Maui, Hawaii (Oct. 23, 2002) -- Moving forward with efforts to rebuild confidence in the profession was the focus of the first day of the American Institute of CPAs Fall Council meeting here.During a discussion Monday of the AICPA's role going forward, chief executive Barry Melancon likened the profession's current situation to the Hawaiian islands, which were formed by hot lava flow.

"It's been hot, it's been difficult, but the strength of our profession allows us to move forward," Melancon told the Council's 265 members. "Some of the events of the past year will provide an incredible foundation in doing so."

"Our No. 1 task has to be to keep the profession together," said Melancon. "We must find the glue that keeps us all on the same page."

In the post Enron/WorldCom environment, Melancon outlined six major roles he said the institute must take on: standard setter, liaison between market institutions and corporations, education as it pertains to the competency of its members, advancement of the science of financial reporting, and promotion of strong corporate governance and internal controls. Melancon's plan to "revitalize the accounting culture" was unveiled last month in a speech at New York's Yale Club.

-- Melissa Klein

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