Moss Adams chairman Robert Bunting, a former chairman of the American Institute of CPAs, assembled a group of his fellow former AICPA chairmen to mark the 125th anniversary of the Institute.

During a luncheon Thursday, he talked about the history and traditions of the AICPA.

“I think it’s appropriate for us to think whether there are the same values when they started as there are today,” he said. “Thanks to the accounting historians, who directed me to the library at Ole Miss, I looked up our founding fathers who started this whole Institute. By the way, there were 84 of them. One thing I noticed about them is they were all men. The other thing I noticed about them is they all had European British surnames. And so, you guys, look at this room. We have women now!

“We do not necessarily reflect the society out there, but I think we have made some progress in that regard,” Bunting added. “What were they interested in, these founders? One of the values at the AICPA is competence. They wanted to elevate the profession both in the eyes of the public and by working on the credentials of the profession. They elevated it by requiring education and training, and requiring experience to be a practitioner, and by having some form of entrance examination. They were not about diversity. Their interest in diversity stopped at allowing two accountants from California to join.”

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