Looking Back at 2001 - More Questions Than Answers
For the CPA profession, 2001 was a veritable merry-go-round of change, controversy and criticism from regulators. Scientists studying chaos and the unknown often confront that challenge by developing really good questions, which then serve as the basis of intensive study and problem solving. So here it goes: My top ten questions as we tackle 2002 through planning, setting priorities and focusing the profession's resources:
- Will we finally grab the merry-go-round brass ring and build on the CPA brand?
- Do we now have some unique opportunities to dramatically illustrate to students and teachers the socio-economic and public interest importance of the auditing profession?
- Can we identify a common high ground within ethics and professionalism to reunite and energize CPAs?
- Is there a fresh direction and emphasis needed to lead a truly meaningful dialogue process among CPAs, corporate financial executives, audit committees and regulators?
- Have our professional organizations committed enough resources to and leadership emphasis on improving the self-regulatory system?
- Isn't it time to take a profession-wide, integrated approach in our strategic planning to acknowledge the importance of ensuring a quality CPA pipeline? Shouldn't this issue be an action component in as many of the activities of AICPA/State CPA societies as possible?
- With the promise of a broader-based, new computerized CPA examination by 2003, shouldn't we start taking advantage of an opportunity to develop a coordinated AICPA-NASBA/State Board initiative to make international access to the exam and the CPA credential a reality? Isn't this the global credential foreign CPA candidates now spend thousands of dollars to obtain from the United States and take home?
- Shouldn't we re-examine the profession's formal strategic planning and policy-setting process, and build a meaningful collaborative planning system that is perceived by members as leading to actions that meet their needs and strengthen the CPA credential?
- Why not make a serious multi-year financial commitment to a CPA pride and image initiative to ensure the public recognizes a profession that is confident about its responsibilities and the future, and that is aggressively dedicated to leading the change process in business and our
- With the concepts resulting from the CPA Vision Project still clear in mind, why don't we develop a literal action plan based on what CPAs consider to be the skills, competencies and needs for a successful future? Simply stated, an action plan by CPAs for CPAs.
In this, my last four months as your president & CEO, I encourage all CPAs and our organization leaders to focus the collective energy and resources of the CPA profession on the fundamentals that have gotten CPAs recognized as the world's preeminent trusted business advisors and assurance services professionals. Having served as an AICPA staff member for seven years, and now nearing 25 years with the Illinois CPA Society, I am tremendously proud of this profession's accomplishments and it is an honor to work with you to build an even stronger foundation for the future.