Simply Tax Episode 140

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The CPA credential is a symbol of trust and professionalism in the world of business that unlocks a career of endless opportunities. Host Damien Martin sits down with Todd Shapiro—the CEO of the Illinois CPA Society—and Tom Murtagh—chairperson of the Illinois CPA Society’s board of directors and BKD tax partner—to discuss the opportunities and challenges currently facing the CPA profession.

Here’s what’s covered:

  • The impact of the pandemic on the profession @01:48
  • Changes in expectations @06:50
  • A decline in the credential and a stagnating CPA pipeline @16:39
  • Relevance now and into the future @24:53
  • Be a strategic advisor @28:18
  • Developing a strategic mindset @40:38
  • The barrier is time @45:27
  • Diversity in the profession @48:39


Todd Shapiro is president and CEO of the Illinois CPA Society. He also serves as president and CEO of the Illinois CPA foundation, known as CPAs for the Public Interest, and is ex-officio board member of the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois.

Mr. Shapiro is on the Accountancy Advisory Board for the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign and the AICPA’s Peer Review Board. He also served on the AICPA’s Future of Learning Task Force. In 2016 he was named to Accounting Today’s list of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the accounting profession for the second straight year.

Mr. Shapiro joined the Illinois CPA Society in 1998 and served as CFO for 14 years. Prior to joining the Illinois CPA Society, Mr. Shapiro amassed 20 years of financial and managerial experience as director of finance for Unilever, a multinational consumer package goods company, as well as with Helene Curtis, Quaker Oats, Zenith Electronics, and Continental Bank.

Mr. Shapiro earned a B.S. degree in finance from the University of Illinois and went on to receive an M.B.A. from DePaul University. He has held various elected offices dating back to 1987. He is a former board member and past president of the Lyons Township High School Board of Education and a former board member and president of the La Grange Park Library District.

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Tom Murtagh has 20 years of tax and accounting experience and leads BKD’s Chicago tax practice. He also serves as regional tax director for the firm’s East Region. In addition to providing traditional tax and accounting services, he represents clients before the IRS on income tax matters and assists businesses with structuring, formation, sales, and startup issues, as well as restructuring and planning.

His focus areas include corporate and partnership taxation and associated incentives, fixed asset, inventory, and multistate taxation issues. He also serves clients with international affiliates and reporting issues and frequently speaks on international tax reporting and planning concepts.

Tom is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, Illinois CPA Society, and Illinois State Bar Association. He serves as a member of the Illinois CPA Society board of directors and previously served on its business tax and international tax committees.

He actively participates in Ladder Up, a tax assistance and financial literacy program serving low-income taxpayers, and is a member of the Chicago BKD Foundation committee. He serves on the Academic Advisory Board for Loyola University’s Accounting Department and on the Vision and Strategy Team as vice president for Redeemer Church in Park Ridge.

Tom is a 1993 summa cum laude graduate of Loyola University Chicago, Illinois, with a B.B.A. degree in accounting, a 1998 graduate of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with M.B.A. and J.D. degrees, and a 2007 graduate of Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, with an LL.M. degree in taxation.

Connect with Tom on LinkedIn
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We’re excited to also provide video content to strengthen your tax mind! Check it out on our YouTube channel.

A complete archive of our episodes is available on our website and YouTube playlist.
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