Monday, March 22, 2010
What I Learned at ICPA
It was great to be at the International Compliance Professionals Association meeting in Orlando last week. The information at the meeting is always good (although honestly some is better than other). The best thing, though, is the concentration of import and export geeks (and I mean that in the best possible way) together in one place talking about the details of what we do.
My session was entitled "Crisis in the Board Room" and focused on the myriad ways trade can break really bad. When that happens, it can quickly become an issue for the board room. So, we talked about financial reporting, audit committees, materiality levels, SOX, and proper internal policies to make sure large contingent liabilities are properly reported. In that context, I ran through a "parade of horribles" of penalty scenarios. It was late in the day and Disney World beckoned the many attendees who were there with families. So, I hope everyone in attendance thought it was worthwhile.
There were also good sessions on DDP transactions, export training, FTA and Buy American compliance, and many other topics.
I did find the Disney World setting mildly annoying by the end of the week. Too many people told me to "Have a magical day" while I was boarding yet another bus or monorail to get to dinner or a meeting. I also tired of the Mouse and his ears. The hotel fitness center does not need a sign featuring Mickey pumping iron. Even plates adorning the wall in the really good Cat Cora restaurant on the Boardwalk were arranged in the three-circle Mickey-head icon. The Contemporary Resort was great, but the place as a whole is very spread out. It made me wish I had rented a car, although the parking fees would probably have been outrageous.
For me, the best part of the meeting was meeting and reconnecting with so many people in the trade. Thanks to everyone who said they read this blog. The one consistent piece of criticism I received is that I don't post often enough. I'll see what I can do to rectify that. As always, if you have topic suggestions, comments, or criticism either put them in the comments to a post or send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you all in Phoenix next year, but it is unlikely I will wear chaps (and that is good for all involved).