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Acting Today for a Strong Profession Tomorrow

Christen_Tim_headshot_Every member of the AICPA plays a role in shaping the accounting profession.

The CPA’s reputation and profession’s success rely upon the actions each and every one of us takes every day. Our collective contributions can be seen in many forms. We collaborate to address the evolving needs of our clients and organizations, and to maintain the relevance of the services we provide. Through peer review, standard setting and other activities, we all contribute to helping firms maintain quality in an increasingly complex environment. And in the corporate environment, we work to embed our core values of quality, competency and integrity to improve management accounting which, in turn, enables stronger audits and financial reporting.

Now, there’s a new opportunity for us to play our part in the profession’s vitality for the future. Last week, the AICPA governing Council voted to proceed with a member ballot on a proposal that would enhance our profession across public and management accounting. Specifically, the Institute will be asking members to support a proposal to create a new association with The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants representing the entire accounting profession, while preserving our respective membership bodies. It will enhance advocacy and expand member resources and education opportunities.

I believe wholeheartedly that this is the right move for the future. The proposal fits within a broad portfolio of activities to promote, protect and grow the profession. These initiatives include programs to strengthen the CPA culture on campuses, promote the value of CPAs as trusted business advisers, enhance audit quality, transform the audit for the future, help firms identify and remedy issues during A&A engagements, evolve the Uniform CPA Exam, attract the next generation of talent, and meet the information and educational needs of members. The proposal will accelerate and elevate our efforts.

Already, there is broad support: 51 state CPA societies; leaders from many small, medium and large CPA firms; and finance leaders from numerous businesses and organizations worldwide. It’s easy to see why. AICPA members would not only gain access to enhanced resources, insights and educational opportunities to better serve their clients and organizations, they would also benefit from broader advocacy. The AICPA has celebrated numerous successes in our efforts to speak out on members’ behalf, and this proposal would give us an even stronger voice. The new association would represent 600,000 current and next-generation accounting professionals in 91% of the world’s countries. With that scope, we would be better able to monitor and influence regulations abroad that may serve as a model for the U.S., providing a strong defense against onerous and unnecessary ones that are not in the public interest.

Voting, which will take place online, will begin after busy season. You will receive your personal and confidential electronic ballot information the week of April 18 from an independent third-party voting administrator under the name of “AICPA Independent Tabulator.” In the meantime, I urge you to visit www.aicpa.org/horizons for more information.

Our profession is revered because each of us has played a role in building the public’s trust in and perception of CPAs. Let’s join together to shape a future that upholds what we have and paves the way for new opportunities we may not yet have even imagined.

Timothy L. Christen, CPA, CGMA, Chairman of the AICPA Board of Directors


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