Each year accounting and tax professionals who made significant contributions to the accounting profession are honored by the National Society of Accountants (NSA).
Person of the Year: IRS Commissioner John Koskinen
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen was honored as the NSA Person of the Year for continuing to listen to NSA concerns at a time when tax preparers face challenges such as a shrinking tax season, more complex tax code, and a smaller IRS budget. A case in point: Koskinen recently acted on an NSA request to raise the de minimis provision in the property capitalization regulations, which was capped at $500 and hurt small businesses. One week after meeting with NSA Koskinen raised the threshold to a reasonable level.
Accountant of the Year –One of NSA’s highest honors was presented to Robert Thoma, EA, ABA, ATA, ATP, ARA, Thoma & Associates LTD of Columbia, IL for outstanding achievement and service to NSA, the accounting and tax profession, the Illinois state society and his community. Thoma enthusiastically served on many NSA committees and participated in IRS Tax Forums. As a volunteer with the Independent Accountants Association of Illinois (IAAI), he developed an ongoing working relationship with the Illinois Department of Revenue and the Missouri Department of Revenue. Thoma is also widely praised for being extremely generous with his time and giving back to his professional community, helping the associations where he is a member and his fellow practitioners.
Distinguished Service Award – Presented to Susan Robertson, EA, ATA, ABA, LTC, of 3rd Generation Accounting of Portland, OR, for significant and exemplary contributions for the betterment of NSA and its membership, as well as the accounting profession. The award recognizes continuous service, loyalty, and dedication to NSA. Robertson is a third-generation accountant in the family business and served this year as Administrative Chair to the NSA Leadership Development Committee, where she spearheaded the development of two leadership conferences.
Speaker of the Year – This award recognizes outstanding NSA continuing education presentations. The winner was John O. Everett, CPA, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Accounting at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, who has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to NSA and to helping tax practitioners pass the EA exam. He is the author of the NSA Enrolled Agent Exam Review Course, teaches this 3-day course live for NSA, and also teaches EA exam prep webinars for NSA each year plus webinars on other tax topics. Everett also goes above and beyond teaching these courses, staying in contact with attendees, providing updates, study tips, answers, and encouragement.
Norma Kraus Award – This award, given to the best State Director of the year, was presented to Ron Grafman, EA, of Germantown, MD, Chair of the NSA Rules Committee and a longtime State Director who is dedicated to attending NSA events, serving on committees, recruiting new members, and continually promoting NSA.
NSA Young Professional of the Year Award – The winner of this newly created award is Erin Nebbin, EA, of Big Lake, Minnesota, who at a young age has already served as President of the Minnesota Association of Public Accountants, where she chaired the committee charged with revamping the state regions and restructuring the annual convention. She has also served on the NSA Membership Committee and participated in the NSA leadership program.
ASO Monitoring and Legislative Achievement Award – This new award was presented to Ken Brauer, EA, ATP, of Lincoln, NE, who is a strong advocate of practice rights for NSA members, especially in the Nebraska affiliated state organization, where he has chaired the legislative program for 15 years. He regularly writes articles regarding legislative and accountancy board matters in the ASO newsletter and provides an in-depth report to members at the end of each legislative session.
Keith Billings Memorial Award – This award is given in memory of Keith Billings, a mainstay of the original NSA Editorial Review Committee, and recognizes the most outstanding ASO publication based on content, coverage of activities, timeliness of articles, newsletter format and overall appearance. The award went to the North Carolina Society of Accountants and its publication, The Accountant.
Charles W. McAllister Award – This award is given to Affiliated State Organizations showing the highest net increase in NSA membership during the past year. Two organizations tied for the award and were honored: The Georgia Association of Accountants and Tax Professionals and the Maryland Society of Accounting and Tax Professionals.
Golden Quill Award – This award honors outstanding contributions to the NSA magazine – Main Street Practitioner – and the Main Street Practitioner Blog, NSA Newsletter and Life & Taxes Blog. The winner was Frank Stitely, CPA, CVA, of Chantilly, VA, for his article, “3 Rules for Asking Great Tax Return Questions” in the Jan/Feb 2016 issue of Main Street Practitioner and his blog, “Why Aren’t You Delegating Yet?”
Outstanding ASO Website Award – This award recognizes ASO websites that are informative, useful to members and provide information that educates the users. The New Hampshire Tax and Accounting Professionals won in the small-to-medium membership category, and the Pennsylvania Society of Tax & Accounting Professionals won in the large membership category.
Outstanding Tax Talker Award – This award recognizes an NSA member for their exceptional participation on the NSA Tax Talk, an online discussion forum launched in 2006 that grows in popularity every year. Members often cite it as one of the NSA benefits they value most. The award went to Marina Hernandez, for posting more than 1,000 comments and giving thoughtful responses to questions on the forum.