Controversial 'Cognitor' Name Dropped by AICPA

Only the name has changed. The concept is still very much a reality - a new global financial expert that transcends the confining definition of a certified public accountant.

Amid a sea of backlash from members of the profession objecting to the strange name, the AICPA has officially dropped the front-runner choice of cognitor as the designation for the global accountant of the future. "There is so much opposition" to the cognitor name, said Judith Trepeck, part of the management team of the global institute working to put this new designation into place. "Young people understand it and like it, but they have a different frame of reference than practitioners."

Are there other names under consideration? "We're listening!" said Ms. Trepeck, who explained that the global committee is still doing research.

"We want to find a name that literally works worldwide," said Geoffrey Pickard, vice president of communications and public relations at the AICPA. "There is a challenge in picking a name that works everywhere. When you start picking names and start doing both legal and domain searches, you find that many names are already taken, or than when translated into another language, might have a negative connotation."

The AICPA plans to vote on a new name as well as plans for implementing the new designation before the end of 2001.

Current CPAs who qualify for the new designation will have until 2004 to acquire the new certification "by being able to support the ethics, and passing a self-assessment series of questions," which will be offered on-line, according to Ms. Trepeck.

* You can view and download an article and a white paper on the proposed global credential from the AICPA Web site.

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