NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--William (Bill) Pirolli, a partner with DiSanto, Priest & Co., in Warwick, R.I., is the new chair of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), the world’s largest member organization representing the CPA profession. As of June, he will also serve as vice chair of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, which combines the strengths of the AICPA and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
Pirolli, a CPA who also holds the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation and the Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) and Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) credentials, was elected to the one-year AICPA volunteer post by the organization’s governing Council, which concluded its virtual Spring Council session today. Anoop Mehta, CPA, CGMA, president of Science Systems and Applications in Lanham, Md., was voted in as the AICPA’s vice chair.
In his acceptance speech, Pirolli said his success has been defined by the relationships he’s built with clients, some of whom he’s worked with for decades. Similar bonds are what made the profession so effective in aiding small businesses during the continuing economic upheaval from the pandemic.
“The most amazing thing about the three letters after our names is that when we get them, they come with a level of trust earned by those who came before us,” Pirolli said “Each of us protects that trust. When I think about the leadership you’ve shown this past year, it’s obvious to me that this trust in the profession is well-placed. You’ve helped businesses adapt. You’ve protected jobs. You’ve provided guidance and stability to clients and employers when they most needed it. And the work is not done yet.”
Pirolli mentioned three key areas of focus for his term:
- Encouraging the profession’s next generation. It’s up to all CPAs to reach out to young people to talk about career paths in the profession, hire them as interns or serve as a mentor, he said. One key organizational initiative moving forward on his watch is CPA Evolution, a new model for CPA licensure developed by the AICPA and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. This effort will help attract talented, tech-savvy professionals and promote business-critical skills within the profession.
- Supporting small businesses, including small accounting firms. CPAs’ work during the pandemic showed how essential they are to the health of small businesses, the economic engine of the nation. Pirolli cited the AICPA’s crucial role in setting up resources and tools to help firms assist their clients with the Paycheck Protection Program and other relief efforts. “With increasingly sophisticated tools to deliver value to clients and employers, we will continue to be the hub of the wheel for clients and employers — at the center, connecting them with what they need,” he said.
- Focusing on the human element. This means going beyond compliance services to higher value advisory work. And it means ensuring the profession reflects the world it serves through the promotion of diversity and inclusion. “Clients want to turn to us for our judgment and our guidance,” he said. “And increasingly, finance teams are advising on decision-making across organizations. These trends mean we must develop skills around communication, emotional intelligence and leadership. As Dad would tell me, we’re in the people business, not the numbers business.”
Pirolli was AICPA vice-chair for the past 12 months and was recently recognized with the AICPA Sustained Contribution Award for 20 years of continued volunteer service to the profession. His volunteer roles have included positions on the AICPA Board of Directors, the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants Board of Directors, the AICPA MAP Committee, the AICPA Small Firm Advocacy Committee, AICPA Council, the Association Nominating Committee, the ENGAGE Planning Committee and the AICPA Relations with the Bar Association Committee. He also was a long-serving chair of the executive committee that oversees the AICPA’s Private Companies Practice Section.
In his work with DiSanto Priest & Co, a multi-disciplinary accounting and financial services organization, Pirolli focuses on estate and succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, financing and litigation support, as well as traditional tax, accounting and advisory services.
He is past president of the Rhode Island Society of CPAs, a former president of the Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce and served on the board of The Kent County Mental Health organization. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in business with a concentration in accounting from Bryant University.
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 trust, opportunity and prosperity for people, businesses and economies worldwide. It represents 696,000 members, students and engaged professionals across 192 countries and territories 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.