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Chair's corner.

This is our first issue of The CPA Letter published electronically and available online in full text. I hope you find this format useful and convenient. This change is one more example of how the AICPA staff constantly looks for new and better ways to communicate with all our members.

We have just finished the four regional Council meetings and the third board of directors meeting this year. As you know, there are many issues to be addressed, and I thought we had very productive regional Council meetings. We had excellent attendance and significant dialogue and input from the members. In addition to addressing the many implications of the changing regulatory environment at both the federal and state levels, we had discussions about the current credentialing programs and proposed changes to some of the existing ethics rules.

Each year, management and the finance committee evaluate all our programs in preparation of the coming year's budget and as a means of assessing member satisfaction. Credentials have been part of that annual review since inception and this year we are taking a hard look at the status of each credential program. At the regional Council meetings, we discussed the level of resource commitment and the success of each program. The input from Council members has been shared with the National Accreditation Commission, which will give further consideration to the issues and points of view expressed by Council and other members who have written on this subject. Any decision to continue or curtail the current credentials will be made by Council at the fall meeting after a full evaluation of all relevant data.

We are in the second year of our student recruitment campaign and the initial results are very exciting. This project was established to generate increased interest in business and, in particular, a major in accounting among high school and college students in their first two years. We are seeing an increase in interest from our contact program and in numbers exceeding our original estimates. We plan to continue to closely monitor this initiative so that adjustments can be made, if needed, to maintain the positive momentum.

One of my areas of focus this year has been to reach out to the students in accounting to learn first-hand their concerns and hopefully generate interest in the profession. Recently, I have spent time on several university campuses and have interacted with a number of students. As you would imagine, they have numerous questions because of all the media coverage of recent business and alleged audit failures. Interestingly, I observed little in the way of concern about the reputation of the profession on campus. Rather, there was a genuine desire to learn from these situations and understand how they can avoid the mistakes that have been made by others. In other words, my observations are that students I have spoken with are more "tuned in" to the profession than "turned off" by recent events. I hope my limited observations are applicable to a broader group of students because I believe we have the opportunity to continue to attract some of the best and the brightest students into this profession.

Remember, Each Day--Every Day, YOU Make a Difference as a CPA.

By William F. Ezzell, CPA Chairman, AICPA Board of Directors
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Author:Ezzell, William F.
Publication:CPA Letter
Article Type:Column
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2003
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