AICPA Volunteer Groups

All members of the Council, Boards, Committees, Subcommittees, Panels, Centers and Task Forces (hereinafter "volunteer groups")

Advisory Committees – A committee designated as an Advisory Committee is not responsible for policy-setting as are regular committees, but is appointed to provide the views of membership groups to policy-setting boards and committees.

Audit Quality Center – The objectives of the Audit Quality Center include:

Enhance the quality of member firms’ audit practices in the specialized area.

Provide a forum for member firms to address technical and regulatory matters involving the specialized area of audit practice. Develop relationships with, act as a liaison to, and communicate issues to regulators and others for the purpose of representing the auditing profession’s views relating to the specialized area of audit practice.

Advocate solutions and positions to regulators and standards-setters on behalf of member firms in the specialized area.

Board – Based on the Bylaws of the AICPA, the term Board is used in conjunction with the following bodies:

  • Board of Directors

  • Board of Examiners

  • Joint Trial Board

  • Peer Review Board

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors acts as the Executive Committee of Council, directing Institute activities between Council meetings.  The Board meets five times a year and is responsible for reporting to the Council as least semiannually. The Board of Directors consists of:

  • Chairman of the Board of Directors 

  • Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors 

  • Regular Members of the Board of Directors (members of the AICPA) 

  • Public Members of the Board of Directors (non AICPA members) 

Board Committees - Board committees are comprised of members of the Board of Directors. The Chair of the Board and the President are Ex Officio Members of all Board committees. The following committees are classified as Board Committees:

Accounting Research Association – To provide best efforts commitment of financial support to the Financial Accounting Foundation.

Political Action Committee – Is the Institute’s political action committee and provides financial support for election campaigns of candidates for federal elective office whose views are consistent with AICPA goals.

Audit Committee – The Audit Committee is primarily concerned with the effectiveness of the audits conducted by the Institute’s Internal Audit Staff and independent certified public accountants.

Compensation Committee – The Compensation Committee establishes and monitors compliance with compensation policies for AICPA staff.

Finance Committee – The Finance Committee's purpose is to maintain the relevance of the Institute’s continuing objectives and contribute to their advancement by reviewing strategy, plans, budgets and material deviations in  plans and budgets prior to discussion by the Board of Directors.

Board of Examiners - The Board of Examiners (BOE) is responsible for the supervision and preparation of the uniform CPA examination which may be adopted by state Boards of Accountancies for examining candidates for the certified public accountant certification.  The BOE is also responsible for the conduct of the grading service offered by the Institute. The BOE forms the necessary rules and regulations for the conduct of its work, but all such rules and regulations may be amended, suspended, or revoked by the Board of Directors. The BOE may delegate to members of the Institute's staff, or other duly qualified persons, the preparation of examination questions and the operation of the grading service conducted by the Institute.

Council - Council determines Institute programs and policies. It has approximately 263 members with representatives from every state and U.S. territory. The Council may exercise all powers requisite for the purposes of the Institute, not inconsistent with the AICPA Bylaws, or with duly enacted resolutions of the membership, including but not limited to the authority to prescribe the policies and procedures of the Institute and to enact resolutions binding upon the Board of Directors, the officers, volunteer groups, and staff.  The Council consists of the following type of members:

  • Elected Members of Council

  • Designated Representatives of each state

  • At Large Members of Council 

  • Ex-Officios 

Expert Panel - Following the AICPA’s committee restructuring effort in 1999 the Board of Directors approved the establishment of Expert Panels that focus on identifying industry-specific business reporting issues with an emphasis on audit and accounting.  Panels have been established in areas in which the membership and the public have a high stake and in which the AICPA can add significant value.   The Expert Panels enable standards setters to continue to leverage the AICPA membership's industry expertise, as well as provide a means for the profession to liaise with outside groups, such as regulators.  

Joint Trial Board – The Joint Trial Board consist of 36 members elected for a three year term by the Nominations Committee and ratified by Council.  The Joint Trial Board provides for uniform enforcement of professional standards by adjudicating disciplinary charges against state society and AICPA members.  Its decisions affect both AICPA and state society memberships.

Executive Committee - An executive committee is the standing parent group responsible for Policy-setting in an area of activity.  The Board of Directors acts as the executive committee of Council, directing Institute activities between Council meetings.  

Nominations Committee - As outlined in the Bylaws of the Institute, the Nominations Committee is to be composed of eleven members of the Institute, elected by the Council in such manner as the Council shall prescribe. The responsibility of the Nominations Committee is to make nominations for the following.

Peer Review Board - The Peer Review Board is responsible for establishing and conducting a peer review program (program) for firms enrolled in the program.  Quality in the performance of accounting and auditing engagements by its members is the goal of the program.  The program seeks to achieve its goal through education and remedial, corrective actions.  This goal serves the public interest and enhances the significance of AICPA membership.  The Board also reevaluates the validity and objectives of the program to ensure the program continues to enhance the quality of accounting and auditing practices of public accounting firms and to explicitly recognize that protecting the public interest is an equally important objective of the program.

Senior Committees and Boards - The following committees and boards are designated senior by virtue of resolution of Council implementing the AICPA Bylaws.  Note that in a few instances, some of these committees may also be designated as Senior Technical Committees. 

  • Accounting and review services committee 

  • Financial reporting executive committee 

  • Assurance services executive committee 

  • Auditing standards board 

  • Board of examiners  

  • Center for audit quality governing board 

  • Employee benefit plans audit quality center executive committee  

  • Forensic and valuation services executive committee  

  • Government audit quality center executive committee

  • Information management and technology assurance executive committee

  • Management consulting services executive committee 

  • National Accreditation Commission 

  • Peer review board 

  • Personal financial planning executive committee 

  • Private companies practice executive committee 

  • Professional ethics executive committee 

  • Tax executive committee 

Senior Technical Committees and Board - The following senior technical committees and boards are authorized to make public statements - without clearance from Council or the Board of Directors - on matters relating to their area of practice:

  • Accounting and Review Services Committee

  • Accounting Standards Executive Committee

  • AICPA Peer Review Board

  • Assurance Services Executive Committee

  • Auditing Standards Board

  • Professional Practice Executive Committee

  • Consulting Services Executive Committee

  • Forensic and Valuation Services Executive Committee

  • PCPS Executive Committee

  • Personal Financial Planning Executive Committee

  • Professional Ethics Executive Committee

  • Tax Executive Committee

Subcommittee - A subcommittee is a standing group which may be entirely or partially composed of some of the members of the related executive committee or committee or may be composed entirely of other persons. The work of a subcommittee is subject to overall review by its related committee or executive committee.

Task Force - Since the Volunteer Group restructuring effort that took place in the fall of 1999, there has been an increased emphasis on task forces rather than formal “standing” committees, panels or boards.  Also, beginning in 1999, the Volunteer Services Team began tracking and maintaining information on task forces.  Task forces are intended to be fast paced groups that focus on a single issue or project. 

Since the definition of what constitutes a task force has varied greatly from one individual to the next, the following definition is provided:

Task forces are working groups that typically focus on a single issue or project.  They operate in support of and under the auspices of another volunteer group (committee, panel or board). While the duration of task forces may vary considerably, they should be organized to have relatively short lives, accomplishing their objectives on single issues or projects rapidly, and then being disbanded.   Also for purposes of definition, the Volunteer Services Team will only track a task force with an intended working life of over three months and if the task force meets separately from the volunteer group the task force supports.

Since task forces do not follow the Volunteer appointments process, the basic information on a task force must be provided to the AICPA Volunteer Services Team's staff liaison.  As soon as the task force is created, members are added or removed, or when a task force disbands, notification must be provided to the staff liaison. 

Tax Technical Resource Panel – Tax Technical Resource Panels (TRP’s) act as a primary resource to the Tax Executive Committee (TEC) in representing members and the public interest by identifying issues, in developing technical and policy recommendations on those issues, and in suggesting or developing related practice aids to assist members in complying with the law; to recommend formation of task forces and  assist the TEC and its constituent committees in monitoring task forces activities; and to maintain appropriate liaisons with government, industry and other professional organizations.  TRP’s are intended to be small and proactive, with members who are current and knowledgeable in the assigned technical areas.

Volunteer Group - The term Volunteer Group is sometimes used as a general term to include the following types of groups; Committee, Subcommittee, Expert Panel, Technical Resource Panel, Board and even Task Force (refer to their respective definitions for actual differences).

The most important reason for organizing a volunteer group is the need for member guidance and representation. Volunteer groups may be needed because staff does not have the authority for actions in a given area, or may be formed to insure that appropriate member interests are represented on a given issue or activity.

Virtual Group - Members, in some cases, may serve on a volunteer group in a virtual capacity (i.e. never meeting in person but rather conducting their work within an online internet /email based environment). One type of virtual member participation entails online support to one or more specific volunteer group(s).  A second form of virtual participation involves online participation in various online surveys to provide targeted feedback in specialized areas.

Each year the AICPA receives several thousand applications from members and non- members to serve on volunteer groups. Since the number of open volunteer positions is far less than the number of available applicants, a great deal of member expertise and talent goes unutilized.  From time to time various virtual members using online communications have contributed in support of existing volunteer groups. The most recent use of virtual members has been in the support of Accounting and Auditing's eight Expert Panels.