John H. Fisher, PhD, CPA, of Kansas City, Missouri, and Roger A. Norman, CPA, JD, of Little Rock, Arkansas, are the 2012 recipients of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Outstanding CPA in Government Award. Fisher posthumously received the federal government award, and Roger Norman received the award for state government.
Norman was previously the winner of the Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants (ASCPA) 2012 award for Outstanding CPA in Government, and he was submitted as a nominee in consideration for the AICPA award in the same category.
Gregory J. Anton, CPA, CGMA, AICPA chairman, presented the award to Norman at the AICPA's 29th Annual National Governmental Accounting and Auditing Update Conference in August in Washington, DC. The awards recognize CPAs working in federal, state, and local government who have contributed significantly to increased efficiency and effectiveness of government organizations and to the growth and enhancement of the CPA profession.
"John's and Roger's work have underscored the importance of having CPAs work in national and state government," said Anton. "Through their vision, dedication, and commitment they have raised the bar in our profession. They are the embodiment of what it means to work in governmental accounting."
Fisher was the audit manager and single audit coordinator for the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). He was a conspicuous embodiment of the ethic of selfless service to the nation. He was an exceptional individual who dedicated his life's work to improving the integrity of federal programs. It was a task to which he devoted himself with the fervency of a calling, and one upon which he brought to bear a truly remarkable breadth and depth of knowledge, an engaging and inspiring personality, and an unwavering devotion to the highest principles of public service. He was recognized nationally as an expert in governmental accounting, particularly in the highly complex, specialized, and rapidly evolving field of non-federal audits. It was his insight, vision, and leadership that inspired and enabled the HHS to establish and resource the National External Audit Review Center (NEAR) in Kansas City, Missouri.
This organization established itself as a significant tool for HHS program monitoring and integrity. The NEAR staff, following the review model that Fisher developed, staffed, and refined, continues to be responsible for analyzing the single audit reports, prepared by independent external auditors, on entities that expend HHS program funds. The results of these reviews are communicated to agency program management along with recommendations for follow-up and monitoring to enhance program integrity.
Fisher was a member of the AICPA, the Missouri Society of CPAs, the Kansas Society of CPAs, and served as a member of the state governmental committees for both the Kansas and Missouri societies of CPAs. He was actively involved with the Intergovernmental Audit Forum and served on the Single Audit Committee of the Southwest Intergovernmental Audit Forum and on the Technical Issues Committee of the Mid-America Intergovernmental Audit Forum.
Norman has over thirty-five years of government service in the state of Arkansas and currently serves as the state's legislative auditor. Prior to being appointed to this position in January 2007, he served as the Division of Legislative Audit's Legal Counsel for twenty-three years and as a staff auditor for seven years. He oversees a staff of 275 that is responsible for performing approximately 1,000 engagements each year and reporting the results to the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee. Norman has directed the division in meeting federal single-audit deadlines while auditing American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds totaling approximately $3 billion dollars. Under his leadership, the division has also increased its focus on technology and research resources. Norman continually strives to promote the growth and enhancement of the profession. With a professional staff of approximately 150 CPAs, Norman encourages all division CPAs to be active members of professional organizations, including the AICPA, the Arkansas Society of CPAs, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, and the National State Auditors Association.
Norman is a CPA, licensed attorney, certified fraud examiner, and is certified in financial forensics by the AICPA. He is a charter member of the Arkansas Chapter of Certified Fraud Examiners and has served in several positions in the chapter, including president. He is a member of the AICPA, ASCPA, the Arkansas Bar Association, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, and the American Association of Attorneys-Certified Public Accountants.
The AICPA did not make an Outstanding CPA in Government Award to a local level of government employee this year.
Source: September 17, 2012, Arkansas Society of CPAs Press Release