Farewell Message from the Departing President of KACPA

Dear KACPA members,

First of all, I would like to express my gratitude for the opportunity to serve this past year, especially to the former presidents, directors, and the current officers who worked hard during these turbulent times. I appreciate your patience, generosity, and understanding.

When the pandemic began, I wondered about the steps I could take to justify my selection as the president of this esteemed organization. It was challenging and stressful to be the president in a highly uncertain environment. Throughout my one-year tenure, nothing has given me a harder time than my regular internal battles. I felt a pressure to do something on a daily basis, yet I could not due to very limited options and severe restrictions on private and public activities by the relevant authorities.

My initial plan was to hold the inauguration at a hotel ballroom. I decided it would be better to move the event to my house and turn it into a small private gathering. However, even this back- up plan had to be cancelled as the risks were still significant. The pandemic also led to the cancellation of other events such as professional seminars, a golf tournament, and the Christmas Party. When I became president, I had many ideas and was excited to turn them into reality.

However, unforeseen circumstances eventually prevailed and prevented me from accomplishing my vision.

It has been a challenging tenure as president because I could not rely on any precedent to guide me. This global pandemic is the first of its kind in our lives. I heard many great ideas from the officers but those ideas failed to materialize due to pandemic-related restrictions as well as differences of opinions regarding the execution of those ideas.

We conducted meetings through Zoom since personal meetings were too risky. It did not take long for us to realize that Zoom meetings are far less productive, especially in serving members and the community. However, doing nothing was not an option. We experimented with different approaches and the lessons learned from these experiments eventually led to the launch of our CPE Seminars in the form of webinars in Southern California. We followed that launch with

expanding our reach to Korean CPAs in all fifty US states. The venture proved successful beyond our expectations as many webinar participants thanked us for allowing them to earn CPE credits for free. KACPA has evolved into an influential hub that serves Korean CPAs from all over the country. It provides CPE credits relevant to small practices, sometimes even offering seminars in Korean.

We invested countless hours in addressing the technological, logistical, and regulatory issues in order to set up the webinars. Even during the safer-at-home period, we conducted several team meetings in my office in the planning phase. Our platform removes geographical constraints and allows us to reach Korean CPAs not only in the U.S. but all over the world. This new way of delivering seminars has created tremendous growth opportunities for our organization.

The webinar platform allowed us to live-broadcast Korean public tax seminars for the first time. We have done a complete update of KACPA’s Directors list and have set up QuickBooks online for KACPA. We have established a presence on YouTube to expand our public reach. In addition, we have established a Directors’ room on KakaoTalk to facilitate open communication.

For the first time, the articles from our CPA journal have been published in the business section of major Korean newspapers. These articles have increased our exposure to the general public, in addition to providing a soft copy to the Korean CPAs in the nation.

Reflecting on my presidency, I am reminded that throughout my tenure, I acted in what I believed is the best for the organization, even if doing so came with many challenges with very few moments of joy. Nevertheless, overcoming these severe challenges reinvigorated me spiritually, giving me the strength to face the next challenge reality presented. I believe these challenges were blessings in disguise as they taught me valuable life lessons. While I did not get an inauguration ceremony like former Presidents did, I’m glad to have finally completed my term during this pandemic. Once again, thank you all for your passionate support of KACPA.

 

Justin C. Oh, President of KACPA