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Texas CPA Spotlight: AI’s Impact, Expanding Role of CPAs, and Diversity in the Accounting Profession - Part 2

Texas CPA Jodi Ann Ray
Texas CPA Jodi Ann Ray



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Jodi Ann Ray [00:00:00 - 00:00:40]

We're also looking at AI-based tools that can better assist our members and how they approach their work. You know, we also have the dynamic audit solution that's been in development for a number of years. It's now commercially available and there's, you know, hundreds of audits that they have run through DAS and have tested it and making it available. So, those early adopters are really providing a service to the rest of the profession for learning it, understanding it, transitioning to it, so that those lessons and tools can be available and provided to the rest of the profession, as well.


Announcer [00:00:43 - 00:00:55]

Welcome to Paychex THRIVE, a Business Podcast, where you'll hear timely insights to help you navigate marketplace dynamics and propel your business forward. Here's your host, Gene Marks.


Gene Marks [00:01:00 - 00:01:32]

Hey, everybody, it's Gene Marks. Welcome back to another episode of the Paychex THRIVE podcast. Thank you so much for joining me. By the way, if you need any tips or advice, help running your business, want to get some prior episodes of this podcast? Who wouldn't? Sign up for our newsletter. It's the Paychex THRIVE newsletter. Go to It will absolutely help you run your business. Now, let's get to our conversation.


I am speaking today to Jodi Ann Ray. She is the president and CEO of the Texas Society of CPAs. First of all, Jodi Ann, thank you so much for joining.


Jodi Ann Ray [00:01:33 - 00:01:37]

Thank you, Gene. It's great to talk with you. And thanks to Paychex for the invitation.


Gene Marks [00:01:37 - 00:01:55]

Yeah, I'm glad you got it. Why are some of the CPA, the state CPA groups, some are called societies and then others are called institutes. Like here in Pennsylvania, it's the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs. And you're like the Texas Society. Do you guys party more? Is it like, more like ...


Jodi Ann Ray [00:01:55 - 00:01:58]

Perhaps. We do like to have fun in Texas. Everything's bigger here.


Gene Marks [00:01:58 - 00:01:59]

Is there any difference?


Jodi Ann Ray [00:01:59 - 00:02:13]

There's no difference. No. I think, you know, these organizations were structured, you know, so many years ago. You know, we're more than 115 years old, so I think that, you know, we stuck with our original name structures at the time.


Gene Marks [00:02:13 - 00:02:22]

Got it. So, tell us a little bit about yourself. Let's start off with this. You know, how long have you been with the Texas Society of CPAs and how'd you get there?


Jodi Ann Ray [00:02:23 - 00:02:42]

I've been here about seven and a half years, and I've always been in kind of the association management side, just different organizations and different parts of the country, as well. And so I'm happy to be here. And it's been great fun getting to understand and work for the accounting profession.


Gene Marks [00:02:42 - 00:02:45]

And you came from Connecticut. Is that where you were raised, in Connecticut?


Jodi Ann Ray 00:02:45 - 00:02:55]

Originally from Connecticut? Spent about 10 years in North Carolina and now have been here for over 10. And it's a great place to live.


Gene Marks [00:02:55 - 00:03:01]

Yeah, it's a culture shock, actually. I mean, it is a lot different living in Texas than it is in Connecticut, don't you think?


Jodi Ann Ray [00:03:02 - 00:03:09]

100%. The business environment is very different. I think that little stint in North Carolina helped me with that transition, though.


Gene Marks [00:03:10 - 00:03:24]

It's true, actually. It's sort of like you went, like, you started your way south, like, stopped in North Carolina for a while, and then you made your way. You're right. I can see that being like a definitely. Have you watched Friday Night Lights? Is that a show that you've seen?


Jodi Ann Ray [00:03:25 - 00:03:34]

Absolutely. This cute story. The Friday Night Lights is actually, as far as I know, based on the town that I grew, that I live in now.


Gene Marks [00:03:34 - 00:03:48]

No kidding? Yeah. That sounds like why it's somewhat familiar, even when you mentioned it earlier and where you were. Yeah, it's a great show. I've been trying to convince my wife to watch it. I saw it a number of years ago. And don't forget, the coach winds up in Philly at the very end, which is where I'm from.


Jodi Ann Ray [00:03:48 - 00:03:50]

Okay, good to know. Good. I forgot that part.


Gene Marks [00:03:50 - 00:04:14]

Just want to be on record. Just want to be on record. So, you're not a CPA, and that's not uncommon. I've talked to a few executive directors of state societies that are not CPAs. They have experience in association management and running organizations. What have you learned about CPAs since you've joined this organization?


Jodi Ann Ray [00:04:17 - 00:04:54]

So much. They are extremely dedicated professionals. They're passionate about their craft and what they do. Most importantly, they're looking to have businesses succeed. They are definitely rule-based. We want to make sure that their quality is top of the list and most important, and I think the environment has changed a lot. I think one of the things that we're seeing is that, you know, more and more professionals in the field really understand how it's evolving and changing and want to be able to make those changes to best serve the needs of their clients.


Gene Marks [00:04:54 - 00:04:59]

Yeah, it makes sense. Who are your members? Give me some demographics.


Jodi Ann Ray [00:05:00 - 00:05:18]

It's really across the board. So, there's really no one value proposition for membership that serves everyone because we literally have everyone engaged from the Big Four to sole proprietors and sole CPAs.


Gene Marks [00:05:18 - 00:05:33]

Right, fair enough. Diversity. I mean, like, since you've been there in the past seven years, have you seen any rise in any type of groups of people, minority groups, women, or has that, have those percentages remain mostly constant?


Jodi Ann Ray [00:05:34 - 00:06:15]

No, I think we have seen some pretty significant shifts, and we're pretty proud of that as far as, not only how the population overall is changing, but also about how we're working on that from an engagement perspective. So, we have 28,000 members across the state of Texas. We operate 20 chapters across the state. And I would say we've seen a lot of increase in diversity, a lot more women involved in leadership roles, and that's reflected in our membership. We are seeing increases in underrepresented communities being engaged, but not nearly as fast or as much as we want to or need to have engaged.


Gene Marks [00:06:16 - 00:07:17]

That'll change and it'll change for the better. We just need to, we need to give that time. And I'm confident in the future. I mean, I don't know if you have kids. I have kids, like in their twenties, and I look at their friends and their communities - so much more diverse and so much more open and more educated for, frankly, than when I was a kid. And so I just, you know, it's not going to happen overnight. But I do believe the profession itself is ... it will evolve, for sure. You know, I'm curious, you know, it's funny also that you mentioned about, you know, more female leadership and you've seen more of that.


I mean, I, when I started in accounting, it was back like in the mid-80s, and I was at KPMG for nine years, and there were a lot, you know, a fair amount – I don't want to, I don't know if it's 50/50, but a fair amount of female staff members alongside me. And I'm just seeing now how many of them, again, things take time. They are now assuming leadership positions in the profession, and I'm assuming you're seeing the same thing. Have you seen a significant increase in women in leadership roles across the state?


Jodi Ann Ray [00:07:18 - 00:08:18]

Absolutely. We had our first female chair of the society in probably the early-90s, and that's grown so significantly since then. But I would say if you look, even in the time that I've been here, I've seen a tremendous shift, and that's only seven and a half years. But we have so much more engagement and leadership being brought to the table. And I think that is reflective of society overall.


But I think it has been a strong push for the profession overall. So, I think the efforts that the profession took, particularly to focus on women in leadership and that trajectory made a significant impact, and we're seeing that now. And I am hoping, as you say, a lot of the resource and time and attention and priority that we are focused on diversity, equity and inclusion and underrepresented audiences, that we will see that continue to increase as we move forward as well.


Gene Marks [00:08:18 - 00:08:27]

Are you guys one of the biggest, bigger societies, CPA societies in the country? I'm assuming you. California, Florida, you've got it.


Jodi Ann Ray [00:08:27 - 00:08:30]

We're second in size behind California.


Gene Marks [00:08:30 - 00:08:48]

Wow, that's amazing. And as far as your members, what do you do for your members? Tell me some of the services. I'm in Pennsylvania, so I know what my society does, but if I was in Texas and I belong to the Texas Society, CPAs, what would you guys be doing for me?


Jodi Ann Ray [00:08:48 - 00:09:22]

Well, we survey our members all the time to make sure that we understand what's highest priority to them. And there's three things that come out at the top of the list every single time that we do it, and that's protecting the license, access to information and resources, and sharing, you know, late-breaking news and information that they need to keep up to date on, and then community and connection, really being able to have those connections among their peers and contemporaries to really expand their business opportunities and that learning environment for them.


Gene Marks [00:09:22 - 00:09:24]

What do you mean by protecting your licenses?


Jodi Ann Ray [00:09:25 - 00:10:40]

So, advocacy is the most important benefit that we provide. So, whether that's on the state or federal level or amongst the regulatory community, really making sure that we understand what is being proposed and what our members face and how it impacts them and educating them on them and then engaging them in the process.


So, we operate a political action committee – a PAC – at the state level, and so we're actively engaged in developing relationships with our state legislators on a regular basis. We're very involved in federal issues. And then what's a little bit unique to the Texas Society compared to some of our colleagues around the country is the Texas society responds to every single exposure draft that is released. So, we want to make sure that the voice of the Texas CPA community is heard and recognized, and so we are regularly commenting whether we agree or disagree on a position to make sure that they understand what our position is, what we think that they need to know, or what perhaps they need to consider as they are evaluating an issue.


Gene Marks [00:10:40 - 00:10:57]

Got it. Got it. So, what is ... so, what do you think is unique about the Texas CPAs? I mean, why would you think a CPA in Texas, in public practice or even in private industry, would be different than maybe their counterparts in Illinois or Nebraska?


Jodi Ann Ray [00:10:58 - 00:11:38]

Well, there's a couple things I would say. One, just our shared geography. Texas is a very large state, so it almost makes the needs of members in the community a little bit more divergent because there are regional differences as to how we operate in Texas. So, we really want to make sure that we have engagement and a presence in each of the regions across the state so that we understand what's impacting them and how we can best serve them. So, that would be the first. I would say, you know, there's, as you see in the news regularly, a tremendous in migration to Texas.


Gene Marks [00:11:38 - 00:11:39]



Jodi Ann Ray [00:11:39 - 00:12:28]

So, that definitely impacts our members and how they serve. And I would say, you know, at times when we're dealing things with things like looking at the pipeline shortage, and even though we have such a large population, keeping up with the needs in the state are significant. Also, you know, we have, you know, such large business centers. If you're just looking at, for example, Houston and Dallas and the international nature of that work and what's being done, there is a little bit of a difference there. And then lastly, maybe what I would hit on is, you know, the very vast difference in sizes of organizations that we serve here. Pretty significant.


Gene Marks [00:12:28 - 00:12:42]

Yeah, it's funny. I mean, you mentioned about the vast migration to Texas, and Texas is, you know, you know, one of the states with the lowest unemployment rate, you know, highest growth. It's like, you know, if I, if I were going to move and open up an accounting firm or buy an accounting firm.


Jodi Ann Ray [00:12:42 – 00:12:43]

You would move here?


Gene Marks [00:12:43 – 00:12:51]

Yeah, I would. You know, I mean, it's just, it's just a, I'm not sure if I'd be able to deal with the heat in the summer, but that's another issue.


Jodi Ann Ray [00:12:51]

You get used to it.


Gene Marks [00:12:51 – 00:13:20]

I just get used to it. Yeah, you guys always say you'll get used to it. Like there's air conditioning. You can't get used to it. It's very hot. But okay, fine. You know, I'll find some way to get around. But the economic advantages, though, definitely outweigh that. I mean, there is, I think there is. And I think that that seems like something that you guys would be working on as well, like making it easier for CPAs to establish businesses right in the state and transition to state because there's got to be a big demand for financial professionals, right?


Jodi Ann Ray [00:13:20 - 00:13:32]

Huge demand. And so that's something that's front and center for us. And part of our, we're drafting our next edition of our strategic plan right now. And that, that goal is top of the list.


Gene Marks [00:13:32 - 00:13:58]

Yeah, I believe it. Are the demographics of CPA firms in Texas reflective of the rest of the country? I mean, the average age of the U.S. small business owner is about 55 years old. Do you, do you see when you talk to the partners at your member firms that, you know, it's skewing that much older and that there's, you know, can you see that there's going to be succession planning and turnover and exiting types of issues on the horizon?


Jodi Ann Ray [00:13:58 - 00:14:30]

100%. That's been here the entire time I've been here. Our membership demographics follow that same trajectory that you just shared, and that is also following the trend with the current active licensees in the states, as well. So, we have a demographic challenge that we're looking to overcome, and I think what we're trying to look at most is the tremendous opportunity that provides for people that want to participate in this market.


Gene Marks [00:14:32 - 00:15:28]

Yeah, I agree. I mean, for people looking for growing business, I don't know. It's funny, when you talk to entrepreneurs or people that want to start up businesses, you get, so what's it, romance by Hollywood, you're going to open up a cool, like in “Schitt's Creek”, like a cool pharmacy with all natural products or a cool coffee shop or whatever, when most businesses are not cool in the sense of being like, you know, they're just, they're meat and potatoes. I think CPA practices are like that. It's not like it's anything like super cool about doing it, but it's a great profession.


And to me it just seems like an enormous opportunity in Texas if you can attract people to do that. Which brings me to my next question, you know. Obviously, you, like every other executive director, like every other CPA society around the country, are dealing with recruitment issues and pipeline issues. Give me your thoughts on that. Like what are you guys trying to do in Texas to fix that?


Jodi Ann Ray [00:15:28 - 00:15:39]

Well, one of the things that we've done is really tried to reorient our strategy from being reactive to proactive. And we're in the second year of implementing a statewide pipeline strategy.


Gene Marks [00:15:39 - 00:15:40]



Jodi Ann Ray [00:15:40 - 00:17:10]

So, one of the things that we really advocated for pretty strongly was we need to have a national strategy around this work, and doing it state by state or jurisdiction by jurisdiction doesn't make the most sense. So, I'm really proud of the fact that I think the profession is really digging in here and doing the hard work, because if it was easy to solve, it would have been solved already. I've had the pleasure and opportunity to serve on the national Pipeline Advisory group that came out of a resolution at the AICPA council last May. And we began really digging in and focusing on the work with some in person meetings starting last July.


We're set now to make a recommendation and a proposed strategy back to council this May. And so we really focused on data, the data that's out there and how we could leverage it, because there's a lot of data and it's good data. The second thing that we're really focused on is engagement. Engagement by practitioners, engagement by the infrastructure and ecosystem, all the organizations that support the profession, and really identifying, you know, how we can work together hand in hand, because there's no one organization or group that can really address this issue and there's no one problem to fix. There's a number of things that need to be addressed, and we need to look at all of them.


Gene Marks [00:17:10 - 00:17:17]

Why do you think, you know, there's been such a recruitment issue in this profession over the past five to 10 years?


Jodi Ann Ray [00:17:18 - 00:17:54]

I think it's a number of factors. I think that, you know, one of the things that we've seen, and I know firms are reacting to this now, and I think as we start to get more data on this, we're gonna start to see how this is changing. But starting salaries have not kept up with other competing organizations and, you know, fields of study that students can look at. And so, we know we need to address that. You know, the other thing that I think that everybody knows the term CPA and, you know, they don't really understand what CPA is. And so the first thing that the general public thinks about is tax.


Gene Marks [00:17:54 - 00:17:54]



Jodi Ann Ray [00:17:54 - 00:18:49]

And anybody that's involved in the profession knows there's so many different opportunities and paths that you can take. So, I do think that there's a little bit of an image issue that we need to address, and we need to be telling a better story about what the opportunities are here because you talked a little bit earlier about, you know, what's super cool about this profession. I think what's super cool about this profession is that you are driving business success by the work that you do, and you are in control of the work that you do and what you focus on. And so, it's not like I'm going to pick this one thing and then that's what I'm going to do for the rest of my life, and it's a very repetitive work. You can set your own path, and if you want to work for a large company or you want to be entrepreneurial and go out on your own, whatever it is that drives you or whatever your personal passion is, you can match that with your career in accounting.


Gene Marks [00:18:49 - 00:20:12]

So, you know, what I think is super cool in this profession. I totally agree with what you said. But even, in addition, like, I speak to numerous state CPA societies during the year, and I talk about things that are impacting their clients and their companies. This is in Ohio, New Jersey, and North Carolina. My audience of CPAs that come to these things, you know, this more than anything else, are not necessarily in public practice, right? I mean, certainly not the big four, because those forums, they provide their own CPE or educational programs. But it's a lot of people that are in private industry, and I've seen a growing number of CPAs that come to these things that aren't even in accounting roles, which I think that is the cool thing. I see people that are in marketing, people that are in scientific studies, people that are in PR, things that involve data.


They need people that are familiar with data, particularly financial data, to make decisions. And it's a data driven world. And sometimes I don't realize that, or I don't think that the message gets across to younger people that becoming a certified public accountant really gives you credibility in the whole world of data, specifically financial data, which can then be applied in all sorts of ways in a business. You don't just have to be an accountant, you know, reviewing a general ledger for your career. There's a lot of other things that you could be doing with your life. Do you know what I mean?


Jodi Ann Ray [00:20:13 - 00:20:44]

Absolutely. I would say, I just thought about this, and I didn't realize it at the time, but we just did. We try and do a lot of school outreach, both at the high school and college level. And so we did a high school in Dallas a few weeks ago, and we had about 70 or 80 kids that are going through their finance track. And so we had three members, three CPA members, we did it with accounting plus, and we brought in three CPAs to speak to the students. Not one of them was in public accounting.


Gene Marks [00:20:44 - 00:22:03]

Right, right? And then I think the trick is, and you'll see this, because it's evolving this way, is that you can not only bring people in to speak to these kids that are not only in public, they're in private. You know, they're working for private companies. It's really super fun to find people that aren't even in the accounting side or the finance side. I mean, like, I know a woman, she was the chief marketing officer of a Fortune 500 company that you would very well recognize, and she was the CPA. And the reason why was because this company that, you know, being in marketing, it's a very data-driven profession. You know, so, you know, that was why she. You know, so and so, you know, a CPA is perfect for that job. You don't have to be Don Draper on "Mad Men", you know what I mean? In today's world where data is so important.


So, I think that message to kids, I think, is really, really important. How about CPE and continuing educational credits? I mean, I struggle with that. Is it the same in Texas? Like, in Pennsylvania, I have to get 80 credits over two years to become a CPA. I mean, again, Pennsylvania, I don't know if it's same in Texas. It's like you have to pretty much go to college for five years to get the credits, you know, and then serve in public account. To me, it's like just the bar has been raised almost a little too high, and I don't know how you feel about it or if there's anything being done about that, you know, in your state.


Jodi Ann Ray [00:22:04 - 00:22:12]

There is. So, I'll talk about the CPE first. And that is, you know, I think in Texas, you have to have 120 credits over three years.


Gene Marks [00:22:12 - 00:22:13]



Jodi Ann Ray [00:22:13 - 00:22:41]

And take at least 20 a year. And we do. Part of that is an ethics requirement. And so, I think what's been built over time is a compliance-driven system, and I would like to see that evolve to really focus on the types of issues that CPAs need to keep their skills fresh and moving them forward, rather than compliance driven. So, I think we still have some work to do there to really have it accomplish what it was intended to.


Gene Marks [00:22:41 - 00:23:05]

And by the way, if I can even interrupt you. So, when I go through my credits, I use the same self-study service. This company, they send me the same. I take the same courses every two years. Do you know what I mean? Because in Pennsylvania, there's even a tax requirement as well, which is irrelevant to me. So, you're right. It's more. It's like I'm almost, I'm motivated to do stuff for compliance purposes instead of actually taking courses that could actually really help me in my.


Jodi Ann Ray [00:23:05 - 00:23:06]

Absolutely. Absolutely.


Gene Marks [00:23:06 - 00:23:06]

So …


Jodi Ann Ray [00:23:06 - 00:25:09]

You're right. Absolutely. So that needs to be addressed. The other thing that we're taking a really hard look at, and as you know, it's been a huge conversation across the country, is what do the licensure requirements need to look at? And so, through the National Pipeline Advisory Group, through the professional Licensure Task Force of NASBA, there is a lot of focus and study on this.


So, again, the NPAG process is really data driven. But one of the things that we're really focused on, a part of these recommendations is how we modernize and future-proof the licensure requirements. So, what is really needed when you're starting out in your career and also what's going to give you that solid foundation? There's so many dynamics changing in the marketplace and we need to be reactive to what's happening in the market and projecting what's happening in the market going forward. So, the idea of NPAG was there was nothing off the table. Look at all the options.


And so, we're really digging into this and just starting to socialize some of those things right now and are trying to get feedback from the market. So, one thing that I'll share if the listeners have not seen it yet, there is a national survey in the field right now from the National Pipeline Advisory Group trying to test some of these concepts and get feedback. So, we're not testing the things that, you know, just kind of our expectations, what people would normally think are going to come out as part of the strategy, but those things that are perhaps a little bit different or perhaps might not be, you know, fully in agreement across different stakeholders. We're trying to get that feedback.


So, we have a great number of participants right now, but we, we want as much feedback and input in this process as possible because we really want the solutions to fit what's happening in the marketplace now and in the future. And practitioners are the ones that can drive that information for us.


Gene Marks [00:25:09 - 00:26:08]

Good. That's good. Let's talk technology. Right now, as you and I are speaking, H&R Block is creating a Generative AI product. They're developing their own large language model that will have almost an infinite amount of legislative and other type of technical tax documentation that their clients can query and engage and talk to to get the right answers for their, you know, to prepare their tax returns.


It's clear, Jodi, and that's where, that's where things are going. You know, it's clear that a lot of us in the profession that are just churning out tax returns or answering standard questions or providing, you know, standard types of business advice, I mean, that's going to be replaced by, by the chatbots of the not-too-distant tomorrow. What are your thoughts on AI and how it's going to impact the profession? And what do you think? What do you think societies like yours should be doing to help your members prepare for it?


Jodi Ann Ray [00:26:09 - 00:26:25]

I think this is probably one of the most important areas that we need to focus on. And so, this came up at some of our meetings and we were real clear in the message, AI isn't going to replace any jobs. What AI is going to replace is the people that aren't taking advantage of the technology and leveraging it.


Gene Marks [00:26:25 - 00:26:27]

Exactly. Yes, keep going.


Jodi Ann Ray [00:26:27 - 00:27:18]

So, what we're really focused on is exploring it, and if we're giving advice to members, we're saying get familiar with it. You don't need to be implementing it across your business in any way, but you need to test it, you need to try it, you need to start to understand it. And you can do that at a real basic level. And then we're saying try some things internally that are internally focused on your business. Maybe not customer or externally focused yet. And look at that, it already has changed the landscape. It's just that we're not all using it yet. So, some of the largest companies in the industry already have AI tools built that their teams are using day in and day out for research and development. And that's been out there for over almost two years, I think.


Gene Marks [00:27:18 - 00:27:19]

Yeah, it's going on two years.


Jodi Ann Ray [00:27:20 - 00:27:30]

So, this is really important. So, we need to be focused as societies on how we help members navigate these changes.


Gene Marks [00:27:30 - 00:27:30]



Jodi Ann Ray [00:27:30 - 00:28:16]

So, we're using it internally ourselves so that we have that personal experience, but we're also looking at AI-based tools that can better assist our members and how they approach their work. We also have the dynamic audit solution that's been in development for a number of years. It's now commercially available and there's hundreds of audits that they have run through das and have tested it and making it available. So, those early adopters are really providing a service to the rest of the profession for learning it, understanding it, transitioning to it, so that those lessons and tools can be available and provided to the rest of the profession, as well.


Gene Marks [00:28:17 - 00:29:21]

Yeah, there's a lot to do and there's a lot that's going to be coming down the pike. And you're absolutely right, it is. It's not necessarily a job killer. It's just can be an enormous productivity pool for CPAs that understand its power. And again, there's so much that we do that provides so little value to clients when our clients would happily pay us for the consulting advice and business advice that we can be giving to them rather than paying us to fill out tax returns or research an issue.


So, I agree. I think there's a lot of opportunities there. Okay, final question then I'll let you go. Without naming names, you deal with a lot of your members. I'm curious if there's any either CPA individual or firm that comes to your mind that you really admire and why, what they're doing or where they're going or the kind of they run themselves. And again, without naming names, I just like to know, like, you know, why you admire that firm in 2024. What are they doing that? So, that would be special to you.


Jodi Ann Ray [00:29:22 - 00:30:22]

I would say there's a couple of firms that, you know, I might gravitate towards or, you know, when I meet with them or talk with them, I always have a, you know, something to write on available. And because they're challenging my thinking and what they're doing is just making sure that they're surveying the landscape, they're understanding what's coming, and they realize that the work that they're doing now can't be the same as it was even five years ago. So, they're looking at, they're using data and they're looking at how the firm is structured, what lines of business that they're in, where they need to be pointed, how they're working with their teams and what environment that they're creating for their teams and the culture there. And you can see that they are making an impact and having better results because of the work that they're investing there.


Gene Marks [00:30:24 - 00:30:36]

Jodi Ann Ray is the president and CEO of the Texas Society of CPAs. Jodi Ann, thank you so much for joining me. Really enjoyed this conversation and want to wish you best of luck with the accounting community and the state of Texas.


Jodi Ann Ray [00:30:36 - 00:30:42]

Gene, thanks so much. It was great to be here and appreciate the opportunity to share what's happening in our great state.


Gene Marks [00:30:42 - 00:31:04]

It was a lot of fun, so thank you. Hey everybody, you've been watching and listening to the Paychex THRIVE podcast. My name is Gene Marks. 


Again, if you need any advice or tips for help in running your business or you'd like to get any past episodes of this podcast, sign up for our Paychex newsletter. If you go to, you'll be able to sign up there. Again, my name is Gene Marks. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you again next week. Take care.


Gene Marks [00:31:05 - 00:31:40]

Do you have a topic or a guest that you would like to hear on THRIVE? Please let us know. Visit and send us your ideas or matters of interest. Also, if your business is looking to simplify your HR, payroll, benefits, or insurance services, see how Paychex can help. Visit the resource hub at That's W-O-R-X. Paychex can help manage those complexities while you focus on all the ways you want your business to thrive. I'm your host, Gene Marks, and thanks for joining us. Until next time, take care.


Announcer [00:31:42 - 00:31:46]

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