News & Releases

2018 AICPA / CPAPA Most Powerful Women in Accounting

This isn't your grandfather's accounting profession, but it may be someone's mother's or grandmother's profession.

Women accounting professionals have long passed parity with their male peers in terms of those attaining degrees in the field, and are increasingly breaking the top ranks at firms of all sizes - from CEO-leadership at Big 4 firms Deloitte and KPMG, and partnership levels at national, regional and small firms. This leadership, coupled with rapidly advancing technologies, is resulting in a dramatic transformation of the profession that is more agile and better serves the thriving U.S. business market.

The Most Powerful Women awards honor women who are having an outstanding impact on the accounting profession as a whole and in particular, on the lives of small practitioners. This year, the AICPA partnered with CPA Practice Advisor to select and present the awards, recognizing recipients for their remarkable contributions to the profession. These professionals are directly engaged in day-to-day client service as a partner or senior member of an accounting practice, or impact the profession through their roles in consulting, technology, organizational leadership, education or other fields.

Nominations were open to the public and the final selection of this year’s recipients was made by an independent 13-person panel of judges. The awards were announced and presented during a special ceremony on June 13 at the AICPA ENGAGE Conference at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

The 2018 AICPA and CPA Practice Advisor Most Powerful Women in Accounting are:

Karen Abramson - Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting

Danielle Supkis Cheek, CPA, CFE, CVA - PKF Texas

Susan Coffey, CPA, CGMA - AICPA

Lynne Doughtie, CPA - KPMG

Abby Dupree, CPA, CGMA - Carroll and Company

Jennifer Elder, CPA, CGMA, CSP, CMA, CIA, CFF - The Sustainable CFO

Sarah Elliott, CPA, ACC - Intend2Lead, LLC

Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, CPA, CGMA - Oracle

Cathy Engelbert, CPA.CITP - Deloitte

Julie Gustavsson, CPA.CITP - Keiter CPA

DeAnn Hill, CPA, CGMA, PFS - DeAnn Hill CPA

Jenni Huotari, CPA - Eide Bailly

Kacee Johnson - Blue Ocean Principles and AICPA

Tamera Loerzel - ConvergenceCoaching

Samantha Mansfield - CPA.com

Gail Perry, CPA - CPA Practice Advisor

Elizabeth Pittelkow Kittner, CPA.CITP, CGMA, DTM - Litera Microsystems

Amy Pitter - Massachusetts Society of CPAs

Natasha Schamberger, CPA - Kansas Society of CPAs

Lindsay Stevenson, CPA, CGMA - 1st Financial Bank USA

Amy Vetter, CPA, CGMA - QuickStart Training, Inc.

Jennifer Warawa - Sage

Kathy Watts, CPA, CHC - Horne LLP

Sandra Wiley - Boomer Consulting, Inc.

Jennifer Wilson - ConvergenceCoaching

Article source: http://www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/article/12416033/2018-aicpa-cpapa-most-powerful-women-in-accounting

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CPA.com and CaseWare Launch Solution for Preparation, Compilation and Review Engagements

CPA.com and CaseWare International Inc. announced the commercial launch of OnPoint PCR, a smart, cloud-based solution that transforms how CPA firms conduct preparation, compilation and review engagements.

By integrating content and methodology into a leading technology platform, OnPoint PCR offers a unique opportunity for firms to enhance engagement quality and be more productive. The solution – a collaboration of CPA.com, CaseWare and the AICPA – offers a guided, smart process for practitioners, from drafting a customized engagement letter and report (where applicable) to documenting specific procedures, all designed to streamline engagements.

Today, more than 19,000 U.S. firms perform preparation, compilation and review engagements as their highest level of service.

“With OnPoint PCR, we can really help firms drive efficiency and add client value,” says Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com. “The platform helps practitioners optimize engagements for each client, and these features will become even more powerful as OnPoint’s artificial intelligence capabilities evolve.”

OnPoint’s features include:

  • Guided engagements – The smart, interactive process eliminates unnecessary steps and facilitates compliance with standards
  • Integrated data – Simplifies data management and the import of client data, and reduces redundant data entry
  • Robust cloud platform – Real-time updates to data and built-in collaboration tools that eliminate the need for external programs, such as less-secure email

“A solution that includes intelligent checklists informed by AICPA technical guidance will help practitioners focus on adherence to standards and the firm’s quality control process,” says Susan Coffey, the AICPA’s executive vice president of public practice. “CPAs still must exercise professional judgment, and OnPoint supports proper documentation and promotes consistency and quality in engagements.”

Article source: http://blog.insidepublicaccounting.com/2018/06/cpa-com-and-caseware-launch-solution-for-preparation-compilation-and-review-engagements/

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CPA.com and CaseWare debut client engagement software

CPA.com, the technology arm of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), along with CaseWare International, has released OnPoint PCR, a smart, cloud-based solution for CPAs to conduct preparation, compilation and review engagements. CaseWare is a tech company that provides cloud-enabled audit, financial reporting and data analytics solutions.

“OnPoint helps guide the practitioner through the entire process of doing a preparation, compilation or review,” said Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com, at AICPA ENGAGE, currently being held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. “At the start, there’s an intelligent questionnaire that asks a lot of questions about the service that the firm is providing. Based on that, it dynamically fills out things like an engagement letter, management representation letters where appropriate, and a report if it's a compilation or review. It also helps with the importing of data in a very seamless manner, and provides some visual analytic capabilities that will help the firm provide more strategic insight to their client as they look at their business. It’s really taking that category of prep, comp and review, which is an important category, to the next level.”

While the tool is “smart,” providing a predictive template that fills in the type of engagement letter a firm is likely to send, it does not have a machine learning capability built in that would allow it to learn a firm’s habits over time.


CPA.com's Erik Asgeirsson addresses a session at the 2018 Engage event.

OnPoint offers guided engagements, a smart, interactive process meant to eliminate unnecessary steps and facilitates compliance with standards. It also facilitates integrated data, simplifying data management and the import of client data, and is designed to reduce redundant data entry. Built on a cloud platform, it gives real-time updates to data and provides built-in collaboration tools that can be used instead of third-party apps, including external email.

“A solution that includes intelligent checklists informed by AICPA technical guidance will help practitioners focus on adherence to standards and the firm’s quality control process,” stated Susan Coffey, CPA, CGMA, the AICPA’s executive vice president of public practice. “CPAs still must exercise professional judgment, and OnPoint supports proper documentation and promotes consistency and quality in engagements.”

“Technology offers great potential in attest services, but it’s only part of the equation,” added Dwight Wainman, CEO of CaseWare. “Our collaboration with CPA.com and the AICPA gives us greater visibility into CPA firms’ needs, plus the critical content and methodology these firms rely on.”

CPA.com will be demonstrating OnPoint PCR’s features at its booth in the exhibit hall throughout AICPA ENGAGE, which runs through June 14. There will also be a demo at 6 PM PDT on Wednesday, June 13, at the event’s TECH Zone.

For more information on OnPoint, visit CPA.com/OnPoint.

Article source: https://www.accountingtoday.com/news/cpacom-and-caseware-debut-client-engagement-software-for-cpas

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CPA.com and CaseWare Launch Innovative Solution for Preparation, Compilation, and Review Engagements

OnPoint PCR Combines Powerful Cloud Platform with AICPA Content and Methodology

LAS VEGAS (June 11, 2018) – CPA.com and CaseWare International Inc. today announced the commercial launch of OnPoint PCR, a smart, cloud-based solution that transforms how CPA firms conduct preparation, compilation, and review engagements.

By integrating content and methodology into a leading technology platform, OnPoint PCR offers a unique opportunity for firms to enhance engagement quality and be more productive. The solution – a collaboration of CPA.com, CaseWare and the American Institute of CPAs – offers a guided, smart process for practitioners, from drafting a customized engagement letter and report (where applicable) to documenting specific procedures, all designed to streamline engagements.

Today, more than 19,000 U.S. firms perform preparation, compilation, and review engagements as their highest level of service.

“With OnPoint PCR, we can really help firms drive efficiency and add client value,” Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com, said at AICPA ENGAGE. “The platform helps practitioners optimize engagements for each client, and these features will become even more powerful as OnPoint’s artificial intelligence capabilities evolve.”

OnPoint’s features include:

  • Guided engagements – The smart, interactive process eliminates unnecessary steps and facilitates compliance with standards
  • Integrated data – Simplifies data management and the import of client data, and reduces redundant data entry
  • Robust cloud platform – Real-time updates to data and built-in collaboration tools that eliminate the need for external programs, such as less-secure email

“A solution that includes intelligent checklists informed by AICPA technical guidance will help practitioners focus on adherence to standards and the firm’s quality control process,” said Susan Coffey, CPA, CGMA, the AICPA’s executive vice president of public practice. “CPAs still must exercise professional judgment, and OnPoint supports proper documentation and promotes consistency and quality in engagements.”

CPA.com will be demonstrating OnPoint PCR’s features at its booth in the exhibit hall throughout AICPA ENGAGE, which runs through June 14. There will also be a demo at 6 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, June 13, at the event’s TECH Zone.

“Technology offers great potential in attest services, but it’s only part of the equation,” said Dwight Wainman, CEO of CaseWare. “Our collaboration with CPA.com and the AICPA gives us greater visibility into CPA firms’ needs, plus the critical content and methodology these firms rely on. Together, we believe we can really bring positive change to this practice area.”

For pricing information and other details, please visit CPA.com/OnPoint.

About CaseWare

CaseWare International Inc. is the leading global provider of cloud enabled audit, financial reporting and data analytics solutions. With efficiency, quality and value in mind, CaseWare provides cutting-edge technology to accounting firms, businesses and government entities. Over 400,000 users, in 130 countries and in 16 languages, use CaseWare solutions.

About CPA.com

CPA.com is known for bringing innovative solutions to the accounting profession, either in partnership with leading providers or directly through its own development. The company has established itself as a thought leader on emerging technologies and as the trusted business advisor to practitioners in the United States, with a growing global focus.

Our company’s core mission is to drive the transformation of practice areas, advance the technology ecosystem for the profession, and lead technology research and innovation efforts for practitioners.

A subsidiary of the American Institute of CPAs, the company is also part of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the world’s most influential organization representing the profession. For more information, visit CPA.com.

About the American Institute of CPAs

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is the world’s largest member association representing the CPA profession, with more than 431,000 members in 137 countries and territories, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting. The AICPA sets ethical standards for its members and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, nonprofit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination, offers specialized credentials, builds the pipeline of future talent and drives professional competency development to advance the vitality, relevance and quality of the profession.

The AICPA maintains offices in New York, Washington, DC, Durham, NC, and Ewing, NJ.

Media representatives are invited to visit the AICPA Press Center at www.aicpa.org/press.

About the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants

The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association) is the most influential body of professional accountants, combining the strengths of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) to power opportunity, trust and prosperity for people, businesses and economies worldwide. It represents 667,000 members and students across 184 counties and territories in public and management accounting and advocates for the public interest and business sustainability on current and emerging issues. With broad reach, rigor and resources, the Association advances the reputation, employability and quality of CPAs, CGMAs and accounting and finance professionals globally.

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Melancon calls for the transformation of the audit

American Institute of CPAs president and CEO Barry Melancon challenged the leadership of the profession to embrace technologies like blockchain and cognitive computing that are going to have a major impact on accounting – and in particular, he called on them to join in the transformation of the audit.

Speaking at the Spring Meeting of the AICPA’s Governing Council in Arizona on May 21, Melancon gave those in attendance a serious charge: “We have an obligation to keep pushing these technologies and embedding them in the profession,” he said. “Our job is to bring as much of the profession forward as we can in this environment.”

While he discussed cognitive computing, robotics and data analytics, he focused on blockchain in particular, citing a survey that suggests that half of CEOs expect the distributed ledger technology to fall in the bailiwick of finance and accounting, where he expects it to have an enormous impact.

“We don’t need to really understand the underlying software,” he said. “It’s the implications and power of blockchain that are more important that the actual software.”

For those who are concerned that blockchain -- with its promise of a digital ledger that essentially audits itself – will disintermediate auditors, Melancon pointed to the need for outside experts to attest to the reliability of the blockchain. “There are going to be public blockchains and private blockchains, and we may need to create a new kind of SOC report around blockchains and whether a blockchain is achieving what it’s supposed to,” he said.

He illustrated the potential by referring to the switch from SAS 70 reports to the family of SOC reports. “It was so emotional to move away from SAS 70 -- we had to brand SOC reports as ‘formerly SAS 70’ so people could wrap their heads around the change. But firms are now doing thousands and thousands of SOC reports – we even have a Top 100 Firm where that’s all they do.”

He reported that the institute recently hosted a profession-wide symposium on blockchain, and tasked a number of working groups to report back on various issues in the fall. “That’s a little quicker than in the past,” he acknowledged, “because blockchain’s not going to sit around and wait for our working groups to report. Instead of thinking, ‘We have to get these things perfect before they go out the door,’ we need to accept that things will be iterative.”

“If we wait for perfect, we’re going to miss it,” he warned.


AICPA president and CEO Barry Melancon

Transforming the audit

Incorporating technology but also moving beyond it, a central part of Melancon’s message revolved around the coming transformation of the audit, and the institute’s role in leading that transformation.

To start, he recalled the institute’s decision three to four years ago to begin focusing on improving audit quality. “We needed to move the needle without breaking the gauge,” he said. “We have asked a lot of state societies from the peer review perspective, and we’ve asked a lot of individual peer reviewers, and we’ve created new approaches, new oversight and new guidance that have improved audit quality.”

The results, he reported, have been very positive, with 86 percent of firms demonstrating improvement. “It’s not perfect,” he said, “but directionally we clearly see a difference in quality.”

That improvement matters not just for the immediate benefit of audit clients and the public markets. “It’s important to remember how strategically and reputationally import audit quality is,” he said. “But audit quality is also an important issue when it comes to transforming the audit. The market won’t give us permission for this if they don’t trust us on quality.”

He noted that the profession had two pathways open to it: to attempt to merely streamline and improve the current audit – or to come up with “an entirely new approach to audits.”

In consulting with the profession’s leaders, the institute discovered a clear preference for the latter. “And the overwhelming response was that the AICPA has to lead the transformation in audit,” he said.

One of the institute’s initiatives in this area is a new tool for preparations, compilations and reviews that will be unveiled at the institute’s Engage conference in mid-June. “It will use cognitive technologies to examine your responses to certain questions and indicate areas where you might have made a mistake,” Melancon said. “It will also use AI to take the information you’re putting in and put it into Word in the appropriate engagement letter.”

Created in a partnership with CaseWare, it’s the first step and a test case in the longer-term creation of what Melancon described as a “dynamic audit solution.”

“The larger firms need to see the value in this and make the necessary investments,” he explained, noting that the DAS would be a $50-$60 million project, with half those funds already pledged by firms in the Top 500, and particularly the Top 100. “They can’t do it on their own; it’s a consortium approach. The results will be available to all. These are firms that compete with each other, but they understand the importance of it from a profession-wide perspective.”

Building the tool will be one thing, he warned; convincing the profession to get behind the transformation of the audit will be another. “There’s an unconscious bias in the way we think,” he said. “I was sitting next to the CEO of a major firm recently, and he told me, ‘We absolutely need to transform auditing, and I guarantee that 100 percent of my line partners in audit will disagree with it.’”

That only underscored Melancon’s charge to the Council members: “We really are a profession with limitless possibilities -- if we can push the profession to think about the opportunities and take chances,” he told them.

Article source: https://www.accountingtoday.com/news/barry-melancon-calls-for-the-transformation-of-the-audit

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