Richard J. Caturano, CPA, CGMA, is the new chairman of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), the world's largest member organization representing the accounting profession.
In his acceptance speech, Caturano traced his path from a blue-collar upbringing in Massachusetts to the highest rungs of the accounting profession. One of his chief priorities as chairman, he said, is to promote broader diversity among CPAs, particularly at the leadership level, so that others can benefit from the same rewarding career opportunities.
"We have to maximize our talent pool by making sure everyone in America - regardless of background, race, gender, religion or anything else - is aware of the rewards and possibilities of the accounting profession", said Caturano, executive managing partner of the Boston office of McGladrey, the nation's fifth-largest accounting firm. "In our complex, information-driven, 24/7 world, we must be sure to get the best and brightest no matter where they come from."
Caturano, fifty-nine, was elected to the one-year volunteer post this morning by AICPA's Council, which wraps up its annual fall meeting today. William "Bill" E. Balhoff, CPA, CGMA, managing director and CEO for Postlethwaite & Netterville, APAC in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was voted in as vice chair.
Throughout his career, Caturano has specialized in servicing middle-market companies, and he cites the thousands of jobs created by clients as a point of professional pride. He was a founding member of Vitale, Caturano and Company, which built deep expertise in the high-tech, biotech, manufacturing and professional services sectors. By the time it merged into McGladrey in 2010, it had grown into New England's largest full-service, regional accounting firm and was widely recognized for enlightened employment practices.
"We built a culture in the firm that embraced change", Caturano said. "I've always believed that's what CPAs do."
Besides promoting diversity, Caturano said the accounting profession must be nimble in its response to globalization, cybersecurity concerns, efforts to create a better financial reporting framework for private companies, and must also continue to make CPA careers attractive to the best and brightest of the new generation.
Caturano served as vice chairman of the AICPA for the past year, and was a member of the organization's board from 2009-2011 and its governing Council from 2006-2008. He was president of the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants from 2005-2006. Among other honors, Caturano routinely appears on Accounting Today's Top 100 list of most influential people in the profession.
He graduated with a BS in accounting and an MS in taxation from Bentley University, and he is also a graduate of Harvard Business School's Leading Professional Service Firms executive education program.
Source: October 23, 2012, AICPA Press Release