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Jeff May

Mitchell Slepian

AICPA Names New Technical Director for Center for Plain English Accounting 

Thomas Groskopf to Help Shape Guidance on Complex Issues for Local and Regional CPA Firms 
Published June 18, 2014

NEW YORK (June 18, 2014) – The American Institute of CPAs has named a new technical director for  the AICPA Center for Plain English Accounting (CPEA), a resource hub for local and regional CPA firms seeking detailed, clearly explained guidance on complex accounting and assurance issues.

Thomas J. Groskopf, a nationally known authority on those topics, succeeds the late Dr. Tom Ratcliffe, founder of Plain-English Accounting, LLC, a highly regarded advisory service acquired by the AICPA last fall and expanded into the CPEA. Firms must be members of the AICPA’s Private Companies Practice Session to join the center.

Groskopf continues as a CPA with Barnes, Dennig & Co., a regional firm with offices in Ohio and Kentucky. He is a member of the Private Company Council, which works with the Financial Accounting Standards Board to determine if and how U.S. GAAP should be adapted for private companies. Groskopf has also served on the AICPA's PCPS Technical Issues Committee, including one year as chair of its accounting subcommittee. As a client engagement partner, he brings valuable insight and extensive experience to private company accounting issues, as well as expertise in audit, review, compilation and attestation services. 

The CPEA has a dedicated staff of subject matter experts and can draw on the larger resources of the AICPA when needed.  Heading the AICPA staff is Robert Durak, CPA, CGMA, the AICPA’s director of private company financial reporting.

“CPAs are used to dealing with growing complexity – that’s a fundamental part of our job,” said AICPA Chairman Bill Balhoff, CPA, CGMA, CFF. “But even the most knowledgeable professionals occasionally encounter issues that fall outside their expertise. The Center for Plain English Accounting provides a great go-to resource for firms that need clear, timely guidance from time to time so they can ensure superior service to clients. CPEA is another PCPS firm benefit that helps build successful practices.”

Benefits of the center include:

  • The ability to submit questions on complex accounting and assurance issues and receive written technical responses that are detailed yet easily grasped. (There is no limit on the number of questions a firm can submit, but there may be a fee for questions that require extensive research.)
  • Monthly reports, written in plain English, on timely accounting and assurance topics.
  • Regular alerts on emerging issues and new standards.
  • Eight CPE-eligible webcasts a year on relevant topics.
  • Special VIP sessions at select AICPA events, such as next month's National Advanced Accounting and Auditing Technical Symposium in Las Vegas.
  • Access to a deep library of accounting and assurance reports.

Members of the PCPS Section have access to a host of tools and resources for practice management and business expansion. The CPEA is an extension of those benefits, although PCPS firms must join the center first to make use of its services. For more information, visit aicpa.org/cpea.

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