Randy Fletchall has become chairman
of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
He was elected at the meeting of the AICPA governing council in
Tampa, Florida, this month.
Fletchall is the 95th person to take up this voluntary position
and will serve a one-year term. AICPA is the largest professional
accountancy organisation in the US and has 340,000 members.
Fletchall is an Ernst & Young US partner and the firm’s
Americas vice chair. His role covers assurance and advisory
business services, and professional practice and risk management.
He also serves on the Center for Audit Quality’s executive
committee and its professional practice executive committee, and is
a member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s
Standing Advisory Group.
In his inaugural speech at the general council meeting, Fletchall
noted the responsibilities of the CPA profession. He said: “[CPAs] are the voice of expertise and common sense in a complex economy.
It’s pretty clear that if more of the public had access to our
expertise and our unique insights, they would benefit.”
Some of the key issues Fletchall addressed include the mobility of
CPAs, opposing tax strategy patents, improving the business
reporting model, improving financial literacy of the public and
convergence of US and international standards. On the latter point,
he remarked: “In a global economy, this doesn’t just make sense,
it’s imperative [the standards converge].”
Fletchall spoke about the changes occurring in the profession. It
is his belief that many firms must catch up with these changes and
need to recruit a younger and more diverse workforce. They must
also confront the problem of employee retention by creating “a more
flexible and diverse workplace”.
Another concern Fletchall noted was the profession’s reputation. He
said it was imperative that accountants continue to do excellent
work that will help raise the profession’s public profile. “We need
to engage public policy makers, whether it is an issue discussed
around the kitchen table or in the boardrooms of global
corporations,” Fletchall said.