Volunteer Year Begins - The new Volunteer year coincides with the last day of the Fall Council Meeting. At this time, a copy of each volunteer group’s roster is moved to history (electronic records dating back to 1978 are maintained). All new rosters are then made available to review online via the Volunteer Central Web site at http://volunteers.aicpa.org.
Note: What can be viewed on this Web site is controlled via granted permissions (i.e., the level of detail can vary depending on whether the individual is a member of the general public, committee member, committee chair, staff liaison, state society executive director, major firm representative, etc.).
November – April
Volunteer Application Period Begins - The Volunteer Central Web site is open all year (for reference purposes), and the general public can view the approximately 180 active volunteer groups. For applications, the Web site becomes available beginning in mid-November. At this time, approximately 90 volunteer groups are made available for accepting applications. The window for applications acceptance extends from late November until May 1. This application “period” is promoted in various newsletters, such as the CPA Letter, Tax Letter, etc.
Note: In most cases, applications are not accepted directly for task forces.
General Reports Issued to States and Firms
During this timeframe, all state CPA societies (specifically state society CEOs) and approximately 80 representatives (one key contact assigned per firm) of the largest firms are provided reports of the volunteers from their respective state or firm. These representatives also have access to the Volunteer Central Web site with a section of the Web site available for review of their individual firm’s current and prospective volunteers. A representative from KMPG for instance would only be able to view KPMG volunteers.
Nominations - Usually in mid February, the AICPA Nominations Committee meets to decide appointments to the Board of Directors, Council Members At-Large, Peer Review Board, and Joint Trial Board. Elected members of Council also undergo a review process. Newly selected members are announced in the April edition of the CPA Letter. In the two months prior to the Nomination Meeting, various recommendation requests are solicited from major firms, state CPA societies, associations, committee chairs, staff liaisons, and selected AICPA leadership. Recommendations for all of the above mentioned openings are then input into the Volunteer Central Web site for viewing by members of the Nominations Committee. The Nominations portion of the Web site is restricted to the members of the Nominations Committee, the current Chairs of the Board, Incoming Chair of the Board, AICPA President, and Volunteer Services staff.
April – June
State and Firm Recommendations Requested - Each state society CEO and each designated representative from a major firm are asked to visit the Volunteer Central Web site and review the current and prospective volunteers from their state or firm and make online recommendations as to which volunteers should be appointed. Recommendations originating from a firm or state society are strongly taken into consideration when final appointments are made in July or August. Generally these recommendations are not solicited until after all of the volunteer applications have been received – typically by May 15. The actual window of time for receiving recommendations from firms and states is normally about two weeks and once these recommendations are received, then the chairs of each committee are solicited for their recommendations.
Volunteer Group Chairs and Staff Liaisons Recommendations - The chair of a volunteer group (with input from the staff liaison) is required to provide his or her recommendations as to which members (current or proposed) should be appointed. These recommendations are made via the Volunteer Central Web site. The chairs window of time is typically two weeks and follows immediately after the state and firm recommendations are received.
Evaluations of Volunteers - The Chair of each volunteer group is required to evaluate each volunteer’s contribution to his or her respective volunteer group. Each volunteer receives a simple rating of either; E=Excellent, S=Satisfactory, U=Unsatisfactory, or N/A (not enough information to provide an evaluation). All evaluations are done online via the Volunteer Central Web site. These evaluations can only be viewed on the Web site by the Chair and Liaison for their respective groups.
Leadership Reports - The Volunteer Services Team readies all reports to be used during the annual Appointments Meeting. This meeting is typically held in early July.
Annual Appointments Meeting - The AICPA Leadership, Staff Liaisons and the Volunteer Services Team, hold a meeting in early July, where appointments to the majority of volunteer groups (committees, panels, boards, and centers) are made. For a variety of reasons some of the volunteer groups are appointed at other times of the year – however it is at this meeting that approximately 90 of the key standing committees have appointments determined.
Note: The nearly 100 task forces do not go through an appointment process.
Appointment Confirmations and Closing of Open Issues - All open issues (if any) for each Volunteer Group have to be resolved by working with the staff liaison, committee chair, or leadership. A final “appointed” roster is sent to each staff liaison once the group’s roster is deemed complete in order to get a sign-off from the liaison indicating that the roster is indeed correct. In short, this is an extra check to make sure that the staff liaison, committee chair, Volunteer Services Team, and leadership are all in agreement on the final appointments before any of the members are contacted.
Notification of Appointment/Non-Appointment
All volunteers, both appointed and non-appointed, are contacted via emails generated by the Volunteer Services Web site. The communication for each volunteer group is initiated by the Volunteer Services Team, group by group once the appointments for a given group are complete.
When a new appointee receives their acceptance email, it contains a unique “member specific” link that allows the member to automatically log into the Volunteer Services Web site – without having to use his or her UserID or Password. Once logged in, the member can either accept appointment or decline appointment. If the member accepts appointment the system automatically checks to determine if the member has previously signed and provided a “lifetime” copyright agreement statement, and if a copyright statement is still required, then the member is presented with the SERVICE POLICY AGREEMENT via the Web site.