CPA leaders featured at fall Council in Tucson

Dsc00017Just back from the AICPA Council meeting in Tucson, where a gathering of many of the profession's best and brightest were working on advancing the profession and helping America deal with some of our biggest challenges ever.

It takes a lot to maintain a profession! Self-regulation and standards, maintaning quality, thought leadership, advocacy and service to its members are all essential to keeping a profession relevant and meaningful in today's rapidly changing environment. That was what the 350-plus members of the AICPA governing Council were working on this week.

Financial literacy, the economy, international issues, new legislation impacting CPAs, and the role of members in business, industry and government (see my post from Council on this) were all part of the agenda. Yet, I was struck by the passion and commitment by all of the leaders in attendance.

For those of you not fmiliar with our profession, the AICPA Council is the governing body of the U.S. CPA profession. Think Congres, only from a representation perspective. There is one designated representative from each state and jurisdiction (Senate), representatives from each state based on membership, like the House (Maryland has four), 21 at-large members and the AICPA Board of Directors. Pictured are at-large member Robert Tarola (retired CFO of Grace & Co.), Ernie Almonte (new chairman of the AICPA) and Lou Satchell (MACPA past chair and Council member).

From an MACPA perspective, I was especially proud to see Maryland well represented. Carter Heim was elected one of the newest members of the AICPA Board; he joins Lisa Cines, who is already serving. Robert Tarola is an at-large member of Council; he joins our full Maryland delegation. Incoming and outgoing designated members are Kimberly Ellison-Taylor and Bill Riley. Representatives Pat Reese, Ed Rommel, Lou Satchell, Tom Foard and Allen DeLeon were also in attendance. Tom Foard was also appointed chairman of the AICPA Business and Industry Executive Committee.

Yet despite our Maryland pride, CPAs from every state and from all disciplines in our profession are represented on this body. Almost all of them had their start by volunteering at a state CPA society and worked their way up into the national spotlight. The time and talents they freely give for the benefit of us all are remarkable.

My congratulations and thanks to all of the volunteers in our profession, past, present and future. Without you, we risk losing our place in making the free markets function better in this increasingly complex world.