Thursday, May 31, 2007

Leaving the Past Behind

I've got a very important decision to make within the next 24 hours.

Some of you know that I am a Chartered Accountant, but unless I take action before 5:00 pm tomorrow, this may be the last time I'll ever be able to say that.

My annual dues must be paid by tomorrow and they are steep.
In addition, the institute has changed the rules and now, even if you don't have a license to sign audit opinons or anything (which I don't), you need to do at least 20 hours of continuing education each year. I've done well, zero. The requirement came in as of Jan 1, 2006, so to get caught up, I'll have to do 40 hours in 2007.

Now, I think requiring professionals to keep current is a good thing, in general, but it means that not only will I have to fork over a grand for my dues, I'll have to spend at least double that -- plus a few days of my life -- taking courses on topics that no longer are very practical or useful for me in order to keep my designation.

Last night a good friend -- one who understands what I went through to get the designation -- told me not to pay. To let it lapse. To stop living in the past.

Still... I feel like I'm closing such a huge door if I do this. Giving up something I worked incredibly hard to get. ACK! I know I never want to work in the corporate world again, but there may be a few options in my future, should this whole being an author thing not work out, where the CA designation might make a difference. What to do... What to do...

Do you have anything in your past you can't give up on?


Barrie said...

How funny. I have a similar decision to make re my speech pathology licence! The dues aren't nearly so steep though. Well, maybe we could rent a condo down by the beach and do our continuing ed credits online in the evenings. :) Being more serious--if you're truly not ready to close the door, maybe you shouldn't close it. That's my 2 cents. Oh yeah, are the dues tax deductible?

Karen In Toronto said...

They say God never closes a door without opening another...but we spend so much time looking at the closed door we don't realise the alternate.

As I hotf-lash my way through my 40's I have realised the best thing you can do for yourself is embrace your inner 'you'.

Families will grow up, jobs will be exported, technologies will evolve. But if you lead with your voice...not just in writing but in will be surrounded by people and spaces that give you satisfaction on a higher level.

If you feel strongly that you never want to do numbers again, put it away like you would a pair of old skinny jeans.

And...possibly...being a published author is not what's behind door #2.

Kathy Holmes said...

Great question, Maureen, and I love your answer Karen - something I need to remind myself of.

Not long ago I stormed out of my latest tech writing contract vowing to never do that again. And then I wonder why I haven't found any contracts lately. It's a tough thing to give up on because it's so lucrative and helps pay the bills while writing fiction.

We're moving back to the west coast and doors have been closing here. Now I'm curious as to what doors will open once we get there. Just gotta live on faith.

Kimber said...

I consider myself a businesswoman first, a writer second, so the renewal was a no brainer (though I haven't done traditional accounting in years). It irks me that I can't take the "retired" reduction in fees. Seems you have to be old to do that (and likely stay retired).

Your decision depends on your personality. I'm a keep all doors as possible open gal. You might be a burn your bridges babe.

And look at your perception of self. In the past year, have you ever introduced yourself as an accountant? Mentioned your designation?

Christine said...

I wish I had some good advice to offer you, Maureen. I hope things worked out for you.

Eileen said...

Man I know this feeling. I renewed my professional designation this year too and I have to have 100 hours of cont ed every five years. All I want is to be a literary diva! (she wails- flailing fists at the sky) Let us know what you decided.

Kristen Painter said...

Tough decision, but you're a smart cookie. I know you'll make the right choice.

Tena said...

"Do you have anything in your past you can't give up on?"

Maureen, I would like to say that it's myself.

Hang in there. You never know what's been waiting for you to become available.

Best of luck!

Sara Hantz said...

Hard decision to make, Maureen. But you can always take it up again at a later date if you suddenly decide to go back to accounting.

Omg my word verification is: hadfux hahahahaha

Kim Stag said...

Hi, Maureen - SOOOOO what did you decide???? Thanks for popping in and NO, I had no problem with how you phrased your comment. None! So, did you re-up or not?


Nadine Dajani said...

Hey there - I've been out of the blogosphere lately, and I can't believe I missed this!!! As someone who's making that leap right now, I feel your pain. Right now paying my astronomical dues doesn't seem like that much of a big deal to me, but then again, I've been making good money in the Caymans for a while. Next year, this will NOT be the case... what would I do?

Like you, I remember the pain of getting that designation (CMA for me). It was brutal. Brutal doesn't even begin to cover it. So for me, just on that basis, I don't think I could let it lapse. But then again, I'm just beginning to grasp the concept of living on faith, which, I realize now, is a much better way to spend my 70+ years on Earth than living in fear, which is what I've done so far. I'm a smart girl dang it, and so are you, and I will NOT end up a bag lady! And I'm sure neither will you. For me, the CMA was an accomplishment, a necessary step to where I am today, which is a published author (sounds funny, but hey, this was my journey. Don't know what would've happened if I'd taken another way in life).

But if you don't feel that way about your designation, and are just hanging on to it out of fear and nothing else, then it doesn't sound like there's that much point in it... that IS a tough decision, but a totally and completely individual.

Hope you find peace with whatever you decide. And for a good book (I'm only a couple of chapters in so far but it's good so far), about living on faith rather than fear, try The Four Hour Work Week (I'll blog about it as soon as I'm done reading).

...and a massive THANK YOU for the Bay/Bloor alert - you sooooo made my day!!!!!!

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