Accounting for the future: Enhancing the success of members and staff.A statewide association, the Indiana CPA Society (INCPAS) represents more than 7,000 accounting professionals. With a value proposition that includes transforming its profession, the organization recently transformed its office environment as well, creating a space that supports its staff and members and is consistent with its brand.
Striking the right balance
With its new location, INCPAS took a new approach to design, replacing some of the existing, traditional furniture with modern furnishings in a bright color palette. The new layout maintains the previous location’s blend of private offices and workstations but increases access to natural light through workstations positioned around the periphery and offices featuring storefront glass.
“The updated space really speaks to who the organization is today,” said Camille Inchauste, OfficeWorks’ account executive.
In addition to updated furnishings and finishes, the new office also includes a mix of areas to accommodate INCPAS’ programmatic needs. The organization offers a variety educational offerings and services that meet the needs of its diverse membership.
“We serve two audiences—our staff as well as our members who visit our office for classes,” said Jennifer Briggs, president and chief executive officer, INCPAS. “We wanted to create an efficient, flexible and comfortable place for everyone, and it was fun to explore how we could foster collaboration between the two groups.”
From an entry plaza to meeting rooms that can be configured for both in-person gatherings and video conferencing capabilities, the space offers multiple opportunities for interaction.
Acknowledging the magnitude of furnishing a new office, Jennifer said OfficeWorks helped INCPAS determine where they should focus their resources for the biggest return.
“OfficeWorks is made up of really good listeners,” she said. “Once we focused on our style and overall direction, they provided us with narrowed-down choices, which made it a lot easier given the number of decisions we were making in a tight timeframe. It helped avoid feeling overwhelmed with choices, yet I didn’t feel like our options were limited.”
“We gave them tiered selections to get their feedback,” said Camille. “We appreciated that Jennifer and her team were open to letting us make suggestions on fun fabrics and new ideas. That always makes it a fun process.”
Maximizing existing assets
While the furnishings for the public spaces were new, INCPAS kept the workstations from the previous space. When the project came under budget, OfficeWorks suggested ways to refresh the workstations, replacing the wood-grain work surfaces and updating the accent fabrics.
“The refurbished panels and surfaces were really nice for our staff, because even though they were the same spaces, it felt like they were getting new workstations,” said Jennifer.
OfficeWorks also helped facilitate the re-use of other furniture in the previous space. “After we replaced the training room furniture, we didn’t want it to be thrown away, so we donated the labor to remove it from the existing space and relocated it to a church,” Camille said.
The bottom line: A top-notch space
From seeing staff using the variety of furnishings to having spontaneous meetings in the huddle space, Jennifer has already witnessed benefits of the new office.
“We have a lot of longtime staff members, so this change was big,” Jennifer said. “To completely change our work setting has reignited everyone. We’re like a new organization in some ways, and we couldn’t be happier.”