AICPA Chairman: A Changing Marketplace Offers New Opportunities

Cybersecurity, Profession of the Future and Talent Are Critical Areas, Ellison-Taylor Tells SEC-PCAOB Conference Attendees

Kimberly Ellison-Taylor (Photo: Business Wire)

WASHINGTON--()--Emerging technologies, workforce changes and regulatory complexity are among the challenges that are changing the marketplace and creating new opportunities for the CPA profession, the chairman of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) told attendees of the AICPA Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments here today.

In remarks prepared for the event, Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, CPA, CGMA, said CPAs “must be relentless in our efforts to increase investor protection and public confidence in our work. We do this by providing greater insights, leveraging new tools and anticipating the needs of an evolving marketplace.”

Ellison-Taylor sees three critical areas for the profession: responding to the changing cybersecurity landscape; preparing for the future of the profession; and continuing to grow and nurture the talent pipeline.

Organizations must demonstrate that they are safeguarding personal information and that they can quickly and effectively respond to the many cyber threats, she explained. “Earlier this year, the AICPA developed a reporting framework for cybersecurity risk management. The framework creates a common language to strengthen cyber risk programs among all sizes of companies, public and private, in all industries, around the world. Organizations and businesses can use the framework as a guide in creating and evaluating their cybersecurity risk management programs. It will help them assess controls, identify gaps and develop a robust response plan – and management accountants can lead their organizations throughout that process.”

“While change can be daunting – and the new brave world of technology is no exception – we must stand ready to embrace it,” Ellison-Taylor told the gathering. She pointed to blockchain and audit data analytics as examples. The AICPA and – the technology subsidiary of the AICPA – recently joined the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance, with an objective of defining the impact of blockchain for the profession and to drive basic utility of the tool. And she noted that the benefits of data analytics aren’t limited to just the financial statement audit. “Where finance professionals used to spend half their time on transaction processing and less than 7 percent on strategy, they can now primarily focus on strategy, providing critical insights to the business. As a result, management accountants can influence their organizations’ strategic direction more than ever before,” she said.

Ellison-Taylor emphasized that a big part of creating a dynamic profession is making sure it has the talent necessary to deliver its services and meet market demands. “To do that, we must make sure our profession is attractive and full of opportunity for the next generation. … We must create environments that provide the cutting-edge technology and services they expect,” she said. “We also need to address the fact that a growing number of CPAs are looking to the corporate side of the profession. They want to develop the strategic thinking, business partnering and management skills required to be successful in business today. Our Chartered Global Management Accountant designation – or CGMA – is designed to do just that.”

“We are definitely in extraordinary times where technology is both an opportunity and threat,” she went on to say. “Yet, I remain confident in our individual and joint initiatives. Together, we are working to address technological innovations, mentor new talent and ensure we are offering the skills and services necessary for a rapidly changing world. We at the AICPA stand ready to embrace the evolution of the profession and make sure it is one that continues to enjoy the public’s trust.”

The AICPA Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments is an intensive three-day, high-level event that provides the forum for attendees to absorb new regulatory issues, and how they will affect audits, reporting and governance for public companies. It is being held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in our nation’s capital, with video simulcast to The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City, and is available in real time over the Internet.

About the American Institute of CPAs

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is the world’s largest member association representing the CPA profession, with more than 418,000 members in 143 countries, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting. The AICPA sets ethical standards for its members and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, nonprofit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination, offers specialized credentials, builds the pipeline of future talent and drives professional competency development to advance the vitality, relevance and quality of the profession.

The AICPA maintains offices in New York, Washington, DC, Durham, NC, and Ewing, NJ.

Media representatives are invited to visit the AICPA Press Center at

About the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants

The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association) is the most influential body of professional accountants, combining the strengths of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) to power opportunity, trust and prosperity for people, businesses and economies worldwide. It represents 650,000 members and students in public and management accounting and advocates for the public interest and business sustainability on current and emerging issues. With broad reach, rigor and resources, the Association advances the reputation, employability and quality of CPAs, CGMAs and accounting and finance professionals globally.


American Institute of CPAs
Jay Hyde, 202-434-9266

Release Summary

AICPA Chairman shares challenges that are changing the marketplace and creating new opportunities for the CPA profession.


American Institute of CPAs
Jay Hyde, 202-434-9266