Barry C. Melancon is the President and Chief Executive Officer at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the national professional association of CPAs, with nearly 386,000 members worldwide. He directs the Institute’s operations in New York; Durham, NC; Washington, DC and New Jersey.
As head of the largest body of CPAs in the world, Melancon is called upon to represent the Institute with state, national and international organizations and is sought after by key opinion leaders for his expertise.
Under Melancon, the Institute has spearheaded a number of initiatives designed to benefit not only the profession, but also investors, business owners, lenders and the general public. These include audit quality centers; private company reporting standards; eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL); the computerized CPA exam; and two consumer financial literacy education programs.
Under Melancon’s leadership, the AICPA and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) developed a joint venture to establish the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation to elevate management accounting globally. In its first year of existence, 38,000 AICPA members have obtained the designation in the USA along with the 90,000 members of CIMA. Melancon also serves as the CEO and a board member of the Joint Venture, the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, which oversees all CGMA activities internationally.
In addition to serving as President and CEO of the AICPA, Melancon is a member of the AICPA's delegation to the International Federation of Accountants, whose broad objective is the development and enhancement of a coordinated worldwide accountancy profession with harmonized standards. He is a member of the board and Chairman of XBRL-US and a founding board member of the Center for Audit Quality, and of the Global Accounting Alliance. He serves on the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, and during 2007-2008, served on the U.S. Department of the Treasury Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession.
He is also a founder of the Government Transformation Initiative and serves on its Board, a founder and current Chair of XBRL-US, a founder and board member of the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA) and a board member of the New York Society of Association Executives.
In 1995, at only 37 years old, Melancon was named the CEO of AICPA and is now the longest serving CEO in the organization’s 125 year history. He implemented a major reorganization of the AICPA in his first four months as CEO, focusing on positioning the AICPA to be more nimble and leading edge while also reducing its employment base by more than 20 percent. Today the AICPA has a record number of members and revenue. He also directed a move of the majority of AICPA operations from the New York metro area to Durham, NC saving the organization more than $11 million per year.
He has testified for the profession before Congress numerous times, was the 2011 National Association Executive of the Year and has been honored with numerous other awards.
Prior to joining the AICPA, Melancon served for eight years as Executive Director of the Society of Louisiana CPAs. He began his accounting career in 1979 at a small CPA firm in Louisiana. In 1984, he was elected a firm partner. Melancon graduated in 1978 from Nicholls State University in Louisiana, majoring in accounting with a minor in government. He also earned an MBA in 1983 from Nicholls State University and subsequently served as an adjunct professor of accounting at his alma mater for four years. He was also awarded his alma mater’s first and only Honorary Doctorate of Commerce in 2008.