AICPA Chair reflects on 2022 and shares hopes for the new year
Professional Insights
  • Home
Cost Competitiveness
Professional Insights

AICPA Chair reflects on 2022 and shares hopes for the new year

Jan 26, 2023 · 3 min read · AICPA Insights Blog

If you’re like me, the past three years have been a blur. But they also left me with no doubt our profession can handle even the most unexpected of circumstances, from guiding businesses to adjusting — and readjusting — firm staffing and service offerings. Through it all, you have proven to be resilient, and to the world at large invaluable.

The lifeblood of the profession is, in fact, you — the intelligent, ethical, and hardworking people that make it up. And making sure that group of people is also diverse is part of securing its longevity and success. It’s also a priority for AICPA & CIMA, together as the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.

Our focus on people should continue to be a strong aim for the profession in 2023.

Much has been made of the current accountant shortage. Accounting, like many other professions, is facing a talent shortage exacerbated by the pandemic. This trend cannot continue. For our profession to survive, we must grow our student pipeline. This means addressing multiple factors, including attractiveness, cost, time, and reward. Together, we must find creative and effective ways to attract and grow our profession. You all play a big part in telling our story — it’s compelling and it will motivate the next generation.

AICPA & CIMA — through purposeful and thoughtful engagement with stakeholders across the profession — are launching initiatives to address key issues impacting the CPA pipeline. These include updating CPA pipeline toolkits and educator resources; the publication of the CPA Exam Blueprints, leading to the start of a new Exam in 2024; and advocating for and securing accounting as a STEM field.

We’re also building the future of management accounting.

Last year we accelerated a whole new pipeline channel to attract talent with the U.S. Department of Labor supporting AICPA & CIMA in officially launching the Professional Apprenticeship for Finance Business Partners program. Built on the CGMA certification model, this program will produce diverse professionals ready to take on new challenges.

AICPA & CIMA also doubled down on our efforts to drive a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive pipeline. To encourage and promote DEI within the accounting and finance profession, we continue working with high schools and colleges. We’re also engaging firms and businesses to enhance attraction and recruiting efforts, as well as to bolster positive and inclusive organizational culture. We awarded $1 million in student scholarships in 2022 through the AICPA Foundation, and we expect to award at least that much — if not more — in 2023.

As I travel around the U.S., I see continued efforts from firms to make their workplace welcoming and supportive of professionals from all backgrounds. The result? Better service delivery and a stronger firm culture.

Other fires have been stoked, too. For example, scrutiny of audit quality and regulatory moves have lent urgency to ESG as a business issue, signaling that 2023 will be a year when the profession will be supporting businesses becoming truly environmentally responsible.

Sound ESG reporting depends on a combination of strong corporate reporting and assurance. Because our ability to provide quality audit and assurance services drives trust in business and our economy, this will be vital in 2023. We’ve already shown the world we can support businesses through the most difficult of circumstances, moving to remote audits very successfully during the pandemic without sacrificing quality. This year will only demonstrate more of the same.

That’s not to forget the “business as usual”: For many of us tax season has begun in earnest. If the past three years are an indication, this year will be, well, busy. Turn to AICPA & CIMA for support. We have resources and tools, such as the Annual Tax Compliance Kit, which can help keep your tax season running smoothly.

Following strong advocacy from the AICPA, the IRS received more funding last year to support the increasingly pressurized tax environment. We hope for this funding increase to remain in place as government goes through changes in 2023. No matter what the future has in store, you can trust we’ll continue to advocate for an effective and efficient tax administrative system.

Stepping into the new year will also require our eyes to be open. There’s no denying that powerful external factors, especially in the technology space, have the capacity to profoundly affect the ways in which we deliver service. Accountants have done well, for example, adopting strong workflow solutions to meet staffing challenges and ever-increasing workloads. But emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, and machine learning are changing our world at a breakneck pace.

I’m proud of how firms, especially those that are CAS-focused, have led the way in providing services to clients. I look forward to supporting you in continuing to provide grounded and practical support to the exciting yet unpredictable technology industry.

Education, diversity, technology, the environment — it’s with these tools we change the world. I’m honored to be part of a profession that moves us all collectively into the future, and I know this year will only prove that sentiment true.

As we step forward into the new year, my wish is that you feel that same pride and sense of accomplishment, while at the same time looking forward to a bright and successful 2023.

What did you think of this?

Every bit of feedback you provide will help us improve your experience

What did you think of this?

Every bit of feedback you provide will help us improve your experience

Related content