Business and industry members, the AICPA's largest and fastest growing constituency, seem to have a natural affinity for the proposed global business credential.
"I'm not aware of anyone in industry who has taken a strong negative stand" says Gary Lubin, an executive at Merck Capital Ventures in Montvale, New Jersey, and chairman of the AICPA's Business and Industry Executive Committee. "What really hammered home its value to me were the survey results showing that senior management would view this credential not only as a distinguishing characteristic, but one that would be valuable within their organization."
"I view the new credential as a complement to the CPA, which would help to recognize what we in industry and public practice are already doing," adds Timothy M. O'Brien, president and CEO of the Colorado-based American Humane Association. "We know that CPAs do more than the traditional bean counting, but that perception still persists. I also like the idea that this new credential would be responsive to the marketplace, not the state licensing process."
"It would allow us to move out of the niche other people have placed us in," agrees Stuart Benton, vice president of finance at MAC SYSTEMS in Avon, Massachusetts. "There are still plenty of people in management who think CPAs can't see the big picture or think strategically."
CPAs in business and industry are well aware that some of their colleagues in public practice would prefer that the AICPA concentrate instead on stretching the CPA brand because they fear a new credential could create competition from nonCPAs. "I can understand and appreciate their concerns, but I have to disagree," says Ken Askelson, internal audit manager with JC Penney Company. …