The American Institute of CPAs said Monday that it is working to secure a new .cpa domain extension on the Internet that could be used by CPAs as “a globally recognized calling card for CPAs in the digital world.”

The AICPA has a pending bid to administer the .cpa domain before the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, the organization that coordinates the Internet’s naming system. ICANN has been reviewing scores of applications for new domain extensions, known formally as generic Top-Level Domains, or gTLDs, that businesses, governments and community groups can operate.

“We live in a digital age and .cpa offers a way to instantly convey a CPA’s professional standing in online communications,” said AICPA president and CEO Barry C. Melancon in a statement. “As global opportunities expand and more business is conducted virtually, that’s a tremendous benefit.” 

As part of its efforts, the AICPA recently reached an agreement with CPA Australia to distribute .cpa domain names to their community members, should the U.S. organization’s bid be successful. The two groups agreed to work together because of their common goal of promoting trust in CPAs worldwide.

As CPAs gather for this week’s World Congress of Accountants in Rome, the AICPA and its technology subsidiary, CPA.com, have organized meetings at the event to discuss similar partnerships with other qualified CPA organizations to expand the reach of a .cpa domain globally. This open collaboration with other national bodies means CPAs around the globe will have a better chance of creating an established digital identity using the extension .cpa in email addresses and websites, rather than .com, .org, or other standard domain addresses.

“We look forward to connecting with other national CPA bodies at WCOA,” said CPA.com president and CEO Erik Asgeirsson. “Pooling resources allows us to expand the international recognition of the CPA designation and enhance the strong and effective local representation CPAs expect and value from their national bodies. Through the .cpa extension, CPA organizations will be able build trust in CPAs in the digital marketplace.”

CPA Australia chief executive Alex Malley said the partnership with the AICPA is in keeping with the two organizations’ commitment to maximize opportunities for CPAs. “This agreement recognizes the value of a digital brand identity in today’s rapidly changing business environment,” said Malley. “By obtaining the .cpa domain through this unprecedented partnership, we would put CPAs firmly in the vanguard of digital innovation.”

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