The AICPA and the accounting profession as a whole have lost a respected and cherished leader this past week. William (Bill) Ezzell passed away at far too young an age, as anyone who experienced his humor, passion, insights and vitality can well attest. Throughout his career at Deloitte as the National Managing Partner for Legislative and Regulatory Relations and after his retirement, Bill devoted an extraordinary amount of time to advancing the profession. A former chairman of the AICPA Board of Directors, past president of its Foundation Board, and recipient of the AICPA's 2009 Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Service, Bill's achievements are intricately embedded into the profession's history and evolution. In 2011, the American Accounting Association also recognized Bill with its Outstanding Service Award. From his work on establishing The Accountants Coalition, implementing the Pathways Commission recommendations, spearheading the Accounting Doctoral Scholars programs that raised $17 million to increase the number of PhDs in accounting and tax, or weighing in on and helping to shape the strategic direction of accounting and auditing, Bill's impact leaves a lasting and significant legacy.
Bill continued his long-time relationship with the North Carolina Association of CPAs following his retirement. He served on the NCACPA Board of Directors for the past three years and was currently NCACPA’s chair-elect.
All of us will miss his leadership, his expansive spirit and gentle humor, as well as his deep and ceaseless commitment to enhancing the value, relevance and impact of the accounting profession.
Bill was a fierce advocate for the CPA profession, especially for students on the pathway to becoming a CPA and the educators who teach them. In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Bill’s commitment to accounting education may be made to either the North Carolina CPA Foundation, PO Box 80188, Raleigh NC 27623, or to the AICPA Foundation, 220 Leigh Farm Road, Durham NC 27707. Memorial gifts are also welcome at Capital Caring Hospice, 2900 Telestar Court, Falls Church, VA 22042.