Press Release



James Schiavone

Forward Looking Report Outlines Future of Accounting Profession 

Results of CPA Horizons 2025 Presented at AICPA Council 
Published October 17, 2011

Phoenix, Arizona (October 17, 2011) – Today, the AICPA released the findings from a year-long initiative to examine what’s on the horizon for CPAs and the accounting profession.  CPA Horizons 2025 leveraged insights from more than 75,000 comments from CPAs in all segments of the accounting profession, regulators, thought leaders and futurists to highlight key trend and charts what the profession will face in the years leading up to 2025. 


The findings were announced at the Fall meeting of the AICPA governing Council in Phoenix, Arizona.


The visionary exercise used the information collected to identify global and local trends and the steps CPAs can take to plan for the challenges and leverage the opportunities the future will hold. The profession can expect to face the greatest impact from long-term trends such as technology, globalization and expanded service offerings, according to an analysis of the data.


“The CPA Horizons 2025 project was created for the accounting profession, by the accounting profession,” said Paul Stahlin, CPA, AICPA chairman, who presented the results at the fall meeting of AICPA’s governing Council. “The visionary insights contained in this report will serve as a compass to guide current and future CPAs on a path of success in the profession.”


Ten key insights and directions for the future which emerged from the research are:


1.      Technology: Understand and leverage relevant technology in conjunction with core CPA competencies to deliver superior services. 

2.      Pre-Certification and Lifelong Learning: Evolve the educational framework to keep pace with the changing dynamics of business, government and our profession.

3.      Worldwide Profession: Position the CPA as a premier designations of the accounting and finance profession throughout the world.

4.      Pride in the Profession: Encourage pride among CPAs in the CPA profession and in the value CPAs create throughout society.

5.      Trusted Attester: Preserve the role of the CPA as the trusted attester of financial and other information.

6.      Trusted Advisor: Promote the CPA as the trusted advisor who develops solutions to complex problems.

7.      Market Permission:  Leverage the strengths of the profession to expand market permissions.

8.      Marketplace: Address continual changes in the marketplace, economy, businesses, and regulations by managing change.

9.      Value Proposition: Increase the visibility of the profession’s value proposition by demonstrating the profession’s core values in multiple areas of business and society.

10.  Demographic Shifts: Continue to offer opportunities that enhance the appeal of the profession and be proactive in addressing both US and global demographic shifts.


CPA Horizons 2025 built upon and extended the work of the CPA Vision Project, which took place in the late 1990’s and created a roadmap for the profession which led to 2011. The Vision Project defined the profession’s core values, competencies and services, which were refined in the CPA Horizons report.



“The overarching theme that emerged from the research is that the entire profession has an incredibly bright future,” said Stahlin. “CPAs will continue to serve as trusted advisors helping others make sense of an increasingly complicated and ever-changing world.”


Over a six-month period, research for the CPA Horizons report was conducted through in person forums, online discussions, focus groups and an online survey which generated more than 75,000 total comments from CPAs about the current state and the direction of the profession. These findings were then reviewed and synthesized by a 21-member Advisory Panel, representing a wide and diverse swath of the profession.


The full CPA Horizons 2025 report will be available on Wednesday, October 19 at www.cpahorizons2025.org 


Media interested in the results may contact James Schiavone at 212-596-6119 or jschiavone@aicpa.org.


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