November 19, 2018

Barry Melancon

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Here’s a Photo of Barry Melancon After He Got Lei’d

There are countless photos out there of AICPA CEO, President, and ham radio operator Barry Melancon (aka “Bean Picker”) gesturing excitedly this way and that as he explains the future of the CPA profession for captive audiences everywhere. Yet for all the snaps of the benevolent overlord of the world’s most powerful accounting biker gang, […]

Here’s a Photo of AICPA CEO Barry Melancon Having the Most Interesting Conversation of His Life

I have no idea what AICPA CEO, President and street taco eating champion Barry Melancon is thinking in the above photo, but he couldn’t be more rapt with what this woman has to say. The caption from the Wyoming Society of CPAs website reads: “Break-time Alexandra Wilkinson explaining a case to Barry Melancon.” And sure, […]

Gen Z Attention Spans Officially on AICPA’s Radar

I don’t know what AICPA President, CEO and Electoral College Dropout Barry Melancon was getting at here, but it’s safe to say that he wasn’t plugging this as a virtue of the next crop of talent. Melancon: Attention span of the average member of Gen Z is 8 seconds. #roundtable17 — Daniel Hood (@AccountingEdit) February […]

H&R Block CEO Not Impressed With AICPA’s Letter, Vows More Ads

As we told you on Wednesday, the AICPA wasn't too happy about a video from H&R Block that promoted its new service, Block Advisors. In that post, we shared with you a template of the letter the AICPA sent to Bill Cobb, H&R Block's CEO. That letter, among other things, requested that he "remove these […]

Could Having a ‘Pro-CPA Culture’ Backfire on Accounting Firms Desperate for Talent?

Back in October, we discussed whether the CPA exam would ever become an optional within CPA firms. The reason the topic even came up was due to the fact that while the number of accounting students continues to increase, the number sitting for the CPA exam hasn't kept up, either declining in some years or staying flat.

#TBT: Barry Melancon, The Most Hated Man in Accounting

2002 wasn't exactly a fantastic year for accounting. Arthur Andersen had just been convicted of obstruction of justice in the wake of Enron's collapse. That whole Sarbanes-Oxley thing happened. And, of course, the PCAOB was born as a result. In "The Man With Nine Lives" published by Forbes in November of 2002 we meet then […]

The AICPA Can’t Figure Out Why Record Numbers of Accounting Grads Aren’t Taking the CPA Exam

AICPA President, CEO, and Benevolent Dictator Barry Melancon gave his yearly "state of the profession" address to CPA Letter Daily recently, but we won't bore you too hard with the specifics. We will, however, skim through this with a few interesting bulletpoints from the profession's fearless leader. AICPA membership swelled to 400,000 this year. Melancon […]

AICPA Celebrates 400,000th Member Just Because

From the professional organization that brought you the letters XYZ and CGMA, the AICPA now brings you the number 400,000:  The American Institute of CPAs today announced that its membership recently passed the 400,000 mark, a milestone that underscores the continuing value and vitality of the organization and the accounting profession as well.   The […]

CPA Exam Changes Ahead in the Next One to Three Years

As we told you earlier this year, the CPA exam overlords are working on CBT-3, which is the natural evolution of CBT-e (2011) and CBT-e's dusty grandpa CBT (2004). We still aren't totally sure what they're changing around but it looks like they're still looking for help with writing and testing questions before candidates experience […]

Here’s a Fake AICPA Press Release That We Wish Were Real

This is so ridiculous that upon receiving it, Colin did one of those cartoonish double-takes, you know, with the sound effect and everything. The really sad part is minus the swearing, you could almost believe it to be true. AICPA Launches Three New Professional Designations New York (November 19, 2013) — The new Chartered Global […]

Time Running Out for CGMA Candidates Suffering From Testophobia

Although there are 40-some-odd thousand CGMAs in the U.S. and 140k worldwide, anyone wanting to get in on this without wading through MCQs, essays, etc. should know that the clock is ticking:  #aicpagc13 Melancon: #CGMA Capstone Exam expected in January 2015. — Janice Maiman (@J_Maiman) October 21, 2013

The AICPA Couldn’t Give Broker Dealer Audit Standards a Thumbs Up Without a Pat on Their Own Back

THE MAN HAS SPOKEN. This is the official statement from Barry Melancon in response to the PCAOB's proposed broker-dealer audit standards: “The AICPA is committed to activities that enhance audit quality and has been a leader assisting practitioners in achieving that goal. “We have been consistent in our position that brokers and dealers should be […]

Yes, the House Bill That Bans Auditor Rotation Is Terrible But There May Be an Upside

As you know, yesterday the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1564, the Audit Integrity and Job Protection Act, with bipartisan support, 321-62. The charge was led by the bill's co-sponsors, Rep. Robert Hurt (R-VA) and Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY). Here's an enthusiastic statement from Rep. Hurt via Accounting Today:

AICPA Asks EEOC to, Respectfully, BTFO of Big 4’s Mandatory Retirement Policies

Although the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page made it abundantly clear that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was way off, giving PwC and other large accounting firms a hard time for their mandatory retirement age policies, the AICPA thought it would be prudent to make its thoughts on the matter known:  In a letter to members […]

AICPA Knows NASBA Is Mad But It’s Okay, NASBA Gets Mad Sometimes

The ongoing bickering over FRF for SMEs — which went Defcon 4 the other day with a strongly worded press release from NASBA — has just gone nuclear.  I come from a single parent household so I don't know what it's like to live in a home with parents who are on the brink of divorce […]

Financial Accounting Foundation Seems Slightly Annoyed with the AICPA’s New Accounting Method for Small Business

Judging by the AICPA's PR blitz, you'd think that everyone was excited about their release of its Financial Reporting Framework for Small- and Medium-Sized Entities. Just out of curiousity, I went back and I read three articles on the subject from Accounting Today, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times to see if there was any dissent on […]

The AICPA’s CGMA Designation Is the Most Popular Management Accounting Designation in the U.S., Says AICPA

Oh look, the AICPA put out a press release that says the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation is the "most prominent management accounting credential in the U.S. with 37,864 CFOs, controllers and other finance professionals holding the designation."  Plus, it's managed to its way into some of the most prestigious companies in America! U.S. CGMA […]

AICPA President: CPAs Are on the Verge of Anxiety Attacks Thanks to Federal Deficit

Barry Melancon speaks on behalf of all the CPAs, CGMAs across this great land who have had it up to here [bridge of nose] with Congress' inability to accomplish anything other than naming post offices: “CPAs in communities large and small and from coast to coast are increasingly troubled by the government’s inability to come […]

Get Your CGMA Designation Before the Turd Gets Cold

I refuse to become a CGMA. If you are a CGMA, I will pretend to not judge you if we meet in person. But I will be judging you in my heart. The Chartered Global Management Accountant designation has been available since January 31, and the AICPA has been promoting the hell out of it. […]

Future ‘Digital CPAs’ Will Make the Most of Bathroom Breaks Thanks to AICPA’s New CPA Exam App

Put down the Fruit Ninja, folks, the AICPA has a new app for you to play with. Yesterday, the AICPA announced the launch of two new mobile apps: an iPad app for Journal of Accountancy and an interactive CPA exam aid that works on Apple and Android devices. "One of the most exciting developments in […]

Get Your Dancing Shoes, It’s AICPA Council Week

It's that time of year again when lobbyists dust off their agendas and head to Washington to represent the voice of America's CPAs and their clients for the spring meeting of AICPA Governing Council. Once again I'll be covering the festivities however since hardly any of you actually care about legislative news or anything serious […]

It’s Time For a Shake Up in AICPA Leadership

You may not know this but AICPA leadership consists mostly of the same old white guys; a complaint you hear often, not something I made up just now. I don't personally have any issues with those old white guys and actually like some of them but it's worth noting that AICPA leadership could use a […]

An Underwhelming Majority of State Societies Want a New FASB For Private Companies

Thirty three state CPA societies have reached out to the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) or passed regulations urging it to create a new board to write differential financial reporting standards for private companies. Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming all feel FASB’s current standards setting process does not adequately address the needs of the private company sector.


“In today’s business world it is extremely rare to get an overwhelming consensus supporting one idea. However, the responses from the state societies are another example of the CPA profession’s overwhelming support for an independent board to set differential standards for private businesses,” said Barry Melancon, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) president and CEO. “The message is clear; FAF must do this now or run the risk of missing our best opportunity to make GAAP relevant for private companies.” The thirty three states in agreement on this issue represent some 275,000 CPAs.

These state societies basically told FAF that GAAP has become too complex, and the cost associated with GAAP-based financial reporting has become too much of a pain in the assets for private companies, placing an unnecessary burden on these companies with little benefit to financial statement users as a result of this effort. Personally I think the states here are forgetting that the complexity of GAAP and its esoteric intricacies keep a lot of CPAs gainfully employed, as someone actually has to analyze, manipulate, audit and teach that crap. CPA review instructors need to sell FAR videos. Caleb and I need things to make fun of, like SEC Chief Accountant James Kroeker reminding a PACE University IFRS discussion that the P in GAAP stands for principles. Right. Like we forgot.

Anyway, nearly 3,000 letters have been sent to FAF from the private company constituency in support of this separate board for private company reporting standard setting. Maybe FASB has too much to do and too many clever interns to train. Maybe FASB has lost its public company influence and this is just the first step in the coup to overthrow it. I haven’t heard very many pushing for more FASs directly handed down from (mostly) European accounting standard setters but that’s an argument for a different day.

“The boards of more than half of the country’s state CPA societies, representing more than a quarter of a million CPAs, agree that a systemic problem exists,” stated Paul V. Stahlin, chairman of the AICPA. “After over 30 years of research by numerous diverse and independent groups, the only conclusion is that an autonomous standard-setting body under FAF to set differential standards for privately held companies must be created.”

Must be. There’s no way around that.

And for those interested, here’s a tl;dr PwC report tangentially related to private company accounting standards you can read. Perfect for a Friday.

AICPA Practically Begging the Financial Accounting Foundation to Develop Private Company GAAP

Were you aware that over 2,500 letters have been sent to the Financial Accounting Foundation “demanding” the development of private company GAAP as well as a separate independent board to oversee the standards? If no, why not? If yes, why aren’t you feigning rage, issuing press releases with impatient statements by various bigwigs? If you’re the AICPA, that’s exactly what you’re doing:

For almost 40 years, the pleas of private companies to set standards for financial reporting that are more relevant too often have been ignored. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) believes that it is time for the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) to listen to the constituents who have written to FAF demanding differential financial reporting standards for private companies and a separate independent board to oversee those standards. There are approximately 28 million privately held U.S. companies, accounting for more than 50 percent of our economy.

“Ninety nine percent of the letters from the privately held company constituency demanded that the Financial Accounting Foundation create differential standards for privately held companies,” said Barry Melancon, AICPA president and CEO. “We’ve studied this problem for far too long.”

Pick up the pace, FAF. People are getting antsy.

[via AICPA]

This Year’s AICPA Council Issues Are (Mostly) All About Taxes

Let’s all keep in mind here that the repeal of burdensome 1099 rules buried in the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (or “Obamacare” for my fellow right-wing nutjobs out there) can be directly traced to efforts by the AICPA and its members, including a few angry letters sent by the AICPA to Congress. It’s a perfect example of legislative action at work, for those of you out there with little faith in the process.

Here are this year’s key issues:

Tax Strategy Patents S 139 The Equal Access of 2011
The bill would stop the granting of patents for tax strategies. Which basically means your next door cube-dweller won’t be able to patent his favorite spreadsheet.

Tax Due Dates S 845 Tax Return Due Date Simplification and Modernization Act of 2011
This bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for the logical flow of return information between partnerships, corporations, trusts, estates, and individuals to better enable each party to submit timely, accurate returns and reduce the need for extended and amended returns, to provide for modified due dates by regulation, and to conform the automatic corporate extension period to longstanding regulatory rule. The short version: it seeks to change the dates on which tax returns are due to a more sensible pattern.

Simplification of the tax code
The AICPA has a long history of advocating sound tax policy; this year, it’s all about simplifying the tax code, starting with the repeal of AMT and consolidating education provisions.

Workforce Mobility HR 1864 Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act of 2011
Unlike previous mobility initiatives, this one would limit the authority of states to tax certain income of employees in other states. Thanks to the Internet, many companies are able to staff employees around the country, some of which only do a few hours of work a month. That means the company must register and withhold state taxes for these employees in each state.

“Our tax laws are a vital component of the economic health of our nation as evidenced by the discussion in Washington about tax reform,” Barry Melancon, president and CEO of the AICPA, said. “We think it’s important for members of Congress to talk taxes with CPAs as they consider changes to the law. CPAs can provide objective advice, based on real-world experience.”

The goal of Congressional visits is to exchange information with our Congressional members on legislative issues of concern to CPAs (and, directly related to CPAs’ concerns, those of their clients) and to garner support for the profession’s position on these issues, as well as to position CPAs as resources and thought leaders. To call it lobbying would be a misnomer as lobbying would imply a one-way relationship, beneficial only to the special interest doing the lobbying. So don’t even go there; we’re talking about providing professional analysis, opinion and expertise in exchange for a voice in legislation that could potentially impact hundreds of thousands of CPAs and CPA firms around the country.

For the CPAs on the Hill yesterday, they not only presented their issues but offered themselves as experts in areas many Congressional offices are unfamiliar with. Tweaking the tax code is a delicate issue, and one that shouldn’t be approached without expert analysis of any proposed legislation. This is where the two-way street comes in, and another reason why these visits are important for all involved parties.

We’ll update later with specifics on the day we spent meeting Maryland Congressional members with the MACPA Council and Executive Committee, including former MACPA Chair and amazing storyteller Larry Kamanitz, who made 60 cents an hour when he first got into public. Stay tuned!

In Other Words, The Estate Tax Debate Will Continue to Drag On

“The debate becomes what rate to apply, and there’s the Republican view and the Democratic view, and what level of transfer exemption should be there. There are two different camps on that. I think historically that would be ripe for sort of compromising down the middle, but unfortunately, that’s not the political environment that exists right now.”

~ AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon remains optimistic that something will get done.

Would You Like Another Certificate on Your Wall?

Thumbnail image for MelanconBCROP2.jpgWe knew it. Lucky for you, there will be a brand spanking new certificate come May of 2010:

Because members will need to be able to demonstrate a competency in IFRS, the AICPA plans to launch in May 2010 an IFRS Certificate of Accomplishment for CPAs, which will require 72 hours of content to complete.

AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon* is acutely aware of your disdain for paint and wallpaper so this latest certificate should fit in nicely with the myriad of other certificates on the wall of your office.
You’re certainly not ashamed of your handsomely framed “[Name] Has Successfully Completed Auditing Cash – 2004” certificate so an IFRS Certificate of Accomplishment will look damn good up there.
Melancon: Issues Facing CPAs Include Globalization, Economic Recovery [Journal of Accountancy]
*Two things: 1) How long has this guy been the HFMIC at the AICPA? Is it a lifetime appointment like the SCOTUS? and 2) How do you think he gets his hair to do that?