More than 200 people were on hand Nov. 18 as nearly 100 of Maryland’s newest CPAs were sworn into the profession as part of the annual Newly Licensed CPA Swearing-In Ceremony sponsored by the Maryland Association of CPAs.

Held at the Maryland Live! Hotel in Hanover, Md., the event returned after a year-long hiatus brought on by the pandemic. Young professionals who became CPAs during the past two years were invited to take the oath, which reads:

I solemnly swear that I will assume the responsibilities and obligations as a certified public accountant in the state of Maryland and in the United States of America.

I will support the laws and regulations and perform my professional duties to the best of my ability in an ethical, professional, and objective manner.

As a CPA, I will uphold the honor and dignity of the accounting profession and abide by the rules of professional conduct.

The oath is strictly ceremonial. New CPAs don’t have to take the oath before launching their careers.

Even so, the ceremony plays an important role in a CPA’s early career for a couple of key reasons:

  • Not only does the ceremony give new CPAs and their families an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments, but it forces those attending to actually verbalize their commitment to serving the public. Passing the exam and earning your license is one thing. Standing in front of state and federal regulators, raising your right hand and promising to do the right thing is a much more powerful step, and one the new CPAs will remember when faced with professionally and morally difficult decisions.
  • When you talk to the new CPAs, you quickly realize how much the event means to them. Previous “Swearing-In” participants have called the event “the exclamation point” on their years of studying and exam preparation, and “the most important experience” of their lives.

This year’s event included remarks from:

  • Dave McGlone, deputy secretary of Maryland’s Department of Labor.
  • Maryland Board of Public Accountancy Chair James Marshall.
  • Anoop Mehta, vice chair of the American Institute of CPAs and a former chair of the MACPA’s Board of Directors.
  • Current MACPA Board Chair Lexy Kessler.
  • Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, a former AICPA and MACPA chair who currently chairs the AICPA’s National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion and the MACPA Foundation.
  • MACPA Executive Director Jackie Brown.

“I want to welcome you to a great profession,” Mehta told the new CPAs. “I want you to take a look around you. The people in this room are your support system. I would go so far as to say they are your life support system. I would not be where I am today without the support of the people around me.”

That support comes with a responsibility to extend similar support to the future CPAs still to come, said Ellison-Taylor. “If you are here today and took that oath, you have an obligation to pay it forward,” she said.

Added Kessler, a partner with Aronson LLC: “You are entering a great profession at an extremely critical time. Your companies, your firms and clients, and your families need your expertise more now than ever. It’s a great day to be a CPA. Seeing all of you here, that’s clear.”

The Swearing-In Ceremony was sponsored by KatzAbosch; CliftonLarsonAllen; Garbelman Winslow, CPAs; and SEK, CPAs and Advisors.

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