Chair's corner.I recently spoke with a past chair of the AICPA AICPA
See American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Board of Directors who expressed amazement at the amount of time the chair is now required to spend on AICPA activities. As we compared his experience with those of more recent AICPA chairs, one glaring difference stood out.
My predecessor attended meetings with only one regulatory organization during his term of office. The AICPA has long-standing joint projects with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy For the technique in nucleic acid amplification, see .
The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) is an umbrella group for the 55 state boards that regulate the accountancy profession in the United States of America. . NASBA NASBA National Association of State Boards of Accountancy
NASBA Nucleic Acid Sequence-Based Amplification (assay used to detect HIV viral load in blood plasma) and the AICPA share responsibility for the CPA (Computer Press Association, Landing, NJ) An earlier membership organization founded in 1983 that promoted excellence in computer journalism. Its annual awards honored outstanding examples in print, broadcast and electronic media. The CPA disbanded in 2000. Exam and work jointly on the Uniform Accountancy Act. Because of these shared responsibilities, we have regular meetings between the staff and leadership groups of the two organizations to discuss our respective initiatives, resolve differences and keep our relationship productive.
On occasion, past AICPA chairs have participated in leadership meetings with the Government Accountability Office The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is the audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of the United States Congress, and thus an agency in the Legislative Branch of the United States Government. or the Securities and Exchange Commission as issues arose that required leader-to-leader communication. But such meetings were not routine.
Today our world could not be more different. The good news is that today CPAs and our services are much more recognized as critical to the functioning of the American economy. The more challenging news is at we have many more real-world and would-be regulators who believe that they have a public interest stake in how we perform our services. In addition to the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (or PCAOB) (sometimes called "Peekaboo") is a private-sector, non-profit corporation created by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a 2002 United States federal law, to oversee the auditors of public companies. , which did not exist three years ago, there are many other government and regulatory organizations with a keen interest in how we perform accounting and tax services.
The list includes the GAO for "Yellow Book" audits, the Department of Labor for pension audits, the Internal Revenue Service for tax compliance and planning, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), division of the U.S. Dept. of Justice charged with investigating all violations of federal laws except those assigned to some other federal agency. in the area of fraud detection, and, as always, the SEC. We also meet regularly with representatives of the Financial Accounting Standards Board Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)
Board composed of independent members who create and interpret Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). and are developing a growing dialog with the Federal Reserve. While these organizations have always had a stake in the effectiveness of our services, the events of the past few years have heightened their interest and, in most cases, their activism.
As in the past, we continue to work with state CPA societies in their outreach to state boards state boards Examinations administered by a US state board of medical examiners to license a physician in a particular state; these examinations play an ever-decreasing role in state medical licensure, as these bodies now rely on standardized national examinations of accountancy and a host of other state-based agencies.
In addition to regulators, we spend considerable time meeting with industry groups to understand their concerns and to build alliances. Organizations such as the Business Roundtable Business Roundtable (BRT), an association consisting of the chief executive officers of major U.S. corporations that was founded in 1972 through the merger of the three preexisting business organizations. and national industry-specific groups require additional efforts.
As we move closer to 2005 and the beginning of a long-planned convergence between U.S. and international accounting standards, American CPAs will be increasingly affected by the decisions of the International Accounting Standards Board An editor has expressed concern that this article or section is .
Please help improve the article by adding information and sources on neglected viewpoints, or by summarizing and . The U.S. profession will be only one of many wishing to be heard in this standard-setting process. Our outreach efforts and our ability to coalesce with a variety of regulators and other interested parties will help determine the level of our influence.
The AICPA leadership is involved in active outreach to all of these organizations to accomplish two important goals. First, we seek to establish channels for mutually respectful and open communications. At the highest level, we share the common goal of increasing the transparency, reliability and quality of financial information used by decision makers and serving the public interest. Second, we seek to have a seat at the table whenever regulations are made that affect our services. Moreover, we understand that these regulators and other interested governmental agencies help shape the public's view of our profession and our services. We need to be certain that they fully understand what we do, what we can contribute and the depth of our commitment to being trusted financial guardians.
As our local and national economies become more complex, the services provided by CPAs have become increasingly important. With our growing importance comes greater scrutiny by an ever-growing list of interested parties. The AICPA outreach program is growing to meet that challenge.
Robert L. Bunting, CPA Chair, AICPA Board of Directors