It’s a GREAT day to be a CPA! Now that is a catchy phrase but what does it mean to you? To me it is the perfect phrase to capture my feelings about our profession. As CPAs the opportunities available to us are really quite endless. Our education, training and background enable us to provide our clients and employers with a unique problem solving perspective and strategic way of thinking. It’s expected when they see CPA.
At the AICPA fall council meeting in October, I began to give serious thought to the meaning behind that designation as we tackled the topic of the future of our profession. During the meeting the representatives of the AICPA membership voted to expand the potential holders of the CGMA (Chartered Global Management Accountant) credential to others outside of CPA designation holders. These “others” are first required to pass the CGMA exam and then adhere to the experience, ethical and education requirements to maintain that credential outlined by the AICPA. As nonCPA CGMAs, they would be non-voting associate members of the AICPA. The current CPA, CGMAs would maintain their status with no changes. Please note that the CGMA is only offered by the AICPA. Other similar credentials exist with other organizations.
So how did this vote, affect you? Honestly here in Montana I did not see a big impact. From my discussions with many of you about it, I do not hear much concern. Our members in BING often struggle with garnering support from employers for their CPA so the CGMA will likely be just as troublesome as a standalone certification. We currently have 127 members of MSCPA who have chosen to adopt the CGMA. Now others who are not CPAs will have the same opportunity.
This vote was not an end result of planning though. It was a strategic step in a much bigger plan. Why belabor a topic that seems pretty innocuous to Montana? Well the next step is that the AICPA would like your vote for their proposal to create a new global accounting membership association called the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants in conjunction with CIMA. CIMA is the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, a global management accounting membership organization. (follow this link for more information http://www.cimaglobal.com/) This new association, cleverly acronymed AICPA, would represent public and management accounting professionals worldwide. Your membership in the American Institute of CPAs would automatically afford you membership in the new association AICPA with no additional dues.
Sort of makes one’s head spin, especially this time of year?
Again, this step causes me to pause and to ponder what does my CPA mean to me and others. Your MSCPA board of directors discussed this issue at length. We did pass a resolution in January supporting the AICPA in its efforts to put this new association venture to a vote of the members of the American Institute of CPAs. We viewed this as an opportunity for the membership to voice their thoughts on the future of our profession. Will we be known as CPAs or as either CPAs or CGMAs?
Coming up in the next blogs, board members Clint Morrison and Dr. Josh Herbold tackle the pros and cons of forming the new AICPA. I certainly have conflicted thoughts about it and I am sure you will too. Hopefully the two perspectives will assist you in your voting. We welcome your comments either way. In fact we would like to feature those in a follow up to the pro/con debate. You have the option to comment below or email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
No matter what though, I still feel IT IS A GREAT DAY TO BE A CPA!
UPDATE March 25, 2016: The AICPA’s governing Council has authorized an electronic member ballot on a proposal by the AICPA and The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) to create a new association representing the entire accounting profession, while preserving the AICPA and CIMA membership bodies. The organizations will integrate operations to strengthen advocacy and have more agility in responding to evolving member needs.
The proposal will keep the profession strong amid technological, demographic and international trends that are rapidly reshaping the business environment. The AICPA will continue to promote, protect and grow the CPA profession, with AICPA members continuing to receive all current benefits. From this broader platform of more than 600,000 current and next-generation professionals, the AICPA will have a stronger voice against burdensome regulations that are not in the public interest. It will also enhance and expand resources across public and management accounting.
Since the AICPA first brought the proposal forward to members on Nov. 2, it has received support from 51 state CPA societies. The AICPA Board of Directors and governing Council have both recommended approval. In addition, resolutions of support have been passed by the AICPA’s Private Companies Practice Section Executive Committee, the Business & Industry Executive Committee, the Women’s Initiatives Executive Committee, and the Government Performance and Accountability Committee.
Watch for your personal and confidential electronic ballot credentials the week of April 18 from the third-party vote administrator under the name “AICPA Independent Tabulator.” To make sure you receive this email with your unique credentials, simply add the following email address as an approved sender: email@example.com. CIMA members will be asked to endorse the proposal on a similar timeline. For more information, visit www.aicpa.org/horizons.