After NSA Annual Meeting and the election results have come in, MSP features an interview with the incoming President for the benefit of NSA members, and the tax and accounting profession at large. Today, Main Street Practitioner would like to congratulate Joel Grandon, the National Society of Accountant’s new President for the 2019-2020 term.
Joel, congratulations on your election. Before we get into the meat of the interview, can you tell us a little more about you? How long have you been in business?
I am married to Luann, we just celebrated 34 years of marriage this month and have two sons Curtis (28) and Kyle (24) and a daughter-in-law, Emily. I am a sole practitioner in Marion Iowa. I have been in public accounting since July of 1990, in Marion, which is a great place to raise a family and operate a business. I have a 3 full time staff and 2 part time employees. My firm offers accounting, payroll and income tax services.
Does your practice have a niche specialty, or do you serve a range of clients?
We serve a variety of clients, with a concentration on service, restaurant, and construction businesses.
Over your years as a tax professional, how have the needs of your clients changed?
My clients are seeing a need for more year-round tax planning services. They are often more confused by regulations and tax law changes so we spend more time on educating our clients than we did in the past.
What about the industry at large?
It seems like tax simplification really means regulation and tax complication. As a whole, our clients need more explanations of the services they require as tax laws and regulatory bodies continue to change the rules. Payroll compliance is another area where more help has been needed in recent years, as states continue to push electronic transmission of payroll reporting.
Speaking of change, you served under former President Christine Freeland as First Vice President over the last year. A lot happened during her term. We saw the institution of online voting, the creation of the Strategic Plan, and a revision of NSA’s Bylaws. You got to see this up close and participated in those developments.
Looking back on the last year, have you ever seen that much change happen at once in the Society?
In the last 15 years or so that I have been involved in our Society, I don’t believe I have seen this much change at once. I do believe that as we strive to find our niche in our profession, we will continue to drive more change both inside and outside of our organization.
Thanks to the Board of Governors, and NSA staff, the new Strategic Plan is being implemented. Which aspects of the plan do you feel are most important?
Obviously, we had to change our infrastructure to make the new plan work. This has not been easy—nor popular at times—but now that we have navigated that change, I believe the most critical thing we can do is to drive member value. I feel we are currently doing this with recent updates to our homepage and the addition of products such as VeriFyle. As accountants, we always like a value driven solution, and that is exactly what you get with your NSA membership.
Do you have any personal goals for your term that aren’t directly reflected in the Strategic Plan, or an aspect of it that you want to focus on?
While having fun isn’t directly linked to the Strategic Plan, it is a focal point of my year as NSA President. I believe that if we make our Society fun again, whether it is at the Annual Meeting or any other time our members gather, we must enjoy what we are doing. I recently came across a quote from Sam Glenn, a motivational speaker, which sums this up pretty well. He said “A sign you have a positive workplace culture is laughter. Just listen to how much laughter there is where you work. Laughter is a very good sign of positivity. You can work hard and still laugh and enjoy your workday more.”
Thank you for taking time to help us learn more about you and your ideas for moving NSA ahead this year. We look forward to working with you.
About the Author
James Crawford Is the the Communications Manager and Editor of the National Society of Accountants.