Joint Statement of the AAA and AICPA

August 01, 2012 /

The American Accounting Association (AAA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the founding co-sponsors of the Pathways Commission on Accounting Higher Education, announced that the Pathways Commission report has been released.

The Pathways Commission was created by the AAA and AICPA to study the future structure of higher education for the accounting profession, and to develop recommendations for educational pathways for students, academics, practitioners, and others in the practice and study of accounting.

This report summarizes two years of collective effort by over 50 individuals representing a diverse array of stakeholders in a broadly defined accounting profession – encompassing public and corporate accounting, education, and government.

The study was conceived when the US Department of the Treasury’s Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession (ACAP) recommendeded that the AAA and AICPA study the possible future structure of higher education for the accounting profession.

Putting the accounting education and the accounting profession in the broadest sense, the Commission’s recommendations are expansive in their scope. The recommendations demonstrate the need to address difficult and persistent issues and impediments so that the discipline and profession of accounting can better meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.

The AAA and AICPA endorse the recommendations included in the Pathways Commission report and are committed to supporting the ongoing implementation structure and activities necessary to encourage study, testing and adoption of these recommendations in a variety of settings.

A number of recommendations in the Commission’s report echo those made by equally thoughtful and invested teams of practice and academic colleagues involved in earlier studies with related purposes.

While previous studies have resulted in some successful new directions and promising innovations, past efforts at renewal have lacked an explicit implementation strategy and structure to move their recommendations forward on a systematic and properly resourced basis. To overcome the limitations of periodic efforts, continued joint efforts will be necessary for successful implementation of the recommendations in this report.

The AAA and AICPA said they will continue their support as founding members for the next three years. Bill Ezzell, a former partner with Deloitte, LLP and past chairman of the AICPA Board of Directors and Mark Higgins, the Dean and Alfred J. Verrecchia and Hasbro Inc. Leadership Chair in Business at the University of Rhode Island and a past president of the American Taxation Association, have agreed to co-chair the implementation effort. They are finalizing the structure that will enable a broad stakeholder group to efficiently conduct the implementation phase.


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