AICPA Names Recipients of 2012 Outstanding CPA in Government Award

August 20, 2012

Washington, D.C. (August 20, 2012) – The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is pleased to announce that John H. Fisher, Ph.D., CPA, of Kansas City, Mo. and Roger A. Norman, CPA, J.D., of Little Rock, Ark., are the 2012 recipients of the Outstanding CPA in Government Award. Fisher (posthumous) received the federal government award and Norman the state award.

Gregory J. Anton, CPA, CGMA, AICPA chairman, presented the awards today at the Institute’s 29th Annual National Governmental Accounting and Auditing Update Conference in Washington, D.C. The awards recognize CPAs working in federal, state and local government who have contributed significantly to increased efficiency and effectiveness of government organizations and to the growth and enhancement of the CPA profession.

“John’s and Roger’s work have underscored the importance of having CPAs work in national and state government,” said Anton. “Through their vision, dedication and commitment they have raised the bar in our profession. They are the embodiment of what it means to work in governmental accounting.”

Fisher was the audit manager and single audit coordinator for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). He was a conspicuous embodiment of the ethic of selfless service to the nation. He was an exceptional individual who dedicated his life’s work to improving the integrity of Federal programs. It was a task to which he devoted himself with the fervency of a calling, and one upon which he brought to bear a truly remarkable breadth and depth of knowledge, an engaging and inspiring personality and an unwavering devotion to the highest principles of public service. He was recognized nationally as an expert in governmental accounting, particularly in the highly complex, specialized and rapidly evolving field of non-Federal audits. It was his insight, vision and leadership that inspired and enabled the HHS to establish and resource the National External Audit Review Center (NEAR) in Kansas City, Mo. This organization established itself as a significant tool for HHS program monitoring and integrity. The NEAR staff, following the review model that Fisher developed, staffed and refined, continues to be responsible for analyzing the Single Audit reports, prepared by independent external auditors, on entities that expend HHS program funds. The results of these reviews are communicated to agency program management along with recommendations for follow-up and monitoring to enhance program integrity.

Fisher was a member of the AICPA, the Missouri Society of CPAs, the Kansas Society of CPAs and served as a member of the State governmental committees for both the Kansas and Missouri Societies of CPAs. He was actively involved with the Intergovernmental Audit Forum and served on the Single Audit Committee of the Southwest Intergovernmental Audit Forum and on the Technical Issues Committee of the Mid-America Intergovernmental Audit Forum.

Norman is legislative auditor for the state of Arkansas. As the Arkansas legislative auditor, he manages 275 employees to provide nearly 1,000 audits, reports and special projects annually, to provide timely, accurate and relevant information to assist the General Assembly in making policy decisions and to provide proper accountability, stewardship and transparency of public funds and resources to meet the public’s needs.

Norman directed the division of legislative audit in meeting federal single-audit deadlines while auditing additional ARRA funds totaling approximately $3 billion dollars.  These reports demonstrate Norman’s commitment to making accountability a top priority for sound management of the state’s resources. Norman has also directed the division to have increased focus on technology and resources, which resulted in a paperless audit management program that is expected to reduce expenses and increase efficiencies. As legal counsel for the division, Norman assisted Arkansas’s legislators, the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee and the Division of Legislative Audit in preparing legislation that ensures the proper use of taxpayers’ dollars and compliance with state laws regarding the operations of the state government.

Norman is a member of the AICPA, the Arkansas Society of CPAs and the Arkansas Bar Association.  He currently serves on the executive committee of the National State Auditors Association.

The AICPA did not make an Outstanding CPA in Government Award to a local level of government employee this year.