Opportunities lie ahead for the profession
Charles Esler, CPA | April/May 2022 Footnote
Editor's note: Updated March 29, 2022
I must start my first column as MNCPA board chair with gratitude for several aspects related to the transition into this position.
First, thanks to Katie Gabriel for her fantastic work as chair the past year, her enthusiasm is contagious. Second, thanks to the incredible staff at the MNCPA who run a top-notch organization. Third, I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve in this capacity. Finally, I raise a toast to you, my fellow CPAs and financial professionals, for your hard work and lightning pace of adaptation to the changing environment in order to maintain the quality and faith in values that our society relies upon to make decisions.
The answers are in the numbers
The profession is struggling with numbers. I’m not referring to the work product, but rather, the number of quality people available to do the work.
The combination of those who are at the end of their careers and taking their wisdom with them, as well as a narrowing pipeline of new minds as we compete with a variety of professions, will continue to challenge the capacity of the profession to meet the demands. Please, boast about the benefits of being a CPA far and wide. It no longer needs to be the best-kept secret. Who knows, maybe a positive byproduct will be changed perceptions of the work of a CPA and not everyone will presume we all do taxes.
A critical aspect of the public’s reliance on CPAs centers on objective analysis using a set of common principles that result in reliable and trusted information. It increasingly appears that information can be deemed unreliable or dependent upon the desired source of the information, which is then subject to selection bias, and the mistrust of information self-perpetuates.
The facts presented in financial statements, tax forms or similar CPA-based products allows users to get past the inefficiencies of spending time dissecting data reliability and instead focus on what actions can be taken using the information at hand. This reliability increases productivity and allows for progression toward desired outcomes. Imagine if all information had a CPA’s quality control process and was presented in the professional manner that has been a cornerstone of our industry for decades.
The upcoming changes to the CPA exam appear to better embrace the capabilities of CPAs and carry these core principles into a variety of expanded roles and continue to set an example. Here’s to the future!
Charles Esler, CPA
Chair, MNCPA board of directors