CPAs in Indiana are highly supportive of the proposed interdisciplinary global business credential, the Indiana CPA Society has found, after concluding a series of 15 statewide professional issues update programs. Based on survey data from more than 1,300 Indiana CPAs, an overwhelming percentage have expressed their support for the concept. The percentage of CPAs surveyed in Indiana is significantly higher than the percentages in other states that have taken a stand on the global credential.
As a result of this significant feedback, the Society's Board of Directors adopted a new resolution yesterday to state their support for the proposed interdisciplinary global business credential on behalf of the membership. The full resolution can be found at the end of this news release. The Board adopted an initial resolution supporting the credential in October 2000.
A total of 1,322 CPAs – more than 17 percent of the Society membership – attended 15 programs in 12 different cities between August 23 and October 9. Four programs were conducted in Indianapolis. The other 11 Indiana cities visited included Batesville, Bloomington, Clarksville, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Kokomo, Lafayette, Merrillville, Muncie, South Bend and Terre Haute.
Attendance exceeded that of similar programs in 2000 by nearly 400. CPAs who attended mirror INCPAS membership demographics in terms of geography, gender, age, practice area, and years in the profession. Over the past two years, there have been 1,687 "unique" participants in these programs, representing approximately 22.5 percent of the Society's membership. This representative sample projects a favorable response from Indiana CPAs later this year when AICPA members vote on whether the concept should move forward.
Last year's programs attracted 959 INCPAS members to 13 programs in nine different cities. Participants were asked at that time to rate their supportiveness for the proposed interdisciplinary global business credential. They responded with a 4.1 approval rating on a scale of 1 to 5.
This year's participants were asked two questions directly related to the proposed credential: 1) to rate their support of, neutrality to or opposition to the concept; and 2) based on what they know today, whether they would cast a supportive or opposed vote. On the first question, 55 percent were either strongly supportive or somewhat supportive. Thirty-five percent were neutral, and only 10 percent were either strongly opposed or somewhat opposed.
Results gathered from the second question are even more remarkable. An astounding 86 percent of CPAs surveyed said that if the ballot were conducted that day, their vote would be supportive. Conversely, only 14 percent said they would cast an opposing vote.
"This year's survey results have re-validated our Board's position in supporting the proposed interdisciplinary global business credential," said current INCPAS Chairman of the Board Jim Carr, CPA, a sole practitioner in Munster, Ind. "We found support for the concept through our professional update programs last fall, and this year's data indicates an even stronger level of support. It is clear that Indiana CPAs are viewing the proposed interdisciplinary global business credential in perspective with other developments in the CPA profession and professional services."
Dave Shatkowski, Vice President of Communications for the Indiana CPA Society pointed out that, "Our surveying encompassed a greater number of CPAs (1,322) than either the New York or Illinois societies, and obviously a much, much higher percentage of our members than in those two states. We believe that indicates: 1) our members in general were more aware of the credential concept before they completed the survey, and 2) our support is much more representative of our members than their opposition is. Obviously any board can support or oppose an issue. But our board has done so based on significant member feedback."
INCPAS Professional Issues Update Presentation
The three-and-a-half hour program featured a multimedia PowerPoint presentation facilitated by INCPAS President & CEO Gary Bolinger, CAE. Issues covered included the CPA Vision, student supply, state and national regulation of the profession, multidisciplinary practice, the impact of technology, CPA2Biz, globalization and the proposed interdisciplinary global business credential.
The presentation included four videos – a welcome message from INCPAS Chair Jim Carr, a depiction of the CPA profession of the past vs. the CPA profession of the future using illustrative context maps, the AICPA's Top Technologies for 2001, and AICPA Chair of the Board Kathy Eddy, CPA, speaking on behalf of the proposed interdisciplinary global business credential.
When asked of his reaction to the high level of participation and supportive feedback, Mr. Bolinger said, "It is quite impressive that Indiana CPAs have demonstrated such a keen interest in a wide variety of professional developments. Positive feedback and comments on the other initiatives and issues discussed shows they grasp the big picture and not just a single element.
"Our members have responded to a variety of marketplace happenings," Mr. Bolinger added. "This demonstrates an understanding of the broad context in which all of these changes within the CPA profession are occurring."
Other Issues Covered and the Acceptance of Change
Survey results attained from a plethora of issues in addition to the proposed interdisciplinary global credential further solidify Indiana CPAs' acceptance of change in the profession and the marketplace. For instance, only four percent indicated that they were either strongly opposed or somewhat opposed to multidisciplinary practices. Twenty-six percent were strongly supportive of MDPs, 29 percent were somewhat supportive and 41 percent were neutral.
When asked about another new initiative, the CPA2Biz Internet portal, 54 percent said they were either strongly or somewhat supportive. Another 36 percent were neutral, and just nine percent were either strongly or somewhat opposed.
Another area surveyed was support of or opposition to the Society's ongoing CPA branding efforts. For the upcoming 2003 fiscal year, the Society anticipates spending $207,000 on CPA branding. That figure represents $27.60 per member – a figure believed to be the highest per member branding spending of any state CPA society in the country.
Forty-eight percent said they were strongly supportive of INCPAS branding efforts, while 30 percent were somewhat supportive. Nineteen percent were neutral, four percent were somewhat opposed and less than one percent were strongly opposed.
"The data we have gathered indicates a positive reaction to change by Indiana CPAs," said INCPAS Chair-elect Denny Mellon, CPA, a partner with Girardot, Strauch & Co. in Lafayette, Ind. "There is no disputing the fact that our members are in tune with marketplace changes. We are seeing that marketplace sensitivities are important to them."
The Indiana CPA Society
Established in 1915, the Indiana CPA Society currently represents over 7,500 CPAs statewide. The Society strives to provide its members diverse educational opportunities, access to the latest information, networking and social activities, recognition through awards programs, and representation before legislative and regulatory bodies. In addition, the Society utilizes technology via the Internet and teleconferencing for "just in time" service in order to meet the demanding and diverse needs of CPAs.
INCPAS Board of Directors Resolution
Based on the overwhelming level of support for the proposed interdisciplinary global business credential from nearly 1,700 Indiana CPAs in 2000 and 2001, the Indiana CPA Society's Board of Directors adopted the following resolution Tuesday:
Indiana CPA Society
Resolution in Support of the Proposed Interdisciplinary Global Business Credential
October 9, 2001
WHEREAS, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has, in cooperation with accountancy bodies throughout the world, proposed the development of a market-based interdisciplinary global business credential; and
WHEREAS, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has, at the direction of its governing Council, undertaken to inform and receive feedback from its members; and
WHEREAS, the Indiana CPA Society is committed to the objective to "inform, energize, understand and engage members" on a wide-range of professional matters including this proposal; and
WHEREAS, the Indiana CPA Society conducted thirteen member issues forums in the year 2000 with more than 13 percent of its members (959) participating and providing positive feedback on issues such as the Uniform Accountancy Act, multidisciplinary practice, and the proposed interdisciplinary global business credential; and
WHEREAS, the Indiana CPA Society conducted fifteen member issues forums in the year 2001 on a wide variety of topics including regulation of the CPA profession, multidisciplinary practice, image enhancement efforts, and the proposed interdisciplinary global business credential with more than 17 percent of its members (1,322) participating and providing feedback; and
WHEREAS, in the year 2001, 86 percent of Indiana CPA Society members participating in the issues forums indicated, based on current knowledge, that their vote for the proposal would be affirmative; and
WHEREAS, the Indiana CPA Society Board of Directors has previously (October 2000) indicated support for the proposed interdisciplinary global business credential and the opportunities that may present themselves as a result of the credential;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Indiana CPA Society Board of Directors, based on member feedback (22.5 percent of members – 1,687 unique participants over two years), continues its support of the proposed market-based interdisciplinary global business credential; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Indiana CPA Society Board of Directors urges all members to clearly understand the proposal and the broad context in which it is based and to vote in the affirmative on the proposal and further development in establishment of an interdisciplinary global business credential.