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CPAs in BIG are BIG!

BIG At least according to Carol Scott, the new VP of the AICPA's Business, Industry and Government section at a special business and idustry edition of the extremely popular professional issues update / town hall meetings for members of the Maryland Association of CPAs.

These CPAs are on the front-lines of business, government and non-profit organizations as they have had to help their organizations navigate the Great Recession of 2008 and plan for the recovery.

Here are some of the highlights from the session:

Research is showing that CPAs in business and industry have increased in importance through the recession and many have gotten a seat at the strategy table. Expanded areas of risk management, supply-chain management and business forecasting have challenged them to build new skills faster while continuing to drive efficiencies inside the finance function and corporate-wide. (See the latest Global CFO study by IBM and our post, Top 5 skills of the post-recession leader.)

The AICPA is working on several thought leadership areas of significance to CPAs in business, industry and government / NFP:

  1. Risk management (ERM) and internal control
  2. Sustainability
  3. Financial operations management
  4. Financial accounting -- IFRS and changing standards

The MACPA support industry CPAs with their focus on the critical performance skills in the areas of leadership, innovation, performance management, communications and strategy with their Business Learning Institute.

What was on their mind? Carol and I used an interactive text-based polling tool to get immediate feedback from the audience. Here is what they said:

Health care: Sixty-seven percent said they believe the new health care legislation will hurt their companies and 20 percent said it will help. (See our resources from Health Care: What's in it and ... what's not and Health care reform: What will change.)

Using their CPA designation: Fifty-two percent said always, 29 percent said sometimes. Those who did not use their title cited being inactive (not taking CPE).

How much of their job reflects traditional accounting and financial reporting: More than 90 percent of respondents said their roles involve one-third or less of traditional accounting and financial reporting. Much more time is spent in areas like IT, HR, risk management, organization strategy, supply-chain management, and supporting the CEO and business unit managers.

Ninety percent of the respondents said this downturn / recovery was fundamentally different from prior downturns and business cycles.

Overall, it was great session with this very important segment of our profession. CPAs in business, industry and government / not-for-profit make up half of the combined membership of the AICPA and state CPA societies. To sum it up, CPAs in industry, government and non-proftits are BIG to us!

Check out pictures from the event here.

Don't miss these upcoming events for BIG CPAs:

  • Business and Industry Conference, May 14 at Turf Valley Conference Center. Details here.
  • Maryland CPA Summit, June 28 (half day) and June 29 at the BWI Hilton. Details here.
  • Special pre-Summit CFO / Controller roundtable on June 28. Details here.
  • Beach Retreat -- fun in the sun and CPE, July 1-3 in Ocean City. Details here.