Accounting professionals have a crucial role to play in fostering prosperity, opportunity and trust during the current crisis, according to Tracey Golden, the new chair of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), the world’s largest member organization representing the CPA profession.
Golden, a CPA, Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) and audit partner with Deloitte, was elected today to the one-year volunteer post by the AICPA governing Council at its first-ever virtual meeting. Bill Pirolli, CPA, Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF), Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), CGMA, a partner with DeSanto, Priest & Co., was voted in as vice chair.
As of June 1, Golden will also serve as chair of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the unified voice of the AICPA and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
In her acceptance speech, Golden noted the sweeping impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the economy and business as usual.
“We are truly living disruption – not incremental change but a radical break from the familiar,” she said. “Our profession has a crucial role to play in helping navigate this disruption. We are here to help businesses and individuals get through these tough times, learn from them and grow. In an uncertain world, CPAs are needed now more than ever as trusted advisors who can lead a path forward.”
Golden mentioned three ways the profession can position itself successfully to help clients and employers:
· Find strength in our connection with one another. Tapping the power of networking and the ability to see across differences are vital skills for CPAs and CGMAs. “What matters is our character and the connection we have to one another,” she said. Accountants also must refine and advance the ways they engage with clients and employers, virtually and otherwise.
· Seize the opportunity to make much-needed changes. The pandemic is accelerating trends within the profession, and CPAs can use this time to look forward and make necessary long-term changes, such as expanding service lines. Some of these areas include integrated tax planning, the future of finance, sustainability reporting and assurance, System and Organization Controls (SOC) for Cybersecurity and SOC for Supply Chains. “The current disruption we’re all experiencing is living proof of the value of being able to pivot,” she said.
· Evolve in order to thrive. Lifelong learning and technology adoption are critical components of this. So, too, are the implementation of changing business models and initiatives such as CPA Evolution, whose goal is to evolve licensure to “both preserve and advance what it means to be a CPA,” she said.
Today, growth means remaining flexible and ready in a world that requires us to adapt with increasing frequency, Golden noted.
Golden spent the past year as vice chair of the AICPA and has held several other volunteer leadership positions within the organization. These include serving as a member of the Board of Directors and governing Council, and previously serving as chair of both the Audit and Finance committee and Peer Review Board. In addition, she has served as the Board Liaison to the AICPA Foundation Board of Trustees and a member of the Relations with the Bar and National Peer Review committees.
At Deloitte, Golden has responsibility for facilitating and coordinating reputation and risk-related initiatives and matters in the Americas region. She has extensive experience in inspection-related activities, having served as the leader of Deloitte’s internal and external inspections team and audit quality initiatives leader.
She is a member of both the Connecticut and Virginia State CPA Societies and serves on the Board of Directors of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and several of its committees. She also serves on the board of the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County.
Golden received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Georgetown University.