The governing board of the American Institute of CPAs has endorsed a plan to accelerate the number of young accountants in the accounting profession.
During the AICPA Council’s spring meeting in Washington, D.C., governing body members on Wednesday approved a resolution supporting Pipeline Acceleration Plan. The AICPA last week detailed a national strategy aimed at increasing the number of accounting graduates entering the profession and obtaining the CPA license (See the story). The AICPA plans to lead a unified, profession-wide effort to achieve these goals.
The resolution calls for the implementation of “an ongoing research-oriented national pipeline strategy that, among other things, addresses the image of the profession in the eyes of students, as well as educational and experiential requirements, and outlines short- and long-term initiatives and actions.” leading to measurable results in meeting the profession’s current and evolving human capital needs and priorities.” It calls for regular progress updates at council sessions starting in October.
The resolution also supports maintaining CPA mobility to allow CPAs to practice across licensing jurisdictions, subject to key licensing components. Some state societies, such as the Minnesota Society of CPAs, have suggested that CPA candidates obtain their license without completing the full 150 credit hours, but the AICPA has warned that it could harm the ability to practice in the state (See the story).
The plan calls for broad dialogue on solutions, while emphasizing the need for measurable results and accountability from stakeholders across the profession. Access from partners that include accounting firms, state CPA societies, employers, regulators, and educators will be critical.
“We understand the urgency today for board members to address our pipeline challenges,” Susan Coffey, AICPA executive director of public accounting, said in a statement. “We share it. We need a sustainable, collaborative approach to growing the pool of prospective CPA candidates. The path we’ve laid out today strikes the right balance of pipeline fixes that have broad consensus while allowing for deeper engagement on more issues. Challenging.” “
More details on the timing and structure of future pipeline strategy sessions are expected to be shared soon.
State CPA societies have tried some of the AICPA’s plan approaches.
“In Pennsylvania, we’re working on a lot of these issues,” said Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs Executive Director Jennifer Crider, who attended the AICPA Council’s spring meeting. “The Experience, Learn and Earn program is a central part of the AICPA’s plan, and it’s really similar to the work I’m doing here in Pennsylvania to find ways to get more access to the profession through work-study programs. There’s a lot. There’s an overlap there.”
He and hundreds of other accounting leaders from around the country gather to discuss such issues at AICPA Council meetings. “We have a great delegation from Pennsylvania here,” Crider said. “I understand a great deal of thoughtful consideration of these issues, a great diversity of viewpoints and a great deal of effort and urgency around rushing decisions.”
Also during the meeting, Okori L. Ramsey, vice president of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, has been elected as the new chairman of the American Institute of CPAs and the International Association of Certified Professional Accountants. One year post. Carla McCall, managing partner of Alexander Aronson Finning CPAs, was voted in as vice chair, which means she will serve next year.
“We are a profession of leaders,” Ramsey said in his acceptance speech. “And it is our duty to lead people, firms, businesses and the economy. Together, we can seize the moment and shape our future.”
He listed several areas of focus for his term: innovation to advance the profession, instilling integrity and trust in sustainability, supporting the next generation and providing opportunities for increased success. The AICPA is expecting an updated and more technology-focused CPA exam next January as part of its CPA Evolution initiative.
“Through CPA Evolution, we’re on track for the new CPA exam to begin in January 2024,” Ramsey said. “All exam sections will have an increased focus on data and technology concepts.