Leadership / Management | Training & CPE

The future is now for Maryland CPAs

FlachbThe future of the CPA profession -- and, by extension, the world of business -- is in great hands.

That's my impression, anyway, following Day 1 of the inaugural Maryland Business and Accounting Expo in Baltimore. And by the way, if you weren't there, you missed a truly groundbreaking event. There were plenty of thought-provoking presentations and trailblazing workshops there, and we'll take a closer look here in the days to come. Plans are already in the works for next year's event, so make a mental note, because you won't want to miss it again.

Anyway, back to the future. Following the first day of the Expo, the MACPA held a pair of events that offered a preview of good things to come for Maryland's CPAs.

The first was the association's annual meeting, in which a new slate of volunteers are installed on the MACPA's Board of Directors. Chairing the 2008-09 board is Art Flach (pictured above), managing partner in the Baltimore office of Grant Thornton, who paid tribute to the huge responsibility CPAs have in protecting the public and our capital markets.

"Remember, to whom great things are entrusted, much is expected," Flach told the CPAs in attendance. "I call upon each of you to become stewards of your profession. Become active and stay active in the MACPA and the AICPA. Become thought leaders who lead through example and provide direction and insight for our profession. Become a source of knowledge and expertise for our legislators. Become an advocate for our profession by encouraging young people to become CPAs. Become a living example of the integrity and the ethical behavior that is the hallmark of our profession."

Now that's a fantastic message. If CPAs will follow suit, we've got plenty to look forward to.

OathAs good as it was, though, it was topped just moments later during the second annual swearing-in ceremony for new CPAs. Dignitaries like Department of Labor Chief Accountant Ian Dingwall and Stanley Botts, commissioner of Maryland's Department Occupational and Professional Licensing, reminded the new CPAs of their mandate to protect the public interest and adhere to the profession's code of conduct.

"The public has a great deal of trust in us," said Dingwall. "This is a trust that has been earned. Each and every one of us is responsible for making sure that trust lives on."

The new CPAs then took an oath to that effect. Their vow:

“I solemnly swear that I will assume the responsibilities and obligations as a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Maryland and in the United States of America.

“I will support the laws and regulations and perform my professional duties to the best of my ability in an ethical, professional and objective manner.

“As a CPA, I will uphold the honor and dignity of the accounting profession and abide by the rules of professional conduct.”

It was a great night all around, and a strong reminder of why America counts on CPAs. Hats off to the MACPA's new board members and Maryland's newest CPAs.

Now it's time to get to work, and as Dingwall jokingly reminded them, "don't make any mistakes."


Bill Sheridan