Members

Charlie Grass
[email protected]

Cindy Polley
[email protected]

Melanie Levno
[email protected]

Sonia Smith
[email protected]

Larry Walkden
[email protected]

Ken Winger
[email protected]

Chapter Presidents

Greater Seattle
Dennis Thompson
[email protected]

Rizwan Chaudhry
[email protected]

Puget Sound/Tacoma
Ken Winger
[email protected]

Brady Hatfield
[email protected]

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.

In Memorandum

Ray Ellis, DVM
Spouse of Janette Ellis, ATP

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


This newsletter is distributed to over 300 accountants in Washington State.

New rates coming soon!

To advertise, please call the WAA office at [email protected].

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 Editor. Please submit articles and comments to [email protected].

The deadline for submissions is the 20th of the month preceding publication.


Jose G Pol is seeking work for tax preparation (individual and business), in the north Seattle area.

Phone: 425-876-2685
E-mail: [email protected]


The IRS provides a very informative annual calendar.

Small business owners find this a valuable resource throughout the year.  Supplies are limited and the calendar is free.

If you would like to learn more about the IRS calendar please contact Rizwan Chaudhry at [email protected]


For sale get it quick only available for a limited time:
The perfect gift for your favorite colleague.

Helping Clients in Difficult Times By Quickfinder/Gear Up. This is a 2010 edition from Seattle
Chapter mini-seminar. Great resource with references and website addresses. $55.00 plus shipping.

Email: [email protected]


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.

Our Team

by Astrid Arola

Our team! I am really proud of the accomplishments of the WAA Board over the past two years.

Our greatest accomplishment was successfully navigating the years of uncertainty in how to handle the Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) classification, which we knew was coming. Ultimately it was a major revamping of our industry by the IRS.  As the IRS developed the RTRP program, instructions were often vague or contradictory, but we managed to work through the uncertainties and keep our membership informed.

Our second major accomplishment was working with the taxing agencies of Washington State to help streamline reports and help to reduce the tax burdens of small businesses.  This was culminated by a meeting in Seattle, attended by Governor Gregoire, important department heads, and small business owners.  Gary Smith, from IBA arranged the meeting.

Our third accomplishment was completing the search for technology that would increase the efficiency and reduce the administrative workload of WAA.

Our fourth accomplishment was use of the web for educating large groups of WAA members, no matter where their location.  Our first tax school webinar was a great success and will be offered again this year.  The technology and instructional skills we are developing open a new era of providing economical and up to date education.

I would like to thank the members of the Board and all WAA members that helped create these accomplishments. I will be handing over the gavel to Jerry Gintz on June 22, 2012, but this is not a good-bye.  I will continue to work with Jerry and the new Board to promote great things for our accounting and tax profession and for WAA.

Leadership Conference

by Jerry Gintz, Chapter Coordinator/Leadership Chair

With 20 Chapter officers and Board members together in one room for a day and a-half, all having recently read Race for Relevance, the stage was set for a dynamic Leadership event.  Overlay that with our new AMC (Association Management Company) Executive Director Sarah Luczyk, in attendance to introduce the new relationship and the new website platform and the event theme, “Re-set, Go!” was clear to everyone in attendance.

In my 4 years of attending WAA Leadership events I have not witnessed such a display of common agreement and vision amongst all of the leaders in attendance.  The common thread seems to be “relevance”.  Are the WAA and our roles in it still relevant?  Are we becoming less so?  What are we missing – what do we need to see differently?   What is still solidly in place and what needs to go?   What makes such an organization valuable to its members?  These were the issues and opportunities broken down and discerned at this Leadership.  The mental horsepower in the room was quite impressive. (The talent was, too!)

Disruptive Technologies was a term that was delivered and explained.  None of us need too much explanation (working in our profession) in order to grasp the concept.  We all find ourselves running to catch up, or to keep up, with new technology and/or its applications.  Realizing that the same holds true for an organization like the WAA, we were all challenged to look at what that really means for the current and incoming leaders of the organization.   The opportunity arrives in bulk form, but as we start to unpack it and to understand it, we find it also has direct correlation to our practices.  It’s one of the serendipitous benefits that come from playing a leadership role in such an organization as the WAA.  

All the Chapters have solid leadership in place.  It is a completely filled slate of officers, all motivated by the “race for relevance” that is afoot across the country with regard to social organizations, like the WAA.   Without a doubt, every chapter leader, poised to take his or her place on July 1st, has the gumption to bring positive “disruption” to their chapters.  Certainly they possess the ability to help their chapter understand the consequences of not embracing the “relevancy” issue.  

Un-freeze, Change, Freeze – go here (to download – right-click, open hyperlink, then download) and watch the video that explains the approach to assessing and addressing needed change in any organization.  It provides very strong evidence.  

Shawn Gagnon, CPA and PST Tacoma Chapter Secretary, provided a dynamic and energized presentation on leadership from the personal/individual perspective.  Heart, personal responsibility,  and commitment are all core to her encouragement.  It’s just fun to watch and listen to her!

Cindy Polley, EA and State Education Chair put a very well-honed capstone on the CPE requirements for all Chapter and State CPE.   The past two years have been in flux, with regard to the RTRP introduction and new Circular 230 rewrite.   Cindy has provided a level of calm in the sea of storms and her resolve has been inspiring to watch.   Please thank her whenever you have the opportunity.      

Astrid Arola gave her perspective from the “Top” and forward.  She always reminds us of our core reason(s) for our organizational existence.  With all her years of service to the WAA, she has a valued vision of what lies ahead and how we can strengthen our “relevancy”.  

My opportunity was in bringing in material that was challenging and “disruptive” by message.   It appears to have generated some sincere anticipation of collaborative opportunities for us to transition, not only the WAA, but our own practices, into greater “relevancy."
Finally, as we assembled what we had taken in, into short two-minute presentations  with elements being required and peer scoring of each one, Jan Fix of the NW Chapter walked away with a brand new iPad III, for her rhymed challenge to herself and the group.  (Now there’s talent! – Read Jan’s rhymed challenge below.)
Great appreciation to every attendee at Leadership and their approach to and participation in the event!

Transition Team – Leadership 2012

Front Row, LTR: Jordan Knoben, Sherry Werth, Pam Cody, Lynette Heidenreich,
Bill Morlong, Jr., Cindy Polley.  Back Row LTR: Jerry Gintz, Astrid Arola, Rizwan Chaudhry, Melanie Levno, Shawn Gagnon, Kathy Jolly, Jan Fix, Gary Bowe. 
Missing but in attendance: Charlie Grass, Becki Lawson, Sonia Smith, Jeremy Saladino

What I learned at Leadership Training (by Jan Fix)

All those years ago (was it 5 or was it 9?),
an “unlicensed accountant with a BA”, doing taxes (but NOT on-line),
I joined WAA and began to get a clue
of what I needed to learn, the stuff that others knew.

The networking’s terrific, the CPE is great,
the monthly meetings informative, & all is up-to-date.
I spent some years as a member (take, take, take, take, take).
It’s time to give back a little (should be a piece of cake).

When asked to be Secretary I thought, I’ll just be taking notes,
write out a few motions & seconds, and keeping track of quotes.
But today I learned that that’s not all. . . . .I must “Change or Die”,
and learn that new technology (like some computer guy).

Share leadership, “unfreeze-change-freeze”,
that’s enough to make me buckle at the knees.
My old ways aren’t relevant, they won’t work anymore.
I see a bunch of training is soon to be in store.

I’ve got to learn to use that scanner sitting on my desktop
to upload notices & minutes, and other stuff non-stop.
I’ve got to read our website and navigate it well
to help prospective members.  WAA won’t be a hard-sell.

We need more, younger, members, and associates too.
I can visit local college accounting classes, and so can you.
Tell students about WAA, and how & why to join,
and the benefits that they’ll receive for very little coin.

I’m not a natural leader, but that won’t stop me now.
Leaders aren’t born. . . .they’re trained!
And I can LEARN how.

Convention 2012
by Charlie Grass, Chair

Don’t miss out, catch the bus to “Camp Wanna-Maka-Buck” for the 2012 WAA Convention- Accountant Camp!  Join the fun, games and camaraderie as members and friends of the Washington Association of Accountants gather around the camp fire June 21-22, 2012 at the Holiday Inn in Renton, WA.  Register by MAY 31 for best rates!

Camp starts 2PM Thursday, June 21 with the Annual Membership Meeting (no registration required). At 6PM is a banquet with installation of Officers and recognition of Past Presidents. On Friday, after 7AM breakfast, the CPE accounting class follows from 8AM to Noon and 1PM to 5PM.

Our CPE class will explore accrual vs. cash methods of accounting, inventory, fixed asset accounting, miss-classification of expenses, and miss-statement of material amounts. "Small Business Accounting" is a review of some accounting concepts important for a business income tax return.  Special attention will be given to those issues most commonly found with small businesses possessing limited accounting knowledge, yet keep their own books and records.  Our experienced instructor: Lance K. Mertz, CMA, taught accounting and related subjects at University of Alaska SE from 1995 to 2008 and at City University of Seattle (2008 to present) and Lake Washington Technical Institute.

Thanks to WAA’s legal win in the 1980’s there are rules that allow non-CPA’s to perform accounting services.  Our CPE class will help you learn or remember those important rules to stay in compliance with the State Board of Accountancy!

Contact the Renton Holiday Inn directly to make a room reservation.  Be sure to mention “WAA convention” for the discounted rate. Reservations Line:  1-888-465-4329

Cost is always a concern for events like this and a variety of options are available to you… Full Conference, Banquet ONLY, or Class ONLY (see website for costs and early bird discounts).  Register today at www.waa.org.  Before you know it, you'll be saying, "This one time... at Accountant Camp...I learned…"
by Sonia Smith, Chair

It’s June and most of you will be receiving a reminder notice from WAA that your dues will be expiring on June 30, 2012. Those of you who joined this spring, your renewal date will be the anniversary of your join date.

 If you haven’t already done so, please take the time to log on and renew your dues; it is a very simple process.  If the dues are not paid by June 30 you will no longer be able to enjoy the member discounts of live seminars or have access to all the on-line educational opportunities on the WAA website.

Thank you for being part of our professional association and I look forward to seeing you at one of our future WAA events/seminars.

Honoring Our Members
by Sonia Smith, Award Chair

Our state convention is June 21st in Renton.  This is the time we honor our members with annual awards.  We would like your help in the voting process. Think of members in your chapter or at the state level that would deserve these awards. 

Below is a list of the awards that will be given.  For each award, choose a person and state the reason why that person should be given the particular award.  Then by June 7th, submit your votes to your local chapter President or to the Awards Chair via an email at [email protected].  All votes will then be tabulated and awarded at convention.  
  1. JOE McREYNOLDS  AWARD              
    For their commitment, service and dedication to the community, their colleagues and to the accounting profession.
    For their endless time and effort to make their Chapter or State Organization more effective. Taking on additional Responsibilities.
    For their work as a committee chair/member working to make WAA the leading accounting organization within Washington State.
    For their dedication and tireless long term work in making WAA a stronger player in the professional development of its members. Taking on additional duties as needed.

A Report from the NSA Board of Governors Meeting
by Larry Walkden

I attend the Board of Governors meeting in Savannah, GA and there is so much to report to WAA.  First, let me put all members at ease.  This trip is not being paid for by, nor subsidized by, WAA. I have taken this trip to improve my knowledge of the other ASO’s and to see if they are having the same or similar problems as those that face WAA.

NSA is looking into the possibility of electronic voting, since this would give more people the opportunity to take part in the operation of the association. This is a very technological issue and, as you can imagine, people on both sides are very adamant about it. Some say if people don’t attend the conventions they don’t care, so they don’t deserve to vote.  The other side points out that not everyone can afford the high cost of convention sites with hotel, air fare, registration, and incidentals. Does this sound familiar? We in WAA should be looking into this and moving on into the world of technology. 

NSA is also starting a mentor program, which I think we should consider for all chapters of WAA.   When you join WAA you could have someone to call if you have a tax question, or just need some help. Or how about someone calling to say lets carpool to the local chapter meeting together or the seminar.
This year NSA awarded some 30 scholarships and could have awarded more if additional qualified candidates had applied. Are any of your friends or relatives considering the accounting profession?  They may be able to get some tuition help through NSA scholarship funds.  

There are a number of organizations experiencing a loss in revenue from seminars.  How do we change this direction?  Do we need to consider a change in our name to make sure everyone knows WAA includes more than Accountants?  How would you feel if the next WAA newsletter reported that WAA was closing down and accountants would no longer be able to get benefits like E & O insurance, education classes, protection against proposed State legislation, or sales tax being applied to services?  WAA is only as strong as its members. So please renew your membership, but more than that - - take part and be active in your local chapters and in the State organization. Whether it’s on the Board or on a committee, we need your help.  Ultimately it’s a way of helping yourself. That is how we will stay available to help all who ask.

Kathy Hettick - Candidacy for 2nd VP of NSA
by Kathy Hettick

At this time, I am full of pride and privilege to announce my candidacy for 2nd VP of NSA.  As you all know, I believe wholeheartedly in this organization and have a continued passion to serve.

I think of my start, my beginning in this professional career.  28 years ago, someone believed in me.  They brought me onto their office tax team.  They asked me to join WAA, NSA, and get involved in my local chapter. And I did. I was encouraged to participate in a study group and get my ABA. I was encouraged to continue to strive for more, so I studied and got my EA License and on to the ATP credential. This is what it means to belong to a professional group – to be surrounded by support, locally and nationally and to be encouraged to strive for a better profession.

My Puget-Sound Tacoma Chapter is my foundation and where my heart is.  It was my first experience in leading, in understanding the value of a professional association and the relationships that unfold. I then was asked to step up another notch – participate on the state board.  I said yes, and I learned another element of being a professional association; reaching across different chapters, different geographical regions in our state to expand a vision of serving all of our members.

Several years later, I worked my way through the chairs and became President of WAA.  An honor and opportunity I will always treasure.  The individuals who stepped up when I asked, who as a team carried our association to the next level, were amazing. I was humbled at the level of dedication and service by so many great people, some of whom I had served for in their leadership terms.

Next step… NSA.  Again, someone believed in me, someone saw that I had something to offer in an even larger capacity.  I have served as Committee Chair, Administrative Chair, State Director, Tax Forum Speaker, and ASO Task Force Member. I have said yes, and never had regrets. I have had several mentors, several wonderful, talented individuals and leaders who have believed in me and given me a chance to serve.
And so WAA members, I come before you asking for your support as I seek the office of NSA 2nd Vice President this August at the Annual Meeting in Maui. I know with my foundation in WAA and the Puget Sound Tacoma Chapter, I am ready to go on and serve making a difference for thousands of NSA and ASO members.

I thank all of you who have helped me get to this point, and I mostly thank you for your treasured friendship.

IRS Updates
by Greg Thompson

Fresh Start: IRS Announces More Flexible Offer-in-Compromise Terms

The Internal Revenue Service announces another expansion of its “Fresh Start” initiative by offering more flexible terms in its Offer in Compromise (OIC) program that will enable some of the most financially distressed taxpayers to clear up their tax problems more quickly than in the past.

PTIN Update

As of 4/4/12, nationwide, a total of 2,712 Registered Tax Return Preparer certificates have been issued to people.  At least another 337,898 need to pass the test by the end of 2013.

 I want to take this opportunity to encourage those who need to take the RTRP test  to consider testing as soon as possible.  Among the reasons:
  1. Avoid the last minute rush.  Don't wait until 2013 or you may have difficulty obtaining a desired time and location for an appointment.
  2. Have peace of mind by getting the requirement out of the way.
  3. Test now while 2011 tax law is still fresh.
  4. Increase your credibility.  Earn your RTRP credential before next filing season.
  5. The public database is coming soon.  Become an RTRP before it launches.
  6. Don't hold out expecting the requirement or the 2013 deadline to change.  
  7. Take advantage of test prep classes from IRS approved CE Providers. Brush up on your testing skills and get 2012 CE credits for a limited time. 
I also want to make you all aware that we are encouraging people traveling to the 2012 tax forums to consider testing at or near a forum.  There are testing centers near most forums, plus we will have a mobile test center on site at the Las Vegas forum.

Reminder: IRS Stakeholder Liaison is holding an IRS/Practitioner Liaison Meeting (PLM) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 from 9:30am to 12:00pm in the South Auditorium on the 4th floor of the Jackson Federal Building at 915 2nd Ave in downtown Seattle.   The PLM is an opportunity to meet with IRS personnel from collection, exam, appeals, and other IRS functions.  

To facilitate the process, I would like to identify issues or concerns in advance of the PLM.  Include them with your request to attend.  Note that this is not a forum to raise specific client issues.  Please focus on larger systemic issues/concerns you have.  
Please let me know if you plan to attend and don’t forget to send me your issues or concerns as soon as possible.

Gregory A Thompson
Senior Stakeholder Liaison
IRS Communications, Liaison & Disclosure
Ph 206.220.5309
[email protected]

Chapter News

by Rizwan Chaudhry and Karla Lowe

The NW Chapter is already gearing up for new officer nominations, with elections accomplished at our May 2012 meeting, and installation scheduled for June.  Our CPE Guest Speaker for May was Celia Nightingale from the Department of Labor and Industries, speaking on the topic of “How to Provide Helpful Advice for your Clients”.  Members also spent some time relating interesting “tax-time” stories and events. 

Officers will be attending the Leadership Convention in May.  Members are looking forward to Accountant Camp June 21 & 22, 2012 at the annual WAA Convention at the Holiday Inn in Renton

On a personal note, it has been a pleasure serving as the President of the NW Chapter this past year. Wow, how time flies. I wanted to thank each and every one of our members for being such a wonderful member of the BEST Chapter in WA. I also would like to thank the Board of the NW Chapter, without whom I could not have done the job that I have.  Finally, to Dale Offret (NW Vice-President) and Karla Lowe (NW Secretary) and Tara Knuuttila (NW Treasurer)--thank you for being there for me when things were tough, and for all the fantastic work that the three of you have done. Words cannot express my gratitude. THANK YOU.

Gene Bell and Kathy Hettick presented the S-Corp Seminar this year in December that went extremely well. It was very well attended and everyone learned a lot just before Tax Season kicked off. Thank you Gene and Kathy.

Tax School Web-Ex Classes were researched and developed by our own Cindy Polley, Gene Bell, and Larry Walkden.  The first series was completed in November with participants taking their RTRP exams shortly afterwards.

I am looking forward to another wonderful year with WAA and all it has to offer. I have been asked by the IRS (organizers of the Small Biz Fair) to present at this year’s event and am honored to be in a position to do this with Dale Offret. This would not have happened if it were not for WAA.

We have accomplished a lot this past year and I know that we will do even better in the upcoming year under the tutelage of Dale Offret.

Washington Association of Accountants l 2150 N 107th St #205 Seattle WA 98133 l 800-733-6286 l [email protected] l www.waa.org