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CPAs to vote on plan to create international association

A plan to create a new association that will serve the world’s entire accounting profession will go before America’s CPAs for a vote.

The American Institute of CPAs’ governing Council will ask its members to approve the proposal, which is the latest step in a “joint venture” launched in 2011 between the AICPA and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. The first step in that venture resulted in the 2012 creation of the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation.

The ballot will be sent to AICPA members during the week of April 18. A third party will distribute the ballot under the name “AICPA Independent Tabulator.” Members are asked to add the e-mail address noreply@directvote.net as an approved sender so they’ll be sure to receive the ballot.

Voting will remain open through June 16.

A future-focused network of the world’s accountants
The proposal isn’t a merger. The AICPA and CIMA will remain their own entities. AICPA members today will remain AICPA members and keep all of the same membership benefits they currently receive. The AICPA itself will remain committed to serving its members and protecting and promoting the CPA profession. That includes a continued focus on the profession’s core areas like audit, financial reporting, and tax.

What the proposal will do is create a truly international organization of accounting professionals that is dedicated to strengthening the profession and transforming it into a future­-focused network of the world’s most trusted business advisors. Current AICPA and CIMA members would automatically become members of the new association, creating a 600,000-member international organization that works to advance and protect all accountants throughout the world.

Equally important, the new association would be a powerful advocate for the world’s accountants, fighting against onerous, unnecessary regulation and protecting the public interest.

Widespread support
The plan has already earned widespread support from America’s CPAs. More than three-quarters of MACPA members polled during recent “town hall” meetings voiced support for the measure.

In addition, the Journal of Accountancy reports, “the proposal has been endorsed by the AICPA Board and Council and has received support from 51 state CPA societies, leaders from many small, medium and large firms, and finance leaders from organizations across the U.S. and around the world.”

A number of AICPA committees, including the Private Companies Practice Section, the Business and Industry Executive Committee, the Government Performance and Accountability Committee, and the Women’s Initiatives Executive Committee, have also voiced their support.

I spoke at length with AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon about the benefits of the joint venture during the AICPA's fall Council meeting. Here's what he had to say:

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