I was a kid from a
blue-collar immigrant background, growing up in a neighborhood where most adults
cobbled together a living from two or three jobs. When I turned 12, our
community got its first CPA resident. That’s when I learned what a CPA was, and
that it could lead to a better life. Thanks to the CPA profession, I grew up to
be able to live the great American Dream.
I am honored and
excited to write to you as the new
AICPA Chairman of the Board of Directors. I believe the CPA
profession is full of even more promise today than it was when I first started
my career. For those with determination, adaptability and persistence, the
profession offers extraordinary possibilities. I’ve learned the key to
achieving that success: embracing change and seeing the opportunities in it.
amazing to see what can happen within a single year. That’s one of my main
observations as I complete my extraordinary time as your chairman.
I was honored to serve as chairman
during the AICPA’s 125th anniversary. The Institute’s founders wanted to
make a difference in the lives of CPAs and the people and organizations with
whom they worked. They clearly succeeded, and I am confident we will continue
to create value for our clients, employers and the public as the 21st Century progresses. As this year draws to a close, I see an increasingly
vibrant profession preparing for the immense challenges facing us. Most of all,
I see a profession that, throughout its history, has served with integrity and
unleashed opportunities for success.
In these days of continuous information, it’s essential to give people and organizations precisely the details they need to make important decisions. What never fails to cut through the clutter is information that is relevant, understandable and useful (not to mention correct). As CPAs, we often are a conduit for complex technical information, providing analysis and guidance in the process. We currently are working on two critical initiatives that bring this hallmark of our profession to life.
This year, the profession is proudly celebrating a major milestone: the AICPA’s 125-yearanniversary. We are one of the few professional organizations to reach this landmark birthday. I believe we got here because the profession’s core values—integrity, objectivity and competence—have made CPAs the most trusted financial professionals and will continue to do so. Those values have remained constant since 1887, and they will serve us well in the 21st Century.
Reaching 125 years of age deserves recognition, so we kicked off our celebration of that achievement with a special Council meeting in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. Since the Institute plays an important role in educating and influencing policymakers, the gathering began with more than 400 representatives of the AICPA and governing Council visiting their legislators on Capitol Hill to reinforce our important thought leadership role. We talked with congressional leaders about two public interest initiatives launched in honor of the occasion.
I want to make you aware of a great marketplace-driven opportunity for the CPA profession. Similar to what is being done in the tax and integrated reporting areas, the AICPA is initiating a comprehensive campaign to support CPAs as the premier choice for reporting on a service organization’s controls and to mark our guidance as the gold standard for such services.
Many of you likely are aware that Statement on Auditing Standards No. 70, Service Organizations, has been transformed to meet the needs of the evolving service organization marketplace. SAS 70’s guidance for service auditors reporting on controls at a service organization relevant to internal control over financial reporting of the service organization’s customers was moved to Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagement No. 16, Reporting on Controls at a Service Organization. Reporting on controls related to subject matter other than internal control over financial reporting (such as the security, availability or processing integrity of a system, or the confidentiality or privacy of the information processed by that system) became a new attestation engagement.