With each passing generation, professionals probably believed that theirs was “the best of times.” But WOW! For CPAs here in the U.S., I imagine a no more exciting time than this to be a practicing Certified Public Accountant.
More than ever, our clients, communities, and other financial and business professionals are turning to CPAs for financial leadership and advice. I believe we are responding in a manner that is making a difference. We have taken ownership in converging financial reporting standards with the international community as to how financial transactions are recorded and disclosed. We are currently undertaking a project that will clarify and will converge U.S. Attestation Standards. We have recently substantially completed a project to clarify and converge U.S. Auditing Standards. And today, we are in the midst of a robust discussion regarding the application of accounting principles for companies in the private company sector.
Some argue that we have become a reactive community, as a profession, to international standard setters. I do not believe “reactive” is the proper word at all. The global financial markets (of which the U.S. is the most important and, perhaps, dominant member) requires comparable financial reporting standards and application of the comparable requirements necessary to provide relative forms of assurance for readers and users of financial information. The international financial community depends on the U.S. to provide leadership, recommendations, and advice as to how financial transitions are reported on a basis consistent and understandable by all members of what I consider a global financial market.
As a U.S. CPA, I consider myself a partner in these efforts, both in the U.S. and the world. If we are reacting to anything, we are reacting to market conditions. As business leaders, CPA’s have always reacted and provided leadership in changing market conditions. Let’s don’t stop now.