Okorie Ramsey has been appointed as the new chair of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).

He also will serve as chair of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, which combines the strengths of the AICPA and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

Ramsey, a CPA who also holds the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation, was elected to the one-year AICPA volunteer post by the organisation’s governing Council, which concludes its Spring Council session soon.

Alexander Aronson Finning CPA’s managing partner, Carla McCall, was voted in as the AICPA’s vice chair.

Commenting on his appointment, Ramsey said: “We are a profession of leaders.

“And it is our duty to guide people, firms, businesses and economies. Together, we can seize the moment and shape our future.”

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Ramsey listed three areas of focus for his term:

Innovation to advance the profession:

Ramsey hopes to capitalise on the advancements made by the profession over the past few years by embracing and leveraging technology to streamline processes, increase efficiency and drive greater value. He also urges the profession to evolve through lifelong learning, business model transformation, and the CPA Exam itself. “Through CPA Evolution, we are on track for the January 2024 launch of the new CPA exam,” he said. “There will be an increased focus on data and technology concepts in all exam sections.”

Instill integrity and trust into sustainability:

Ramsey believes environmental, social and governance (ESG) is an area where professional accountants can drive meaningful change. He will encourage the AICPA and the Association to work with stakeholders to integrate responsible and sustainable practices into their businesses and operating models. “Our profession is more prepared than any other to drive strategic conversations on sustainability opportunities and risks,” he said. “I believe this is a space where we can move from having a seat at the table to being at the head of the table.”

Support the next generation and give them enhanced opportunities to succeed:

Ramsey supports working together with other professional organisations, state CPA societies, colleges, high schools as well as firms and employers to create a more inclusive accounting and finance profession. He cites collaboration as a key to improving diversity within the profession and getting students interested in the accounting field. He noted that while progress has been made, there is much more work to do. “The profession needs you. And we need our young professionals to see you to understand the art of the possible,” Ramsey said.