New Horizon Group (NHG) is comprised of a dozen top consultants and thought leaders who focus exclusively on the accounting profession. For more than 20 years, they’ve met annually to candidly discuss key accounting profession trends, debate the impacts they’ve made and provide direction and insights for the industry.
This annual meeting provides an opportunity for the AICPA to preview key initiatives that the AICPA will focus on in the year ahead. This year, Lisa Simpson, Vice President of Firm Services for the AICPA, presented five key trends and initiatives for CPAs to watch for:
Keep reading to find out more information about each of these key trends and initiatives.
The DAS initiative is the partnership between the AICPA, CPA.com and CaseWare International aimed to fill the need for a scalable and modern audit engagement application to help firms of all sizes.
The first DAS release is being tested by 30 firms (made up of about 400 users) that continue to provide feedback to include in the next release, expected by the end of 2022. One key differentiator to look out for in this next release is the ability to integrate audit efficiency applications, such as Validis, Inflo and Mindbridge. These integrations will create a robust solution to replace outdated and more traditional audit binder applications.
AICPA is focused on providing educational opportunities to CPAs to help their firms start incorporating business insights to offer proactive—rather than reactive—services.
The CAAS 2.0 initiative will focus on four key pillars to building a modern advisory practice: Firm strategy and governance, practice development, center of excellence and—most important—technology solutions.
There’s a stigma around the accounting profession that’s outdated and needs to change. Members of the AICPA have confirmed that a significant number of accountants coming out of school initially have negative experiences working in the more traditional firms, with longer hours and lesser pay compared to peers in other professions.
Two main initiatives for building the future CPA pipeline are:
There’s an increased demand for businesses to make a statement on their ESG efforts (i.e., sustainability, greenhouse gases, carbon footprint) and an emerging body of knowledge and standards to measure various ESG aspects.
ESG reports don’t currently require a CPA signature, but the skills, standards and risk assessment requirements are ideally suited to be delivered by CPAs. The AICPA will prioritize resources to explore and promote involvement with ESG initiatives, including the certified issuance of ESG reports.
A few years ago, CPA.com began funding a Startup Accelerator program to encourage innovation and the use of technology in the accounting progression. This program is designed to help fast-track technologies and promote awareness in multiple areas, such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, business transformation and especially ESG.
Here are the 10 recipients for 2022:
Watch for announcements from the AICPA on these key initiatives and applications that could one day have a substantial impact on our profession and your firm!
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