Reimagining the profession for a vibrant future

Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, President and CEO of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and CEO of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association), displays on the successes of 2019 and the opportunities ahead.

This year, you’ve talked with individuals approximately how we need to reimagine the profession. Can you explain more what you suggest by “reimagine”?

In nowadays’s marketplace, absolutely all companies are reimagining who they are, what they offer and how they deliver services and products. To meet the changing desires of clients and employers, we, as a career, are also reimagining what it way to shield the public hobby and serve as relied on advisers. We are providing clients and organizations with new services and embracing new technologies to beautify the best, efficiency and price of what we do. Together, we’re developing a destiny that may be dramatically exclusive from the past however will remain a beacon of accept as true with and possibility for all accounting and finance professionals and anybody we serve.

How specifically are the AICPA and CIMA, below the umbrella of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, assisting the profession reimagine itself?

Four fundamental initiatives immediately come to mind:

CPA Evolution, that is a joint attempt of the AICPA and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), aims to transform CPA licensure to understand the abilties and skills required of CPAs these days and within the future.
Our CPA Exam practice analysis studies will guide our replace of the CPA Exam. We focused this 12 months’s research on era’s effect at the paintings of newly licensed CPAs and on company recruitment and training.
The AICPA, CPA.Com, CaseWare International and leading CPA firms inside the U.S. Are collaborating at the Dynamic Audit Solution (DAS) initiative to expand a information-driven, technology-enabled audit technique that will enhance the efficiency, first-rate and value of audits. In the future, the DAS software utility will be to be had to the more than 14,000 corporations that have auditing practices in the U.S.
Our Future of Finance research guided our updates to the CGMA Competency Framework and CGMA Finance Leadership Program. Based on session with more than 5,500 finance specialists from 2,000 corporations across one hundred fifty countries, our studies suggests a motion away from a focus on assembling information closer to delivering effect, as finance specialists accomplice with inner customers across an business enterprise to lead business transformation.
Technology has played a massive part in these initiatives. Can you provide an instance of a selected generation that is converting the career?

Although some won't experience its effect yet, blockchain has the potential to transform audit, tax, accounting and advisory services. As extra agencies use blockchain, they may need relied on advisers who understand the technology and can provide guidance.

For instance, companies including Walmart now require a number of their providers to be lively on a blockchain. This method auditors of those providers will need to keep in mind whether the statistics on that blockchain is accurate, reliable and secure and whether or not the clever contracts in the blockchain are working as intended. (To learn greater approximately Walmart’s use of blockchain, you could join a webcast later this month or in January.)

The same kind of questions will apply to blockchain’s use in supply chains at different organizations in different industries. To assist auditors recognize dangers associated with using a blockchain and the way service auditors might address them, the AICPA will release non-authoritative steerage in 2020. For questions associated with virtual assets, we advanced a non-authoritative practice useful resource for accounting and auditing steering and are in search of extra clarity from the IRS and Treasury on how taxpayers should file cryptocurrency on their taxes. Additionally, CPA.Com is web hosting a loose webinar in January to assist tax practitioners navigate the complexities of cryptocurrency tax compliance.

A newly released document at the 2019 Blockchain in Accountancy Symposium affords insights from experts in addition to an evaluation of the possibilities and challenges blockchain poses for the profession. To assist members put together for blockchain’s effect, our foundational certificates application for finance and accounting experts explains blockchain fundamentals. We additionally offer blockchain learning focusing at the exercise regions of audit and assurance, tax and financial advisers, in addition to industry-specific learning for supply chain, monetary offerings, healthcare, coverage and not-for-profits.

In addition to technology, in what different areas did we see exchange for the profession in 2019?

Tax reform

Tax reform became a key problem for members this 12 months, inflicting sweeping changes in tax guidance and compliance. We focused federal advocacy efforts on the implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, filing forty comment letters during the last 12 months and assembly with dozens of IRS, Treasury and Chief Counsel workforce individuals to spotlight key troubles and provide sensible recommendations. For our contributors, we supplied timely and applicable assets thru our Tax Reform Resource Center and Tax Season Resources hub.

Although challenging, tax reform has additionally furnished an outstanding opportunity for individuals to have interaction with customers in a new way and offer a holistic technique to their financial wishes. We are here to help tax practitioners seize this possibility to integrate making plans into their exercise. We launched our Tax Practitioner’s Marketing Toolkit, to help individuals interact and expand robust relationships with modern-day and prospective customers, and we also released a brand new monetary planning and tax advisory podcast series.


The AICPA offered records and assets on auditing and attestation standards issued in 2019 to help contributors stay on pinnacle of change. On the accounting requirements front, we additionally issued a brand new toolkit that breaks down the new sales recognition widespread and offers corporations with insights into how the usual will affect organization engagements.

Valuation credential

To cope with a growing need for consistency and transparency in the valuation of economic instruments, the AICPA released the Certified in the Valuation of Financial Instruments (CVFI) credential this year.

Occupational licensing

Legislators throughout the united states of america are searching at approaches to deregulate occupations to lessen limitations to entry. While this legislation doesn’t name out CPAs mainly, it often — unintentionally — pulls us in due to the fact it’s written so broadly. As a part of our advocacy efforts to guard occupational licensing for the profession, we took the lead in organizing the newly released Alliance for Responsible Professional Licensing, a coalition to sell aid for rigorous licensure standards for complex, technical professions that impact public protection and agree with.

As a year marked by trade involves an end, do you've got any reflections you’d want to percentage with individuals?

First, I’d like to thank our participants for their aid and participation in advancing the career for persevered relevance and success. Their commitment to the profession and to lifelong learning is inspiring. I often meet members who're embracing the need to upskill and reskill, geared up to leave in the back of what no longer serves them and embody new equipment and abilities to protect the public interest and assist customers and employers navigate a complex, rapidly converting world.

Not simplest do technological advances offer CPAs with extra tools, however those advances additionally free up time for CPAs to cognizance on paintings beyond the every day grind of records entry, compliance and different repetitive tasks. Recognizing the opportunity and need, companies and finance teams are making the conscious decision to shift into roles which might be even greater strategic than those held within the past. With this shift, the very definition of what it manner to be a CPA is under review. Although this uncertainty can be unsettling, it’s additionally interesting to peer the profession increase its already-robust effect at the marketplace.

Inventor Nikola Tesla said, “The present is theirs; the future, for which I sincerely worked, is mine.” We, too, should work for the future, declare it as ours and reimagine new opportunities for the career. The future relies upon upon us.

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