Las Vegas (June 24 2003) -- Mike Dickson, chairman of the Ohio Society of CPAs, emerged as part of a group working to save the Certified Information Technology Professional designation at the American Institute of CPAs Tech 2003 conference, here.

Dickson, a Columbus, Ohio, CPA and CITP holder, who recently took over chairmanship of the Ohio Society, said he is part of a CITP Retention Committee that's developing a new business plan for the credential that could ultimately be submitted to the AICPA’s governing council. The AICPA in April began the process of researching new strategies for CITP and two other designations it created but has had trouble supporting due to limited resources.

"CITP is not dead," Dickson said at a lunch meeting in which he announced his committee's effort to develop a plan that makes the credential program financially "break-even" in three years. Other CITP holders in his retention committee include Steven Head, a Charlotte, N.C., practitioner, and Susan Bradley, a partner with the Tamiyasu, Smith, Horn and Braun, in Fresno, Calif.

AICPA senior vice president Alan Anderson gave CITP a vote of confidence during a separate speech in which he discussed institute efforts to change the financial reporting to a model that uses new technologies. "The skill set of the CITP could help move this forward," he said.

Dickson said his committee's plan would include marketing efforts not used by the AICPA and getting the AICPA's information technology executive committee involved in efforts that include organizing CITP holders' volunteer services to the designation program. The effort could also include a temporary suspension of CITP testing, he said.

He expects his committee to submit its report to the institute's National Accreditations Committee, which would then pass it to AICPA Council prior to its Fall meeting where it would consider new strategies for CITP and the institute’s Personal Financial Specialist and Accredited in Business Valuation designations. "We have not proven we have a core competency in building and supporting a credential," national accreditation chairman Bruce Harper said at Council’s spring meeting in which it voted to have the institute seek new strategies for the credentials.

CITP appears particularly vulnerable because its approximately 500 holders make it the least used of all the designations. However, at the spring meeting, several Council members made impassioned pleas to keep the designation alive.

-- John M. Covaleski

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