Dunno if you heard but the Accounting Today Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting list is out, and as is tradition, it’s jam-packed with some familiar names, including some longtime GC favorites like the Patron Saint of Value Pricing Ron Baker and my eternal ladycrush Sue Coffey. While we’re on the topic of our Lord and Savior Ron Baker, here’s a flashback to that time our own Greg Kyte nearly got punched out by Mark Lloydbottom for being a “VeraSage stooge.”
Overall, the list looks good. President Trump (regardless of your feelings, obviously the guy influences the profession, like it or not), the heads of the IRS, FASB, CPA.com, PCAOB, SEC, etc, etc. Yeah OK. Again, that’s all pretty much according to tradition and expected. However, there’s one tradition we need to point out that needs to stop: AICPA President, CEO, and Zane main Barry Melancon topping the list at No. 1.
Look, I have nothing personally against the guy. I’ve met him, he’s … fine. And a reasonable person might argue that the leader of the greatest, most powerful accounting organization in the first world is, in fact, a significant influence on the profession. But No. 1? Really? And for more than a decade?
As he has for several years, the AICPA chief dominated the polling, with more votes than the previous four people combined. In particularly, T100 candidates credited his enormous influence to his ability and willingness to lead change, his vision for the profession, and the work he is spearheading on taking the audit into the future.
How positively accounting-like for someone credited with a “willingness to lead change” to be the same person chosen as most influential for over a decade. A DECADE. Think about that. Think about how profoundly things have actually changed, spurred not by the old guard but by people daring enough to suggest billable hours are stupid and paperless offices are the future (remember those old “consider the environment” notices?). You know, those people, not the guy who oversaw the failed XYZ credential.
Barry Melancon has led the AICPA since 1995, and I bet some of you weren’t even born then. I was in high school. HIGH SCHOOL. For the record, I’m turning 40 soon. That tells you how long this dude has been at the helm.
It’s time for some fresh blood. Is it too early to start a committee for Kimberly Ellison-Taylor as AICPA president? Or Tom Hood, we’ll take Tom Hood. Unless, you know, we want to head into a brand-new decade hand-in-hand with our good friend SALY, in which case carry on I guess.