The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) has developed a competency model to help guide students and CPAs through their career and continuous learning plans.
The AICPA's competency model covers the following categories:
- Personal attributes. The qualities that help accountants communicate and establish credibility.
- Leadership qualities. The skills that allow accountants to assume positions of influence.
- Broad business perspective. The knowledgebase that includes an understanding of the organization, as well as accounting practices and applicability.
- Functional specialty. The technical skills for a particular area (e.g., tax or audit and assurance).
All four types of competencies will be integrated into a Web-based competency self-assessment tool scheduled to be launched in October. This tool will help individuals assess their skills for specific positions. For example, an accountant who wants to specialize in a particular area, such as e-commerce, can conduct a self-assessment to help focus on the required competencies.
Also under development, according to Kayla Briggs, AICPA's competency champion, is a core competency framework that will help faculty integrate these core competencies into their accounting curricula. The expectation is that this Web-based tool will be available later this fall.