AICPA’s New Chair Calls on Profession to Accept Change

Robert Bunting, the new Chair of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, this morning called on his fellow CPAs to accept change and engage in cooperative dialogue with regulators to serve the public interest. He delivered the keynote address to an audience of more than 2,200 at the Institute’s 32nd National Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments, which opened here today at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

“Change is critical to meet the current challenges of the profession,” said Bunting, who assumed the position of AICPA Chair in October. “This is why we have developed such initiatives as the Audit Quality Centers, fraud prevention, audit committee effectiveness and enhanced business reporting, to name a few.”

Bunting addressed the spirit of cooperation that has marked the AICPA’s relationship with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He cited for example the recent announcement by the SEC to implement XBRL, a common language for the electronic communication of business and financial data. The AICPA was a founding member of the XBRL Consortium, a global organization of more than 250 members.

“XBRL is nothing less than a fundamental transformation in the way business reporting information will be exchanged,” he said. Bunting reminded CPAs that their most precious asset is the position of trust they occupy in the marketplace: “Regulators pay a vital role for our profession, but the role of the regulator is to set the minimum requirements,” he counseled. “Our profession must go beyond that. We must aspire to high expectations and do what is necessary to meet them. That is the spirit that has driven the CPA profession.”

The National Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments runs through Wednesday, December 8.

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