The CPA Vision Project and Beyond
In the late 1990s the AICPA and the state societies cooperated in bringing together CPAs from across the country to develop an unprecedented grassroots vision for the profession for 21st century and beyond.
The CPA Vision Project created a comprehensive and integrated vision of the profession’s future designed to:
- Build awareness of future opportunities and challenges for all segments of the profession
- Lead the profession as it navigates the changing demands of the marketplace
- Draw together the profession to create a vibrant and viable future
- Leverage the CPA’s core competencies and values.
- Guide current and future initiatives in support of the profession and the protection of the public interest.
The goal was simple and ambitious: to enable the profession to create its future.
The Vision Process
Through the Vision Project a core purpose and vision statement emerged that became the heart of the Vision Process. They were presented to a wide range of audiences, including CPAs attending conferences sponsored by state CPA societies, the AICPA and a number of other organizations.
Core Purpose: CPAs making sense of a changing and complex world.
Vision Statement: CPAs are the trusted professionals who enable people and organizations to shape their future. Combining insight with integrity, CPAs deliver value by:
- Communicating the total picture with clarity and objectivity
- Translating complex information into critical knowledge
- Anticipating and creating opportunities
- Designing pathways that transform vision into reality
Future Forums were held across the country. The forums consisted of representatives from members in public practice, industry, government and education, as well as an appropriate split of age ranges and gender. Participants spent eight hours with peers in understanding how the visioning process contributed to insights about the future.
Participants in the forums reviewed, ranked and discussed global forces, significant issues, core values, CPA services and core competencies — all components of the vision process. By looking at examples and scenarios, participants actually crafted a model of the profession 10 years into the millennium.
The Top Fives
The input provided by each Future Forum was used to develop a database of the top five values, services, competencies, and issues of concern and interest from across all segments of the profession. This database provided the foundation for the National Future Forum, where the concepts and direction for the Vision Statement and Core Purpose were developed.
Core Values – Continuing Education and Life-Long learning, Competence, Integrity, Attuned to Broad Business Issues, Objectivity
Core Services – Assurance and Information Integrity, Technology Services, Management Consulting and Performance Management, Financial Planning, International Services
Core Competencies – Communications and Leadership Skills; Strategic and Critical Thinking Skills; Focus on the Customer, Client and Market; Interpretation of converging Information; Technologically adept
Highest Rated Issues Derived from Future Forums
- The future success of the CPA profession relies a great deal upon public perceptions of CPAs' abilities and roles
- CPAs must become market driven and not dependent upon regulations to keep them in business
- The market demands less audit and accounting and more value-adding consulting services
- Specialization is critical for the future of the CPA profession
- The marketplace demands that CPAs be conversant in global business practices and strategies