This week was the AICPA's Fall Council Meeting, which is an opportunity for CEO Barry Melancon and his team to share their views on the top challenges in the profession, and what they're doing to address them. Much of the discussion centered around CPA Evolution, and its potential changes to the licensure process and CPA Exam, which will focus more on technology and data science. This will help attract students with those skills and help firms find qualified new hires. The concept of CPA Evolution centers on these principles about the profession:
- We must adapt quickly due to technological disruptions such as data analytics, robotics, artificial intelligence and more. As such, the competencies, services and attitudes of CPAs must continually evolve to protect the public interest;
- Together with the state boards of accountancy, we recognize that technological and analytical expertise are essential to performing assurance work, as well as the other services that are currently, or will be in the future, core to professional accounting. We also acknowledge that sustaining the profession and continued public protection require rethinking initial licensure requirements;
- The profession, and therefore entry into the profession, must be redesigned to attract individuals with technological and analytical expertise. All must demonstrate minimum required competencies necessary to perform professional accounting services as a CPA; and
- The changes must be rapid, transformational and substantive without negatively impacting candidates currently in the pipeline.
It was an interesting meeting, and there will be more discussion on CPA Evolution in the months to come. We will keep you informed of any developments here, but I'd also love to visit your office to discuss this and other changes that are happening in the profession, and ways the Society can help your specific firm/company. To book a visit with me, please contact Kara Kieran