WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 21, 2019) – Bill Reeb, chief executive of the management consulting firm Succession Institute, LLC, is the new chair of the American Institute of CPAs, the world’s largest member organization representing the CPA profession.
Reeb was elected to the one-year volunteer post by the AICPA governing Council, which wraps up its annual spring meeting today. Tracey Golden, CPA, CGMA, an audit partner with Deloitte, was voted in as vice chair.
In his acceptance speech, Reeb said the profession must take “leaps, not steps” forward to take advantage of what will be a sea change in accounting and finance.
“The role we play as trusted advisors has never been more important,” he said. “Our clients and employers are challenged to stay ahead in a time when rapid innovation and change is the new world order. They need us to be with them, side-by-side, helping them navigate the complexity and uncertainty that is the world we live in today.”
Reeb offered four pieces of advice for the profession:
- Let go of what you think you know. A black belt in the tao wu hsian hua system, Reeb said martial artists are “big on humility” – and accountants should be, too. Part of that involves rigorously reexamining past lessons and work methods to see if they still hold true in a time of great change.
- Accept that technical aptitude alone will not be enough. Familiarity with technology and continued improvement in human skills – critical thinking, judgment, leadership – will also define accounting professionals in the future. “This powerful combination of our technical expertise, technological understanding, and enhanced human skills are foundational to positioning ourselves for a brighter future,” he said.
- Challenge what it means to be an ‘accountant.’ That means providing higher-value strategic guidance in core service areas such as audit, tax and finance, broadening tax practices to meet the growing need for a more integrated life planning approach for individuals, and extending assurance into emerging areas such as cybersecurity risk management, sustainability and supply chain.
- Embrace a disruptive mindset. “We need to shift our thinking from what our profession is and what we do today to what our profession should be and what we need to be doing tomorrow,” he said.
Reeb is a CPA and holds the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) and CITP (Certified Information Technology Professional) designations. As of June 1, he will also serve as vice chair of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the unified voice of the AICPA and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), and will work closely with the Association’s incoming chair, Amal Ratnayake, CFMA, CGMA.
Reeb has held several volunteer leadership positions at the AICPA, having previously served as vice chair, a member of the Board of Directors and governing Council, and secretary of the Political Action Committee. In addition, he has chaired the Practice Monitoring of the Future Steering Group and Management Consulting Services Executive Committee.
Currently the CEO of the Succession Institute, a management consulting firm based in Austin, Tex., Reeb has had a lengthy career consulting for businesses of all sizes, primarily in the areas of organizational structure and governance, operations and accountability. He has founded six small businesses, including a CPA firm, prior to starting the Succession Institute.
He is a member of the both the Texas and Colorado State CPA Societies. Reeb also serves as an advisory member on the board of the CPA Firm Management Association (CPAFMA). He received his bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State University.