On June 29, OSCPA CEO Clarke Price, CAE, hosted OSCPA’s first live CPA Issues Forum video webcast. More than 700 OSCPA members tuned in for the two-hour program, which was similar to a public affairs television show. The program featured:
- A review of state and national issues that OSCPA is following
- An economic update
- A panel discussion featuring CPA experts on municipal tax reform
- The outlook for private company financial reporting
The webcast was the official launch of OSCPA’s expanded commitment to online video programming for news and continuing education.
The demand for timely news and education has risen sharply in recent years, with OSCPA webcast participation increasing 399% in the past year. OSCPA has been offering live webinars for several years, and advanced to offering video webcasts of live classes in 2011. This past May, OSCPA became the first state CPA society to webcast an entire track of tax sessions from a live event, the Dayton Accounting Show.
The CPA Issues Forum is the first of many live online programs OSCPA will bring to members in the future, making it more cost effective and convenient for CPAs to participate no matter where they are located geographically. The programs are accessible anywhere a member has a high speed Internet connection, including most smart mobile phones and devices.
The June 29 production involved several months of planning. The streamlined production allowed CPAs who tuned in to both listen to the presentation and interact with other members via a live chat function. CPAs could ask questions and discuss topics on the webcast with each other. Staff moderated an optional chat room and posed questions that came in to Price and other panel leaders.
There were some minor technical glitches on the front end that were mostly traceable to connectivity or firewall issues on the participant’s side. OSCPA staff were able to assist in troubleshooting these issues for members and the show progressed smoothly.
CPAs who tune in to future video webcasts are encouraged to use the chat room, even if they don’t plan to ask questions. It’s a great way to interact with other CPAs and the webcast team also posts technical tips to improve participants’ experience.
“I was extremely pleased that so many CPAs tuned in for the first CPA Issues Forum,” Price said. “It demonstrates there is a huge interest in online programming among OSCPA members and we are definitely on the leading edge of other state CPA societies in this area.”