Increased Advocacy and Broader Perspective Will Benefit Smaller Firms 

by Cheryl K. Woods, CPA, CGMA 

When I first read about the AICPA’s proposal out for member approval, I had several reservations. Let me tell you a little bit about the journey I took before making the decision to vote “yes.”

I did some research on my own, and after having a discussion with Carl Peterson, the AICPA’s Vice President of Small Firm Interests, I began to understand the value in the proposal: AICPA members would continue to receive everything they do currently, and would gain enhanced advocacy through the new association the proposal seeks to create. In my opinion, it’s a logical next step for the AICPA’s existing relationship with The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Carl also made it very clear that the current role and mission of the AICPA would remain unchanged, as would its commitment to promoting and protecting the CPA and core services. In addition, the PCPS Executive Committee—along with many other key AICPA committees—has passed a resolution in support of the proposal, which also helped me decide to support the proposal.

That’s why, as a sole practitioner, I feel that the biggest benefit of the proposal is the increased advocacy. To me, the greatest value that the AICPA provides is its promotion of the CPA designation and its ability to advocate for practitioner interests. This proposal will give us a broader international presence. At the same time, it will help protect us against potentially burdensome regulations, which increasingly originate internationally. These issues are often introduced in the U.S. and don’t always help our small firm clients. The AICPA’s advocacy efforts would be even more powerful if they started at that international level, so we can protect our firms and those we serve.

Understanding how these objectives would be accomplished under the AICPA’s proposal was a major selling point for me. The new association would represent more than 600,000 accounting professionals. That’s a powerful voice speaking on behalf of me and my small firm practitioner peers. This proposal would increase CPA brand exposure through a new international platform and provide small firm advocacy on a larger scale.

I would imagine that other practitioners, especially other sole practitioners and those in small firms, may need to take the journey I did before coming to a decision. Take a look at the AICPA’s proposal. Do the research and get informed. To me, the benefits of the proposal are clear and voting yes was the logical choice.

I encourage you to join me in voting “yes.” You can learn more about the proposal at aicpa.org/horizons.

Cheryl K. Woods, CPA, CGMA is a sole practitioner based in Centerville, WA.




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