The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy has elected Billy M. Atkinson, a Sugarland, Texas-based CPA and PricewaterhouseCoopers audit partner, as its 2009-2010 chairman.

The election occurred earlier this month at NASBA’s annual meeting in Phoenix. During his inaugural address, Atkinson introduced several key initiatives that he plans to initiate or implement during his term. They include endorsing the Treasury Department’s Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession recommendation for the establishment of a blue-ribbon commission that will comprehensively assess accounting education in the U.S. and make recommendations for changes, together with supporting research. To do this, NASBA stands ready to provide its resources, including seed funding.

Atkinson also supports the promulgation and transitional adoption of global accounting standards through either the roadmap or convergence approaches, supported by independent bodies to ensure public acceptance and trust. He plans to complete a renewal of the CPA Examination agreement that will also cover an international “i-exam” with appropriate state-based protections. Atkinson also wants to continue NASBA’s sponsorship of the Forum of International Accountancy Regulators. 

He said he supports the Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession’s recommendation for independence of state boards of accountancy —  both financially and operationally — to enhance the effectiveness of state-based regulation. NASBA’s State Boards Relevance and Effectiveness Committee will work to develop model legislation, as an addendum to the Uniform Accountancy Act, and will reach out to the profession for support and assistance in this effort.

He also plans for NASBA to collaborate with the American Institute of CPAs to carefully assess the effectiveness and public confidence in peer review. 

“We have an ambitious agenda for the upcoming year, and with NASBA’s leadership, I look forward to continuing to build upon the organization’s efforts — nurturing coordination and collaboration among state boards, governmental agencies, the CPA profession and other associations charged similarly with protecting the public,” he said.

Prior to becoming NASBA chair, Atkinson served as vice chair and secretary of the NASBA board of directors, as well as chair of the Audit and Education Committees.  In addition, he has served on NASBA’s Executive, Compliance Assurance, Nominating, Regulatory Response and Regulatory Structures Committees.   

Appointed to the Texas State Board of Accountancy in 1999, Atkinson served as the Texas Board’s chairman from 2003 to 2005. A 38-year veteran of the accounting profession with PricewaterhouseCoopers, he has been an audit partner in Houston since 1982. 

Atkinson’s professional affiliations include membership in the AICPA’s Governing Council (2003-2006) and the Texas Society of CPAs, which presented him with its Meritorious Service to the CPA Profession Award in 2005, regarded as the Texas society’s highest acknowledgement.

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