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AICPA News – May 2020

AICPA News is a roundup of recent announcements and activities by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

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AICPA News is a roundup of recent announcements and activities by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

AICPA Helping CPAs Earn PhDs

The AICPA is seeking applicants for its expanded Accounting Doctoral Scholars program, which identifies currently practicing CPAs interested in becoming accounting professors. Applications are being accepted through September 11, 2020. An online application is at

The program, first launched in 2009, will recruit up to 40 practicing CPAs who have shown interest and potential in being college professors to attend an all-expenses-paid conference to learn what it takes to earn a PhD in accounting and to teach and research at a university. Of those, up to 20 individuals will be selected to receive a $5,000 stipend to support their education, should they ultimately be accepted into one of more than 40 affiliated PhD programs.

Previously, the Accounting Doctoral Scholars program focused on audit and tax accounting. This year, the program is expanding to include management accounting, information systems and financial analytics.

The program is intended to help grow the number of CPAs in the classroom and ensure a steady supply of accounting professors. Educators with recent, relevant workplace experience provide their students with a greater understanding of what a career in the accounting profession entails and the value a CPA license adds.

“As the profession continues to evolve, we’re hearing from firms and businesses alike that professional skepticism, critical thinking, and the ability to understand how to use data to make decisions are increasingly essential for CPAs” said Yvonne Hinson, CPA, CGMA, Ph.D., academic in residence, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants AICPA. “What’s more, CPAs with recent professional experience are perfect messengers for the central role technology plays in all areas of today’s profession.”

The program, funded by the AICPA Foundation, is one of many Institute initiatives to help academia and practice align more closely, including putting practitioners on Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accreditation reviews, offering discounts to academics to attend AICPA conferences, and free resources to help academics engage with practitioners on accounting program advisory boards.

To date, more than 108 CPAs who went through the Accounting Doctoral Scholars program have completed their PhD, and another 45 are currently enrolled in PhD programs. ADS candidates selected for funding, as well as all candidates attending the ADS Orientation Conference and enrolled in an ADS Participating University, are also eligible to apply for the William (Bill) Ezzel Scholarship.

CPAs interested in transitioning into an academic career can learn more about the program at  This year, the program will be hosting a free virtual GMAT bootcamp for the first 60 candidates who RSVP.  More information on the bootcamp is on the program’s website.

AICPA ENGAGE Conference to be All-Digital This Year

ENGAGE 2020 will be an all-digital event with the core conference taking place online from July 20–24. The event, designed for accounting and finance professionals, is sponsored by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

The AICPA and CIMA decided to forego an onsite version of ENGAGE 2020 this year to ensure the safety of attendees, speakers, and staff in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The agenda has been updated to cover the latest issues impacting CPAs, clients, management accountants and other finance professionals during the current crisis.

“Our team has delivered interactive, high-quality online learning programs for a decade now and we have deep expertise in running these events,” said Clar Rosso, executive vice president of engagement and learning innovation for the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, which is comprised of the AICPA and CIMA. “ENGAGE 2020 represents an exceptional learning opportunity, and we’ve added new features to help enhance interaction and build a sense of community among virtual attendees.”

ENGAGE 2020 will be delivered in three ways:

Interactive Solution and Key Initiatives Sessions (June 8-12)

The Main Event (July 20-24)

Online sessions will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern each day, with virtual networking opportunities during breaks. Defined learning tracks include Advanced Accounting and Auditing, Advanced Estate Planning, Advanced Personal Financial Planning, EDGE Career Development, Practitioners and Tech+, Tax Strategies for the High-Income Individual and Finance Redefined.

There will be two July 22 keynote sessions:

  • Daymond John, author, founder of the fashion business FUBU, and celebrity judge on Shark Tank, will talk about how he built his businesses, financial lessons he learned on the way and general observations on entrepreneurship.
  • A professional update will be given by AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon, Sue Coffey, the organization’s executive vice president of public practice, President and CEO Erik Asgeirsson, and AICPA Vice Chair Tracey Golden.

ENGAGE + (July 27- Dec. 31)

ENGAGE 2020 All-Access Pass holders also will receive exclusive monthly access to two virtual sessions focused on a range of timely topics.

For more details about conference registration and agenda items, visit

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