Expanding Opportunities for the Accounting Profession 

by Joel Olbricht, CPA, CGMA 

Over the last few years, my firm’s international engagements have expanded. I’ve found there are two important factors in working successfully with international clients: tapping into an international community, and establishing credibility within this community. One of my firm’s clients set up an office in the United Kingdom. We initiated a great deal of interaction with my client’s U.K. sales team, accountant, and attorney, which built that needed community and credibility and raised our profile with the client.

This is why I am highly in favor of the AICPA’s timely proposal out for member vote.

Building a Professional Community
I believe the Institute recognizes how the firm and business environment are progressing internationally and how CPAs will benefit from that progress. Through this proposal, my firm will have a way to connect and form partnerships with professionals overseas to demonstrate that we are devoted to meeting the needs of our U.S. clients on international issues. Plus, clients will also appreciate knowing that our firm is staying ahead of the evolution of business. The combined strengths of the AICPA and CIMA will help my firm stay relevant and serve all of our clients at the highest level.

Enhancing Advocacy and Resources
Clients rely on CPAs as their trusted advisors to provide the depth of knowledge and insight that the proposal could help us achieve. By broadening our scope through this proposal, we’ll more easily stay abreast of changes in the business climate around the world, helping us become more efficient and effective partners for our clients. Not only that, CPAs will gain a stronger voice on international advocacy and, specifically on regulations and standards developing abroad that could potentially impact our firms and our clients here in the U.S.

In addition, the speed of information is only increasing, and an organization with access to the collective wisdom and experience of an international membership is up to the task of matching it. Research, market intelligence and new tools resulting from the new association will help members best serve their clients and the marketplace.

Continuing to Drive Value and Protect Our Interests
I’m confident the AICPA will remain dedicated to serving members. The Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS) will continue to serve firms of all sizes, providing the resources and tools we need to cater to our clients. The PCPS Executive Committee, of which I am the current Chair, assessed the proposal and endorsed it because it serves to benefit members in all the firms we represent. The Committee feels that the AICPA is building on the CPA’s strong core to better position the profession for the future.

We’ll automatically become members of the new association while retaining our AICPA membership. The new association will provide us with a broader platform for protecting, promoting, and growing the entire accounting profession. Our dues will not increase as a result of the proposal (any dues increases will be determined and adjusted in line with historical norms).

The AICPA has always been steadfast in its commitment to protecting and promoting the CPA brand and that will continue. In my opinion, this proposal will serve to strengthen the CPA brand by giving it increased international exposure and appealing to potential clients and talent that we may not have been able to reach previously.

The proposal makes perfect sense when considering the future of the profession. It will position the AICPA membership to strengthen the accounting profession internationally, while improving and enhancing the ways in which we are able to serve our clients.

OlbrichtStorniolo CPAs and Business Advisors is a medium firm based in Hampstead, NH.  Joel Olbricht, CPA, CGMA is the President and CEO.


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