Written by Allen Lloyd, Executive Director Montana Society of CPAs
2020, it is hard to believe it is here already and we don’t have flying cars, but at least you can buy a robot to vacuum your house (or find ways to get it stuck and NOT vacuum your house.) So we didn’t get flying cars, but what can we expect from 2020?
Most important for the profession we can expect the CPA Evolution project to move from a simple concept (see picture below) to a full plan. AICPA and NASBA have been working together for a couple years on this project and MSCPA leaders have provided input along the way. We will continue to share our thoughts to try and make the final as good as possible. At a recent meeting Barry Meloncon shared that the final plan will likely retain the current number of hours for the CPA exam, the number of parts may change, but the amount of time involved will stay the same. We can also expect a plan that provides flexibility in the future for additional ring sections to be added. What else could join tax compliance and planning, Business reporting and analysis, and Information systems and controls? One thought is that strategy or risk would be the next.
Another thing that you can expect this year is the roll out of .cpa, much like .com and .org .cpa will be an internet extension. AICPA has secured the rights to the domain and is working on the rules they will use to police who gets their name.cpa. For firms you will need to be licenses by your state. Initially these url’s will be available to only US firms, so do not wait to secure your firm name. AICPA is also providing access to the domains early to state CPA societies, so look for MSCPA to have a .cpa address in the future.
At MSCPA we are just starting to plan for our 2020-2012 fiscal year. Keep an eye out for your membership renewal in February. We are finalizing the CPE schedule and hope you will come to a conference and cluster event this year. Both membership and CPE have a history of small but frequent price increases. Every year inflation increases costs and we try to make small changes each year so there is never a huge surprise. CPE costs have been increasing quickly for us, our providers increased their fees, hotels continue to charge more and the travel cost for instructors have increased. So this year we went from a $5 increase to a $15 increase for a ## hour class. We hope this will not become the new normal. Overall my approach to managing our finances is to respect our non-profit status. We try to have modest gains or losses each year while maintaining an appropriate reserve fund. MSCPA is your organization and we take very seriously how we manage the investment you make in us.
One final fringe idea to consider is in the future auditors could use software that monitors people’s body language to determine audit risk. Much like the TSA is monitoring body language to see if people look nervous and require additional screening, CPAs could do their interviews with a computer keeping an eye on the subject to report back on things it detects. Adding this data to a sampling could target work to transactions involving multiple people with low trust scores.